Ryan Hollweg

Rangers Stick Together In Brawl With Isles

by Mark Owens

Damn, I wish I saw last night’s fight-filled game with the Islanders. Why the hell don’t the Islanders televise their preseason home games? Probably because they can’t draw fans to the Nassau Mausoleum for any game, much less a preseason game.

Anyway, from what I’ve read, the Islanders’ dirt bags got things started early when giant Andy Sutton elbowed Ryan Callahan to the head. Sutton was last seen making a mockery of himself and his Atlanta Thrashers’ team last April, when he gooned Callahan and others at the end of playoff game two when it was obvious the Rangers were going to rout the Thrashers in that series. Hopefully, Colton Orr smacked him around but good when they fought on the next shift.

It seems things got really interesting when Ryan Hollweg crushed Islanders’ defenseman Freddy Meyer IV behind the net, and head goon Chris Simon blasted Hollweg from behind. No surprise there. Why is Simon the Lumberjack even playing? He still has to serve five more games for swinging his stick (timber!) at Hollweg’s face last winter. I liked him on the Rangers, but Simon lost his mind that night and probably should have been banned for a substantial part of this season as well.

Kudos to Jason Strudwick for jumping in when Simon and Hollweg dropped the gloves. I’m sure Hollweg would have taken his beating like a man but Jason didn’t want to see that so he stepped in. Great teammate.

The Islanders stuck together too, which is commendable, when goalie Rick DePietro jumped into the fracas to make sure Simon wasn’t at a disadvantage. That left Al Montoya no choice but to skate down the ice to take on Ricky the Goalie. Apparently, Montoya looked a little unsure of himself, even though he did tangle at least once in the AHL last year (I wonder how he did in that fight).

This would have been a good game to have Dan Cloutier in net; that guy can fight. Remember his beat-down of poor Islanders goalie Tommy Soderstrom (or was it Tommy Salo?) a few years ago? Cloutier, by the way, was recently demoted to the Kings’ AHL team, the Manchester Monarchs.

Speaking of thuggery, the Islanders now have Kip Brennan, who has amassed 210 penalty minutes in just 58 NHL games with the Kings, Thrashers and Ducks. I’m sorry, when I hear the name Kip I think of Kip Dynamite, Napoleon’s older brother. Anyway, this Kip appears quite frightening (6’4’, 230) and I’m sure Orr will see a lot of him this year. Kudos again to Strudwick, who dropped the gloves with Brennan last night.

It’s games like these that we appreciate the value of Hollweg, Orr and Strudwick. Hollweg can’t score (even though he did last night!), but he skates around like a madman knocking opponents on their asses, and Strudwick will drop the gloves with anyone when he has to.

Orr’s job, as enforcer, is to deter the other teams’ physical players from taking advantage of the Rangers’ skilled players, like the Flyers did at MSG last February, when Orr was not in uniform. Tom Renney admitted not playing Orr that day was a mistake and dressed Orr for just about every game after that.

Oh yeah, Orr’s job also entails delivering knuckle sandwiches, which he famously did the next time the teams met and Todd Fedoruk left the ice on a stretcher.

The Islanders and Rangers play again this Friday, this time at MSG’and this time televised. Can’t wait for that one! Maybe Orr and Francis Lessard should suit up that night!

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