It is not like most of the Rangers were all that busy during the lockout, you would think they would have had time to work out. But they proved to be woefully underprepared for the start of the season on Saturday night when they fell to the Bruins in Beantown 3-1.
It was a sloppy, slow open to the asterisked year and it was largely inexcusable. Half the team simply did not show up ready to play. You could see on Thursday's broadcast of the Blueshirts practice, the boys didn't take it seriously. Well, it is serious. With a 48 game year every point counts and they wasted two last night.
*Boston was lauded for having half their side in shape after playing overseas, and deservingly so. Andrew Ference and David Krejci, both of whom played in the Czech Extraliga, assisted on the first goal. Daniel Paille, who spent nine games in Finland, tipped home the second. Johnny Boychuk, who played in Austria, scored the third off a faceoff win by Patrice Bergeron - a star in Switzerland.
*That being said, the Rangers who saw time in Europe were ineffective. Step played in Finland and was invisible. Nash's play was almost as neutral as the country he played in. Hagelin's highlight was drawing a penalty (more on that in a moment). McDonagh was mediocre. DZ ... ha.
*If not for Hagelin's visor, his face would have been wrecked on the glass when he was hit from behind by Milan Lucic. It was a far more egregious hit than the elbow Hags laid on Alfredsson in the playoffs and Lootch has a reputation for dirty play. And yet it only drew a two minute penalty? Shanny had better take a look ...
*Speaking of neanderthals, a big thank you to Mike Rupp and Stu Bickel for killing any chance the Rangers had at coming back. Brad Richards gets a lucky goal and the two idiots have to go out and pick that moment to justify their pathetic existence. You fight to start your team's momentum. You fight to stop the other team's momentum. You don't fight the second your side shows a sign of life. Sheer stupidity by the lowbrows.
*Brian Boyle is a genius. He translated a few lucky weeks a few years back into a NHL career. Brilliant. Too bad he has no knowledge on the ice. He can't skate, he can't shoot and he has no ice sight.
*When Brandon Segal is more involved then you, there's a problem. Step, Kreider, Pyatt, Cally, Halpern (who seemed to lose every faceoff he took) ... all absent.
*That has to rank as one of the worst games of Marc Staal's career.
*Yes, I did admit that Del Zaster made a good play in the third period. No, it did not wipe out the fact that he was poor the rest of the night. He couldn't keep the puck in the offensive zone, he got beaten in the neutral zone and he lost his coverage regularly in the defensive zone.
*Thought for sure that Girardi had kept the streak alive of Rangers blocking shots in Boston and breaking things. Haveta be thankful he survived unscathed.
*Hank's glove save on Krejci was gorgeous, and it reminded me of his stellar stop on Marc Savard (that I was in the building for and utterly lost my mind). Only difference? Hank's glove wasn't in the goal on the Savvy save.
*PHW Three Stars:
3-Patrice Bergeron - one assist.
2-Tuukka Rask - 20 saves.
1-Zdeno Chara - tallest guy on the ice.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars:
3-Shawn Thornton - The Bruins' resident tough guy taunted Rupp into the fight that sealed the Ranger fate. Smart. Credit also to Brad Marchand for being a pest all night long, completely distracting Cally and others.
2-Bergeron - Seguin may have been flashier at times but Bergeron commanded the ice when he was out there, dictating pace and placement.
1-Lucic - The missing link scored the all-important goal and played Bruins hockey until his ejection.