In game one of the 2009-2010 version of the Rangers-Devils rivalry, Ales Kotalik made the most of his 11:30 of ice time. It easy to look at the boxscore and see that he scored a goal and added an assist in a Rangers 3-2 win in the Meadowlands. However, it was his efforts in the dying seconds in the game that earned him the Mission Cap of the Night.
The Devils spent most of the final two minutes of the game in the Rangers’ zone with numerous opportunities to score. The Rangers were gassed, as they took back to back to back icings in a move of desperation.
In the final seconds of the game, Jamie Langenbrunner received the puck after a scrum by the benches and hurried it across the Rangers’ blue line to left of Henrik Lundqvist. The Rangers were again scrambling as the Devils had a potential 3 on 2. Travis Zajac was wide open on the left wing and begging for the puck. Langenbrunner finally passed the puck Zajac’s way. Before the puck reached Zajac; however, Ales Kotalik, dove head first to break up the play and save a potential goal.
Kudos to Kotalik for sacrificing his body en route to saving the game for the Rangers. For his efforts, he is awarded the first Mission Cap of the Night award of the 2009-2010 season. As long as he is helping the Rags win and Henrik Lundqvist is in net, I’m happy and more importantly, my fantasy team is happy.