Recap: 12/15/16 King Reclaims His Throne
Like many fans, I waited for the game with bated breath tonight. While we knew Henrik Lundqvist would be in net, he certainly had a lot of pressure to live up to. Not only did he have to prove to himself that he could do it, he also had to shut everyone up, once and for all, about the alleged goalie “controversy” in Rangerstown.
Double the Controversy
Of course, we couldn’t expect Hank’s return to be uneventful. Along with the rest of the fandom, I gasped and held my heart when Eakin steamrolled into Hank with a shoulder hit to the head.
Of course, Twitter erupted into brief chaos with some people having the gall to call the hit “clean.” Sorry – goalie hits are not allowed, and certainly not ones that send the goalie airborne with his helmet flying one direction and his stick in the other. Accidental contact is allowed, but this was not the case here. There’s no debate; it’s in the rule book (rule 69.4 is most applicable to this situation) for those who need proof.
He left, presumably to undergo the concussion protocol and all I could think was why did nobody jump on Eakin? Granted, it’s not the most adult thing to think, but shouldn’t someone act as our enforcer (… oh wait)? Even Marty Biron and Steve Valiquette were calling for it!
We’ll see if any punishment is handed down, but truth be told, I’m not holding my breath for anything serious to come of it.
Nash’s Fruitful Return
Nash returned today and proved to us all why we need to miss him when he’s not around. Game-winning goal, anyone?
Stolen. Shorthanded. Breakaway. Game winner. #Nashty. pic.twitter.com/XCUFC4ecNU
— NHL (@NHL) December 16, 2016
We just needed one more to give a bit of a cushion and who delivers but Mats Zuccarello, breaking a 14-game drought. Well played.
Other Notable Mentions
One of the funniest moments, to me at least, was hearing Joe and Sam talking about Benn’s failure to ever score a point against the Rangers (this was his 10th game against them in his career). They suggested he “…might need to talk to someone…” which set off a round of chuckles between me and my husband. Seriously, though, he might be cursed and I’m okay with that.
The Rangers play seems to have come back together. At the very least, it’s a huge improvement over the first few games in December. Let’s hope they keep it up and get some more W’s.
Finally, there have been mentions that this is the fourth time ever that the Rangers have scored 20 wins in their first 30 games, and 21 wins in their first 32 games. The last time those events happened … 1993-1994. Read into it what you will.
Again, There’s No Controversy Folks
One final image to help dispel the rumor that there are any hard feelings between the two goalies:
That is the first time #NYR have had a shared shutout in franchise history! (via @EliasSports) #NYR90 pic.twitter.com/rn9duen51Q
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) December 16, 2016
His most enthusiastic supporter at the end of the game is none other than Antti Raanta.
While I was irked that Henrik didn’t play and was a healthy scratch for two games, I did understand that Raanta was playing better and why hurt the team? I knew Hank would be back, and that he’d prove to us once again why we’re so quick to jump to his defense. Not only did he play well, he scored a shutout. And that, my friends, is why you simply don’t doubt The King.