I bought tickets for last night's Rangers game against Colorado the day individual tickets were released by the New York Rangers before the season began. However, it wasn't until yesterday at around 6pm that I finally decided that I was going to go. Normally it wouldn't have been an issue, but on Wednesday I had my appendix removed, so although the pain has been gradually declining every day since the surgery (yes, it hurt like crazy for a few days!) I still wasn't sure if I wanted to walk around Manhattan, walk through MSG and face the chances of some idiot bumping into my stomach.
Anyways, being the diehard Rangers fan that I am, I decided that I was going. I wore the brand new Colton Orr #28 jersey that I just got last month for the first time.
As you all know the Rangers offense has been pretty pathetic for the majority of this season (especially the past month), so when I walked into the arena and saw on the jumbotron that I was a little over three minutes late and the Rangers were already winning 2-0, I was pretty damn surprised (actually pretty pissed that I missed 2 goals by being a few minutes late - which I never am!)
My tickets were for Section 304, so we walk over during the next stoppage in play to find our seats and they don't exist! I'm not exaggerating for the next 15 minutes+ I walked the section with five ushers and MSG management to look for non-existent seats! No idea how that happens, but it resulted in me & my fiancee being moved down to Section 40 --- about 8 rows from the ice!
The game continued with the Rangers leaving the first period with a 4-0 lead. The second period was pretty much more of the same. It was actually a pretty boring game despite the fact the Rangers were whipping the Avs, I mean there was no intensity, no hard hitting, no after the whistle pushing & shoving and it honestly seemed like the Avs knew they lost and were just playing out the game.
Suddenly out of nowhere with less than five minutes left in the game that all changed....Freddie Sjostrom took a cross-check to the face from McCormick and the two started to throw punches and immediately Colton Orr made a bee line for McCormick because he knows that Sjostrom doesn't fight (I was actually very surprised that Orr didn't get a 3rd man in, but they only ended up giving Sjostrom and McCormick minor penalties). Orr and Ian Laperriere ended up holding onto each other and you could just tell that Laperriere wanted nothing to do with Orr.
There was another scrum in the corner with Wade Redden showing yet again why I dislike him so much when he refuses to take off his gloves to get a better grip on Laperriere who is trying to find someone to throw a punch at in the middle of the pile of players. Every other player on the ice basically has their gloves off and is showing emotion and Redden looks like a clown!
Anyways, next shift, Orr is back out on the ice and you could tell that the Garden crowd was expecting something. For a few seconds it didn't look like anything was going to happen but then Orr and Stewart came together and Orr had a decisive win. I actually give props to Stewart because he had to have known that he was way out of his league but he stepped up to the plate.
After Orr was issued his 5 minute major he was sent to the locker room because there was so little time left in the game. This is when Darcy Tucker decides that all of a sudden that Orr is out of the game that he's going to start talking to Orr and play the 'tough guy' role...
The next shift it was obvious that Laperriere wanted to go with someone (usually a fan of his but it was so obvious that the guy waited until Orr was gone). He lined up next to Callahan and challenged him right away, Callahan skated away and while play was going on for a good ten seconds Laperriere stood in front of the Rangers bench talking to the entire bench. (Afterward I watched the final five minutes on TV to see what I missed and you could see that the majority of his conversation was with assistant coach Jim Schoenfield).
The last of the festivities was in the Rangers zone right in front of where I was sitting where Darcy Tucker went right for Paul Mara off the faceoff, but Mara was ready and surprisingly Mara pummeled Tucker with mini uppercuts as he held Tucker's head down and brought him down to the ice. With the two separated in the corner about 15ft from me, you could see the anger in Tucker's eyes, but it was way too little, way too late as he was invisible for the other 59 minutes of the game.
Below are some videos that my fiancee took at the game (I had no idea that she was even filming):