Sunday, October 23, 2011

2-2-2: Coming Up Dry

The Rangers went to Edmonton for the penultimate game of their massive season-starting road trip and showed that they had absolutely nothing left in the tanks to take them to victory. Or even to make them competitive. But the travelling is not to blame, the players and their leadership are.

The players made bad decision after bad decision. Their shot selection was atrocious, when they deigned to shoot at all. They were outworked so they took penalties. They looked lifeless while going through the motions, like a horse that has been whipped just a few too many times. And that is likely the root of their failure - their head coach all fire and brimstone so where else is there to go? The guys are burned out on the same old message that wasn't working to begin with. We can hope and pray that they will get a boost out of playing in front of us for the first time this week but how long will that last?

One thing is for certain: all of Tortorella's jackass-ery isn't helping. He was an umprofessional dick to the media after the game so he didn't have to be held accountable for his many mistakes. He grimaces, groans and yells on the bench but all of his petulant pouting isn't getting the team anywhere.

Tom Renney didn't work in this town because he was too nice to a lackadaisical superstar and his cronies. But at the same time helped shape the young players that have become the cornerstones of this franchise. They listened to him and they respected him. How can anyone respect John Tortorella? The awe of his one ring only goes so far, especially when the accepted story is that the Tampa team won to spite him. This group of Rangers is simply not talented enough to do that. If things fall into place they can certainly win some games but they can not compete with the top tier of the NHL. Those teams are better built, with bench bosses who know that a season is a drawn-out war, not a nightly nuclear attack.

Late Hits:

*I'll just get this out of the way right away, to satisfy the haters who know that is coming - Sean Avery would have been a big help in this game. The Rangers were lifeless, the Rangers appeared afraid to go to the net and they couldn't keep up with the quick young Oilers. Avery could have helped all three calamities.

*Did Brandon Dubinsky even play? How about Artem Anisimov?

*Ryan McDonagh's success may have gone to his head - he is trying to do too much. Hopefully Sauer's impending return will help him simplify things again.

*A neanderthal like Mike F-ing Rupp shouldn't be skating against a team without a goon. He couldn't keep up and took a bad penalty that resulted in the nail-in-the-coffin power play goal by Corey Potter. If Prust feels that he has to defend himself against that headhunting idiot Andy Sutton, then there really is no reason for Rupp to play.

*Sutton is an expert of the high elbow to the head and shouldn't be allowed to play in the NHL. It is a matter of time until he faces Shanahan's wrath.

*I'll be honest, I was happy for Potter. The kid never was given a good chance by the Rangers despite all of his efforts and he came back to shove it in their faces. Good for him.

*Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle are scary good. When they get more experience under their belt, the Oilers will be one wonderful team to watch. Eberle, by the way, was drafted two spots after Del Zaster in '08.

*Hard to tell who was worse, Del Zaster or Bell. Both should be in the AHL. Del Zaster got more than six minutes of man advantage time and the best scoring chance during that span was for the Oilers. Bell's bad pinch handed Edmonton their opening goal.

*No use ranting more with a game in Winnipeg a day away. Let's all just pray that Torts comes to his senses and starts Biron this time so we won't see Hank limping off again any time soon.

*PHW Three Stars
3-Taylor Hall - one assist.
2-Nikolai Khabibulin - 19 saves.
1-Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - one goal and one assist.

Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Eberle - No wonder there is no panic over the fact that he hasn't scored yet, he does everything else so well.
2-Potter - Calm, capable defense and a power play goal. The Rangers could have used all of that on this night.
1-RNH - Amazing skill well worthy of his draft position. But Edmonton does face a real question: can the slight kid keep it up for a full season or will he be better off dominating the WHL while adding muscle?


Jeff S said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff S said...

Nice post, but one thing bothers me. You claim that the "accepted story" is that Tampa Bay won the Stanley Cup to spite Tortorella. Not only does this not make any sense, but I've never read or heard about this anywhere. Who accepts this story? Can you provide a source for your claim? Even, an outdated TB blog? I'm calling BS here.

Scotty Hockey said...

I'm not going to search for you but be warned, not a whole lotta blogs back in '03. Google it yourself. Torts had public feuds with Lecavalier, Andre Roy and a few others. Not to mention the post-cup classic where Prospal said he wanted to score so he could shove it up Tortorella's butt.

Dennis said...

I agree with you Scotty but there's something that's been gnawing at me lately that you reminded me you talk about Edmonton's "youth". Okay so they've got a couple of sick 18-20 year olds, sure, but the Rangers have just as much youth, so why don't the Rangers play with energy and effort? We've got Stepan, McDonagh, DelZaster, not to mention Dubinski, Callahan, Anisimov and others who are in their early 20's. Surely there isn't that much difference in the energy level of an 18 year old and a 22 year old. If anything, our 22 year olds should be better since they have more experience.

Why doesn't the Ranger's youth movement act like a youth movement, but instead plays the old "dump and chase" boring hockey that we've come to expect for two decades?????? I can't believe it's all Tort's fault because it's been like this through many other coaches. Is it a cultural thing? Is it a confidence thing in that they know they have a #1 draft pick in the engine room? Does it all boil down to talent? I know we don't have any #1 draft picks but we sure have young talent. Beyond losing, I hate the style of hockey we play. Predictable and boring.

Avery's Purse said...

another Avery mention...wOOt!

Scotty Hockey said...

Dennis, have you considered the thought that the Ranger youth just isn't as good? Late first, second and third round picks can't match up to the guys drafted by bottom dwellers ...

But I do hang Torts for a lot of it - guys are afraid of losing their jobs by making minor mistakes they don't just go out there and play.