Friday, March 19, 2010
31-31-9: Not Good
Prior to this evening's match I came to the decision that I am just going to enjoy the rest of this ride. Come mid-June, there will be no hockey so something is better than nothing. The 4-3 loss to St. Louis made me question that. How could something so good - NHL hockey - cause so much anguish? Well, it is because these New York Rangers are ... well, I've run out of adjectives this season. Let's just go with 'not good.' They are not good. At all.
The team doesn't listen to John Tortorella and John Tortorella doesn't listen to himself. They play gray-arena hockey somewhere in the ether between 'safe-is-death' and Renney's responsibility. Wherever it is, it isn't good. Nothing changed, nothing new happened on the ice tonight during the 4-3 loss to St. Louis that hasn't gone on all year long and the result was the same - the lost to a team they were capable of beating. End Of Story.
Of course I can't just end my post so onto the notes:
"As Mr. X from the Blue Seats said to be after the game, "never in all my years of watching hockey have I seen defensemen beaten to the puck when they had three strides so often. All night long."
*The defensemen were atrocious, all six of them. Marc Staal used to be a solid player - ever since Torts tried to add offense to the kid's game, his play has lowered to the level of the players around him, who all seem to be drowning. Girardi, MDZ, Hobey, Rozy, Redden ... all horrible. Girardi was the best of the bunch in this one but that really isn't saying anything.
*Redden scored a goal. Yippee. It had most of section 329 turning around to yell at me for all of the ranting I was doing earlier. As I replied, 'he still owes us one." Redden's ineptness set up St. Louis' second goal and then he took a bad penalty to give them their third. For those that thought it was wrong of the Garden to boo when they announced that he had scored, think about this: two goals and $8.1 million for this season and FOUR MORE YEARS TO GO.
*Granted, that third goal was one heckuva softie by Hank, who didn't have a good game. Four goals on 13 shots against is unacceptable - no matter the screens, deflections and ineptness of the squad in front of him. That being said, the Garden fans who kept giving him the Bronx cheer really shouldn't have done it, considering what the Swede has done this season. It's not his fault that two of the Blues goals came right off perfect passes from Rangers.
*T.J. Oshie is really fun to watch, no wonder they love him in St. Louis.
*Up 2-1 with something like a minute and a half left in the first period, Tortorella wasted his timeout for a senseless icing. That timeout might have been nice to have, say, in the third period when they were down a goal and flailing aimlessly.
*Credit to Brandon Prust for not flailing too aimlessly at Brad Winchester in their first period bout. He landed some bombs, which almost makes up for the comedy that was him holding onto the boards behind him to keep his balance, something he does every fight.
*Credit to me, I called Brad Boyes scoring in the Peepin' Foes. Sure, I said he would net a hat trick but for someone with 12 goals coming into the game, one is still pretty amazing. If there is one thing the Rangers are good at, it is helping guys get off the snide - i.e. Boyes and Mike Weaver, who scored his first goal in nearly 200 games. Boyes' came right off the bat, just 1:10 in, showing that the Blueshirts did not come out ready to play. As per usual.
*Later in the first period Sean Avery drew a penalty and the Ranger power play, as they are apt to do, blew it. They gave BJ Crombeen a breakaway that was easily handled by Hank. He tripped over the goaltender and slammed into the boards playing dead. The Rangers would have had a five-on-three rush the other way but the ref blew the whistle. Somehow Crombeen got right up, skated past the Ranger bench talking trash the entire way. Someone call the Pope, it was a miraculous recovery.
*But then again, the Blueshirts had a legit five-on-three power play during the game and it was worse than their even strength play. Like I said waaaaay up top, nothing in this game was something they haven't pulled before.
*Did Brandon Dubinsky play? Wasn't sure.
*What makes me really sad about the evening is that the Boston Bruins are just as pathetic as we are right about now. They have a chance to open up the lead for the playoff spot and get shut out by Pittsburgh. And instead of getting proper retribution for Cooke nearly killing Savard, they have their thug give him an honourable way out. Makes you sad for the state of the league - Boston should have targeted Cindy or Fleury. Cooke may very well have cost the Bruins a playoff spot (possibly to us, the horror) and his team is none the worse for wear. Weak.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Brad Boyes - one goal.
2-Marian Gaborik - one goal and two assists.
1-Paul Kariya - one goal.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Gabby - Three points and it still seemed like he didn't do enough. The Slovak blew a few more chances and let himself be marginalized by the forechecking of the baby Blues.
2-Eric Brewer - The event summary said that Brewer had 12 hits in the game but it seemed like he had 12 on Avery alone. He was hitting anything that came to the slot so the Rangers rarely went there. Like they need an excuse not to go there.
1-Kariya - It is hard to say that he was the best player in the game but the wily vet deserves credit for one sexy goal to finish off the Blueshirts. The game-winning goal was the 400th of his career, a career that won't put him in the Hall of Fame. But if there was a Hall of Very Good, he would have a slot.