Monday, March 23, 2009
38-27-8: Sunday Boring Sunday
The back side of Ranger tickets has a lot of small print and amid that eye-straining legal-speak is this: "Management reserves the right, without the refund of any portion of the ticket purchase price, to refuse admission or eject any person whose conduct is deemed by management to be disorderly, who uses vulgar or abusive language or who fails to comply with the terms and conditions within."
Apparently holding up a sign during warmups that reads "Please Sens, Take Redden Back" meets with those conditions. How possession of said sign - which has no vulgar or abusive language (no 'sloppy seconds') - is deemed ejection worthy is beyond me. Apparently it is indeed an ejectable offense, as I was threatened with it before security took my sign away. How a sign devoid of objectionable material that brought a smile to the faces of other patrons and Ottawa Senators alike is disorderly is beyond me. Is it objectionable to the public relations arm of the franchise? Certainly. Is it objectionable to the fragile ego of Mr. Redden? I'm sure. But is it anything aside from harmless fun? Absolutely not.
As fans we have very few ways to make our displeasure known - basically two ways: boo or don't go. Being as this is New York, it is clear that neither will, or has ever worked. Putting G-rated words on a piece of oaktag was a means of protest to the franchise for the illogical and foolish waste of the fans hard-earned money. Being threatened with ejection after spending said hard-earned money to watch the franchise is worse. And to willingly submit to the heavy-handed request of said franchise just to be slapped in the face with a pathetic excuse for an effort on the ice is absolutely horrifying.
A recorded sellout crowd of 18,200 (which was more like 16,000) paid their hard-earned money to watch Tom Renney's Rangers reappear and submit before a lesser foe in the midst of a playoff run. They played with no intensity, no interest and no heart as the Senators skated out of the Garden with an easy 2-1 win. Jarkko Ruutu was his usual clown-ish self, soliciting a "Ruutu Sucks" chant that he clearly enjoyed and yet the Rangers never attempted to confront the super pest. Ottawa put their backup goaltender in the net and the Blueshirts never challenged him, despite getting six power plays. As they did earlier in the season, the Blueshirts seemed all too eager to play for the shootout and a lone soft goal given up by Hank sank them. It was pathetic, it was gross and one can only hope that Tortorella doesn't let it happen again.
But if he does, so be it. We can save our cash on what is sure to be a short, pointless foray into and out of the first round of the playoffs.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Brandon Dubinsky - one goal.
2-Alex Auld - 28 saves.
1-Ryan Shannon - one goal.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Ryan Callahan - Best Ranger on the ice, bar none.
2-Chris Phillips -Solid defense from a solid player.
1-Shannon - Playing in front of friends and family, he showed more exuberance than the entire Ranger roster and went on to score the game-winning goal. Good for him.