When Kirk McLean was pulled after giving up 3 goals on 16 shots, Rangers coach Ron Low gave Vitali Yeremeyev the news that he would be taking over between the pipes.
Yeremeyev was solid in his debut, although he picked up the loss. When he entered the game it was currently 3-1 Carolina, and Yeremeyev made a flurry of saves within the first 30 seconds of action that made him feel more comfortable in the net. He did not have to be flashy, as Carolina’s play slowed down the rest of the game. The Rangers were able to tie the score at 3-3 on goals by Radek Dvorak and Theoren Fleury. But with 4:09 left in the 3rd, the ‘Canes were able to finally get one by the 25 year old goaltender.
You can’t really blame Yeremeyev on the goal. It was one of those across the crease tap-ins that not even the best goalies can make the save. Yeremeyev kept the Rangers in the game from the time he took the ice, and the Rangers did not capitalize on their chances, as Mike York hit the post on an open net and they failed to score on a 3rd period power play. With Mike Richter scheduled to come off injured reserve today, I wonder what will happen to Yeremeyev. I wouldn’t pass on the thought of trading Kirk McLean. He’s a UFA at season’s end and could be worth a mid-round draft pick to a team in need of a backup goalie. Time will tell, as they say..
World Junior Championships
- Jamie Lundmark had a solid first game for team Canada, notching 2 assists in a 9-0 killing of Belarus. He skated on a line with Dany Heatley, who had 2 goals, and Mike Cammalleri, who was the star of the game as he netted 3 goals. Lundmark also picked up a minor penalty during the game and had 1 shot on goal. The next test for Lundmark and team Canada will be tomorrow against team Finland.
- Pavel Brendl has 1 goal in two games so far for the Czech Republic. His goal came in the second game, a 9-1 win over Kazakhstan, and happened to be shorthanded. Brendl is tied for first in the WJC tournament with Stanislav Chistov, a top 2001 prospect, and Pavel Duma, both whom are playing for Russia, with 1 shorthanded tally. Brendl also has 7 shots on goal, 2 penalty minutes and is a +2 in the 2 games so far. He is being counted on to score a lot of goals during the tournament.
- Sven Helfenstein has picked up where he left off at last year’s WJC, dominating the opposition. Helfenstein has 1 goal in 2 games, while getting 4 shots on goal. He missed a penalty shot against team Russia, which could have given team Switzerland a win instead of a 3-3 tie.