Tuesday, October 20, 2009
7-2-0: Pride Before The Fall
John Tortorella outright said that the New York Rangers didn't have the conditioning to win the Stanley Cup last season so he tried to send a message, rather than coach to win. Sure, he wanted to win - that goes without saying - but the message was more important.
Tortorella knew that the Ranger win streak would have to come to an end sometime, so puts his star goaltender in to get the easy points against the worst team in the conference, and his backup in against one of the top three teams in the NHL. A loss to the Sharks wouldn't be as bad as a loss against Jersey (Thursday), a loss against Montreal (Saturday) or a loss against Phoenix (Monday).
The idea makes sense. It sucks, but it makes sense. Of course, Torts' pride is bigger than the success of the team, so he suddenly wanted to pull a win out of the jaws of defeat. It was far, far too late. Pulling Valley for the third period was a horrendous move and likely hurt the team far more than the seven goals San Jose scored in their 7-3 demolition of the Rangers tonight.
Did he really think that his team could score three or more goals against Evgeni Nabokov in the third period? Especially with his team playing as poorly as they were? The only thing that happened was that he pissed off his star goaltender and likely injured the confidence that carried the team to seven straight wins. Good job coach.
Now Torts has two days to attempt to patch the damage he caused before the Rangers face the Devils. Good luck with that; Jersey always steps up their game against the Blueshirts and will be ready to pounce.
Before we start dreading Thursday, more on tonight's debacle as I saw it from section 329. There is no re-air on that network, MSG didn't pick it up and the NHL Network will re-air the Vancouver game. It's better that way I guess.
A quick look at the goals against:
1-Brad Staubitz's goal was intensely savable, a shot low glove side past Valley. Awful.
2-Dany Heatley just walked through the defense. Yeah, why cover one of the best scorers in the NHL?
3-Our (former) boy Jed Ortmeyer scored by lurking around the crease and cashing in on some garbage.
4-Devin Setoguchi's was another one where he didn't have to pay a price for hanging out aroung the crease.
5-His second was another savable shot that Valley waved at as it went by.
6-Ryan Vesce scored because no one bothered to cover the midget as he followed up a Heatley shot. And someone in his family loudly celebrated too - you could hear it clearly in the quiet Garden.
7-And Patrick Marleau closed it out with a one-timer.
I guess now the Rangers know the difference between an exhausted Ducks team and a flying Sharks team, huh?? Not the team to put your crappy backup in against if you want to win. But I guess that is a big IF if you are John Tortorella.
Some more notes:
*All Enver Lisin's goal did in the third period was ensure that Jed's goal wasn't the game-winner.
*It was really interesting inside the Garden when Jed scored. Some fans booed, some fans cheered and everyone started talking. I just think there was a bit of shock that Jed scored and that the Rangers blew a 2-0 lead. Blowing 2-0 leads is sooooo 2007.
*The officiating was soooo 2008-09. After the media made such a big deal over how Sean Avery had no PIM, the referees made up a call to put him in the box. And, seeing as they didn't call any of the seven or so clear infractions against him, he finally got frustrated and took a second penalty, a bad penalty. Hopefully it will not be a sign of things to come because it is pathetic and annoying to watch zebras ref with chips on their shoulders.
*Loved the goal that they waved off because of an early whistle. Where was the review? The Rangers had one stupid whistle waived off on video review last game, why not tonight?
*So, Donald Brashear was added to protect his teammates and yet he did nothing to protect Avery. The team was flat and blews a 2-0 lead, where was he to have that big fight to get the pendulum to swing back to his team? Nowhere. As ludicrous as it is to say, it is time to dress Aaron Voros. At least he checks people.
*Wade Redden ... words fail me. Liek Mr. X from the Blue Seats said
*It says something when the best scoring chance over the last 30 minutes was by Brian Boyle, and he missed the net.
*Did the Rangers win any faceoffs? The box score says that Scott Nichol was 8-2 but I didn't catch him losing a single one.
*Anyone else have a heart attack when Jody Shelley raced into the Ranger zone in the third period and Hank rushed out towards him?
*Since I don't want to go to the stars on a bad note, MDZ's goal was nice. Just like one of his other goals, he was pinching on the power play and was in the right place at the right time to bang in the puck in a empty net. Nice work kiddo.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Patrick Marleau - one goal and two assists.
2-Dany Heatley - one goal, one assist and no car accidents (didn't think I would get through an entire post about a game with him without mentioning it, did you?).
1-Devin Setoguchi - two goals and one assist.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Setoguchi - Jonathan Cheech-who?
2-Jed - He helped keep Gabby off his game, scored a goal and made a few big hits. I miss him as a Ranger.
1-Torts - His poor decisions put his team in a position to lose and he did nothing to help them turn the tables. First star for the Sharks.