Did anyone see the big game on Sunday?
No, I'm not talking about Commercial Bowl 2008 where the New York Giants immortalized themselves by ending the New England Patriot's chase of history. I'm talking about the New York Rangers - Montreal Canadiens tilt earlier on in the day.
Man, now that was an entertaining hockey game. The game was full of end-to-end rushes with breathaking regularity, spectacular goals and amazing saves, bonecrushing body checks, and some serious animosity that boiled over and almost certainly will result in suspensions.
I like watching Montreal, because they tend to have exciting games. But boy oh boy did some of those players in those old school jerseys impress me on Super Sunday.
Native New Yorker Mike Komisarek was doing his best Larry Robinson impersonation, tossing around Jaromir Jagr like a rag doll. He's really found his game. Andrei Markov the league's best kept secret, at least until he signs what will undoubtedly be a ridiculous UFA contract this summer. Sergei Kostitsyn really showed some skill and spunk yesterday. When he scored on the penalty shot I was certain Alexei Kovalev put on the 74 jersey. What a shot! And how about little Francis Bouillon answering the bell when Colton Orr went crazy. Bouillon could play on my team anytime.
I've only seen the Rangers play maybe 3 games this season. Like all the pundits, I'm surprised they're not having a stronger season. Give them great credit - they came from 3 goals down to win 5-3. Jagr looked old in this game, and Ryan Hollweg showed me he is a selfish player and should be suspended 5 times longer than he actually will be. I've always liked Brendan Shanahan and Chris Drury of course, and Marc Staal looks like he's developing really nicely. Daniel Girardi also impressed me on the blue line with some great breakouts reminding me of a young James Patrick. And of course Henrik Lundqvist in goal, New York's first "King" of the nets since the days of Eddie Giacomin.
I'm a Canucks fan and watch 75% of their games. Even though I make a point of watching every team at least once a season, sometimes I forget just how spectacular hockey games can be. Don't get me wrong, the Canucks formula works, although their record in the month of January suggests otherwise. But their game plan is so formulated and scripted that there is no room for error, or for spectacularly exciting games.
Let me know when the Rangers and Habs meet up again - I'll be sure to watch.