Thursday, December 31, 2009
18-17-4: Ho Hum, Another One
What is there left to say that hasn't been said so far this season? The Rangers are a flawed franchise from the top down made up of greedy sycophants and fools who can't put an entertaining team on the ice. The team they built has problems up and down the lineup and the man behind the bench is an ego maniacal idiot who the players have clearly tuned out. The players are a bunch of mercenaries and mislead youths who just don't have their heart in their work.
Several people said to me that this 6-0 loss must be rock bottom but really, it can get so very much worse. The Rangers are still above .500, Henrik Lundqvist and Marian Gaborik are both healthy and the wood panel above my seat is still in one piece. When I smash that into bits, when the stars get hurt, when the team falls well out of playoff position and when Dolan raises ticket prices for next season, then, THEN we will hit rock bottom.
But don't get me wrong, we aren't in a very good place right now. For the first time ever, I walked out of the Garden asking for a refund because I paid to watch a hockey game and only one team showed up. I didn't get one. But, like the Rangers themselves said, at least they "play" again tomorrow so we can all try to forget this one.
Before we do, some notes:
*What does it say about your team when your captain is your fourth line winger alongside Brian Boyle and Donald Brashear?
*Brashear ... when your team is getting destroyed by the Broad Street Bullies - a division rival full of goons - and you don't fight anyone, you officially have given up. Nine and a half minutes of ice time and the highlight being him losing the puck twice on the same play to allow Claude Giroux to score the third goal of the game. Hey Colton, hope you are enjoying Toronto.
*On that same note, is there any better way to get back at the team that unceremoniously dumped you for no good reason than scoring in the first minute of your first game back in your old building? Go Bettsy. That is four goals this season, by the way. His replacement, Susan Boyle, has three and has played 17 more games.
*Boyle is just as soft as that overweight British singer despite being 6'7, 250. The biggest waste of a big body since Marek Malik, he doesn't check so much as hug.
*You can't blame any of this debacle on the netminding, although it surely will come back to cost Chad Johnson. The kid allowed all three Gagne goals, including one on the first shot he faced. Welcome to the NHL. While I hope that he will get the start in Carolina, I doubt it now - Torts won't allow that to happen, he'll run Hank into the ground to attempt to save his own ass.
*MDZ got a ton of ice time, made a ton of mistakes and had the defining moment of this season when the puck hopped over his stick on a Ranger power play late in the first period and skittered out of the zone. He just stood there, looking to the sky for answers. Poor kid. The good thing is that if he survives this season, this coach and this team he will come out of it a far better NHL player. If he survives.
*Several of his teammates seem to be already dead. Anisimov, Kotalik, Redden ... all DOA. I would say that they are zombies but zombies always keep trying to get brains, these guys just stand around and look clueless.
*The entire team had that look when Tortorella called his timeout and yelled at them. How professional athletes can not react - at all - when being screamed at by their boss is beyond me. Actually, no, I do know why they don't have to react - because the paycheques keep coming, the first-class planes are still there to carry them from defeat to defeat, the practices in their secluded yuppy neighborhood go on, etc. Accountability folks. There will be accountability this season! Ha-f-ing-Ha.
*Brandon Dubinsky went from an Arnott-esque savior to a Christmas ham; nice to see that he had a merry holiday break.
*We wanted to see what Erik Christensen could do and he missed an empty net. Ugh. If he does that three more times, we will rename him Higgins.
*I could go on with more but really, what's the point. These guys stepped onto the ice already wearing a toe tag. But before I get to the three stars, I will leave off with this question posed by my friend Andrea, "Which will be easier to quit: The Rangers or tobacco? Because they're both KILLING me!"
*PHW Three Stars
3-Jeff Carter - two assists and one teammate's wife.
2-Danny Briere - one goal and one assist.
1-Simon Gagne - three goals and one assist.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Gagne - How can this guy get any credit when he scored three easy goals when the game was already out of hand against a rookie goaltender?
2-Claude Giroux - This kid has some serious offensive talent and will be a terror if he can ever fully tap it.
1-Bettsy - One goal, 12:39 of ice time - including 1:40 of the easiest penalty killing he has ever had to do - one hit, one block and 11-5 from the faceoff dot. Shove it Sather. Shove it Tortorella. Shove it deep.