Tuesday, January 3, 2012
The Gang Gets Classic
B. Radical:: Clutch
What a game! So many great storylines:
Tight standings between these 2 teams.
Rupp ribs Jagr with some gamesmanship antics.
Jagr injured in the 2nd period.
Dubi and Cally combine for 21 HITS!
Richards proves he is a clutch performer (actually he's been doing that all year, doubters...6 GWGs. Leads the league)
Lundqvist stops a penalty shot with 19 seconds remaining in the game.
Bottom line: Our jerseys were better. Our team identity was stronger. Our goaltending was more secure. And we battled through the elements and 'disgusting' officiating to score 3 unanswered goals on the road for the win.
Turning Point of the game: Mike Rupp responds to the Flyers 2-0 lead late in the 2nd by firing a wristshot past Bobrovsky's blocker on a nice dish from Prust. The timing of this play was clutch as the Flyers were beginning to pour it on with 2 quick goals in the second after Lundqvist made key breakaway saves on both Giroux and Jagr in the first.
Rupper notched the tying goal early in the 3rd, catching Bobrovsky leaning and sneaking a hard snapper short side off his elbow and into the net. Don't let his 4th line status fool you, Rupp is a big game player. This was his 2nd Winter Classic and, oh yeah, he scored the cup clinching goal for the Devils in 2003.
And of course it comes down to Lundqvist, who stood his ground against the always dangerous Danny Briere. You know Hank was thinking of payback after that game 82 shootout loss two seasons ago to Philly. Not this year. Bow to the King.
On the officiating towards the end of the game--of course the league wanted overtime. Especially with the home team having a chance to tie it up. I couldn't believe the Callahan call, I thought Capt was going to charge that ref straight through the boards. Holding the stick? Oh you mean wrenching it free from his clavicle? Sure. The actual penalty shot call was close. I thought McDonagh punched at the puck rather than close his hand on it, but whatever. We sustained the onslaught and earned the 2 points. Victory hasn't tasted sweeter for this club!
Great event overall, even though it would've made better sense from a marketing perspective to have the game at Yankee Stadium, which is a much more historic ballpark than Citizen's Bank. I guess the Steinbrenner's wanted college football instead. Must've thought it would be a bigger draw. Rutgers? doubt it.
**My pick for next year's Winter Classic is St. Louis v. The Red Wings in Motown.**Let it be known. Leave your pick in the comment section.