Rangers Channeling 2000 Whale?

The Rangers’ 3-2 loss at home last night in Game Two of their Eastern Conference Final series against New Jersey continued an interesting parallel between their playoff season this year and the Wolf Pack’s 2000 postseason run.

The Blueshirts have now won the opener of all three of their series’, only to go on to drop the second game, all home matches.  The Wolf Pack, if you remember, did the same thing throughout the 2000 AHL playoffs, winning Game One of every series before falling in Game Two, several times in relative stinkers.

As frustrating as the several failures to grab 2-0 series leads must be, the Rangers have to hope the similarity to the 200o Wolf Pack continues, as that club overcame its Game Two woes to march all the way to the Calder Cup.

Ranger coach John Totorella told the New York media Thursday, “You have to have short-term memory when it comes to playoff time. It’s a different animal,” and I think that was definitely a key for the Pack in 2000.  They never dwelt very long on anything negative, and didn’t let their Game Two foibles ever get them doubting themselves.

One big positive for the Rangers is that they now get two days off before Game Three, which isn’t until 1:00 on Saturday at the Prudential Center in Newark.  Tortorella was emphatic in stating that the back-to-back seven-game series’ leading into this one would not make the Rangers a tired crew, but I sure thought they looked like one for much of Game Two, and the Devils even looked to me like the more energetic team for a lot of Game One, which the Rangers ended up winning, 3-0.

50 Straight for Lundqvist

Wednesday was the 50th consecutive playoff start for Henrik Lundqvist.  So, who do you think was the last Ranger goaltender other than Lundqvist to start a postseason game?  Well, it was current omnipresent commentator Kevin Weekes (pictured at right), who got the call in Game Two of a four-game sweep of the Blueshirts by, ironically, the Devils April 29, 2006 at Continental Airlines Arena.  Weekes allowed four goals on 25 shots in a 4-1 loss in that game, after Lundqvist had been touched up for six on 30 shots in a 6-1 defeat in the opener.

“Tank” Moves on

Sadly, we have to say “do svidaniya” to two-year Whale mainstay Pavel Valentenko, who reportedly is returning to his homeland of Russia to skate for Avangard Omsk of the KHL.

Not only did Valentenko play real well for the Whale, tying for the team lead in plus/minus both of the last two seasons, but he also was a great guy to be around, as consistently pleasant and friendly as anyone you could ever hope to meet.  With the shot, solid physique and good attitude that Valentenko has, I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see him make his way to the NHL at some point in the future, but for now, you can certainly understand why he and his wife would make the move back to the motherland, what with just having welcomed a new baby into the world during this season.

And looks as though Steve Moses, who showed fairly well for the Whale on an Amateur Tryout agreement out of UNH, has signed in Finland with Jokerit Helsinki.

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7 Responses to “Rangers Channeling 2000 Whale?”

  1. chris Says:

    bob is it october yet. lol

  2. chris Says:

    so bob the calder was presented early today and with new jerseys game 4 win the stanley could be presented on the same day. although this is not gaurented yet i have to ask has it ever happend before.

  3. chris Says:

    bob since the uconn men hockey team is going to join hockey east. and because this means they will start playing home games at the xl center i was wondering what are the odds there might be a double header now and again.

    • Crawford's Corner Says:

      Chris, I would think that would be a no-brainer…a great way to get even more people to downtown Hartford and to help expand interest in both the Whale and the Husky hockey program.

  4. CHRIS Says:

    SPEAKING OF COLLEGE HOCKEY IVE HAD AN IDEA FORA WHILE THAT IT BE COOL TO HAVE A CT VERSION OF THE BEAN POT. 4 CT COLLEGE HOCKEY TEAMS THE FIRST 2 TEAMS PLAY ON A FRIDAY AFTERNOON THE NEXT 2 TEAMS ON SATURDAY THEN A FINAL ON SUNDAY. AND EVERY ONE OF THESE GAME IS DOUBBLE HEADDERED BY A WHALE GAME.WHICH AS WE BOTH KNOW THE AHL IS A WEEKEND LEAGUE. 6 GAMES OVER A 3 DAY WEEKEND FOR ABOUT 50-100$ A TICKET. WOULD WSE BE INTERESTED IN TRYING TO HOST SOMETHING LIKE THAT AFTER THEY GET A NEW LEASE OF COURSE. CT DOES HAVE SOME OF THE BEST PROGRAMS IN THE COUNTRY WITH YALE AND QUNIPAIC AND WITH UCONN NOW APART OF HOCKEY EAST IN GOOD TIME THERE BOUND TO BE A HIGHLY EILEAT TEAM.

  5. chris Says:

    bob i know that wse is done due to financial problems but is there any kinda likelyhood or chance that the rangers or aeg or someone else will look into extending the lease. i know because of the curent lease they are here for at least one more season. but honestly the pro hockey situation in this part of the state looks like a bust right now.

  6. chris Says:

    new hockey term
    a goalies goal crease being blue is a teams swimming pool. and like a normal swimming pool u want 2 keep it blue and not get green agile. in a live game the green agile in this case is the other team dont let them over crowd your team swiming pool cause that’s how it gets dirty. lol haha

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