Monday, February 16, 2009

30-22-6: Sleeping In St. Louis

The Rangers celebrated Blair Betts' birthday by getting beaten 2-1 by a last place team. Nice work guys. The Blueshirts can't score and a defensive breakdown allowed a harder-working but less-skilled team to net the game-winning past Hank, who actually played pretty well. It wasn't a blowout, it wasn't a bad effort, it just wasn't a win against a team they needed to beat.

As for a statement ... well, it doesn't bode well for the stretch run. Two seasons ago Sean Avery came to the Rangers just in time to turn the season around with a shootout win against the Blues. This time there was no Avery, no heart, no win.

Playing the blame game, a just look at the usual suspects. Tom Renney had the completely useless Wade Redden on the ice for power plays and for the pivotal final seconds - moer than 24 minutes in total. Scott Gomez didn't do much of anything. Rozy's tendency to turn the puck over struck again (but luckily didn't end up in the back of the net). Nik Zherdev has more skill then anyone else on the ice but he couldn't use it to get a single good scoring chance. Chris Drury had a few good chances but after taking all of the blame after Philly, he couldn't stop his teammates from sleepskating through this one. And Glen Sather brought all of these idiots to Broadway.

Ah well, there is always Wednesday against the Isles ... a loss there - no matter how close - will cause havoc.

*Since the Rangers pissed on Bettsy's birthday, the least they can do is give the guy a new contract. He played a solid game, as did his linemates and Ryan Callahan. That foursome have been the only constants this season and they deserve kudos.

*I rip on Joe Micheletti constantly but as much as he is unlistenable, at least MSG is watchable. Versus, notsomuch. The camerawork was outright horrible and the director made bad call after bad call. I nearly got motion sickness as the main game-cam tried to jerk back and forth while poorly tracking the puck - perhaps if he had loosened the shot up a bit, he wouldn't have to swing like that. And the director changed shots at bad times, missing plenty of action.

*However, all credit given and due to the production staff to get an interview with John Davidson. There is just something right with listening to JD while the Rangers are playing ... granted, he did have a slip of the tongue and say that the Blues 'have 10 or 12 young people that they need to get to the Rangers.' Oops, but sure, we could use more good young players since our older folks aren't faring particularly well.

*Now, I said that Renney is here for the long haul in a Puck Daddy roundtable, but what the hell? He uses his timeout in the second period of a 0-0 game, but he doesn't use it when Philadelphia scores two goals in a minute. And whatever stellar game-plan that he detailed during the break failed on the ensuing faceoff and allowed the Blues to get traffic in front of the net that they used to screen Hank for their first goal. Genius.

*And the thing was that I turned to my dad and said that the Blues were going to score within two minutes of Aaron Voros getting his ass kicked. How the smaller Cam Janssen used him as a punching bag and energized St. Louis was yet another abomination in this season of horrors. Voros can't score, can't skate, can't stickhandle, can't play defense, can't fight. Glen Sather already rectified his mistakes with Rissmiller and Fritsche, it is time to cut ties with Voros too.

*That being said, Nigel Dawes wasn't missed.

*A quick look at the good and the bad and the ugly of tonight's Ranger power play:
Good - No shorthanded goals against.
Bad - Still no goals for.
Ugly - With Jay McClemment without a stick during the second Ranger power play, the Blueshirts didn't take advantage and couldn't get a shot on goal.
*There is nothing ugly about those third jerseys the Blues were wearing. Absolutely gorgeous sweaters and hopefully they will use them as their primaries next season.

*I guess nice sweaters don't draw fans, as the building looked half empty. I thought the Rangers were one of the biggest draws in the league? Oh yeah, the Philly game yesterday was a national broadcast ...

*Great shot by Korpikoski on the lone Ranger goal. Grip it and rip it - what a concept. And yet he still saw just 8:36 of ice time. Another loss or two and hopefully this team will become a seller at the trade deadline. Perhaps then someone will take Naslund so Korpikoski or another one of the kids can actually get on the ice. But I wouldn't bet on it.

*Dubi played his best game in a while. It didn't result in a goal, but small steps, small steps ...

*PHW Three Stars
3-Henrik Lundqvist - 31 saves.
2-B.J. Crombeen - one goal.
1-Chris Mason - 19 saves.

Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Hank - A solid rebound of an effort after the Sunday disaster.
2-Barret Jackman - A defensive rock like the Rangers haven't have since Beuk, Jackman put up solid numbers in 23:23, one assist, one hit, three blocked shots and 19 easy saves for Mason.
1-Cam Janssen - The grinning goon beat the living hell out of Voros and woke up his team, completely negating the impact of the solid throttling of Tyson Strachan by Colton Orr.


Anonymous said...

So which is it? Renney's fault for the teams' poor pay or Sather's for bringing in a bunch of flakey soft players. You can't have it both ways.

If his roster is bad, then what chance does he have to succeed? All you are is a big negative complainer who uses hockey as the subject matter.

Anonymous said...

Wow Scotty this person really has a problem with your opinions. You think they would at least have the balls to put a name up there to go along with their words.

Anyway from one frustrated Rangers fan to another, I don't think we'll have anything positive to take from this season. And I don't trust Sather to make a decent trades, if any, before the deadline. You remember who was the trade before the deadline that was suppose to help our push into the playoffs?? Christian Backman. This is starting to feel like the years leading up to the lockout. Rangers hockey is just so uninteresting and painful to watch.

Scotty Hockey said...

Anon - I can't have it both ways, even if both are entirely true? And a good coach could at least make a bad team competitive. Renney keeps trying but so far, not so good.

RJ - I agree that it is getting more and more difficult but something good will come out of the season - at the least, we will be one season closer to the expiration of Redden's contract!

Graying Mantis said...

I totally agree with you re: Dubinsky. It appeared to be one of his best all-round games in quite a while.

At least the team tried tonight. I thought it was a good effort.

The difference was the 2 faceoffs St. Louis won cleanly that led directly to goals.

Anonymous said...

My man crush on Korpikoski increases with each game.
Callahan played hard tonight. I was really impressed. He really threw his body around and made his presence known.

stellar performance by Hank with no help from the D in front of him.

Even the golden boy Marc Staal had some sloppy turnovers in the defensive zone.
I've said it before, I'll say it again, It's impossible to play a defense-oriented game without a reliable blueline. The Rangers either need to change their approach, or change the roster. Fuck it. Eat the rest of Redden's contract. I'd rather see Sanguinetti suited up and Redden in a suit than in the lineup.

I really enjoy this blog. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Hey Scotty
Anon has issues. Is he a TRUE RANGER FAN.. as we are. WE SEE IT BOTH WAYS. soft players brought in by Sather. Renny's gum cheing bull shit. He has a team that has no heart, no STRAKA, no SHANNY, no TUTIN, give mea break. "GET A SNIPER, A SCORER. DON'T REST ON AVERY". I for one would love Avery back. But don't put the whole "WINNING ISSUE" on Avery. He also needs help. "WHERE IS MESSIER WEHN YOU NEED HIM, SATHER!".

Chris said...

Anon #1 -

You clearly arent watching the same Rangers team that the rest of us are watching if you're just going to continuously insult Scotty's hockey knowledge.

Riddle me this... If his hockey knowledge was lacking as much as you've repeatedly said, then why on earth would the guys over at Puck Daddy acknowledge him as one of the best NYR bloggers and invite him to participate in their Sean Avery round table?

... or is it that they 'obviously dont know anything about hockey' either?

Bottom lines... this team is putrid. Serious things need to change before things get better.

... but I love them regardless.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1: Here: Oh--you can call me Jessie--if that is less anonymous for you *rolls eyes*...

The problem lies in the personnel. If your leaders: Gomez, Drury, Redden and Naslund don't pay the price to score, why would anyone else? The young guys aren't going to go above the 'leaders'.

Also, there are just too many guys to 'bench' on that roster to be able to ice a team. Renney' has limited choices. Prucha shows some offensive flair, but he isn't a guy who is going to pay the price either--he has show that before.

Sather trading away a solid player in Tyutin in favor of a flaky skilled Russian called Zherdev tells you exactly where Sather places value. You don't win games with skill, you win them with work and a willingness to pay the price. There are simply too many of those players on the roster.

The aforementioned leaders have way too many miles on them to make those type of sacrifices anymore. I am not saying Renney isn't without fault but to say idiot things like: Renney's game plan that he plotted out during the time out was utter failure' is ridiculous. If his players can't execute, it doesn't matter how brilliant the game plan is.

Re: the time outs--there are constantly tv timeouts so to mock him for not calling one in philly game is also just looking for stuff.

Nobody said you don't know about hockey, but it just seems like you are looking for crap to bitch about and it just ruins your blog...I guess that is the NY way---bitch and complain, but continue to go back for more...

Your attempt to come up with a solution was much more interesting to read than the redundant bitching and complaining....

Pete said...

I'm sorry, but I can't believe there are people standing up for Tom Renney. I think Tom is a great guy, and a competent coach, but, it was obvious last year that Tom couldn't coach around the gravitas of Jaromir Jagr. Everyone said that Tom would be able to coach the team HIS WAY this year. Well, the power play has gotten WORSE and in general, the players show bad habits. Attackers stop moving their feet as soon as the hit the blue line. Defense has been abysmal all year, and, while someone below pointed out the lack of depth on the Hartford roster for forwards, we've SEEN Potter a few times this season and just now we're seeing Reitz. Yet, Renney doesn't take the forwards to task, we haven't seen ANY redesign to the powerplay, and it doesn't seem like Tom is even able to decide WHICH defensemen he wants to use as a incentive for players like Rozival and Redden to not play like trash. The only person who seems to be the regular pincushion is Petr Prucha, who actually had a goal in two games and was sent back to the bench for an incredibly ineffective and bad penalty prone Aron Voros. COME ON. Sure, the players need to step up to their potential...but, the coach needs to inspire them OR threaten them to get them there. Renney has neither carrot nor rod for this team. His whistling Kumbaya all season is the primary reason for why this team is where it is today.

Players are like children. They need structure, they need incentive, and they need discipline. Renney can't seem to provide ANY of these as of late.

There are player issues too, but we've seen all of these players play better at various times this season. You can point and say "there's no PowerPlay QB on this team." Well, I might say, if this team had a different line-up on the powerplay, and a different approach to the powerplay, maybe they wouldn't need a true QB. Just because they can't make the "keep it on the outside and pass it around" system to work, doesn't mean it's the ONLY powerplay system. The coach is supposed to take the team the GM has put in front of him and make them play to their strengths. All season, Renney has been trying to find player lineups to meet his vision. He refuses to bring the mountain to Mohammad. That's why he has to go. Sather should get shit canned too, but, we all know that isn't going to happen, so, why even talk about it. Dolan is too busy acquiring landmark properties and sucking off Isaiah to give a shit about hockey. He's just happy we're going to continue to suffer season ticket increases to fund his pet projects.

Anonymous said...

I was at the garden October 25 of last year to watch the Rangers play the Pens. It was not the most stellar game played but when the Rangers tied it with 8 seconds left and won the shootout it was awesome. I wonder where those Rangers went? They were full of grit and heart and worked like crazy to win that game. Please come back guys.