Funky vibes right from the start. First of all, a pitiful crowd for a NYI/NYR game. I see as many Ranger jerseys as Isles jerseys. Here is a prime example of why Isle fans need to show up for their team. Too many ticket were left available. Now, its not empty. Far from it. But NYI/NYR should be sell-outs, don't you think? Filled in a bit more now. Might be 60/40 Isles to Ranger fans now.
I just watched some moron Ranger fan with a Graves jersey scream in some old guy and his grandchild's face. I thought I'd have to step in.
"Don't look at me!! Don't looook at me man! Don't even look at me"
Of course, stepping in would include me pushing the old man ahead of me and cowering with fear. However, it was a rather funky situation full of bad vibes at he get-go.
I don't care whose team is playing. I hate morons. Ruin it for everyone else acting out.
We have higher chairs now. With cushions even. Much better to now sit and watch the game. Before it was something that sat you so low, you barely could see over peoples heads.
Crowd might not be a sellout but VERY vocal. Hot crowd tonight.
Both teams seem to be on. At least, it seems more that way because the crowd cheers and reactions really amplify the gameplay. Isles defense is doing what they did last NYR/NYI game, pushing incoming forwards to the outside, where they have very little angle on Ricky or the goal. However, once another NYR forward gets free, could be trouble on passes unless they clog passing paths. As I write that, NYR almost had a chance on that exact thing.
Still back and forth. Like Rosie O'Donnell at a buffet.
Rangers are also doing a good job stifling opportunities for the Isles forwards. Nifty redirection just failed by the Isles. Somethings got to give. But for over 8 minutes, its been very nonstop. Tons of people are now being seated now that the puck finally stopped. Isles and Rangers both look sharp.
Isles, who have a bit more rest, might try what they did versus Tampa, pressing the play in the 2nd and 3rd to see if the Rangers can keep pace. We shall see.
No penalties thus far. I have to say, I'm surprised. Teams are disciplined so far. Of course, that can change on a dime, a slash, or a lefthook.
Rangers have 4 shots to the Isles 2. But despite this, seems pretty even so far.
Some good hits. Comrie has some nice speed. I watch him wind down the ice like a sidewinder, causing a bit of alterations in the Rangers bringing up the puck.
Last minute, Prucha gets the call for boarding. NYI on the attack.
Period is over, and the zamboni's with hotties go around on the ice. The ice girls shoot t-shirts to fans.
A cannon shot splits through the crowd as a T-Shirt slams right next to me as I duck under the seat. It hits the Buzz part of the Isles Blog Box presented by Hockeybuzz.com banner that is behind us.
Must have been a Ranger fan. That cad!
2nd periods starts a lot like the 1st. Lots of skating. Some hits. Isles have 10 shots now to the NYR 4. NYR shots are getting blocked. Isles upping the tempo. Someone gets away with hitting into DP.
Rangers pressing a bit back. Some chippiness now. Who will draw firstblood?
Isles with their first penalty. Ruslan Fedotenko for tripping.
And from that, first blood is taken. Rangers with the goal. It's then when you can hear the good amount of Ranger fans. Drury with the goal.
Rangers almost score another. This is looking like more of like the Penguins game, when the Isles got lax in the 2nd and had the game taken to them.
12 to 12 in shots now.
CJ Papa, a man with a name that would have gotten me even more beaten in high school is conducting interviews. Some kid just screamed into CJ Papa's mic and deafened an entire crowd.
Isles with a big goal. It interrupts some unruly fans being removed in the 300s. The 300s corner has a lot of Ranger fans mixed in.
Hunter with that goal, with Comrie and Feds with assists.
And just like that...what is giveth is taketh. Rangers score again, taking away the tie game. Paul Mara with the goal. He had an assist earlier. Avery and Gomez with assists.
Tim Jackman, who is called up to reward him for good play in Bridgeport, plus replace Aaron Johnson, gets a penalty at a very bad time.
Looks like another Isles penalty. Offsetting penalties Prucha with another and Sutton. 4 on 4.
Finally a break. Girardi with a highsticking call...and right after...a goal!
Tank with the laser. Comrie with another assist, and MAB with the other.
Huge goal...Satan. Hot lately. Park with the assist. Isles take the lead.
Fight breaks out in 337. Its been steaming up there since the start.
Nice chances to break the Rangers back. But no dice.
Rangers are coughing up the puck more now that the pressure is on.
Big win for the Isles. Ricky had some amazing acrobatic saves at the very end to hold on. The crowd was hot, and despite it not being a sellout, was a good sized crowd after all. Lots of latecomers.
After the game
Tim Jackman met us after we sat in the media room staring at the ceiling for a while. Tim was pretty pumped with the win. When asked about if Nolan said anything between the 2nd and 3rd period, he said he wouldn't really know. He was being stitched up mostly inbetween those periods. Tim was told yesterday afternoon that he'd be playing tonight.
Ted Nolan talked about how he asked if his players could give more after the 2nd period. They said they could. And then they did. He felt that the whole team gave a great effort, and didn't seem to go with what others felt, that in the 2nd period, the Isles play fell off ever-so-slightly.
Nolan said they wanted to come out hard, and use all 4 lines. This led to a lot more time (as Tom Loidice, fellow blog boxer, also caught and asked both Nolan and Jackman about it). Ben Walter was also complimented, as well as Jackman.
When asked: Bergie, when he comes back, despite Park's play, seemed to have Nolan leaning to placing him back in that 2nd line. Ted wasn't worried about anyone losing time due to the long schedule and the need for players to be ready if someone goes down.
Nolan stressed they had to be patient and wait for opportunities, and they did. Per Nolan: Hunter might not have an A on his shoulder, he is one of their leaders.
Nolan also cited Miroslav's slow start to more issues of the wacky schedule, and feels that along with Vasicek, there has been a clicking and that Miro is hot right now, but he expected it as well.
And that wraps my last live blog until later this month. It's been tough work to balance married life, a demanding job, blogging plus the games. But it's been damn fun. Next few will be watching from afar. Lets hope when I get back some stride have been made in the communication, handling and process of bloggers when in the lockerroom or media room.
Overall, the entire experience has been good. But lately, slightly erratic, even the actual coordinating the games we are at has been confusing. One time I was left off the list. Twice after I've had to hound them to get an answer.
Sure we are all happy to be there. But, there also seems to be an element of complacency or simply inattention lately in how we are dealt with. Our time is valuable, and our efforts pretty good. We certainly know people are busy. Consistency is not a one way street, it is a two-way. Sometimes we are left with no idea what exactly is going on. Arbour night one shining example as we were finally let into the lockerroom for the final seconds of Satan's interview after sitting in the media room for over 10min. Tampa game was another confusing time. All in all, crazy nights in general. Just helpful to have someone let us know whats what. We all roll with it. We are a hearty bunch.
The Blog Box is a work in progress. And not just for the bloggers, and am sure. I'm sure there are kinks to work out. To make it all work, it takes the work of two parties willing to roll with the ups and downs. Nothing should be taken for granted. Just as I don't take for granted the tremendous opportunity and privilege in being there. And it's because of that, my passions, and my desire to do and be the best I can, that I fight to make sure we make this all work.