Sunday, December 27, 2009

18-16-4: An Undeserved Point

The New York Rangers salvaged a point tonight with a last minute goal to force overtime before falling in the extra frame and losing 3-2 to the Islanders. The Rangers didn't deserve a point but they earned one so I guess we will call that our Christmas miracle.

The stage was set for the biggest, best game of the season to date: day after Christmas, the first legitimate sell-out since opening night, facing the Islanders - the Islanders who embarrassed them just weeks ago. It could have been wonderful.

It wasn't.

Yet again the Rangers were outworked by their rivals, yet again they made Dwayne Roloson look like Patrick Roy, and yet again they sent their fans home disappointed. Don't get me wrong, there was some awesomeness in the evening. The Rangers opened the first period and ended the third with some of their best hockey of the season. They were a pleasure to watch forechecking, backchecking, matching the Islanders intensity ... but it was for all of about eight minutes. Of course, the game lasted just over 64. What a shame.


*The Islanders are younger, the Islanders are hungrier and the Islanders are better coached. And Tavares still hasn't done a damn thing in our building.

*The sheer joy that filled the Garden when Dubinsky tied it at two in the last minute is impossibly to quantify. Everyone went crazy. Even when the team was rolling earlier in that red hot start, there wasn't a single goal or save that comes close. It was the best moment of the season and it was fantastic.

*Dwayne Roloson, 36 saves and not a single difficult one. Amazing. Hank had to work a bit harder and buckled down late before losing his angle to allow Okposo to put the game-winner in off the post.

*The Rangers had several chances to get the put past Rolo but simply blew it. Chris Higgins' effort can't be questioned but the guy has reached the point where he would find it hard to find success in a house of ill repute with a full wallet.

*Line of the night, from the blue seats courtesy of my friend Rachel: "Can't we buy a goal?" "No, we don't have any room under the salary cap."

*Higgins, Cally, Avery and Dubi battled all night. Prospal rested on his two goals last game and disappeared. Gaborik let himself be marginalized. Anisimov clearly couldn't deal with the Isles physicality. Dru ... apparently his success against the Isles is limited to that dump in Uniondale. Kotalik is an outright disaster and needs to be benched again. Or set on fire.

*That would be accountability - like what Torts did to Boyle after Boyle blew a Ranger power play by dumping the puck into the stands. The BC grad hasn't contributed much of anything all season long and Torts just decided to bench him now. Ok.

*I missed much of Rangers in 60 but did Joe Micheletti really say that Kyle Okposo looked like Jarome Iginla? If so, WTF?

*And WTF is Brashear still doing on the roster? It takes Sean Avery to fight and get life into the building to start and then the goon gets ice time with the team down 2-0 in the lifeless second period and yet he circles aimlessly and goes back to the bench. What a waste.

*What were the Rangers doing constantly dumping the puck in and going to change? They started off the third period and the overtime doing it. They were in their own zone for 15, 20 seconds and got the puck out of the zone. One guy hustles it into the Islander end or chases after the dump and was left isolated as his linemates went for a change. Was it Tortorella limiting minutes? Was it their conditioning?

*Just reread this and noticed that I asked a lot of questions but I believe that is what we are working with as Ranger fans. Which team are they? The one that presses the action and scores big goals or is it the bloated corpse floating in the East River?

*Talking about corpses, Rozsival got himself two assists so he will likely not get the Redden treatment anytime soon despite being just as deserving. Redden ... well, do I have to say anything? Anything at all? Hobey played alright, as did Staalsie. Girardi and MDZ don't have any chemistry and it showed. MDZ keeps going out of position to make hits and is making a lot of turnovers but his effort and skill can not be denied. As I was reminded earlier this evening, defensemen usually take three seasons or so before they finally 'get it' so just imagine what he will be like when everything clicks!

*Nate Thompson, still a dirtbag. Brendan Witt, still looks like a dirtbag. I would say that he should get a haircut and donate his hair to Locks of Love but what kid would want that nasty, stringy mop of his?

*Stephen Walcom started the game as the lone referee. So how is it that with one less zebra on the ice the officials managed to get in the way of the play so many times?

*How hard is it to count to five? Apparently quite difficult as both teams took dumb too many men penalties.

*There are few things in this world that infuriate me more than seeing happy Islander fans. Violence against children. People other than me winning the lotto. The ever-increasing bill for my season tickets. Yeah, I think that's about it.

*PHW Three Stars
3-Dwayne Roloson - 36 saves.
2-Brandon Dubinsky - two goals.
1-Kyle Okposo - one goal and two assists.

Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Avery - Sure he got a pair of Avery Rules penalties with his unsportsmanlike and his goalie interference call but he seemed like the one Ranger who really wanted to beat the Islanders. Sure he pulls this schtick against other teams, but the fight and the multiple scrums certainly seemed to be personal to me.
2-Dubi - He won faceoffs, he went to the net and he paid the price to score. Imagine that, a Ranger battling for a goal.
1-Okposo - Whatever.

10 comments: said...

Henke didn't "lose his angle" on the Okposo goal. The shot deflected off of Staal's leg, changed direction from Henke's left post to his right, and then the shot actually goes in off the post. No way that Henke (or any other goalie) can make that save.

Actually, I take that back. A goalie who plays farther out of the net might have gotten a leg on that shot. But Henke definitely had the correct angle on the shot.

Anonymous said...

Yea, 5-hole is right on about the deflection... Oh well. But the bigger point you have right. There's just so much dead weight on this team, and so many guys who may or may not show up on a given night... ughhh
as for micheletti and co-- a howler tonight. Not enough room in this space. (note: when down 0-1, the next goal is important)

Scotty Hockey said...

I stand corrected then because from where I was sitting I didn't see the puck deflect off anyone, it appeared to sail right in (off the post). My apologies to Hank. =)

Anonymous said...

What a nice way to at least try and bring some hope to us as the fans. Higgins WTF a wide open net, why is it we are missing wide open nets all the time. Someone needs to be held accountable for this stupidity cause we would have one the game if he had just gotten the puck on his stick

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1: to be fair, the puck higgins whiffed on in ot was hopping around. to be even fairer, it's not like he would have scored if it wasn't. said...

It was also in his skates. Perhaps if he was a stride deeper into the zone he would have been able to get the puck to his stick. Oh well.

Damon LaScot said...

I agree with a lot that's been said....dead weight on the team....MANY missed opps....the usual's all valid to me....but there are a couple things that REALLY piss me off and they're not about the team. These are not excuses for anyone mind you. They are observation from a fan since 1973.

1) Why does the Garden ICE consistently SUCK? It's soft, rutted, the puck won't lie flat and is bouncing all over the goddamn place. I mean, I know WHY (basketball games, the circus, concerts, etc.). But, can't the most prominent arena in the WORLD get the f'iing ice together??? Granted, some other sheds have the same issues. But, they're usually in the south and not as busy venues.

2) RED SEATS SUCK. Well, they don't really. MSG sucks for charging such f'ing high ticket prices that only corporations can now afford. I'm 46yrs old. I used to go to a lot of games in the early 80's. THAT was hockey! That was when I first heard the chant "RED SEATS SUCK" from the blues. I realize Red seats (or what used to be red, now maroon?) showing up has always been a problem, but not like THIS. I know it's NY. I know it's the Garden. I know it's the Rangers. I know it's EXPENSIVE. But, it's literally embarrassing to watch a game and see half the seats closest to the ice EMPTY. And, it's EVERY game.

Anonymous said...

Brashear doesn't even fight anymore. That is pathetic. And we have this guy for one more friggin year. Isn't there anyway that they can get rid of him?

Anonymous said...

That shorty where Okposo set it up was like watching two retards try to play defense in NHL10. DZ blew the hit and Koto basically forgot that there's more than one person on the ice for the other team.


Anonymous said...

Your smoking crack cocaine if you think Scott Gordon is a better coach than Torts you racist...what the hell has ever done? Playoffs? Stanley cup? Funny cause torts has done both of those. One again you prove your idiocy and give Ranger fans a bad name Racist.