Wednesday, January 9, 2008

20-18-5: Hockey Games Are 60 Minutes

I really, really wish someone would let the Rangers know that. The Rangers tried a soft run-and-gun first period and came out down 2-1. Then they barely showed up for the second period and went down 4-1. And then the jet lag from the west coast trip magically wore off and they played a fantastic third period, coming a three, four inches (total) away from winning 5-4 (they lost 5-3). While seeing them play close to their potential in the third was utterly fantastic, it does not make up for sleep skating through the first two periods against an inferior team and rookie goaltender. So onto some other thoughts pictures forthcoming later:

*Andre Roy should be fined by the league for his actions in the penalty box in the third period. The MSG cameras only caught part of his antics - he kept jumping up and down screaming, then doing throat slashes, then pointed at his skate and did a throat slash, then grabbed his stick like he would cross check Hollweg in the face. What a piece of garbage. Goons like him give hockey a bad name. At the very, very least, the off-ice NHL official should have pointed it out to the refs so an unsportsmanlike penalty could have been added on to his 10 minute misconduct.

*Oh, what a let down - the defensive pairing of Dan Girardi and Fedor Tyutin were abominable for most of the evening. So sad to see considering how rock solid they have been all season.

*But it was great to see Malik out of the lineup. I wonder if he threw another hissy fit. Good riddance.

*As good of a lineup move that was, leaving Brendan Shanahan in was a mistake. He looked uncomfortable out there and really wasn't himself, playing at far below 100%. Having him in and healthy for Thursdays' game against the Flyers should have been paramount. Not to mention that Pierre Parenteau was already up and ready to go. If they had let the kid play, Renney could have iced the complete top scoring line of the Wolfpack with Dawes and Moore. All three of them are tearing things up in the AHL and having their familiarity with each other and their youthful zeal would have been more of a boon against the quick Lightning than a half-crippled Shanahan.

*Even though two goals were really deflected, Hank could have stopped at least three of Tampa's four goals. It appeared that his divine powers as King have left him and we are left with a mere mortal for a goaltender, and that just isn't good enough.

*Tampa fans will consider Vinny Lecavalier's pass to Marty St. Louis at the end with the empty net as him being a good teammate, but it just looked like arrogance as he skated to within five feet of the empty net before passing across to his winger for the gimme. Maybe he was trying to be nice, maybe he was trying to inflate both of their point totals, but either way it was bad sportsmanship. Kids, if you see an empty net in front of you with no one challenging you, just put it in and skate away to celebrate, there is no need to showboat - it wasn't like either one was a point away from a milestone or a hat trick or something. Have some class.

*On a side note, Nashville hammered L.A. tonight and Jed scored! He was out of the lineup for several games (I donno why) and returned to more than 16 minutes of ice time and a goal. Go Jed!

*Lightning coach John Tortorella said that his goaltender Karri "Ramo was spectacular." Well, Torts is pretty much known for being a lunatic so its of no surprise that he had to be out of his mind to say that. Gotta have a mind to start with. Ramo was jumpy to start with, gave up the early goal and spent most of the rest of the game looking behind him after every save. Plus he was beat what, three, four times more but the pucks hit posts or skittered wide. At least Ramo was more realistic, saying "It's just a matter of inches. I was kind of lucky." I'd say ...

*I don't think I can badmouth the Rangers power play any more ... well, at least any more for now. The second and third New York goals came on picture-perfect passing plays that were finished. Ramo and the Lightning didn't have a chance.

*But for as good as Drury, Gomez and Jagr were on the power play, they were atrocious at regular strength. They were all -3 ... not a top line number.

*PHW Three Stars
3-Ramo- 31 saves.
2-Rozy- goal and an assist.
1-Chris Gratton- two goals and an assist.

Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Paul Mara - I'm as surprised as you are but he finally, finally showed signs of being a good puck moving defenseman, notching assists on both Rangers power play goals.
2-Vinny Prospal - scored the game-winning goal on a perfect rocket of a shot.
1-The HBO line - they shut down two of the top offensive talents in the NHL.


Thomas.Sutra said...

as far as Vinny giving the puck to Marty for the empty net goal it was a reward for Marty jumping out and on the puck getting it to Vinny so he could score the goal.. Marty would have had an assist anyway so "padding the stats" argument isnt valid and they have done that before..

If it was not for the play the rangers would have had a blast from the blue line in traffic but Marty made a great play and Vinny was pretty much giving him respect for earning the goal and the reason why it was done pretty slow is Vinny wanted to make sure Marty was ready for it to prevent any mistakes like the famous Dallas empty net blunder .. It was actually a very unselfish act.

Tortz is a little nuts but if you had a twentyone year old rookie in net that has had 4 stellar games and 4 games that were more than pretty bad you want to try and build his confidence as much as you can.

I honestly think Ramo had a decent game and made enough saves for us to get the win. Just as you said 2 of the power play goals were amazing passes and great puck movement that left him pretty defenseless and our defense really did him no favors.

-He got the win
-made 31 saves
-5th game hes ever started
-had no help from the defense
-the dumb penalties the bolts made
-being twentyone years old
-he made some decent, big stops as well.. he faced a good number of shots and made just as many key saves if not more than he had the help of posts and luck.

Brother P said...

Scotty, I think the reason for Vinny passing the puck to St. Louis was because it was his 200th goal. That seems like a good milestone. As for the Rangers all I can say is right now they are playing poorly. Henrik hasn't been playing well as of late. I hope they can turn this around soon. Toots played his worst game of the season. As much as I hate Malik Strudwick needs to find the bench again. His blind clearing attempts are killing me. It took all of the first period and half the second to hear Sam say Nigel Dawes name. Can Hollweg ever get the benefit of the doubt on a call? The hit on St. Louis was clean. I hope Straka and Avery can make the next game.

Loser Domi said...

I really, really wish someone would let the Rangers know that.[Hockey Games Are 60 Minutes]

As a Leafs fan, I feel obligated to tell you this: cry me a river. But, as a fan of seem to know what you are talking about :P

Scotty Hockey said...

Thom - I haven't watched the Bolts as closely as you but if you think Ramo was stellar against the Rangers than you watched a different game than I. I didn't notice any big saves and being young means nothing to do with skills. You have the young good - Barrasso, and you have the young bad, Marc-Andre Fleury. I didn't notice Marty with the puck before Vinny got it so I can't dispute that he would have gotten a point anyway, but thanks for reminding me of the Dallas blunder - that was awesome.

Brother P - As the Garden didn't mention that it was his 200th goal, then it is another classless act by the place. It at least warranted a slate on the big screen or an addendum on the goal call. You are right about Toots, Dawes and Hollweg but I don't think Malik would be a better solution than Strudwick. Malik doesn't try hard every shift and effort counts.

LD - hehe, thanks for bein' a fan! You rock the block yourself ...