Tuesday, February 10, 2009
29-20-5: No Effort In Newark
Sitting in the bar after wasting my time and money to go to Newark, I asked my buddy Ben, "how the hell am I going to come up with something good to talk about after this one?" His reply was "Good? There's nothing good to say about tonight."
It is hard to disagree but I did come up with two things - the Rangers didn't give up 10 goals and Colton Orr fedoruk'ed Mike Rupp. So that was good. But that was pretty much it.
The lines didn't click, the players didn't skate hard, they couldn't complete more than two passes in a row, they didn't win a single loose puck, they were outchecked, they didn't forecheck, they had no discipline, their vaunted defensive scheme completely failed to cover Bobby Holik on the first goal and the power play ... well, is there anything about it that I haven't said before? It bah-lowwwwwwws.
This is one time that I wish I was wrong and wish I can't say I told you so but while everyone was etching the Rangers on the Cup after their hot start, I said that this team just wasn't that good and they aren't. They are showing their true colors: overpriced, overpampered stars who play without motivation, a coach doesn't hold anyone accountable except for Petr Prucha and a general manager who sits in his ivory tower and counts his money. It is simply atrocious and sadly it appears we are doomed to six or so more years of it with Drury, Gomez and Redden dragging the team down like an anchor and Renney and Sather safe as long as Garden revenues stay up, which they will since it is New York.
Odds and ends:
*It is comedic that because it was a light night in the league, the NHL Network spent a segment airing a clip from their Captains show focusing on Drury. Amazingly the woman interviewing him didn't ask why can't he score, why can't he lead and does he feel like he is ripping off the Rangers by taking home that huge paycheck.
*Nice to see Shanny collect an assist. It is surprisingly easy to root for him, even while in red and black. That man gave his all for the Blueshirts, something no Ranger is doing right now.
*Why is this Reitz kid getting a regular shift while Corey Potter was sent back to Hartford? Is it because Reitz is willing to fight? He gets himself out of position chasing after hits and then gets into fights and loses. I can't see how that is a better contribution than a legitimate Ranger prospect getting to play.
*Speaking of the kids: there was no reason for Prucha not to play, Nigel Dawes disappeared, Renney limited Korpikoski to seven minutes of ice time and for all of his skating, Ryan Callahan couldn't make anything happen.
*That Cameron idiot who the Devils hire to jump around like an moron and throw tee shirts around during every break is annoying. I kept praying he would trip down the stairs. Sadly, he didn't.
*Scott Clemmensen skated away with a shutout by making 27 easy saves. The Ranger "offense" never really challenged him and I don't think they got to a single rebound. Not that they tried ...
*Nik Zherdev pulled another disappearing act, but that is to be expected from a heartless Russian. You would think that he would step up his game to start playing for his next contract but I guess he realizes he can get a big money deal back in the motherland without breaking a sweat here.
*I couldn't tell who was booing more when the Mexican't Gomez had the puck, the Ranger fans in the building or the Devil fans. Maybe I couldn't tell because I was one of the louder ones booing. BOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!
*Wade Redden. No. I think the only thing left to do is hope for a career-ending injury. When you take his contract and add his stupidity and softness, you have someone far more infuriating than Christian Backman, Marek Malik and Tom Poti ever were. Well, maybe not Poti. Not yet.
*Hank played decently. So add that to the two things up top that was good about the Rangers.
*Johnny Oduya was credited with five blocked shots. Really? And if so, don't you think the Rangers would have learned not to shoot with him right in front of them? No, they probably wouldn't have. They don't learn or adapt because they don't have to - they are still guaranteed their paychecks and are guaranteed ice time (unless they are Petr Prucha) so why should they worry their pretty little heads over something like, say ... scoring?
*PHW Three Stars
3-Zach Parise - two goals.
2-Bobby Holik - one goal.
1-Scott Clemmensen - 27 saves.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Colton Orr - Yet again he seemed to be the only player wearing a Ranger jersey to actually care about the team's fortunes. He looked like he was ready and willing to take on the entire Jersey team after sending Rupp to lala land.
2-Jamie Langenbrunner - The Devil captain always plays a motivated game against the Rangers and he did on this night - he created chances with his physical play and collected two assists for his efforts.
1-Zach Parise - A constant scoring threat who netted a pair of goals while constantly worrying Hank and the Ranger D. He was picked 17th in 2003, Hugh Jessiman was 12th. And Glen Sather still has a job ...