Saturday, December 13, 2008
19-11-2: If You Don't Laugh, You'd Cry
While signing some autographs for the fans who braved the cold after the Ranger 8-5 loss against the Devils tonight, Tom Renney said, "Let's just call that one shitty and leave it at that." I would have to agree with his assessment. But I won't just leave it at that, otherwise I wouldn't have stayed for the entire game, watched the replay when I got home and decided to write here. However, I will attempt to keep it brief as the Rangers will be right back in action tomorrow against Carolina ...
*I tried to get Glen Sather to say something as he rushed past after the game, asking him to buy out Wade Redden to make amends for giving him such a bad contract but Sather didn't take the bait, he just shot me a nasty look. Too bad.
*Redden ... ugh. The highlight of his performance was him standing there watching as Brian Gionta skated in and scored to make it a 7-5 game. He then mirrored the Ken Dryden pose of standing there with his head on the his stick. He really doesn't have a clue. It's so sad. He did make one good defensive play in the game, but trust me, it wasn't worth $6.5 million.
*And Rozy ... well, what can I say that hasn't been said? He would be a superstar in the Czech Extraliga. The Rangers should allow him to go back there, much like Tampa did with Radim Vrbata, to get his contract off of the books. The same goes for Dmitri Kalinin, who somehow escaped this game +2 despite his usual subpar performance.
*All I could think during the first Ranger power play was 'don't give up a shortie, don't give up a shortie.' And they gave up a shortie. And then they did it again later in the game. What a disgrace; how does Perry Pearn still have a job? His power play gave up two shorthanded goals and went 0-9.
*It is hard to point fingers when you are a Ranger fan (har, har), but the Devil fans - the few that there are - are incredibly classless. The Devs use the "Hey!" song for their goal celebration and the fans yell "Hey! You suck!" Seriously, what the hell? We suck because you were actually able to score a goal? That may have been true in the trap days, but not anymore ...
*Speaking of the fans, or lack thereof, there were easily a thousand empty seats and most of the luxury boxes were mostly empty. How is that possible on a Friday night against a rival?!?!? And when you struggle to draw so badly, wouldn't you have more 'events?' Why haven't they retired Neal Broten, Sean Burke or John MacLean's numbers yet???
*The guy in my row pointed out that the Flyers came back from a five goal deficit the other night and I laughed at him. Then the Rangers game back from a four goal deficit to tie the game at five. I didn't laugh, I cheered. And then, just like that, I was on the edge of tears. Four shots were taken on the Ranger net in the third period, and three went in. How heartbreaking.
*Quote of the night, "It's almost as if he's by himself." -- Sam Rosen on Henrik Lundqvist in the second period. A friend texted that to me during the game and I just heard it now. You know there is a problem when Sam says that.
*It wasn't all Hank's fault but he didn't help the matter at all. He was far from royalty in this one, being beaten for eight goals and at least four posts. A lot of that was due to the pedestrian defense in front of him but eight goals are eight goals. He has to be better than that. Scott Clemmensen was just as horrible but his defensemen were able to keep the Rangers to the perimeter for much of the night.
*Nik Zherdev's goal was initially attributed to Rozy by the arena's announcer despite it clearly being a beautiful wrap-around by Z. Way to pay attention, idiot.
*Why did it take a four goal deficit for Renney to start putting a forward on the point on the power play? It should have been common sense months ago but he finally tried it and worked. Better late than never?
*Time for Nigel Dawes to say goodbye. His presence was pointless. If the Rangers don't trust Petr Prucha, then they need to re-sign Brendan Shanahan. Dawes can't play on the power play, he can't play on the penalty kill. Shanny can do both while providing the heart and veteran stability that Gomez, Drury, Redden and Naslund are seemingly incapable of bringing.
*There were four fights so let's address them one by one:
1 - Colton Orr vs. Mike Rupp - Colt lowers himself to fight a goon who can hardly skate and doesn't belong in the NHL ... and loses. Good job Colt.
2 - Aaron Voros vs. David Clarkson - Voros' best fight yet as a Ranger, he only stopped a few of the punches with his face. He still lost though.
3 - Dan Girardi vs. Travis Zajac - Markus Naslund races up the ice with a two-on-one and Girardi throws down his gloves to go at Zajac. Just another of the myriad of mistakes by the Ranger defense.
4 - Ryan Callahan vs. Jamie Langenbrunner - Two guys with shields battling, is there anything worse? Yes, it was in the heat of the moment, but punching plexiglass is just stupidity.
*I'm sure that this was a helluva game for the average hockey fan - a ton of goals and a ton of fights - but at this point I just hope it was a bad dream. And if not, now that the Rangers went to the Rock and hit bottom, they will only go up from here.
*Stat of the night: The Rangers had seven recorded hits. Seven. Three by Dubi alone. Unacceptable, they have to hustle and bang if they are to be successful.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Travis Zajac - two goals. (And he didn't come out to wave to the crowd when he was announced as the third star, how rude.)
2-Brian Gionta - one goal and three assists.
1-Patrik Elias - game-winning goal and two assists.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Zach Parise - His father was a Ranger killer, he is a Ranger killer. Four assists? Jeez.
2-Brian Gionta - As the Rangers were not playing tough, the mighty midget was able to cruise around the ice and do pretty much anything he wanted - including scoring the back-breaking goal.
1-Redden/Rozsival - Had ANY other two defensemen in the NHL been on the Ranger roster on this night, the Devils wouldn't have scored eight goals.