Monday, December 6, 2010
16-12-1: See What Happens?
On Sunday evening the Rangers played the same dreadfully sloppy, piss-poor puck that gained them a win against the Isles on Friday but this time they did it against an actual NHL team, so they lost. New York fell to Ottawa in a 3-1 dreary, dreadful display of boring hockey.
The Senators, coming off of an equally dull 1-0 shootout win against Buffalo, seemed more than content to let the Rangers press the action but the Blueshirts were more than happy to keep passing them the puck. No, no, I insist. The Sens then played a lifeless road game - trying not to lose - and the Rangers were all too content to gift them the win for their lack of effort. They fell back on their heels, welcoming Ottawa into their zone time after time and eventually even the Sens were able to score.
*My guest for the evening was taking in her first-ever live hockey game. Amazing how ridiculous I looked for explaining to her prior to the match that hockey was nothing like how it is on tv - it is fast and exciting and full of life! Yeah, not so much on this night.
*Both goaltenders should be ashamed for letting up shorthanded goals on open shots shortside. On Kelly's Derek Stepan blew the play at the blueline but that was one of those bumps in the road Tortorella kept saying the team had to deal with while getting the kids ice time.
*Being 0-4 with the man advantage is utterly unacceptable, especially as two of those power plays were virtually back-to-back. Ottawa was a man down for nearly four straight minutes and New York barely had opportunities. The Rangers didn't get a single shot on the first infraction and grabbed three on the second - none within 10 feet of the Senator crease.
*It is understandable that Tortorella would want to spark Arty and Frolov but to keep putting them on the ice during the power play is just senseless. They can't score. They can't create. They can't maintain puck possession. Their ice time isn't sparking anything except for the opposition's hopes that they will be able to kill the penalty.
*Said it before this season but it is getting blatant: something needs to be done to stem Del Zotto's decline. How is playing him again and again doing him any service? This isn't a sophomore slump as it kicked in at the midway mark of his freshman campaign and it is not showing any signs of abating anytime soon. He has talent, he has physical ability ... if confidence is the problem, well, he isn't about to gain any playing on this team.
*As I am beating old drums, the team had Saturday night off in New York City and then lost their ninth home game of the season (out of 15). Maybe Avery shouldn't be concerned with P.A. Parenteau going to clubs so much as he should be his teammates (and maybe even himself).
*The official Event Summary shows that the Rangers were credited with 41 hits, which just goes to show what a frivolous, subjective category hits are. To think that those numbers will be used by agents to inflate salaries is offensive to me. Nothing beats a good hit, but let's be realistic folks - there were not 41 hits by both teams combined in that snore of a hockey game.
*Avery attempted no shots, Gaborik attempted two (one missed the net) and Mr. Softie the Backstabber missed the net on two. When your 'top' line can get one shot on net the entire night, there is something very, very wrong. Stepan/Dubi/Cally got nine of 14 attempts on goal but they aren't as offensively skilled.
*Mr. Softie the Backstabber slacked on his defensive coverage and Steve Eminger was caught on the wrong side of the crease, allowing Kelly to get in and score the game-winner. And allowing Jarkko to set up the game-winning goal just twists the knife around the wound. Loathe that guy.
*How the hell do you have Derek Boogaard playing in the same game as Matt Carkner and don't have a heavyweight bout? If Tortorella saw that the team was so lifeless at the start that he had to call a timeout four minutes in, how does he not at least try to have Boogaard do what he is paid for? Even if the goon jumps Carkner or just ends Jarkko Ruutu's career, he would have justified his salary. Instead we saw him circle around for four minutes of nothingness.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Henrik Lundqvist - 22 saves.
2-Chris Kelly - three goals.
1-Pascal Leclaire - 25 saves.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
Second straight game no player stood out enough to deserve recognition. The PHW named both goaltenders because, hell, they couldn't think of anyone else and in a low scoring game that is the great cop out. Neither goaltender was particularly good, and Kelly's achievement was unimpressive. It was great, great seeing Brandon Prust get a goal but a good goaltender woulda grabbed it.