Bring the noise Thursday night when it comes time for the
New York Rangers to face the Montreal Canadiens in game 3 of the Eastern
Conference Finals at Madison Square Garden. Sorry Ranger fans but it seems you
guys have forgotten how to rock the place other teams have hated playing in.
A house where the noise begins the moments the gates open
and doesn’t stop until the outcome of the game is decided. Turn the volume up
so Doc and his fellow clowns have to scream to be heard. Make the Garden shake
so it intimidates the officials or even better makes it almost impossible to
hear the whistle.
Reward your team for coming back to knock off the hated
Pittsburgh Penguins and for taking 2 games on the Canadien’s home ice. Give the
Rangers a huge psychological boost as they try to earn a 3-0 series lead. This
is of course a very pivotal game so any help the Rangers can get helps.
In playoff series, game 3 is the one that tends to dictate
the direction the series could go. Win game 3 and the Rangers will push the
Canadiens to the ledge and forget what anyone says; don’t believe that the
Canadiens have it in them to force a game 5.
But lose game 3 and you give the Canadiens too much hope as
they know that they will get a game 5 on home ice not to mention the belief
that they are alive and well in this series. Help the team get the job done
Thursday night by being the Ranger fans of old turning the Garden into a sound
The Whiners Play Dirty
One of the biggest reasons why I have always hated the
instigator rule is it has turn the NHL into a league full of whiners and dirty
players. How sad it has become for NHL players to forget about the
sportsmanship that has always separated hockey from other sports. Something is
very wrong when nowadays watching two teams shaking hands and hugging at center
ice is the rarity and not the norm.
It seems that teams have this need to “work” the refs and
NHL headquarters using the media as their messenger. How sad is it that
Montreal the team that was complaining about the dirty play first of the Boston
Bruins and now the Rangers.
Even more so it becomes lame when the team whining starts
using the same dirty tactics that they are complaining about. In game 2 there
were 2 plays that were dirty attempts by the Canadiens to injure the Rangers.
The first was Brandon Prust skating by Henrik Lundqvist and
attempting to hit him with his knee as the teams were heading to the benches
for a TV timeout. The video which can be found here (with a thank you stick tap
to Russ Cohen of Sportsology for finding it) but yet there is no call on the
play and as you can tell it was spotted by the French language station.
NBC totally missed it so it was never discussed during the
game but NBC did catch a slewfoot (at least Eddie O did) on a Ranger in front
of the Canadiens net. I missed the name of the Canadiens player who took out
Brian Boyle but a slewfoot is considered one of the dirtiest plays in all of
hockey. Yet it is OK for the Canadiens to use such a tactic.
Maybe it is because they use such tactics is what makes the
Canadiens such experts on the subject.
Don’t Let Him Leave
There are reports out of Pittsburgh that are listing Ranger’s
Asst. GM Jeff Gorton as one of the favorites to replace Ray Shero as the GM of
the Pittsburgh Penguins. From a front office perspective this would be a huge
loss for the Rangers as Gorton who is in his mid-40s is the person who the
Rangers should anoint as the successor to Glen Sather.
Right now Gorton has been handling the bulk of the contract
talks for the Rangers, helping out with the scouting, and representing the
Rangers in arbitration hearings. Gorton who worked his way up the ladder in the
Boston Bruins organization is seen as one of the better younger minds in the
But there is a selfish reason to want to see the Rangers
hold on to Gorton as the Ranger front office is getting older in a bit of a
hurry. Glen Sather will be 71 come September, Jim Schoenfeld will be 62 in September,
and Gordie Clark will turn 62 at the end of May.
Maybe winning the cup might be the incentive for Sather to
turn over the GM duties but the Rangers need to start to look towards a
successor sooner rather than later and try hard to keep Gorton.