UNIONDALE, NY – Last night’s game was not Glen Sather’s swan song. No, he’s not going anywhere and at times you have to think the Pope has less job security.
Last night’s game against the Islanders was a call to arms for the Rangers. Are they are a team or are they just a collection of overpaid veterans just looking to collect their check?
After benching Wade Redden and Ales Kotalik, the Rangers responded and thanks to an ill advised Islander starting of a very tired Dwayne Roloson, who gave up three goals on the Rangers first five shots in their eventual 5-2 win.
“I think, collectively, as a team, we responded well and everybody realized what they had to do,” right wing Ryan Callahan, who scored two goals in the match, said. “I think it’s a little bit of both. Obviously, Hank is the backbone of this team and he made some key saves.”
Lundqvist made sure the Rangers had a chance as he stopped the Islander onslaught during the first 10 minutes of the game when the Isles outshot the Rangers 10-1. Being up for the challenge, Lundqvist kept the Rangers in the match as his teammates got their legs.
“It’s happened a lot of times in this building,” Lundqvist said. “They come out flying and we have a tough time settling in. It was important for me personally and for the team to stay in there. I don’t know how we had the lead after the first period, but we did.”
But a win is a win and the Rangers will now move forward with maybe with a new found lease on life. There’s no word on Redden and Kotalik, both of who sat in the press box for the match. After a shouting match between the defenseman and coach John Tortorella, Redden was worked out by assistant coach Mike Sullivan and then expressed his displeasure to the media.
“Not real pleased about it, honestly,” Redden said. “To be singled out – I know the team’s going through struggles and everyone’s got to be better. The fact that I’m sitting out – I mean, I’m not real happy about it.”
Redden acted like he was losing money here, but let’s remember his $39 million contract will still be paid even if he’s sitting on the bench. And for him to be “singled out” is a joke, because he’s been playing this way for a year and a half.
Yet, you have to blame Sather for that signing, yet he will still get paid as well. Even though some morning show commentators were saying he was set to get canned, the Rangers president’s job is safe for now.
And you can look for Tortorella to go as well, but at least the coach has abandoned his old offense first mantra and started to do some neutral zone trapping over the past two weeks.
So, all is well for one night at least as the Rangers try to save the season. But is this just one night or a start of something big?
We will soon find out.