Saturday, November 22, 2008
14-7-2: Don't Tell Me To Calm Down
That's it. The next person who says that the Rangers are a good team is going to get a beating. After suffering through their contemptible 4-1 defeat at the hands of the injury-riddled Ottawa Senators I am ready to snap. The Rangers are a deeply flawed franchise and something has to be done by the all-too-patient coaching staff.
However, as a guy at work just pointed out to me, the only good thing about this recent run of poor play is that it is still relatively early. There is time for the players to turn things around but I am too pessimistic; I can't imagine anyone trading for these guys and I don't see them having the skills to be a top tier team.
Before I get too over the top, I am just going to get into my game-time ranting:
*Ottawa wore their third jerseys, and they were very mediocre looking. The whole black trend has been way overdone and on a bad tv, their players look like black stick figures. I love the big font for the number on the back, which is quite easy to read, but having SENS across the front? What? Why? Did the designer not know how to spell Senators?
*I hate away games because that means I have to listen to Joe Micheletti call an entire game. I can't take him in Rangers in 60, and over a full game I just want to drive a screwdriver through my eardrum. He is annoying, obnoxious and seemingly blind and stupid. He may be a very nice human being, but I loathe that man as a broadcaster.
*On the other hand, I feel quite bad for John Giannone. Scott Gomez has picked on Giannone regularly throughout the season and their second period intermission interview was outright painful. How disgracefully unprofessional and utterly unfunny of Gomez to continually harass the MSG reporter. For shame. I didn't like Gomez much before, being a former Devil who got a huge contract he didn't deserve and someone who smiles during interviews after losses, but this just ended it for me. Listening to Sam and Joe in the third period say that the Rangers' recent struggles are due to his being out makes me ill.
*His absence had nothing to do with the Rangers getting put on their heels early in this one. Moments after Dan Girardi broke up a 2-on-1 less than two minutes into the game by getting back to block the one-timer on the far side, Michal Rozsival took a unnecessary hooking penalty.
*The Rangers killed that meaningless infraction, but couldn't kill the next penalty when Paul Mara proved to be as big of an idiot as Rozy. Seconds after the kill, Mara went after Jarkko Ruutu. Ruutu, who should still be suspended for his elbow, is entirely not worth it. Mara roughed him up but to really get revenge, the Rangers should have taken Craig Berube's advice and gone after Spezza. Ruutu won't learn, he won't change his style and he will keep trying to injure people until the NHL comes to their senses and throws him out of the league. How he doesn't merit at least extra attention from the officials is shocking to me. If they had been watching him, then Daniel Alfredsson's goal to make it a 3-0 game would have been waived off. Why is there a blind spot when it comes to Ruutu and yet Ryan Hollweg and Sean Avery were watched like hawks? All three are clowns who try to hurt opposing players ...
*The Ottawa power play goal that opened the game's scoring came on Rozsival being handily beaten by Dany Heatley. Just why hasn't Rozy been benched yet? When does Tom Renney finally realize that he can't play himself out of this slump? He has been a shadow of himself this entire season - 23 games - and yet Renney has left him in the lineup. There is loyalty, and then there is stupidity.
*Wade Redden got a standing ovation during a stoppage in the first period when his picture was shown on the big board. Do you think the Sens would be willing to take him back?? One can only hope. And pray. And beg.
*Redden was caught on Jesse Winchester's goal defending against a 2-on-1 when it was a one-on-one and he moved over to Winchester too late to stop the kid's backhander past Valley that made it 3-0.
*The recent Ranger scoring woes have really started affecting how they play. I have given a lot of credit to Nigel Dawes for elevating his physical play of late but he gripped his stick too tight and blew an open net in the first period. Moments later Blair Betts had a chance and he couldn't elevate the puck over the fallen Alex Auld. Not like Bettsy could do it even when the Rangers as a team are scoring well, but that isn't the point.
*I have been asking this at games regularly over the last few weeks: who do you think kills penalties better, the opposing penalty killers or the Ranger power play?
*There were some good things for the Blueshirts: Valley was pretty damn good, Marc Staal played a solid game, Markus Naslund actually scored a goal and Freddie Sjostrom skated really, really hard.
*And since I am trying to salvage something positive in this, here is the Happy Stat of the Game: Brandon Dubinsky won 11 of the 14 faceoffs he took. If he can remember how to go to the net, then he might be dangerous once again.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Alexandre Picard - one assist.
2-Jarkko Ruutu - one assist.
1-Daniel Alfredsson - one goal.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Valiquette - The Ranger netminder made 32 saves and gave his team a chance to win (that they didn't deserve). Valley had no chance at stopping three of the four goals against and will sadly be hung with his second loss of the season.
2-Picard - This kid was a major part of the deal that sent Andrej Mezsaros to Tampa and Ottawa definitely seems to have won that trade. Picard was good positionally, blocked shots and nearly had two assists - with the second being called back due to Nick Foligno's high stick in the second period. He should be good for years to come.
1-Ruutu - How can you take anything away from him? Yes, he is a disgrace to hockey but yes, his job is to be a pest and he did his job. The Rangers went out of their way to attack this loser and were distracted from what should have been their true goal - WINNING THE DAMN GAME!