Saturday, October 29, 2011
3-3-3: The Dreaded Three Goal Lead
A good friend brought his eight month old son to the game this afternoon. After two periods of the baby boy taking everything in with wide eyed wonder and the Rangers up 2-1, my buddy decided to quit while he was ahead and go home.
When the Rangers fell apart and lost 5-4 in a shootout, I'd imagine many Ranger fans felt fussy and started throwing tantrums. I know I wanted to. Two things kept me from stamping my feet and wailing: the fact that the team still earned a point and the acknowledgement that they are utterly mismanaged.
The Rangers have lost six of their nine games and have been utterly atrocious ... yet they are just two points out of sixth place. While Tortorella has run out of excuses and seems utterly incapable of getting this team to fire on all cylinders, it is just October. Should the team go winless on this six-game homestand (a certain possibility), then it will be time to panic but until that occurs, to steal the cliche, we have to take it game by game.
*Good effort from Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik. While they are still a bit too fancy, they picked their spots better and managed to bury their opportunities. Good thing Torts broke them up because when they were reunited through staggered line changes Gaborik set up Richards for two goals.
*In his postgame presser Tortorella said that the team needs to learn how to take momentum. Given that the roster that he insisted upon icing had just one rookie in it - one who has now been banished to the bus league - does he really think that these experienced professionals need to learn to how to take momentum?
*That aforementioned rookie was Tim Erixon, who was sent to Connecticut alongside Kris Newbury after the game. Jan's kid clearly needs some time with JJ Daigneault and Newbury simply hasn't had the same spark that he had immediately after his call-up. Expect Woywitka and Rupp to return to the lineup.
*The officiating was inconsistent and awful on both sides. Boyle hits Karlsson on the side and gets called for boarding. Konopka bumps Arty from the side and gets thrown out of the game. Alfredsson skates into Wolski and Wolski gets called for illegal check to the head. Richards was hit from behind in the open ice and nothing was called. Ridiculous.
*Wolski has just been an awful excuse for a hockey player but even with his utter lack of ability he didn't deserved to get called for that penalty. Wolski was looking up ice, Alfredsson was looking at Stepan and didn't see Wolski before colliding with him. And it wasn't even an elbow as Alfredsson's head hit into Wolski's shoulder first. Did Wolski push out his arm after the initial contact? Yes, but if something suddenly shoves you, you shove back.
*As for Anisimov, he started to turn to corral the puck when he was hit by Konopka. Arty lurched forward, hit his head on the glass and collapsed like a cheap suit. Konopka didn't hit him on the numbers, he didn't leave his skates, the point of contact was Anisimov's armpit. It wasn't a dangerous hit, it wasn't a violent hit, it was a hit. And Konopka got a game and the Rangers scored twice on the ensuing power play. A power play that Arty took part in, by the way.
*If Wolski and Christensen aren't going to score in the shootouts, what good are they? And it wasn't even like Anderson had to make amazing saves to stop them either.
*Made my way up to the West Balcony pregame and have to say that it is really nice up there. Nice, clean open view of the arena, concessions that are actually open and well staffed. Really impressive.
*Brandon Dubinsky was given a four year deal this summer so is it any wonder that he has stopped working as hard as he used to? Callahan has kept his fire but he constantly seems to be skating alone.
*All of these minutes played appear to be catching up to Dan Girardi.
*A three goal lead. They gave up a third period three goal lead. And you could feel that it was going to happen too. Especially when that clown Larry started dancing. What a mush.
*The game-tying goal was just pathetic. The Rangers had Boyle, Prust and Richards out there and they decided to sit back and kill a penalty. At even strength. Boyle and Prust are supposed to be the energy line guys and they had no energy. Watching them stand there as the Sens moved the puck around was painful.
*Michael Del Zaster keeps on racking up the points, thanks to a very kind scorekeeper. Del Zaster passed to Richards, Richards passed to Callahan, Callahan returned to Richards. Richards shot the puck, Callahan scored on the rebound. And MDZ was given an assist. Ridiculous. His all-around play is still atrocious but credit should be given because he managed to keep the puck in the offensive zone twice that I noticed - something he couldn't do against the Leafs.
*Erik Karlsson is everything that Del Zaster was supposed to be. David Rundblad, however, was invisible.
*Nick Foligno is just as annoying an opponent as his father was.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Marian Gaborik - one goal and two assists.
2-Brad Richards - two goals and one assist.
1-Jason Spezza - two goals.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Richards - Welcome to Broadway Brad.
2-Filip Kuba - Kuba has battled injuries his entire career but when he gets things going, he is a capable puck moving defender. Three assists this afternoon.
1-Spezza - That dork. Spezza's character was attacked in recent years but he really has gotten things together. With the Sens down by three he led the rally and got them back into the game.