Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Wolf Pack nip Providence, 2-1

Yesterday's trash, too bored to thrash Chris Rutsch/HWP photo

Goalie Robert Gherson continued to have a hot hand in his third consecutive start this week as the Wolf Pack beat the Providence Bruins at home on Saturday, 2-1. Gherson now has a 1.30 GAA and a .960 save pct in three games for the Wolf Pack since being signed to a try-out contract not even five days ago.

Gherson played a near-perfect game according to the scoreboard (28 for 29 in saves), although he did cause a couple of tense moments in the third period when he started to fight the puck a little and ended up losing control of the puck in the crease a couple of times, with Providence players looming nearby. Gherson made a number of stunning saves throughout the game, though, including a one-in-a-million stop in the second period. With two Bruins bearing down on him from either side, Gherson moved out ever so slightly to challenge the shooter, Jason MacDonald, who instead slid the puck to his right over to where Tyler Redenbach was skating, looking at an open net. Gherson somehow stopped Redenbach's shot with his glove behind him just before the puck crossed the line.

Golden boy Fedor Fedorov didn't put in much of an effort, skating sluggishly most of the night and even losing track of the puck in the defensive zone a couple of times, which almost lead to Providence scoring opportunities. Fedorov did get an assist on Lee Falardeau's game-winning goal, when Falardeau took a backhand shot from a bad angle outside the left face-off dot and somehow Tim Thomas let it through. Even Falardeau seemed suprised after the puck went in.

Alexandre Giroux' 10-game points streak and 5-game goal streak both came to an end. Defenseman Dan Girardi continued with his impressive play; Girardi came into tonight's game at +7 in six games with a goal and 3 assists, plus he can dish out a check as good as anyone on the team.

The night before, the Wolf Pack had lost to the Monarchs in Manchester on a shootout, 2-1, after Fedor Fedorov just missed a game-winning goal in overtime when he hit the post with 18 seconds left. Wolf Pack coach Jim Shoenfeld had a good quote regarding shootouts in this morning's Harford Courant: "An inch either way, and it's happy time. I thought we played a great game, but it comes down to fancy dans and goaltenders. It's too bad."

I got home from the Wolf Pack game early enough to watch the last half of the third period of the New York Rangers game against Ovechkin and the Capitals. FSN was carrying the MSG feed of the game, which almost never happens (just my luck that I moved to a town this year that doesn't have MSG on their cable system). Ovechkin has amazing physical talent, without question. Jagr got called for an illegal stick at the beginning of the overtime period, and while I think it's pretty well understood on both benches which players have a little too much curve in their blades (especially since Jagr used to play for Washington, right?), I think it's also up to the player to switch back to a legal stick during the last minutes of regulation, so something like this doesn't happen.

I've got strange and grandiose ideas, I never know or care what day it is Watch this one, grandpa

The Rangers won the game in a 15-round shootout, when Marek Malik passed the puck back between his skates and then shot it past Kolzig. I have no idea how the big Czech defenseman, who hasn't scored a goal yet this season, pulls a shot like that out of his bag so non-chalantly, in a pressure situation, but he did it. Then Malik gave a little flourish with his hand over his head and with a stoic look on his face, as if it was no big deal. It was pretty funny to watch.

UPDATE 11:56am - The video of Marek Malik's shootout goal is making the rounds this morning on more than a few sites; click here for a .gif file that was on HockeyBird.