Oh man, how can you be legal now? WTF?! This means the end of UAGP! *cries*
I shall console myself with Petr spam.
Rangers' Sykora loses to his former team
By ANDREW GROSS
THE JOURNAL NEWS
(Original Publication: March 5, 2006)
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — There was little notice taken when his name was announced, none when he first jumped onto the ice. After all, ex-Devil Petr Sykora has been back at the Meadowlands before, just never with the Rangers.
"When I came here the first game with the Ducks, that was a little different," Sykora said. "But I played for the Ducks three years."
Last night's 2-1 loss to the Devils — played before a legitimate sellout crowd of 19,040 — snapped the first-place Rangers' seven-game winning streak. But it did not diminish the impact the 29-year-old Czech right wing has had for the Rangers since they acquired him from the Anaheim Mighty Ducks Jan. 8.
Sykora extended his point streak to six games when he freed Martin Rucinsky for a breakaway backhander to tie the score at 1-1 at 1:17 of the second period. It was one of the few times the Rangers were able to navigate through the Devils' trap.
"We didn't respond to the stuff they played," said Rangers right wing Jaromir Jagr, shadowed shift-by-shift by Jay Pandolfo and admittedly slowed by a sore groin. "We weren't smart enough."
Still, Sykora has eight goals and nine assists in 18 games for the Rangers (36-16-8), who are 13-4-1 with him in the lineup.
His acquisition allowed coach Tom Renney to solidify his four lines: Sykora has played on center Steve Rucchin's second line with Martin Rucinsky, in turn allowing Michael Nylander to resume centering the top line with Jagr and Martin Straka.
"I wasn't as familiar with him as a player as I was with the other Czech guys," Renney said. "His contribution to our offensive game has been real good. I do like the fact that he understands what our job is off the puck defensively."
Seven seasons with the Devils will do that.
Yet Sykora, one of the Rangers' seven Czechs, feels like a longtime Ranger.
"It kind of felt right away I had a fit on the team but now that I'm here a little longer, I just feel like I've been here a long time," said Sykora, who tied Nylander with a team-high four shots.
His first half of the season with Anaheim also felt like forever as he never fit into the system of new coach Randy Carlyle. He had seven goals and 13 assists in 34 games for the Mighty Ducks.
"If you play like that for 10 years in the NHL, there's no way you lose it in a year," said Rangers left wing Martin Straka, a Czech teammate.
"You don't expect anything else than for him to play at the level he's accustomed to," said Rucchin, also Sykora's linemate with the Mighty Ducks. "Obviously I was not at Anaheim (this season) and I don't know what happened but I'm going to assume he didn't get an opportunity there."
Rangers' Renney coach of the year candidate
Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 03/6/06
BY ANDREW GROSS
The Czech car pool was on its way to Rangers practice this past week when the talk turned to Tom Renney and his chances of winning the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's top coach.
"There's no doubt in my mind he's the coach of the year," said left wing Martin Rucinsky, who commutes to Westchester with Jaromir Jagr, Martin Straka, Petr Sykora and Petr Prucha. "Everybody picked us for 30th. What he's done with the team, the way he is, the way he's coached, he should win it by miles."
There's a Czech car pool!!! They are too cute for their own good. I also like how they're super elitist and like, CZECH FORWARDS ONLY! about the whole thing. So in the back, does 1) a Marty sit between two Petrs, or does 2) a Petr sit between two Martys, or 3) does Jagr always insist on being in the middle? *shudder*