A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Bad Days For Black Goalie Kevin Weekes
BAD DAYS FOR BLACK GOALIE
KEVIN WEEKES DISAPPOINTS NY FANS
It could have been the Best of Times
this Past Week for Weekes
vs. The Flyers
The Rangers could have taken their first Atlantic Division Title in years Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia with a win. Hockey like no other sport puts emphasis on a Defensive player the Goalie. When a Goalie is really on and especially if the other team’s Goalie is not you can predict who will take that game.
It happened that way Saturday
Flyers 4 Rangers 1
Flyers’ Goalie Antero Nittymaki was up to the Challenge Rangers Goalie Kevin Weekes was not. An easy 4-1 victory ensued for Philadelphia cemented early on in the First Period when Weekes crumbled in the face of the Philadelphia onslaught the Flyers up 3-0. The stats for the 2 Goalies clearly tells the real story of the Game. Weekes fielded 29 shots on Goal with 25 saves, while Nittymaki fielded 26 shots on Goal with 25 saves.
Weekes the Rangers back up Goalie after losing his starter status very early in the season to a Rookie was starting his 7th game in a row for injured Henrik Lundqvist. In his first 3 games Weekes was a world beater going 3-0 then it all fell apart …..
……. with Weekes having now “led” the Rangers to 4 defeats in a row . And New York which could have been virtually unstoppable for the Division Title with a victory in any one of the games, is in relatively bad shape with only 1 remaining regular season game and NO momentum at all. But assured the Playoffs anyway.
While Philadelphia only 1 point behind the Rangers has 3 regular season games remaining and a very clear opportunity to steal the Division Title from New York. Even the New Jersey Devils with 2 games left, Sunday against yes the Philadelphia Flyers could take the Title. If the Devils win both of their games and Philadelphia loses all three. The dream scenario for the Rangers and Weekes at this point is for New Jersey to beat Philadelphia Sunday then the Devils lose their last regular season game Montreal on Tuesday night while the Rangers win their game Tuesday against Ottawa. Not the likely Scenario.
The only reason any of this matters
here in the Box
is to place Kevin Weekes dilemma
Only because Kevin Weekes is one of the very few Blacks in the NFL is this Box being written otherwise the action in the NHL and who might finish where would hold only modest interest here. But because of Weekes it is all consuming.
The season began with Weekes who is 31 acquired from the Tampa Bay Hurricanes before the 2004 season the Rangers Starting Goalie in 2005 but clearly in a fight with new Rangers rookie and Swedish hockey sensation Henrik Lundqvist only 24.
As this season progressed Lundqvist has overwhelmed Weekes. The difference in Goaltending records is dramatic. Weekes is 14-14 while Lundqvist is 30-11. Were it not for an injury to the Swede, Weekes would not have been in the Crease the last 7 games.
And there is no doubt who the Rangers intent to rely on in the post-season for their Stanley Cups hopes. It isn’t Weekes. His only hope was to win every one of these 7 games instead after winning the first 3 he has collapsed and he truly put the nails in his Coffin with Saturday’s embarrassing lose even if the entire team was to Blame.
So the Box is really about the unraveling of a rare Black NHL Goaltender’s promise. After 6 so so seasons with the some flashes of Brilliance at 31 and having lost any hope of a permanent starting role being bested by a Rookie, while Weekes may stick around here or there a few more seasons in a backup role.
He isn’t left with much Hope.
The best Weekes can hope for is a Miracle
that Lundqvist remains injured
and Kevin Weekes somehow
rises to the Occasion and
leads the NY Rangers to
the Stanley Cup
( don’t bet on it )
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