The New York Rangers were hosting the Washington Capitals on November 26.2005. This was just another tough game on the schedule for the Rangers. During this era, Washington was in, what was called, the Southeast Division. A rookie by the name of Alex Ovechkin led the way for the Caps that season, scoring 106 points. The Capitals ended up in Last Place in their Division that year.
While the Rangers on the other hand, were in the Atlantic Division. They rolled out Jagr, who led the team in scoring with 123 points, Nylander, Straka and Rucinsky, to name a few others. Oh yeah, and between the pipes, was a rookie goalie named Henrik Lundqvist. The Rangers ended up in third Place in their Division with 100 Points (NJ and Philly were tied for First with 101 points).
In this particular game, the Rangers J. Ward scored in the First Period. Ortmeyer, for the Rangers made it 2-0, early in the Second Period. The Capitals stormed back to tie the game 2-2, with goals from C. Clark and B. Willsie. Nobody could score on the goalies in the Third Period, as Kolzig for the Capitals, and Lundqvist for the Rangers, shut the door. Overtime solved nothing. So, off to a Shootout we go. This was the First Year of this Newly Adapted way of ending ties. It was so new, and also kind of exciting to witness live, that's for sure.
In the Shootout, each team would take 3 penalty shots (alternate). The team with the most goals after those three shots would gain the extra point. Should there be a tie after those initial three shooters, each team would alternate a shooter, until the game was decided.
Most of the time, the games had been decided within 3-5 shooters. However, on this night, the shootout went 14 rounds, you know like, 14 different shooters per team. The Goalies were on fire. They could not be beat.
Shootout Round #14: Wearing the New York Rangers Statue of Liberty Dark Blue Jersey, 30-year-old, 6-foot 6 Defenseman Marek Malik #8 was asked to end the game. Malik was not an offensive defenseman. He had not yet scored at that point of the season.
Malik#8, gathered speed at center ice, when he picked up the puck. As he entered into the slot area, he began to coast, he spread his legs wide for balance. Near the Caps goalie, Malik slid his stick between his legs and shelved the puck over the blocker of Kolzig. Goal...!
Malik #8 continued to skate back to the bench, raised his left arm, as if this was just another day in his life. The MSG crowd went wild. 3-2 New York Rangers Win.
Wait, What? Did I Just See That….That was unreal. We are talking about a guy who is not known for offense, pulling off one of the most craziest moves ever seen. We are talking about, through his legs back in 2005 and scoring Roof Daddy, like Top Shelf, where Mamma Hides the Cookies. Wowza.
New York Rangers Record as of December 14.2023
19-7-1 = 39pts
1st - in the Metropolitan Division
2nd - in Eastern Conference
3rd – Tied - Overall in NHL
My View from the Cheap Seats
Section: TV Row: PVR Seat: The Couch
Malik #8 typically scored like 2 goals per season. The most goals he scored in one season was 7, with Vancouver. He was the talk of the town as well as in every highlight package, and still is.
To pull this move off, in this era, was unheard of. Let alone in a Shootout. To see this guy actually attempt to make this move, was crazy. Then to watch him actually score on Kolzig, who was playing really well that night, was insane. A New York Rangers Memory I will never forget.
Quote of the Day:
“marc with a C”
Starbucks Barista - with a serious face.