Wednesday, December 14, 2011
17-7-4: Wake Me Up When It's Over
When the most emotional moment of the night is a bad call by the referee that didn't result in a fight or a goal, you know that it was a boring affair. The Rangers lost 1-0 to the Dallas Stars in a snoozer at the Garden on Tuesday night, a game that had about as much emotion as a cardboard box.
After exploding for six against the Panthers the Blueshirts couldn't even manage a decent shot - much less a goal - against an AHL goaltender. Somehow the official scorer credited Bachman with 34 saves but it is unclear which game he was watching. Having watched the game in person and again on television I still can't recall a single stop that the kid collected. What a dreadfully dull display.
Just a few Late Hits:
*That bad call by Ian Walsh was stupefying. Bachman did his best impression of a NFL kicker to jump into contact to draw a penalty. Walsh's partner was Don Van Massenhoven - you'd expect him to make an inexplicable call of two but this one was all Walsh, who was just feet away when Bachman raced out of his crease to play the puck and initiate contact with one of his own teammates and Young Carl. Thankfully Hank and Prust had little problem killing off the ensuing Dallas power play.
*Del Zaster quarterbacked a Ranger power play that went 0-4 and had nary an actual opportunity to score. Step, Richard$, Cally and Arty are definitely also culpable but it was Del Zaster who led the team with 6:44 of ice time with the man advantage. They collectively had seven shots in eight minutes of power play time. Atrocious.
*Erik Christensens skated for 9:11, went 1-7 in the faceoff circle, had one shot and no pulse. Sean Avery certainly would have added more excitement to the night, that is for sure.
*Can Brian Boyle play a softer game? He plays like someone half his size.
*May be mistaken but Brandon Prust appeared to fight Jake Dowell just to stay awake. It was a staged bout that featured few good punches and was blissfully over quick. Fights like that, for the lack of justification just fuel the pathetic pacifists like THN's Adam Proteau and the various guys at the New York Times who suddenly have it out for hockey.
*Soft goal given up by Hank with five minutes to go but what can you do? As per always the Rangers gifted the opposition the blueline and collapsed all the way down to the goalmouth, allowing Daley to come in and slide the puck through Lundqvist's five hole. Jeff Woywitka was worthless on the play, but that is no surprise.
*Every time I see Trevor Daley I am reminded of John Vanbiesbrouck's stupidity. What the hell was he thinking?
*Walked out of the arena past Bobby Nystrom and managed not to say anything. The former Islander still looked spry enough to kick my ass anyway.
*For as much of a flatline as this game was, Sheldon Souray's shot nearly induced coronaries around the Garden when it hit Hank. Thought for sure that it broke his collarbone or something but luckily the King shook it off and remained in the game.
*Remember when Brandon Dubinsky was relevant? Seems so long ago ...
*What a lifeless Garden crowd. A friend of the blog warned me tonight to expect more of these with the NHL's realignment next season. The only solution we could come up with was variable pricing but could you imagine Dolan doing that? I can't.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Trevor Daley - one goal.
2-Henrik Lundqvist - 27 saves.
1-Richard Bachman - 34 saves.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Bachman - Showed no intimidation playing in MSG. But, as mentioned above, the building was largely asleep and not intimidating in the least. Still, no softies.
2-Hank - Anyone who can stand in front of a Souray slap shot and survive should be recognized.
1-Daley - He scored a goal! No one else did ...