Tuesday, October 12, 2010
1-1-0: No Holiday At All
For all of you younger folks who believe that the Devils are the biggest rival of the Rangers - imagine a game like this afternoon's every time and with more fighting. That was how it was for years and how it will be again. The Devils are irrelevant - they are the sullen little brother who wishes they were us, the Islanders are the competitive bratty brother who will do anything to beat us. And you could see that this afternoon.
It was a wildly entertaining, ultimately heartbreaking disastrous 6-4 loss for the Rangers. It had 10 goals, a fight, a blown penalty shot, some gamesmanship ... the only thing else would could ask for was for the score to be reversed. And it should have been. Much like in Buffalo, the Rangers had control of the game and they opened the door for their opponent. This time they only had a one goal lead instead of two, and they blew it.
This one is quite painful now, and could be even more migraine-inducing come April. Some notes:
*If not even a Ranger game can bring the Islanders close to a sellout on a school holiday, when does the league step in and say enough is enough?
*I'm not linking the 'gesture' but if slagging French Canadians sends the NHL Wheel O' Justice spinning, homophobic nonsense like Wisniewski's deserves a suspension and sensitivity counseling. Now do I think that NHLers should be sensitive when trash talking? No. I think everything should be fair game. But if a making fun of French Canadians or throat-cutting gestures get suspensions in today's NHL, well this should too.
*MDZ, well, what can I say other than I told you so? Yes he is young, yes he is skilled, yes he has an upside that we can hardly imagine. But no, he has no idea how to play defense just yet. He was just plain bad inside the Ranger blueline and that shouldn't be acceptable. But in Torts' world of accountability, the kid didn't miss a single shift and will start next game.
*This 'Eminger needs to play because he is a left-handed shot' nonsense is just that. Nonsense. He shouldn't start next game as he is just horrible. I don't care if he is a lefty or a righty or an Aquarius or whatever, he is a liability and should not be a NHL regular. He has little toughness and little upside. We would be better served dealing with the mistakes of younger players than keeping this clown employed.
*But that is just one of the issues I have with Torts' decisions. His personnel selection was questionable most of the game - after goals and at the end. Maybe it is a philosophy thing, I don't know - I think that when you are down one and desperate, you put the players will battle in there. No Arty, no Frolov, no MDZ. I would have had Avery, Fedotenko and Girardi. Avery has been around the net every shift, Fedotenko has a knack for scoring big goals and Girardi was the best Ranger blueliner - finally unleashing that shot of his.
*And Frolov, don't celebrate until you actually score. Clown.
*Did anyone think that P.A. Parenteau would have a great game while Marian Gaborik would disappoint? I figured P.A. would get up for the affair but Gabby was invisible for much of the game. And his bungled penalty shot, oy. Where was Olli Jokinen when you wanted him? I kid, I kid ...
*For as physical as the game was, the only battle was the tussle between Brandon Prust and Zenon Konopka. I think that there should have been some kind of retribution when Stepan was run in the third period but Torts wanted to keep discipline - which ultimately was what cost them anyway. Better to send a message at that moment and risk losing than to look soft and still lose.
*Boogaard played a grand total of 1:34. That signing is looking worse and worse. Having Kennedy and his energy level would have been much more meaningful than having a minute and a half of a useless goon. As I said before though, Boogey's big moment will be Friday. If he doesn't fight Orr, then he is dead to me.
*While looking at ice time - Rozy skated for 27:38. You know there is something wrong when ...
*Mike Sauer was quietly solid yet again. I'm really liking what he brings to the blueliners, hopefully he will be able to take more responsibility soon.
*It has always amazed me how former Ranger Mike Mottau could do so many good things defensively and so many bad things defensively - often on the same shift.
*I'm sure there is more but this one hurts too much to talk about anymore. I hate the Islanders so much.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Brandon Dubinsky - one goal and one assist.
2-Josh Bailey - one goal and one assist.
1-Blake Comeau - two goals and one assist.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Girardi - Dan-O hit, blocked shots, took shots, killed penalties ... nice reliable play. Perhaps soon we will be able to forgive him for the Carcillo/Gaborik incident. Never forget, but forgive ...
2-PA Parenteau - Is there anything more satisfying than sticking it to your old team?
1-Comeau - Two goals, one assist and an Oscar for his performance on the Staal "high stick." Comeau always kicks his game up a notch against the Rangers and you have to respect that.