Friday, February 15, 2013

7-5-1: Taken Down By Torts

You had a team that stumbled out of the gate finally getting their game together. They'd won three games in a row and had a softball of a foe ahead of them, a glorified AHL team. So do they keep things rolling?


The head coach tinkered with lineup and put in his backup goaltender, decisions that doomed the team to an unacceptable failure. It is one thing to blow a 3-0 lead to the best team in the Eastern Conference, it is another to blow a 2-0 lead to the bunch of pathetic losers from Long Island. What a disgrace.

Why would you want Chris Kreider out on the ice to create offense and combine with Cally and Miller to form an energy line when you can dress Brian Boyle?! Boyle, who's demotion to the press box spurred the win streak. Boyle, who can't skate, can't shoot, can't pass and can't fight. Boyle, who was given 17 minutes in ice time, including shifts on the power play and in overtime.

Why would you want to start Henrik Lundqvist when he is finally getting his game in motion after a inactive offseason when you can start that shaky sieve of a backup Marty Biron. Biron, a former Islander. Biron, who stood still while the Islanders won the shootout.

Torts is the boss, and he will do what he wants. And what he did caused his team to not just sink to the level of their inferior foes, but drown below them. This simply can not happen. Just past the quarter mark of this asterisked season, the Rangers lie four points from first place and four points from last place in the Eastern Conference. Anything can happen and giving away points to piss-poor opponents is very, very dangerous. Luckily Sunday will bring a woeful Washington team to town, giving the Blueshirts have two days to learn how to hold a lead. Not nearly enough time.

Late Hits:

*One of the highlights of the evening was at the outset, when John Amirante did the anthem. Rumour had it that he had pneumonia when the season started, keeping him from his duties. Glad he is better and back to form, he's truly a Garden institution.

*It was an honour to have a Medal of Honor winner in attendance, Sergent Clinton Romesha. Great ovation from the Garden faithful.

*My new twitter friend Arron Asham had himself a banner night, with less than three minutes of ice time and a fight (that he lost). What a great tough guy for this team to have, really inspires the troops.

*The cheap-ass Rangers gave out an advertising booklet, I mean calendar, to all fans in attendance. It ranks up with the horrible Hummer calendar from years past. No pictures of players but plenty of ads for Foxwoods. Weak. Oh, and it is the middle of February - what a good time to give out a calendar.

*Saw a few fights in the stands, always love the passion that this rivalry brings. Really wish the players had one iota of it.

*Hagelin's goal (off the rush) aside, the power play continued to be a disaster of Hindenburg proportions. So glad to see Del Zaster back out there, killing time and momentum.

*Loved Jeff Halpern's play. Super Jew won a whole slew of faceoffs and skated hard all evening. Too bad he has zero offensive ability at this point in his career. Shocking to think he had 18 points in 19 games for Tampa after being part of the Brad Richard$ deal way back when.

*Maybe Richard$ picked up some kind of fungus while he was helping folks clean up from Sandy. Gotta be some excuse for his horrible play and that is as good as any.

*Hoped for more from Taylor Pyatt against the team that drafted him, but he seemed to be one of those who fell victim to Tortorella's chemistry-killing line juggling.

*Happy birthday Gabby, thanks for giving us a present. Very Jagr-esque play by the Slovak, displaying serious skills in regulation before stumbling in the shootout.

*Michael "Rico Fata" Grabner struck again, blowing another breakaway for the blue and orange. It is truly amazing how he earns so many good opportunities and utterly wastes them.

*PHW Three Stars:
3-Carl Hagelin - one goal and one assist.
2-Marian Gaborik - one goal and one assist.
1-John Tavares - one regulation goal, one shootout goal.

Scotty Hockey Three Stars:
3-Lubo Visnovsky - Mark Streit play more minutes but Lubo was clearly in control whenever he was out on the ice, making things happen like a proper quarterback should.
2-Hagelin - BORK!
1-Tavares - Someone should Dale Hunter that kid. 


Nick Prota said...

Agreed that a lot of the blame goes to Torts. Why did he wait so long to bench Richards? His night should have been done after that first powerplay in the second, and not wait until the third. Richards killed two more 2nd period PPs.
Last game you gave Asham credit for not getting into fight he would have lost when his team was leading. Tonight he made that exact mistake and ignited the Isles (disgusted to have to write that).
Also, how can Biron be so good at advising other players on the shootout and an absolute statue on the ice for it. He did the same thing in a shootout against NJ last year. He's the back-up, don't players stick around to breakaways on him at the end of every practice? How can he be so unsure of what to do?

John said...

I know this one probably feels like a loss, but technically we do get a charity point and are 7-5-1, not 7-6 (see caption of post, 7-6-0: Taken Down By Torts)

Scotty Hockey said...

Thanks for the heads up John, correction made.

Nick, I didn't rail against the decision to fight because it didn't seem to have any impact whatsoever - like the rest of his New York Ranger tenure. And I have no idea about Biron, I never liked him - Flyer, Islander - but there are times he is outstanding, and others where he sucks. He's barely better then Steve Valiquette was ...