Three Periods – 11 FEB 2013

Three Periods is a weekly column touching on hockey’s past, present and future. 

First Period

Happy 45th Anniversary, MSG!  On this date in 1968, the fourth iteration of Madison Square Garden opened above Penn Station.  While Bob Hope and Bing Crosby were playing the new Garden, the Rangers were sixteen blocks north, closing out MSG III – The House That Tex Built – with a 3-3 tie against the Detroit Red Wings.  In the final game at the old barn, Detroit jumped out to a 3-1 lead on goals from Norm Ullman (2) and Alex Delvecchio (1), but New York returned fire with two Jean Ratelle goals (including the tying marker) and one from Don Marshall.  Rod Gilbert assisted on all three Rangers goals.  The Blueshirts would play their first game in MSG IV one week later, downing the Flyers, 3-1 on goals from Bob Nevin, Marshall and Orland Kurtenbach.  Eddie Giacomin had 17 saves for the win.  There’s your trivia question and answer for the day:  Don Marshall is the only player to score goals in the last game at MSG III and the first game at MSG IV.

Second Period

Speaking of New York…In the early going this season, the Blueshirts seemed to hit every pothole on 8th Avenue; in other words, it’s been a bumpy ride.  Over the last few games, however, it’s apparent the Rangers are starting to put the pieces of the puzzle together:  passes are starting to run tape-to-tape, the plague of “Too Many Men” calls has subsided, and there are far fewer Blue-on-Blue collisions on the ice.  Though areas of concern remain (the 29th ranked Power(less) Play, the healthy scratch-iness of Brian Boyle), the Rangers’ play since the calendar flipped to February has proven there was, indeed, no reason for the Blueshirt Faithful to panic.  Compare and contrast the Rangers first four games vs. their last four:  1st Four:  1-3-0, 9 Goals For, 14 Goals Against vs. Last Four:  3-1-0, 13 GF, 7 GA.  Yes, the Rangers are going to be just fine.

Third Period

This season’s compressed schedule is forcing teams to get creative off the ice, it seems.  According to Gerry Fraley of The Dallas Morning News, the Stars have adjusted their travel schedule, and early returns are positive.  Twice last week, the team opted to sleep over after a game and leave the next morning, rather than taking an overnight flight to the next stop on the schedule.  Last Monday, the Stars spent the night in Denver after their win over the Avs, then practiced in the Mile High City Tuesday morning before flying to Edmonton.  After Wednesday night’s victory over the Oilers, they again slept in and flew home Thursday.  Displaying no jet lag whatsoever, they dominated the Ducks Friday night in Dallas.  If the Stars keep winning, other clubs must take note.  Is the expense of an extra night in a hotel worth it?  If it translates to more wins (and playoff revenues down the road), it’s worth every penny.


About Matt Pryor

Freelance writer of hockey, history and travel. Born and raised in Texas. Saw first hockey game 22 FEB 1980 (USA 4, USSR 3), was instantly hooked. Attended first NHL game 26 DEC 1981 (Colorado Rockies 6, Calgary Flames 3). Semi-retired beer league player. Shoots left.



  1. Pingback: Right Wing Conspiracy – Mea Culpa/Blackhawks Edition | The OGA Blogs - March 4, 2013

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Twitter Updates

  • ...This suggests that the LAK will defeat CHI in Game 6 to play the NYR for the Stanley Cup 3 years ago
  • Since 2005/6, when a Round 3 team wins Game 5, they lose Game 6 66.7% of the time; also, Western series are determined by Game 5.889... 3 years ago
  • ...So those stats point to the NYR claiming victory tonight and playing the winner from the Western Conference in the Finals 3 years ago
  • Since 2005/6, when a Round 3 team wins Game 5, they lose Game 6 60% of the time; also, Eastern series are determined by Game 5.778... 3 years ago
  • 4. Top 4 in each DIV play 2 rounds seeded within the DIV, 1 round versus other DIV champ and then the Finals between the Conference champs. 3 years ago

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 27 other followers

%d bloggers like this: