Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Interlude: Alpinestars

I just got back from the Garden after the Rangers/Thrashers game. It was quite a good one, although the resulting 5-4 OT loss wasn't ideal. I thought the Rangers were a bit sloppy early on, but they managed to grab a Power Play goal at the end of the first period. While Atlanta tied it up early in the second period, the Rangers extended regained the lead with another PP goal. Martin Straka's great individual effort made it 3-1, Atlanta managed to score another one, but heading heading into the third Period with the score 3-2, I felt quite confident.

This was apparently wishful thinking, as Atlanta went on to score a couple more, grabbing a 4-3 lead. With time running down in the third, the Thrashers took a penalty, and then got caught for a delay of game (shooting the puck into the stands is considered such under the not-so-new rules). With the Garden roaring, the Rangers managed to tie it up. That was undoubtedly the high point of the evening (and week, for that matter); there's something really cathartic about mass screaming. I guess the overtime was a bit of an afterthought, as the Rangers were automatically awarded a point, ensuring their retention of first place in the Atlantic Division. It would've been a great end to a wonderful evening if the game had gone to a shootout, but alas, former Ranger (and Devil) Bobby Holik ended it with his second goal of the game.

So, I'm pretty happy where this team is right now. They've shown that they can really play with some of the upper-tier squads in the league, and they've gained points in the standings in each of their last five games. I just hope they improve their play at home (they're barely over .500 at the Garden) and really push it to the next level. But really, any team can excel in this new incarnation of the NHL, and I think it's a really fun and dynamic game. If you aren't really familiar with it, try watching a game, although it's admittedly difficult; we don't get it MSG, either. However, the recent deal with YouTube should increase accessibility, and I'll keep you posted. Oh, and head over to Puck Podcast for some more excellent coverage.

A couple pictures:

Oh, and props to the Garden; they played Arcade Fire's "Wake Up" before the start of the game and Goldfrapp's "Ooh La La" in the second intermission.

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