Thursday, December 17, 2009

14-16-3: How Loooooow Can We Go?

On my way home from the Garden I was asked if tonight's 2-1 loss to the Islanders was the worst game I have ever witnessed. The sad thing? It took me quite a while to answer, given that the Blueshirts have been racking up some colossal failures over the last few years. Sure there were the heartbreakers - 7.7 seconds to the Sabres and the Montreal Massacre - but for outright bad hockey ... there are just so many. The 9-5 loss to the Devils last season? The DP 40+ save bonanza? The Atlanta game on Monday?

But don't misconstrue my hesitance, tonight's debacle was quite despicable in its own right. While I mentioned here that I thought Tortorella had lost the team several weeks back, NYR34 suggested that they played as bad as they did tonight in an outright effort to get him ousted. I have to believe, for my own sake, that a team never intentionally tanks like that (unless there is a future top draft pick hanging in the balance). But make no mistake, this team didn't play for their coaches tonight. They didn't play for each other. And they certainly didn't play for the fans.

Now I am going to mention a few more comments from friends - don't think that it isn't because I don't have something to say, but that those friends care enough about me that they wanted to make sure I didn't kill myself after this one and wanted to talk it out, I happened to agree with their points.

In the middle of the third period my buddy Jay made the keen observation that the Blueshirts were playing like they were being blown out 6-0 rather than down 1-0. My buddy Eric, he of the 'at least Higgins is trying' banter from the last game, said that the Rangers made it actually worse by scoring in the final minute - make the game look closer than it was and give false hope where none, zero, zippo, nada, nothing is due. Another Ranger fan, who chooses to remain anonymous, suggested that since Fire Tortorella doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, we should go for "Torts Must Go!" A solid suggestion, and one that I think we will be doing after losing all three of the next three away games.

Randomness:

*Tortorella is making Bryan Trottier and Ron Low look like Scotty Bowman and Toe Blake.

*Which scene do you think summed up the state of the Rangers best? Brian Boyle losing the puck in his own feet looking frantically around for it or Ales Kotalik flat on the ice propping his head up to watch an Islander (Frans Neilsen? Blake Comeau?) take the puck the other way on the breakaway?

*I never want to see the in-Garden montages or ads for Blueshirt United again. They played the Islanders tonight. The Islanders. Tradition, pride, passion ... meaningless to this bunch of overpaid mercenaries.

*Did Dwayne Roloson think he was Billy Smith or something when he started chopping at Avery? I have to say, it was awesome to see. Just a damn shame that it was the only show of emotion by the Rangers the entire night.

*The Blueshirts got a power play out of that which was simply horrific. How is it that year after year this team doesn't realize they have to put someone in the slot and keep him there with the man advantage? Put Brashear there? He gets beat up for a living (in theory) and it would be about time he did something positive for the team (or something at all at this point).

*By the end of the game I was calling my favourite defensemen Wade Rozsival. Yep, just one moniker for the decrepit duo. Of course, Dan Girardi and Marc Staal - especially Staal - are significantly playing worse with their skills degrading game after game in Torts' "system." Remember when Staal was showing signs of future Norris as he was the one defenseman in the entire NHL to be able to match up with and negate Alex Ovechkin? That seems so long ago ... oh wait, it was only before Tortorella came here.

*Several people I have spoken to keep harping on the Hobey Gilroy demotion but you know what? It is the best possible thing for him. Young players shouldn't be forced to play with teammates who don't care for them and coaches who can't teach them. Watching MDZ play like he has been brings memories of Dan Blackburn - too much, too soon - and now where is Blackburn? The kid was great out of the gate but was forced into bad situations night after night after night and thus was susceptible to the shoulder injury that eventually ended his career.

*Do you think Hank will grab Nick Lidstrom in a bear hug when he walks into the Team Sweden locker room and just start weeping 'thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you ...'??

*If the Garden had 14,000 fans on Monday, then there were 12,000 tonight. For an Islander game. And that number includes several thousand Islander fans as well. Makes me sick and quite angry. And the fans who did show clearly never got into the game, outside of yelling 'Potvin Sucks' a dozen times and to join in on the 'Fire Sather' chants.

*Last game I asked if Vinny Prospal played, tonight I wonder if he is even still on the team.

*Hey Chris Drury, go back to Little League. You suck here in the big leagues. Worst. Captain. EVER.

*Chris Higgins certainly seemed like he was trying, right?

*No Peepin' Foes for tomorrow and honestly, I can't guarantee a post-game write-up. This team has made me hate them so much, and hate myself for watching/paying/caring so much that I just may say screw it. Things were quite bad in the beginning of this decade but I don't ever remember the team being so bad and so infuriating night after night after night. Maybe it is just time for a break. I don't know. I'll have to see.

*PHW Three Stars
3-Jack Hillen - one assist.
2-Jon Sim - one goal.
1-Dwayne Roloson - 25 saves.

Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Hillen - Have to admit that Hillen and that MacDonald kid seemed solid. Of course, a traffic cone would have looked solid against these Rangers ...
3-Sim - That fat toad always plays his best against the Blueshirts. Jon Sim. Jesus.
1-Blake Comeau - Comeau had the best jump of any of the Islanders. Mr. X From The Blue Seats suggest Okposo but I think Comeau gets the edge (especially with the goal). I don't get how Rolo gets tops by the "professionals" when the goaltender didn't have to make a single good save.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

It was 8-5 to the Devils. I know since I was there

Christopher said...

WTF I have lost most of my respect for my team, I don't care if we win tomorrow because we already suck and are one of the worst teams in the league, if things don't improve, trades, firings better AND I MEAN better happen cause at least we will get a high draft pick the way we are going at this rate

Dennis said...

The problem is you can cover up one, maybe two, horrible players on a team, but this team has a half dozen (Drury, Rozy, Redden, Brashear, Voros, etc.) so every shift there are two mistakes-waiting-to-happen out there. At times last night Torts had Rozy and Redden on the same line....is he insane???

Anonymous said...

on a positive note...girardi played an exceptionally good game last night in the defensive end.

Kingrich45 said...

Great, I finally get to see some Ranger games (I live in Carolina) and there playing like crap. Haven't seen them all year and won't after the next two weeks. Going to the Carolina game the 21st, then be back in NY for xmas and going to Rangers/Islanders the 26th and then Carolina again on New Years.... If the Rangers fail like this maybe I should just convert to a cains fan, not that there much better (right now) but at least the seats are cheap ($10 day of game for 300 level ends)...

ILikebeinganonymous said...

Word is that if the Rangers lose tonight, Torts is done for. If he does, I want to see him get into a fist-fight with Brooksie when asking for a reaction to his firing. I hate them both.

Tender said...

Scotty,

maybe we can start looking at the new prospects at this years draft....

Brother P said...

The lack of effort from the STINKSHIRTS is what gets my blood boiling. It's one thing to lose the game to Atlanta when it actually appears that the team is trying. It's another to get outworked all game long by your rival. I wish the stinkshirts had half the heart and desire that the Islanders show. Mike Sullivan said it best after teh 1st period. It is not all about skill its about will.

Anonymous said...

Oh Saaaaaaaaaaaaatheeeeeeerrrrrr feel the flames licking your heels yet? Probably not emeffers...

NYR34 said...

Hey, Scotty - let me clarify for your readers what I meant by "tanking"...

I sat in my usual spot up in the 400's last night, surrounded by a whole number of raucous Isles fans.

What irked me isn't the lack of heart, I've gotten used to such. The Isles are the prime example of a young bunch of guys who get into a coach's system and show some results and development. So, it didn't shock me too heavily that we got completely outworked and outhustled for the entire game. I easily estimated between 70-80% of the game was played in the Rangers' zone.

The telltale signs to me were multiple instances where the Rangers caught the Isles in transition and cycling in their zone, and DID NOT ELECT TO SHOOT THE PUCKS UNTIL A DEFENDER GOT INTO PLACE. What are we, a damn charity? I also saw way too many wide shots that didn't even have the excuse of tip-in attempts as no one in blue was near them at that moment. Add that to the uninspired play that has gone all the way into the warmups before the games lately, and I'm left with the bad taste in my mouth that caused me to make the bold statement via text message to Scotty's phone last night.

Having never had to watch a team "tank" (I didn't pay much attention to the 93 Senators back then) I don't know what to look for, so perhaps my assessment last night could be a bit harsh. But regardless of the terminology, the end result is the same, the team isn't playing to win at all and looks like they've flat out quit on this coach and are hoping to oust him.

What could be their motivation? Who knows. Perhaps their upset that there's a man in that room with a recent Stanley Cup on his resume that is demanding these overpaid bastards actually try to EARN their paychecks. Past that, I've got nothing...

Andrea said...

Brooks is reporting that Kotalik and Redden will be scratched tonight. Too little, too late? We'll see I guess.

Pete said...

I only they could retroactively scratch Redden to last year.

Brother P said...

The Rangers should buyout the rest of Redden's contract. I know you could make a case for other players but this guy has the most years left. The stinkshirts would then only owe him 2/3 of the money and the money against the cap is spread out over twice the length of the contract. So after this season Redden is owed approx 26 mill. buy him out for 2/3 of that and speard the cap hit out over 8 years as opposed to the 4 years of 6.5 mill

daniel said...

scotty you have to stop blaming torts. its not his fault his team putsin absolutely NO effort at all. that is not the coaches fault. This is the same situation with the flyers, they fired their coach, but it wasnt his fault, the flyers werent putting in any effort. Im sick and tired of hearing people say fire torts. And btw kotalik is looking more and more like zherdev

Schram said...

Hey Scotty: If you don't post tomorrow, I don't know how I'm gonna be able to cope with this shit team if they lose. I feel sorry that u spend night after night watching them, but we need to start making "Fire Sather" signs and start protesting...its gonna be the same fight the Knick fans had with Isiah, and he wasn't fired until after the affair reports came out....our ownership is to blame, as well as Sather and Torts.

BTW, we need to rip the C off of Chris Drury's jersey. His interview last night after the game was heartless and irritating, its time we just give it to Lunquvist, at least he has passion and tries to give it his all most of the time.

David said...

I'm going to be sick. On Rangers Pregame they showed an interview with Redden about being scratched and he is acting like he's Jesus on the cross: he's being made an example of since the team isn't winning. Yeah, that was the reason Wade, not your tight defense on the Sim goal last night or the fact that you can't keep the puck in the offensive zone on the point without giving up a breakaway.

Brian Leetch is co-anchoring Pregame and although he is my favorite Ranger, man, he has no charisma.

Fehr and Balanced said...

Tom Poti doesn't look so bad compared to the veteran D you currently have.

(Ducks.)