In an effort to lighten the mood during the lockout, The New York Rangers Blog will be writing faux recaps for every Rangers game missed due to the work stoppage. Enjoy.
San Jose, CA – It took a year, but the Rangers were finally able to get their revenge on Joe Thornton for calling them "soft" last season, as the Blueshirts easily took care of the San Jose Sharks 4-1 at HP Pavilion.
After a 5-2 Sharks loss at Madison Square Garden last October, Thornton said this about the Rangers…
While Rangers head coach John Tortorella did respond by ripping the never clutch Thornton…
…the Rangers never quite got over those comments and their actions tonight proved it.
"We came to San Jose to do one thing, send a message to Mr. Thornton," said Ryan Callahan.
And send a message they did. To start the game, Tortorella put his fourth line of Mike Rupp, Aaron Asham and this morning's call up from Hartford, Michael Haley, opposite Thornton's line. As soon as the puck was dropped, all three rugged forwards made a beeline towards Thornton and began to pummel the Sharks forward as he turtled on the ice.
After Thornton was rescued from the pounding, he skated past the Rangers bench on his way to the San Jose locker room and was greeted with this from Tortorella…
"Who's soft now, bitch!"
To the actual game, the Sharks were able to score just once on the ensuing 15-minute power play and that's all they would get for the entire game against the Rangers Vezina winning goaltender Henrik Lundqvist who made 15 of his 31 saves during that power play.
"After seeing what Rupper, Asham and Haley did, the penalty kill units took it upon ourselves to make as big of a stand as we could to recognize their efforts," noted Lundqvist.
Anton Stralman, recently inserted on the point of the first power play unit for an ineffective Michael Del Zotto, scored an extra man goal to get the Rangers on the board just two minutes into the second period.
Rick Nash's second goal in two games as a Ranger and Brian Boyle's first of the season extended New York's lead to 3-1 after two periods.
"I wasn't on the team last year and I've been friends with Joe for a long time, but you don't call another team soft," Nash stated. "I couldn't have been happier to score a goal to help exact revenge."
The Rangers final goal came from an unlikely source as Stu Bickel, who had more ice time (12:31) tonight than he did in all of last year's playoffs combined, ripped one home from the point on a nice assist from Brad Richards.
The Rangers are now 2-0-0 on the season. Their next game is Wednesday night in New Jersey.
To read previous faux recaps, click here.