First came the joke of an effort against the Stars, then was the Phoenix embarrassment, and tonight was a debacle against the Kings. I can't wait to play the defending Stanley Cup champions (now with Teemu back) and the Sna Jose Sharks (one of the top five teams in the league). It is really difficult to find anything positive in a 4-2 game against the worst team in the NHL. I'll see what I can do:
*Ooo! Right off the bat I thought of something: being at the game I didn't have to listen to Joe Micheletti. Of course, I am watching Rangers Rewind now to double my misery, but at last I could endure the pain the first time around.
*Ranger scouts can feel better in the fact that they discovered Jason LaBarbera. The Kings goaltender played big, even bigger than his 6'3, 230 frame.
*Dane Byers did ok, at least until Blair Betts went off with a knee injury. Once Betts went down, Byers and Orr were glued to the bench. Don't worry folks, the NHL screwed up yet again and Hollweg was suspended just one game for his insane hit so he will be back. Let's just hope Bettsy will too ...
*For the Tom Renney haters out there, there was penty of good news as he showed his incompetence yet again. The Kings were a young, fast team that used both qualities to their advantage. The Rangers went down early, and instead of countering with their young, fast forwards, they used Straka and Gomez for nearly 25 minutes each, with Jagr getting 22. I didn't even realize Jagr played the second period, that is how invisible he was. Dubinsky, Dawes, Callahan and Avery all saw less than 14 minutes. Avery I understand as he was clearly frustrated out there and took a bad penalty but the other three should have played more; hell, they've earned more ice time.
*Leetch and Richter were in the building but the Rangers didn't acknowledge them. Why would they? There is no money in it ... Something to ponder: Can the Rangers be less fan friendly? I'm not so sure ...
*Well, after a nice run of spectacular efforts, Hank wasn't that great. He wasn't that bad - certainly not four goals against bad - but he didn't make any game-saving stop either. He was the victim of the Rangers bad defense, yet again, and couldn't bail them out, yet again.
*Miika Wiikman took the starting goaltender position in Hartford from Al Montoya. So that begs the question, should we deal Monty? And, even more importantly, who would take him? Will Tampa take him and will they give us Dan Boyle? Is Boyle worth it? I would love to see Mattias Norstrom return but I don't think Dallas wants another goaltender.
*Making things even worse is that Tom Poti played for the Caps and scored a goal and an assist as Washington beat Columbus in OT. God, I hate that guy.
*One last good thing - at least we aren't Toronto ...
*PHW Three Stars
3-Kopitar - goal and an assist.
2-Frolov - goal and an assist.
1-LaBarbera - 39 saves.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Hank - admirable effort considering he was the only player doing anything defensively.
2-Jack Johnson - 25 minutes, +2 ... and he is a rookie.
1-Frolov - he seemed to be everywhere out there, and often he was ...