Rangers Rebound to Gain Point
by: Joe McDonald | Publisher and Editor-in-Chief | Tuesday, November 11, 2008
NEW YORK – It’s called the rebound board and it’s nothing more than two 2x4s put together at a 90 degree angle.
Yet, Chris Drury swears by this low tech device and the Blueshirts have used it in practice almost every day since the Ranger captain brought it with him from Buffalo after he signed with New York before last season.
“I got it from a guy in Chicago,” Drury said, who started using it when he played in the World Championships. “I got it from a coach, Kenny McCudden. It was the first time I saw it and stole it from him. It’s great with passes and you can practice by yourself if you want.”
The device is simple. It’s placed in front of the goalie net and a puck is rebounded off of it with a player then using the rebound to practice scoring a goal. The board gives a true bounce, which helps in game situations.
Well practice obviously makes perfect. Although it wasn’t a true bounce, Drury was able to take Scott Gomez’s rebound off rookie goalie Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers 46 second into the third to tie the match with the Oilers. Even though, Edmonton eventually won a 3-2 decision in a shootout, it was good enough to give the Rangers a point for the night.
“We will make sure it’s a good point in the long run,” said coach Tom Renney.
The point seemed to be pretty well earned, since the Rangers skated through the first 20 minutes of this game, going through a malaise, which has plagued the team from time to time over the past few seasons. It allowed Edmonton to build a 2-0 lead, which at the time seemed insurmountable.
“We got going,” Renney said. “We obviously did not have a good start, but as soon as we gained pucks physically in our zone and forechecked them, we were able to gain more of what we want as a team.”
The Rangers actually seemed to come alive, 8:13 into the second, after Ryan Callahan took the puck and raced through the neutral zone. He fed it to Paul Mara, who was put it in stick side past Drouin-Deslauriers to cut the Oiler lead in half.
It was actually one of a season high 20 shots the Rangers took in the second as they peppered the rookie throughout the period.
But alas Drouin-Deslauriers was up to the task. The rookie, who is built like Stephen Valiquette, was able to keep the Rangers at bay for their 40 other shots and stopped Nik Zherdev, Fredrik Sjostrom, and Markus Naslund in the shootout to get Edmonton the extra point.
Henrik Lundqvist, though, wasn’t as fortunate and he allowed Ales Hemsky shot in the ultimate decision to rebound off of his glove.
“It slid on the glove and I thought I had it,” Lundqvist said. “I tried to locate the puck, and I saw it went in behind me. It is a little frustrating.”
So too was Erik Cole’s tally 3:27 in the first to open the scoring. The Oiler left wing redirected a shot by Fernando Pisani off his skate. The play was reviewed, but was judged by Toronto that the puck was simply redirected and not kicked in.
Kyle Brodziak then made it 2-0 a little over 20 minutes later at 3:30 of the second, which then sent the Rangers on their comeback.
Actually the Rangers thought they had tied the game with 2:01 left in the middle 20 when Callahan sent a puck past Drouin-Deslauriers but the goalie was able to stop it before it completely went over the line. The play was reviewed and ruled no goal.
But that did allow Drury his heroics in the third with the Garden crowd being very thankful for his rebound board.
Notes: The Rangers previous high for shots in a period this season was 18. They did it three times. Drury was hit in the back of the helmet late in the third by a shot from Dan Girardi. Although he was attended to on the bench, the Ranger captain returned shortly afterwards.