Monday, December 10, 2007
16-12-2: Great Way To Celebrate Post #200
Well, Tom Renney can sleep tonight; his job as head coach of the New York Rangers is safe. Had the Blueshirts been blown out by the New Jersey Devils, that likely wouldn't be the case (this being New York) but the team bailed him out with a really solid effort in a 1-0 overtime win. Some thoughts as I reminisce on the train (four hours later):
*For all that I said about Martin Straka - that he should go back on the IR, that he has no chemistry with Jagr, etc. - there is no denying that he is a f-ing soldier. Much like in Boston, the man laid his body down in the line of fire for the sake of the team. Blair Betts blocks shots all the time and we love him for it, but when Straka does it, it seems all that much more spectacular. Maybe its because he loses his stick in the process, I don't know. Luckily, this time he didn't break a finger, he just appeared a little sore. It drew the loudest ovation outside of the game-winning goal and deserved every clap.
*Our power play ... what to say, what to say ... hmmm ... how about: IT SUCKS!?!?! You know, as much as I loathed the pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, bad shot power play of the early season, at least it was better than the pass, pass, pass, bad pass, turnover, breakaway on Hank power play that is there now. In that fan forum, Perry Pern said that he was the man responsible for the special teams. If that is indeed the case, then he deserves to be shown the door. At one point in the third period it was hilarious because four of the five Rangers and all four Devils were within three feet of the Devils crease and yet somehow the Devils ended up with a scoring chance. C'mon, its called an advantage for a reason; figure it out.
*Scott Gomez actually had a pretty decent game but he simply tried to do too much all game long. Granted, he had the assist on the game-winner, but any Ranger could have made that feed and it would have worked as Shanny practices that one-timer every single practice and warm-up. Practice pays off.
*The Avery factor was eliminated this evening, I think, because it was the Devils on the other bench. If the team had played a non-rival, I am not sure they would have had the same jump in their skates. There is something to be said for taking on a team you hate in an attempt to break their nine-game winning streak. Call it, the F U Factor.
*That F U Factor helped Hank make some big saves after some terrible plays by Toots, Girardi and Staal. The kids seem to have entered a midseason rut and Renney had better make sure they play their ways out of it quickly.
*Speaking of ruts, Rozy. Christ. The guy just is not the same player as he used to be in the defensive zone. Some other fans have attributed it it too much time spent with Marek Malik, but honestly, I think it is the opposite. Having Lurch alongside him provided him with a comfort level, much the same as Straka is to Jagr. At the same time, Rozy knew he would have to hustle because his partner was Big Foot, I mean, was too slow of foot to get back into proper position. Playing now alongside the speedy Staal, Rozy wants to jump up in every play and doesn't know where to go when the puck is turned back the other way, The guy was the top defenseman on the team last year, so let's hope this is just a phase. A long, unfortunate phase.
*I know teams like to just roll three lines when they can, but Renney really needs to find more ice time for the HBO line. I didn't notice them on the ice once in the second period and, when given a few shifts in the third, they were great. Energy, energy, energy.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Maaaaaaarrrrrrttttyyyyyy - 29 saves is pretty good but he is so melodramatic. Freakin' whiner.
2-Hank - 17 save shutout, a nice change from eight goals in his last two appearences.
1-Shanny - game-winning goal.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Ryan Hollweg - yes, I said it. He made the most of limited ice time finishing checks, drew some penalties and didn't get suckered into anything stupid.
2-Hank - a shutout to beat the Devils. Sweeeeeeeeet.
1-Straka - I hope they Youtube that three-block sequence so everyone can see it, showed his character and dedication to the team.
*And, as you can guess from the title of the post, this is the big #200 for Scotty Hockey. Judging by the increased traffic since the start of the season, I'd like to think that all is going well, but you tell me. Let me know what you think; is it good, is it bad, should I stop, is there something I should add? You tell me.