by Patrick Hoffman on 01/08/10 at 02:33 PM ET
Do the New York Rangers have a backup goalie they can rely on?
Well, they certainly did last night in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Atlanta Thrashers, where goaltender Chad Johnson made his first career start. Despite the loss, Johnson was quite impressive in making 31 saves and giving his team a chance to win a hockey game, which is what a backup netminder is supposed to.
Johnson was poised, was rarely out of position, made first and second saves and let the puck hit him. He reminded me of former Ranger goaltender Corey Hirsch when he made his debut against the Detroit Red Wings back in 1993 in a 2-2 or 3-3 tie.
As for the rest of the Blueshirts, they did a decent enough job to get a point out of this game. It was nice to see Enver Lisin pick up a goal off a great play by defenseman Marc Staal, who continues to log big minutes under head coach John Tortorella.
It’s unfortunate that the team was not able to put one more by Johan Hedberg, who had a terrific game as well, in the shootout as both Michael Del Zotto and Ryan Callahan missed the net on their opportunities while the Thrashers were able to score two.
The Blueshirts will be back in action tomorrow in Boston for a 1 p.m. matinee at TD Garden. Two points would certainly go a long way if the Blueshirts are able to pull out a victory.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.