Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Wrecking Ball

The Islanders lost 4-2 tonight to the New York Rangers. It really is that simple. It was a nicely played competitive game. A big turnover by Bruno Gervais led to the Rangers first goal. Their third goal resulted after a neutral zone collision between Andy Hilbert and Dean McAmmond. I think the Rangers brought their home referee tandem with them from MSG tonight.

Though Nate Thompson, Richard Park and Thomas Pock were returned from Injured Reserve all were deemed not ready to play tonight. Joe Callahan, Jesse Joenssu and Joel (The Wrecker) Rechlicz were called up from Bridgeport for the game tonight. It would be Rechlicz' NHL debut. The Wrecker did not have much work to do tonight as far as pugilism goes. He showed decent acumen as a player. He exceeded my expectations there and definitely has a head up on Mitch Fritz in the skills department. I do wonder what the rush was to return the previously mentioned players from Injured Reserve, if they were not game ready. I highly doubt we'll hear an explanation for those moves.

Sean Avery returned to action for NYR tonight. Trent Hunter took him out in the third period and received a 2 minute boarding penalty. He was not a major presence in the game other than being booed every time he touched the puck. Of course there were amusing/disturbing chants in the stands such "sloppy seconds" and "go to rehab". My feelings on these chants is described in the previous sentence.

I was at ice level for the pregame warm ups. In front of me were (what I assume to be) a father and daughter (girl maybe 16 yrs old); to my left were (I assume) a father and son (boy about 10 yrs old). Towards the end of the warm ups, a puck squeezed through the edge of the net and the top of the glass. The girl (in her Islanders home jersey) picks up the puck quickly and is really excited, but them she turns and sees the little boy in is autographed Sean Avery Rangers jersey. She looks down at the puck and then looks up and hands it to the boy. The boy was so happy and said thank you about five times. I had to share that folks.

I think it is fitting to mention that I saw no fights or ejections in the crowd tonight. If there were any, I missed them. A good night for New York hockey fans in that regard.

Here are your home game bullet comments:

  • Nikolai Zherdev scored on a wrist shot off the Gervais turnover to make it 1-0 Rangers at 8:33 of the first period.

  • Blake Comeau after a great effort scored at 5:37 of the second period to tie the score at one. Assists by Dean McAmmond and Andrew MacDonald. Comeau would add an assist later in the game and get the 3rd star nod.

  • After Trent Hunter was called for a weak tripping penalty, Chris Drury scored a power play goal to retake the lead 2-1 for the Rangers. First assist went to Nik Antropov, his first point as a Ranger

  • At 0:49 of the third period, Scott Gomez scored to make the score 3-1 Rangers

  • Jack Hillen scored his first goal of the year to cut the Rangers lead down to 3-2 at 3:44 of the third period. Hillen is becoming a Five Hole favorite. McAmmond assisted on this goal as well.

  • After Andrew MacDonald's delay of game penalty for putting the puck over the glass in the Islanders defensive zone, Markus Naslund scored a power play goal at 13:24 to seal the Rangers lead at 4-2.

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