Well, there is an excuse, but it is hard for most to accept: despite claims to the contrary, the slavedriver head coach didn't aptly prepare his team for the season and the early grind has already worn them down. The supposedly torturous Camp Torts supposedly insured that everyone would not just be in shape, but be in peak physical form. Because it was shortened, the players claimed they came prepared. Thursday's loss showed that that was certainly not the case.
The Blueshirts looked slow, incapable, inept and just plain awful for the majority of the evening. They were outplayed by a poor, injury-riddled opponent. Simply said, the inferior Flyers should not have been able to skate away with their first victory of the season.
*Seriously, how the hell did the Rangers let them win?!? Philly was without both Babyface Briere and Sideshow Bob Hartnell ... and they still won!! Inexplicable. Inexcusable. Infuriating!
*Not only were the Rangers unable to take advantage of a lineup that had fewer familiar faces, but they were unable to take advantage of that lineup when they had less actual players on the ice. Mike Sullivan is doing his best to challenge Perry Pearn's resume of power play failure. What horrible coaching.
*Stop with Del Zaster already. Yes, he has offensive ability. But he is clearly incapable of quarterbacking a power play. Try other guys. Give Anton Stralman a chance, hell, give Matt Gilroy a chance. Give the peanut vendor a chance. Yes, it is so bad that even Hobey's horrible play is preferable to watching more of the same. Five-on-f-ing-three. Again. Are you kidding me?
*Happier thoughts: Taylor Pyatt came through again, goals three games in a row. Better than even I dreamed he'd be. Doubt he will be able to keep up the scoring touch but if he keeps the effort going that guy with the Pyatt sweater at the home opener will be joined by many others.
*As has often been the case over the last few years, the King kept the Rangers in the game. There is definitely something about the Flyers that brings out the best in Henrik, it is just a shame they completely wasted his best effort of this shortened season.
*Nice of Arron Asham to beg out of facing his friends. Gutless puke.
*Rupper played almost 10 minutes? Instead of being a Neanderthal he was the Missing Link, didn't notice him once. That isn't a bad thing.
*And thankfully there were no fights off the opening faceoff like some freakshow. Sure Stu Bickel's bout came early in the evening but he threw down the gloves to defend Jeff Halpern against Fantasy Camp Sestito. And he won. Good job Stuuuuuuuuu.
3-Henrik Lundqvist - 31 saves.
2-Ilya Bryzgalov - 18 saves.
1-Wayne Simmonds - one goal and one assist.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars:
3-Sean Couturier - Knew he would be trouble for the Rangers the second Philly got him sixth in the '11 draft (thanks to Columbus). The legacy knows the game and, despite being just a sophomore, capably plays in all situations.
2-Hank - This game shoulda been 6-1. After his iffy start to the season, maybe a visit with the Swedish Chef was exactly what he needed ...
1-Simmonds - Loved this kid on L.A., hate him now. All because he plays the game the way it should be played.