Thursday, October 29, 2009
Before I get into tonight's disasterpiece, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone. This is the 1,000th post here at Scotty Hockey and I really appreciate everyone's support and readership. I had no idea when I was talked into starting this in the summer of '07 that it would become such a big part of my life and something that has drawn so many readers worldwide. And for that, I thank you all.
It is somehow appropriate that the milestone proves to be a game wrap against the Islanders, right?
Sadly it is a tale of woe, of a horrendous lack of effort against the worst team in the league. You would think Tom Renney was still coaching as the Rangers played down to (and actually far below) the level of the opposition. The result was a 3-1 loss to the Islanders. The Islanders. Makes me want to puke.
The good thing? The game was at the Mausoleum. This is usually the kind of result that comes in our building - the Isles goalie gets hyper-inflated save numbers, defensive gaffes lead to goals and the Blueshirts get outworked by a more motivated team. Then again, if the Isles stepped up their game like this against us in their building, just think of how they will play in ours when they really have nothing to lose ...
*You can't use Marian Gaborik's injury as an excuse, the Islanders still don't have half the talent that the Rangers do but simply played with three times more passion. The Blueshirts hit the iron five times by my count. Five. Just a little extra effort and it would have been a different game. Instead we were left with a disgraceful display against a rival, not to mention one that won just their second game of the season.
*Could you get a worse start? Bad turnover, Wade Redden and Matt Gilroy both deep to allow a perfect home-run pass and Hank off his angle to allow a minor leaguer to score on a slow wrister inside the post. What an embarrassment. A minute in. Check that, 55 seconds. Ugh.
*Gotta love Wade Redden's exhibition of defense on the third Islander goal: he put his stick out and turned his head away. But that was how the Rangers played most of the night - scared. Rozy's abortion of a hand pass was the catalyst for that goal and he seemed to be afraid to get down and actually hit the damn puck.
*Don't get me wrong, there was effort there. I though Ales Kotalik and Ryan Callahan worked their asses off. They skated hard, shot when they had the opportunities and played the body. Dubi and Vinny weren't terrible either.
*The referees certainly did the Rangers no favours. Not only did they seem to get in the way of the play multiple times, but they missed blatant boarding calls on Andy Sutton and Jon Sim and went back to the old way of officiating Sean Avery.
*Nate Thompson is a dirtbag.
*Yay for PA!!!!!! Great to see Pierre score and it it came off of some really hard work by the Rangers. Higgins and Dubinsky got the puck deep and threw some big checks, the puck came to Paranteau and he fired a perfect backhand past Rolo to tie the game at one. First career goal and none too soon as some of the other guns have been pretty quiet. (Chrises, I'm looking at you.)
*Perhaps it is time for Torts to use his ice-time accountability and bench either one of them. Sitting Drury would send one helluva message but does the coach have the cahones?? I don't remember a single shot by Dru and he seemed to lose every faceoff he took. Why does he get so much time when he can't make anything happen (and Arty get so little despite that spin-o-rama)?
*Was Butch Goring hit in the head a few too many times as a player? Seriously, he sounds permanently concussed. I had to watch the Islander-cast and they went to him as the sideline reporter and damn, what the hell. Aside from his ability to state the obvious, he seemed to have trouble getting the words out. Still, Goring, the homer Bill Jaffe and the grating Howie Rose were better than having to listen to Micheletti.
*Rose and Jaffe pointed out that there were several fights in the stands so for all those that were there, feel free to share. As I said at while at work, 'its probably better that I'm not there, I'd likely be right in the middle of that, headed for jail.' What a frustrating exhibition and to have those low-life Islander fans rubbing it in? Restraint would be the million dollar word.
*On that note, how was it that no Ranger went after Sean Bergenheim? That pest was around Hank all night with no retribution. Aside from Avery's tumble over Rolo - which he was pushed into - the Rangers rarely made the Islander goaltender's life difficult in the paint.
*He played exactly how Brian Boyle and Aaron Voros should have but seemed utterly incapable of doing so. They seem to think they have skill of some kind. Stop trying to handle the puck - cement hands are no good at stickhandling - and go to the net!!!
*Fox caught Messier in the stands at Yankee Stadium. Guess he had just as much fun as he woulda had out on the Island too.
*That's about it, I'm spent. Why dwell on this when we can start dreading the next five games? Away at Minnesota (tough), matinee at home against Boston (we stink at matinees), then three in western Canada. Guess we get lucky Luongo is out but surely Tom Renney will do everything in his power to make the Oilers play hard against us and Calgary is quite good. I wonder when Valley will play; he certainly should/could have started this one ...
*PHW Three Stars
3-Jack Hillen - two assists.
2-Kyle Okposo - one goal.
1-Dwayne Roloson - 34 saves.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Thompson - Don't like him because he made the Rangers look so bad. This is a guy with no skill to speak of and yet he made life difficult for the Rangers all night long, during play and after whistles. Dirtbag.
2-Rolo - The posts are a goalie's best friends and good friends make you a better person. Guess that makes him great in this one.
1-John Tavares - I hate to say it but the top draft pick was good. He was a constant threat and he went hard to the net, even after hurting his arm/elbow/vagina/whatever.