Tuesday, November 11, 2008
11-5-2: Not So Slick Vs. Oil
Since I have been told I complain too much, I want to start this off on a positive, happy note!
The Rangers rallied to gain a point despite trailing 2-0!
Ok, enough of that crap, let's get back to reality. The Rangers salvaged one point against a inexperienced, out-of-conference team playing the seventh consecutive road game on the second night of back-to-back games. They were outskated, outworked and seemingly intimidated by a rookie goaltender on their way to their fourth loss in five games. And that is not good. Not good at all.
Everyone aside from the Rangers seem to notice that their habit of cruising over the blueline and dumping the puck into the corner - even on the power play - isn't working. It just isn't, so why don't they actually keep their feet moving?
I don't know, I am asking ... anyone? While I wait for an answer, and I don't think there really is one, let's get started:
*Michal Rozsival and Wade Redden are the biggest waste of money since the pet rock. Neither one has been remotely competent in the Rangers zone. Rozy has actually been an outright detriment to the team. He is atrocious on the power play, incapable of playing physical against attacking skaters and now lazy. On the special team he hesitates at the point looking around for Jagr. Here is a hint dude, HE ISN'T ON THE TEAM ANYMORE! Move the puck, shoot the puck, block the puck from going out of the zone. His indecisiveness is remarkable and it is killing the Rangers. Redden can pass the puck, but makes regular gaffes and is often invisible out there. For $10.5 million neither one did anything to help the power play avoid another inefficient night (0-4) or stop the Oilers from getting at Hank.
*On the other side of the coin, Paul Mara has truly delivered of late. He jumped up into the offense tonight to score and was the closest thing to a physical defenseman on the roster (sorry Danny, even with six hits tonight you were still unable to clear the middle).
*Just seconds before Mara's goal, the guys up in section 426 started doing the goal song Heys ... (Hey! Hey! Hey hey hey!). It was utterly unreal and prophetic. So cool ...
*No Ranger blueliner has been willing to clear the crease and the result was two goals against tonight. Meanwhile the Rangers didn't too many good chances on Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers. Jason Strudwick was particularly impressive in the first period holding his ground and ensuring that his rookie goaltender could see the shots coming at him.
*Even though he could see it, there was no way he was stopping Chris Drury's goal. After his disappointing showing in Washington, the New York captain played a tough game and paid the price. He took a beating up front and earned his goal, and also stayed in the game despite a puck to the ear.
*Sam Gagner may be the fastest skater I have ever seen. Including Mike Gartner.
*Colton Orr fought Zack Stortini for seemingly no reason. And, when Stortini showed weakness and backed away, Orr didn't take advantage of it. Either you want to fight, or you don't; enough of this MMA submission garbage.
*For all of the skill on the Rangers and the speed on the Oilers, there wasn't a whole lotta flow out there. The puck was bouncing and pass after pass seemed off the mark.
*Oh, Glen Anderson was inducted into the Hall of Fame this evening but really, who cares? No matter how often the team wants to show him off as an alumni, he wasn't really a Ranger. He showed up to ride Messier's coattails to another Cup and frankly wasn't needed. Gartner got robbed of a ring so this clown could skate for 35 games and collect all of 12 points despite getting good ice time.
*Did Tom Renney really think Lauri Korpikoski would do some kind of magic in 7:40 tonight?
*Stat of the night: Ryan Callahan had seven hits. And an update from the stat of the night from the last game, Dubinsky improved from 1-12 on faceoffs to 5-9. It's a start ...
*PHW Three Stars
3-Chris Drury - one goal.
2-Ales Hemsky - one shootout goal.
1-Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers - 40 saves.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Hank - Lundqvist made 29 saves with little to no assistance from the defensemen in front of him.
2-Sheldon Souray - The former Hab defenseman was intimidating: he played really physical down low to get Deslauriers more room and time to make saves and his slap shot earned his teammates more room to move the puck around the ice on the other end.
1-Drouin-Deslauriers - The kid played like a rock solid veteran and his quick reflex to reach back and grab Ryan Callahan's shot saved the game.