Friday, April 1, 2011
The word embarrassment will be bandied about quite a bit in the next few days in reference to the Rangers' 6-2 loss to the Islanders. Embarrassment is the shame you feel when your inadequacy or guilt is made public. Shame is a painful emotion caused by a strong sense of unworthiness, or disgrace. This was not embarrassment, the Rangers inadequacy has been on display all season long but many were willing to ignore it for a few points in the standings. This was shame. What the Rangers did was disgrace their jersey and the passion and faith of their fans.
It is well acknowledged that the rivalry with the Islanders has cooled as the Isles have become one of the doormats of the NHL. But that doesn't mean that there isn't one. And the Rangers played the Isles they would play the Blue Jackets. Or the Sabres. In fact, the Rangers played much the same game in Buffalo that they did on the Island - they gave far less than 100% and played like garbage. The difference is where the Sabres sat back, the Isles pressed and pressed and pressed. They dominated the way a NHL team would dominate an AHL side, you know the way the Rangers should have dominated the Sound Tigers.
Having grown up on the Island, my loathing for the Islanders comes close to that of the Jews for the Nazis so you could say that I don't care for them. And bearing witness to this beating was unpleasant to say the least. Where I would normally re-watch the game to fill in blanks I would rather have my teeth pulled, sans anesthesia. So feel free to help out in the comments ...
*Good friend of the blog Eric - of NHL Live infamy - turned to me and said that the first five-on-three would be the turning point in the game. Personally I felt that the second one was. Even though the Rangers escaped the first period ahead 1-0 I turned back and asked 'why does it feel like we have already lost?' And then the second period proved it.
*Earlier in the day Pat Hoffman posted an interview with me where I lashed out at Tortorella and I hope that these back-to-back results have ended the illogical Jack Adams talk. He is a blowhard who has shown little ability to make his team successful. Seventy-eight games in and the power play is just as pathetic as it was at the start. Seventy-eight games in and the team is still as inconsistent as they were at the start. Seventy-eight games in and Torts still scrambles the lines at the first sign of struggle. As I wrote to Pat, that Torts is a character has little to do with the players having character.
*The only player to show any in this one was Sean Avery. Sean was the one Ranger to come out hard and battle every shift. Of course, he ruined it all by fighting Micheal Haley. Avery wouldn't throw down with David Clarkson a few years back because Clarkson was a 'minor leaguer.' And tonight he got his ass handed to him by Michael Haley. If that isn't a sign of how Torts has screwed with our sparkplug I don't know what is.
*That was the second of four fights in this disgrace. That the Rangers threw down well after the result was settled was shameful. That the Rangers lost three of those four fights was even worse. Dubi beat up Jack Hillen, Avery lost, Fedotenko was on the worse ended of his bout with Dylan Reese and Zenon Konopka landed more than a few on Brandon Prust.
*Trevor Gillies scored for chrissakes. Trevor Gillies.
*Second game in a row that the Rangers dominated at the faceoff dot and were dominated by the other team. Just sayin'.
*Nice hit by Marian Gaborik on Frans Nielsen. It was like Gabby waited for Nielsen to turn into the boards before hitting him. What an idiot. We can only hope that the Slovakian Slacker gets suspended because the team - as a whole - was far better when they were without their "sniper."
*Hank was horrid, again. Back-to-back games where he allowed goals on shots that he clearly saw come off the stick. Unacceptable.
*Mike Sauer and Ryan McDonagh played like rookies. Anisimov, Christensen, Girardi, Callahan, Gaborik and Prospal (goal aside) all played like garbage.
*Even though you really risk getting tetanus at that atrocious building they call an arena, the Garden brass has a cause to be worried. Ticket prices are coming down in that dump and are far cheaper than in the city - even when you figure in the outrageous $10 to park. How pathetic.
*Third period, Rangers down 4-1 and on the power play and Bryan McCabe was coasting around the ice. So happy we added this career loser to help out.
*Mats Zuccarello had no place being in the NHL right now. We may be big fans of the little guy but he couldn't handle the puck, he refused to shoot it and he was outmuscled all over the ice. Torts benching him took away whatever confidence he had and now his presence is pointless.
*New York City subway hero Joe Lozito was honoured early in the third period. The Islanders stood on their bench, banging their sticks. The Rangers sat slumped on their own bench, barely paying attention, completely and utterly out of it. Summed up the entire evening.
*PHW Three Stars
3-P.A. Parenteau - one goal and one assist.
2-Radek Martinek - one goal and one assist.
1-Al Montoya - 25 saves.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Dylan Reese - Who? Three assists, +4 and a fight edge out Blake Comeau's goal, +3, 5+ minutes of shorthanded time and team-high four takeaways. That shorthanded time would be more impressive if the Rangers power play didn't suck.
2-Parenteau - Nothing like sticking it to the team that unceremoniously dumped you and said you couldn't cut it in the NHL, is there?
1-Jack Capuano - Second straight game that the opposing coach made Torts look even more awful than he already is. JackCap had his team ready to play their most important game of the season and he didn't let them rest for one minute. Sure he couldn't keep their composure late but by then it didn't matter - if anything, the beat downs added an exclamation mark to the occasion.