As for a statement ... well, it doesn't bode well for the stretch run. Two seasons ago Sean Avery came to the Rangers just in time to turn the season around with a shootout win against the Blues. This time there was no Avery, no heart, no win.
Playing the blame game, a just look at the usual suspects. Tom Renney had the completely useless Wade Redden on the ice for power plays and for the pivotal final seconds - moer than 24 minutes in total. Scott Gomez didn't do much of anything. Rozy's tendency to turn the puck over struck again (but luckily didn't end up in the back of the net). Nik Zherdev has more skill then anyone else on the ice but he couldn't use it to get a single good scoring chance. Chris Drury had a few good chances but after taking all of the blame after Philly, he couldn't stop his teammates from sleepskating through this one. And Glen Sather brought all of these idiots to Broadway.
Ah well, there is always Wednesday against the Isles ... a loss there - no matter how close - will cause havoc.
*Since the Rangers pissed on Bettsy's birthday, the least they can do is give the guy a new contract. He played a solid game, as did his linemates and Ryan Callahan. That foursome have been the only constants this season and they deserve kudos.
*I rip on Joe Micheletti constantly but as much as he is unlistenable, at least MSG is watchable. Versus, notsomuch. The camerawork was outright horrible and the director made bad call after bad call. I nearly got motion sickness as the main game-cam tried to jerk back and forth while poorly tracking the puck - perhaps if he had loosened the shot up a bit, he wouldn't have to swing like that. And the director changed shots at bad times, missing plenty of action.
*However, all credit given and due to the production staff to get an interview with John Davidson. There is just something right with listening to JD while the Rangers are playing ... granted, he did have a slip of the tongue and say that the Blues 'have 10 or 12 young people that they need to get to the Rangers.' Oops, but sure, we could use more good young players since our older folks aren't faring particularly well.
*Now, I said that Renney is here for the long haul in a Puck Daddy roundtable, but what the hell? He uses his timeout in the second period of a 0-0 game, but he doesn't use it when Philadelphia scores two goals in a minute. And whatever stellar game-plan that he detailed during the break failed on the ensuing faceoff and allowed the Blues to get traffic in front of the net that they used to screen Hank for their first goal. Genius.
*And the thing was that I turned to my dad and said that the Blues were going to score within two minutes of Aaron Voros getting his ass kicked. How the smaller Cam Janssen used him as a punching bag and energized St. Louis was yet another abomination in this season of horrors. Voros can't score, can't skate, can't stickhandle, can't play defense, can't fight. Glen Sather already rectified his mistakes with Rissmiller and Fritsche, it is time to cut ties with Voros too.
*That being said, Nigel Dawes wasn't missed.
*A quick look at the good and the bad and the ugly of tonight's Ranger power play:
Good - No shorthanded goals against.*There is nothing ugly about those third jerseys the Blues were wearing. Absolutely gorgeous sweaters and hopefully they will use them as their primaries next season.
Bad - Still no goals for.
Ugly - With Jay McClemment without a stick during the second Ranger power play, the Blueshirts didn't take advantage and couldn't get a shot on goal.
*I guess nice sweaters don't draw fans, as the building looked half empty. I thought the Rangers were one of the biggest draws in the league? Oh yeah, the Philly game yesterday was a national broadcast ...
*Great shot by Korpikoski on the lone Ranger goal. Grip it and rip it - what a concept. And yet he still saw just 8:36 of ice time. Another loss or two and hopefully this team will become a seller at the trade deadline. Perhaps then someone will take Naslund so Korpikoski or another one of the kids can actually get on the ice. But I wouldn't bet on it.
*Dubi played his best game in a while. It didn't result in a goal, but small steps, small steps ...
*PHW Three Stars
3-Henrik Lundqvist - 31 saves.
2-B.J. Crombeen - one goal.
1-Chris Mason - 19 saves.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Hank - A solid rebound of an effort after the Sunday disaster.
2-Barret Jackman - A defensive rock like the Rangers haven't have since Beuk, Jackman put up solid numbers in 23:23, one assist, one hit, three blocked shots and 19 easy saves for Mason.
1-Cam Janssen - The grinning goon beat the living hell out of Voros and woke up his team, completely negating the impact of the solid throttling of Tyson Strachan by Colton Orr.