Thursday, March 11, 2010
29-29-9: Savin' Me Money!
Paying $65 to watch the Rangers lose 6-3 to the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday night was a bargain. Ticket prices for perspective playoff games at the Garden will run $88 so I saved $23 to see an extra game this season. There is no way this sorry group of losers wearing Blueshirts are making the playoffs so I figure I am coming out ahead. Sure I showed up for 60 minutes and the Rangers 30 against a major rival, but that's par for the course, right?
There was a good atmosphere at the Rock, I was with good friends, we had a good time despite the result - and at a cheaper cost than an inevitable embarrassment should the team stumble into the second season. I just had to smile as I walked out because there was nothing shocking about this loss, nothing heartbreaking. It was a prototypical Ranger failure where the stars can't score when they need to, the blueline is afraid to make contact with the opposition and no one is willing to step up when they need to. This team doesn't play for the coach, they don't play for each other and they barely play for their paycheques. Sure there have been some great moments this season where the guys show up, but let's face it, those are few and far between. So why cry over spilled milk from a cracked glass?
A few random rants:
*At no point after the Rangers went down 5-3 did anyone think they could mount a comeback - not even the players, judging by their performance. Good teams never say die, the Rangers, well, they don't seem to care either way.
*It was no wonder that Torts pulled Hank; the coach knew he couldn't motivate his team so why keep Hank on the ice only to lose? Alex Auld did ok in relief but the goal he allowed was as soft as Mmmmaaaaarrrrttttyyy's gut.
*We have four more years of Wade Redden. Yeah.
*Hopefully Jody Shelley played himself out of the lineup with his disastrous display on this night. After forehecking well the last two games, he seemed to be a a step slower, he took a dumb penalty and he got beaten up by a Frenchman with six career NHL fights. Sure he landed a few big ones but this should have been a easy KO for the big man. It was a draw at best.
*I haven't seen the post-game or read the beat guys blogs but I am sure the old "sometimes the bounces go our way, sometimes they don't" cliche was used. The funny thing is that the bounces go your way when you are working hard and doing things the right way. Then you are just flailing your stick around, crawling along the ice chasing after an opposing player or just skating around aimlessly, the bounces aren't going to go your way.
*Erik Christensen's goal was sexy. I mean, just wow. What a skill play slicing through the Devil defender before beating Mmmmaaaaarrrrtttyyyy.
*John Tortorella kept flipping and changing his lines, as he always does. If the coach can't find chemistry after 66 games, what makes him think he can do it down by two goals in the third period of game 67?
*Earlier in the day I pointed out that Dan Girardi was in the top 10 of blocked shots in the NHL, as a way of defending him. There is no defending him on this night. He was almost as bad as Wade Redden. Yeah, that is bad.
*Said it before, will say it again, Arty Anisimov has no place in the NHL. He can't skate with the big boys, no matter how many big minutes his coach has decided to give him nowadays. You could sneeze at him and he would give the puck up.
*Don't be surprised when Henrik Lundqvist requests a trade. He is wasting away here in Loserville and there is no hope on the horizon. You would think that a good looking guy in New York would be set with sponsorships and would want to stay for the money but outside of a minor deal with Vitamin Water, what has being in New York gotten Hank aside from migraines?
*Sean Avery could have and should have done much more in this one. How disappointing.
*Even worse? I have to give Fatso credit: his reach-back save on Gabby with the game tied at one was fantastic. At least Christy's goal left the large one looking for his jock strap.
*There were a few minor scuffles in the Rock crowd but it was overall a low key affair. How can you get worked up rooting for these Rangers? The Devil fans, however, are the most unoriginal fans I have ever seen. They rip off chants from the Rangers, chants from the Islanders and really play the part of annoying younger brother that no one cares about. If a Cup was won in New Jersey and no one that means anything were there to witness it, did it really happen? Ok, so I may not be heartbroken but I am a little bitter. Just a little.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Zach Parise - one goal and one assist.
2-Brian Rolston - one goal and one assist.
1-Jamie Langenbrunner - one goal and one assist.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Andy Greene - The young defenseman plays a smart game and makes good passes. He was rewarded with two assists in just over 21 minutes. It would be nice to see Ranger blueliners contributing again.
2-Langenbrunner - One great deflection goal and a full game of top-flight effort.
1-Rob Niedermayer - In the Peepin' Foes I said that the player to watch "will probably be Rob Niedermayer" and I was proven right. Scott's brother isn't nearly as skilled but he skates his ass off and does what most Rangers will not: he pays the price to make plays.