Wednesday, December 15, 2010

19-13-1: Thanks Brent!

Sometimes I don't mind rewriting an article. I had a nice piece started about how the pendulum was bound to swing the other way after Sunday's success. Instead, that one has been dumped into the digital darkness and here is a recap of the laughable Blueshirts 4-1 win over the Penguins in Pittsburgh.

And it was laughable. In typical fashion the Rangers were completely dominated by the Penguins. But then something happened - they got a shot on net. Early in the game I tweeted that a traffic cone could have played goal for the Pens over the first two periods. After the third, the Pens probably wished they had a traffic cone in net rather than Brent Johnson. Johnson allowed four bad goals to give the game away. He was, simply said, horrendous. He was down on his knees too early, he overcommitted to shots, his angles were off and he gave up four goals in less than seven minutes, two in 15 seconds.

Now the question is how did they suddenly start taking advantage of his horrendousness? Was it the Pens just getting tired after playing on Tuesday? Was it Sean Avery showing the first sign of life with his fight against Arron Asham? Or was it just luck? I don't have an answer, but it did make me laugh seeing goal after goal go in from - as Jim from Blueshirt Banter corrected me - "the three worst Ranger forwards, and Boyle." It wasn't secondary scoring that did it, it was tertiary. Gotta love how in the photo up top even Boyle was shocked that Frolov scored.

It is nice to celebrate the win and the fact that the pucks keep going in for the Rangers but Ryan Callahan's shot block that broke his hand is awfully sobering. His absence from the lineup could (and likely will) be far more costly than the extended breaks taken by Gabby, Drury, Vinny and Boogey. Marty Straka, Drury and now Cally - the Blueshirts need to learn to block shots with other body parts.

A few notes before an early bedtime:

*The Penguins had the game tied at two but the tally was taken away after a ridiculous incidental contact call on Pascal Dupuis' eyebrows. Rozy backed him into Hank as Malkin scored but the officials waved off the goal. That they did it is a surprise, that they did it in Pittsburgh is a shock, that Rozy sucks is obvious. And his partner, MDZ, was made to look absolutely ridiculous on the play - the kid was lying on the ice waving his stick around as the Penguins skated right around him. MDZ continues to be completely atrocious; something needs to be done.

*As Ranger fans, we have to pray that there were some NHL scouts (Scouts?) in the crowd. They witnessed Alex Frolov scoring and setting up Boyle's goal, and thus his trade value is as high as it will ever be. Sather needs to deal him away right now before everyone realizes just how bad he has become. Funny how he gained a little confidence from the goal and went right back to his old ways with a wraparound that even Johnson was able to stop.

*The Ranger power play went 1-3, with the lone goal coming from Mr. Softie the Backstabber. That goal came off the rush, as have a very large percentage of the man advantage goals this season. The special team is simply not special when they set up in the opposing zone, if they can even set up in there or even get in there.

*As mentioned, Avery fought Asham. Why Asham would entertain Avery with a fight was stupid, and that he did not get his arm free to unload that big right was lucky for Avery. Nice work by Sean, even if he ended it with his signature cheap shots when they were already down on the ice.

*Chris Drury did all of his signature stuff: blocked shots, took faceoffs (went 4-1), skated hard and didn't come remotely close to scoring. Welcome back cap. Ugh. Eight million bucks this season. He needs to gain a bit of that scoring touch he had in Buffalo if he is to replace Cally's contributions.

*The game was on MSG 2. I mean, seriously? The most famous guy in the league against the Garden's top tenant and the game was not on either of their top two networks. Something wrong with that.

*Joe Micheletti just stop already. I'm not sure if I find him more loathsome than Matt Cooke and Max Talbot but it is close.

*As tweeted, Hank was bumped a few times and Boogaard was nowhere to be found. Boogey can't protect the King through the television. He just needs to make like Godzilla and sink back into the Pacific Ocean so we can get a enforcer who can actually play and contribute.

*PHW Three Stars
3-Henrik Lundqvist - 27 saves.
2-Brian Boyle - one goal and one assist.
1-Alex Frolov - one goal and one assist.

Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Hank - No soft goals. Hank stayed square to the shooter, kept his movements short and simple - leaving little opportunities for the Penguins to capitalize.
2-Marc Staal - His partner Dan Girardi would deserve a share of this star if not for a horrible play on the lone Pittsburgh goal. The two were solid, keeping Sidney out of scoring areas and limiting the space Malkin had to dangle (outside of that one time).
1-Johnson - Thanks Pens for starting your backup for the first time in over two weeks. Johnson, who has gone W-L-W-L-W-L now in his last six, frankly sucked. A netminder with some composure would have made at least one decent save in the third period.


Leatherneck said...

Really?? after such a great win you cant post a nice and positive write up? The look of Boyle is what this team is about, look at P:rust same reaction, it is about a genuine happiness for their line mate to score a goal which means team unity. Start writing positive things when they are due, call it like it is. This team has character and chemistry find something to write about that

Anonymous said...

everything is always negative with this guy

Scotty Hockey said...

For one, I wrote positive things after Sunday, when the Rangers actually played a 60 minute game. For two, if you want to live in a dream world full of rainbows and unicorns, don't come here. I won't be deluded into believing this is anything more than another mediocre team the likes of which we've had for five years now. I don't believe the PR nonsense spouted on the broadcasts raving about average plays and players. I want the Rangers to be a team that can contend for the Stanley Cup. Nothing less.

And that is the last time I am addressing you whiners complaining about my negativity.

Anonymous said...

Hey I like Scotty's dark analysis if that's what you want to call it. That's how I feel half the mornings after seeing a Ranger game.

Like Scotty I too wrote this game off. How could the Rangers possibly beat the Caps 7 zip and come backa and beat the Pens the next game? It rarely happens. I even left when they were down 1 zip to go to my own game figuring it would end 3 zip, that's how poorly the Rangers were playing.

Many of the newspaper blogs and especially the Rangers own site put a bow on all their analysis and sugar coat it like the way JD used to never say anything negative, like he was afraid to say something bad and get fired.

Beyond that I'm really disappointed with MSG because this game was scheduled to air on Versus and they aired downhill skiing instead. I called cable and they said it's on channel 441 because of some conflict, so I couldn't see the game in high def. and missed the first 10 minutes. Versus blows and MSG is not far behind!

mike said...

I don't see the point of you writing this blog anymore Scotty. You are becoming an untrustworthy source these days due to your own negativity. The Rangers have beaten the Pens twice this year in stirring fashion, with clutch comebacks and a surprising ability to get off the deck when looking dead in the third period. Think about it--4 goals in the last 10 minutes of the game against a team we hate, and you are grouchy about it.

If you covered the Ali-Foreman fight you'd call Ali's win boring or cheap, because you don't understand that sometimes competition requires the ability to absorb your opponent's punishment before you can win. Rangers have been quite adept at that this year, and last night was another outstanding rope-a-dope victory. Recognize it for what it is, or go find something else to do. You are a good hockey writer, but you are so damn cranky.....shut it down for awhile and recharge, man, you're obviously not enjoying something that is supposed to be fun in your life.

Chris said...

BTW: The game was on VS. as well... thats likely why it wasnt being promoted heavily by MSG. Fret not, Cindy was seen worldwide.

Brother P said...

as my brother and I watched this game the roller coaster of emotions were in full effect. As the Rangers were trying to hang on for dear life towards the end of the 1st I said to my bro we need to get out of this period tied at zero. no sooner did those words leave my mouth was Girardi getting abused and Malkin was scoring. The 2nd period was a much more even period and the 3rd period after the first 8 mins of back and forth was dominated by the Rangers. I believe this is the 9th win out of the last 13 games by the blueshirts. I personally think this team has a little something going but I'm a glass half full guy not empty. I mean we did just beat the Caps and Pens by a combined score of 11 to 1! Everyone is entitled to there own personal opinion. Scotty has his and if you don't like it, don't come read his blog. Its pretty simple. Rarely do Scotty and I agree on much but I know the man and he loves the Rangers almost as much as breathing. Heading to the garden tonight with my brother. I really hope to see a solid effort and more importantly a win from the blueshirts. Tonight's game could be a "trap" game with us just having played the Pens and with Philly on the horizon on Saturday. Hopefully not, LET'S GO RANGERS!

per djoos said...

and arty deserves a little love for his datsyukesque lamplighter.

keep it up, scotty. we luv ya.

Anonymous said...


Good job, you guys who don't like it... WRITE YOUR OWN BLOG!!

At this point this team is a middle of the pack entry to the playoff chase. Its suprising that they have been able to win some games against upper crust teams, however once the second season starts all of the old worts will start to show.

Anonymous said...

Sather was at Ali-Frazier and he offered Smokin' Joe a 12 year contract for 200 million.

-Sather Die in a Fire

Johnny D. said...

Here we go again...

Scotty, we don't believe the PR nonsense coming out of the Dolan machine either but look again to the Philadellphia flyers who were in last place for two-years in a row, one year came back - a team with our own record, nipped us on the shootout and went to the Cup finals. It happens right? Carolina won a Cup! Who knew during the regular season. Tampa Bay won a Cup. Who knew during the regular season.

I think what people are getting angry at is that you have no belief structure -- especially having just beat two of the East's probable Cup finalists -- that this hard working, scrappy team (not individual players) might actually have a shot. Your analysis is always about how bad the OTHER team played as opposed to how hard working WE might have played --- that is what the fuss it all about when readers call your site negative.

You're a good writer, Scotty -- we aren't sure that you're a Rangers fan, that's all. "Through thick &'re always there. Like family." You don't subscribe.

Johnny D

Anonymous said...

Everyone needs to get off Scotty's back. He's a realist and by being a season ticket holder, puts his money where his mouth is. You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who wants the Rangers to succeed more than Scotty.


Unknown said...

A couple of things:

First, like others, I sometimes find it difficult to deal with the "Debby Downer" approach here (the childish name-calling is probably the worst part). On the other hand, I can't claim to be even half the Rangers fan Scotty is -- I came to it only in high school, and I haven't lived in the NY area since I was 18. I'm lucky to get to one game a year when I'm home for the holidays (12/27!). What I love about this blog is the sheer depth of knowledge Scotty has. There is just no way I can follow all these developments, all the teams, all the players around the league, from Louisiana. (You guys hate Versus -- I thank my lucky stars for it, 'cause there sure as hell is no MSG network here.) That's why I come here on a daily basis. Scotty, I wish you'd lighten up a tiny bit, but I really do appreciate all the knowledge you bring to the table.

On another note -- actually related to last night's game -- I don't think Roszival pushed Dupuis into Lundquist. I watched the replay closely last night and again this morning when ESPN actually showed highlights. They were touching, and Roszival might have been pushing a moment earlier, but it looked to me like Dupuis leaned away from Roszival and made incidental contact with Lundquist. Still a bad call by the refs, but I'm not sure we can blame Roszival. This time.

Anonymous said...

4 bad goals!? Were we watching the same game? Christensen's goal was such a snipe. No one was stopping that. It was bar down. Anisimov's goal was awesome. Perfect shot as well. Jesus Christ give some credit for once. All u do is say how bad the other team played. I agree, most of the time we play like shit and don't deserve to win but this game wasn't one of them.