Friday, November 19, 2010
10-9-1: When Is Enough Enough?
This will be quite quick because the Blueshirts will be back in action Saturday night against Minnesota - none too soon after tonight's 5-1 loss at the hands of the Avalanche. The Rangers were as sloppy as the ice they were playing on and simply couldn't keep up with the faster, younger, more talented Colorado crew.
*Mistake after mistake by Michael Del Zotto ended up in the back of the Blueshirt net and, before you knew it, the team was down 4-0 and that was the game. I was vilified earlier this season for pointing out (or nitpicking as some said) MDZ's many deficiencies and those flaws in his game have gotten worse and more obvious. My arguments have not changed, until the team decides to blow off the playoffs, MDZ would be best served in the minors. Dave Tippett sent Kyle Turris down in Phoenix and the player is better for the experience. If the organization really believes in MDZ, they will do the same. It does him and the team no good playing minute after minute, night after night with no chance to learn or grow or gain confidence.
*Henrik Lundqvist allowed three goals on 16 shots; two off deflections, one a rebound after the initial stop. As I tweeted, the Rangers could replace Hank with Biron but that wouldn't take MDZ off the ice ... and MDZ promptly helped Colorado score on their first shot on the backup.
*The power play continued to be powerless. A lot of that is the personnel and the personnel's lack of confidence and willingness to pay the price for goals. Same old story ...
*David Jones crashed the net several times in the first period hitting Hank twice and no one did a thing about it - it was little surprise to see him bang home the first goal of the game.
*It is hard to say this but it will be nice to have Chris Drury back in the lineup, if only because it will likely take Erik Christensen out of it. Mr. Softie the Backstabber does have offensive skill but lacks the killer instinct that puts pucks in the net - and without that, he is all but useless.
*Happy to see Derek Stepan score. He had troubles on the play, blowing a pass and shanking a shot but that actually helped throw Craig Anderson off. Let's hope that this sparks the kid's scoring touch so we don't have to wait 19 games for another goal.
*Best three Rangers of this game? Sean Avery, Mike Sauer and Brandon Prust. Avery hustled every second of every shift and drew several penalties that his teammates blew. For giggles he went after Cody McLeod after a whistle with a minute left in the game and not one of his teammates tapped him as he went off the ice. It is sad he gives his all for the team while the team won't reciprocate. It shouldn't matter what a ginormous d-bag he may be off the ice or even in the room, once his skates hits the ice he battles for Blue. And that is where it matters. Sauer was solid but Torts keeps shielding him from the opposition's top talent - at some point he should get his shot against the big boys. And Prust, well, the guy got hurt and clearly did not want to give up. In visible pain after an awkward fall, Prust stuck around for several minutes trying to force his body to listen to him and get back into the game ... the game which was well out of reach. That is dedication boys and girls.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Scott Hannan - two assists.
2-Craig Anderson - 25 saves.
1-Matt Duchene - one goal and two assists.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Jones - A 6'2, 220 pound kid uses his size well and goes to the net. Not the most skilled guy, his persistence and fearlessness paid off.
2-Kevin Shattenkirk - Any wonder why this guy was a first round selection and Matt Gilroy wasn't drafted at all? Shattenkirk plays with a poise that belies his experience.
1-MDZ - If not for Del Zotto, the Avalanche might have had a tough time scoring tonight.