Tuesday, December 1, 2009
13-13-1: Losing In Front Of Legends
Mark Messier, Brian Leetch and Wayne Gretzky were all in the Garden Monday night as the Ranger limbo continued - how looooooow can we go?!? They witnessed yet another disgraceful performance by the Blueshirts, who lost 5-2 to Crosby and company.
Mike Rupp, Mike f--king Rupp scored a hat trick. A hat trick! Mike Rupp. Can you get more humiliating? Outside of David Clarkson or any Islander, I can't imagine a hat trick by anyone else to make me more ashamed of being a Ranger fan.
But getting back to Gretz, No. 99 received a nice ovation when he was spotted along with his wife in the first period. The discussion in my section - and as I am sure it was elsewhere in the building - what kind of odds do you think Janet got on the game? She had to be betting on over/under because there was no chance the Rangers were going to win. And they didn't.
It's not that the Rangers lost that has me outraged but the manner in which they did it and how they acted and reacted as they were losing. Marian Gaborik, the one man on the roster worth what he is getting paid, got knocked around not once, not twice but three times in the third period and no one did anything. Check that, I caught P.A. Parenteau shove Cindy behind a play. Oooo, that sends a message. And even though Hank was horrible, no one did a thing to defend him for yet another game when he was bumped in his crease.
John Tortorella was willing to throw away the Washington series last spring to send a message - that players need to know that it is team first. It is a message that clearly has fallen upon deaf ears. It is one that very easily could have been reinforced with a little eye-for-an-eye retribution tonight but there was none of that. What was the worse that could have happened? Sending Boyle/Voros/Brashear out to chase down and attack some of the stellar Penguin talents could have gotten them suspended. Oooo. That would hurt not to have one of them for an extended amount of time. But there is no such thing as old time hockey anymore and the game is all the worse for it.
Some other observations and things that are grinding my gears:
*This loss is easy to hang on Hank's shoulders. How/why he falls to his knees before pucks are even shot on goal is beyond me and it leaves the upper corners open. And hey, look, the Pens saw that and were talented enough to exploit it. Even Mike Rupp. Mike f--king Rupp.
*Maybe there is some kind of Messier curse on the captaincy on the Rangers. He left for Vancouver and Brian Leetch took the mantle. It turned Leetch into a terrible player so he gave it right back when Mess returned. Jagr took the C after a good season and he dropped from 123 points to 96 to 71. His alternates, Marty Straka and Markus Naslund also saw similar declines. Chris Drury was given the C and went from a mediocre player to a poor one. And ever since Cally and Prospal put A's on, their games have suffered. So it is all Messier's fault. Damn you Messiiiiiieeeeeerrrr!!!!!!!
*Now, I must say, ladies love Cindy Crosby; there were an elevated number of attractive young women in attendance.
*There was also an elevated number of Penguin fans in general. They cheered loudly and their triumphant "Let's Go Pens" chants at the end of the game added insult to injury but most of the Ranger fans had already bounced by then, having seen enough disappointment for one night.
*Brian Boyle had one hit in the first period and really wasn't seen again. His teammates even left him behind walking out of the Garden as he graciously signed some autographs. How someone so huge can be so invisible is beyond me. Then again, Torts hardly used the fourth line - I saw Voros tripping over himself in the corner in the third period and didn't notice Kotalik at all.
*The over-sized Arty Anisimov was clearly visible, granted it was when he was losing big faceoffs but at least he was there. Then again, I would gladly give up the kid's bulk for Corey Locke's under-sized scoring acumen. Then again, I would gladly get rid of everyone on this roster outside of Gaborik right about now. But Arty is fourth (after Redden, Brashear and Rozy) because he has been nothing but a liability. Put him back in Hartford to let him help Geno Grachev grow and bring in Locke, who helped P.A. score 10 goals and 10 assists in 13 games with the Pack this season.
*Did I mention that Mike Rupp had a hat trick? Because he did. I'm not kidding. Mike Rupp. Really. Two goals by Crosby, no surprise. Three by Mike Rupp. Shocking. Disgusting.
*Donald Brashear took a bad penalty, didn't fight to defend his teammates, didn't fight to spark his team ... and yet he was one of the best forwards in blue after Avery and Gabby. That is how far we have sunk. For shame. Let me point out that Brash yet again could have fought Eric Godard but didn't, seeing as Godard would kick the crap out of him.
*Talking about crap, Rupp.
*I am thinking we will be able to get a fifth or sixth rounder for Higgins at the trade deadline. What do you think? We will be well out of the playoff hunt by then and he certainly isn't going to be re-signed so a fifth rounder would be fair, right?
*Chris Bourque had one great shift in the second period where he burned in on the left wing with some amazing speed, forced a turnover and got a great shot off. We can expect the same from his brother Ryan in two years, he will be a nice addition to the team.
*For the second game Torts jumbled the defensive pairings. It was long past due but what he changed them to is just not good. Staal and Rozy are the top pairing, leading to way too much ice time for Rozy. MDZ and Girardi don't seem to be comfortable with each other and Hobey Gilroy and Bobby Sanguinetti are too much of the same thing. Especially since Bobby hasn't gotten his NHL legs under him yet.
*You know what the great thing is about the Rangers not playing until Saturday? They can't lose any more games until then.
*Drafted by the Islanders and the Devils, helped the Devils to a Cup, played with the Danbury Trashers of the UHL during the lockout because he is garbage himself: Mike Rupp.
*How the hell was Girardi's bump on Rupp a boarding? Or, more precisely, how soon until body contact is eliminated from the NHL?
*Well, at least Gena Malkin didn't do anything.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Sidney Crosby - two goals and one assist.
2-Marian Gaborik - two goals.
1-Mike Rupp - hat trick.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Gaborik - The Lone Ranger.
2-Crosby - Cindy can score, that's for sure.
1-Rupp - A hat trick. There is no god.