Sunday, January 17, 2010

22-19-7: Mediocrity

When talking about the Rangers tonight with my friend Andrea, I was quite disgusted and bluntly said that "we suck."

She replied that no, "even worse, we're mediocre."

And that is completely true, and completely saddening. The Rangers aren't a good team but they aren't a bad team. There is the talent there to win a string of games and revive your faith, but there is also little heart and dedication to keep that string going. It has been the same for years where the team overspends just enough to ensure they can't rebuild with top draft picks and overspends on just the wrong players so there is no chemistry and the house of cards falls apart far before the Finals. So very sad, so very Rangers.

This night marked the second straight game where the Blueshirts were beaten by a desperate young team that worked harder than they did, as the Rangers lost 4-1 to the St. Louis Blues. Notes:

*Question for you: your team has pulled the goaltender and is down two goals. Do you a) put in the player who had the top chances all night long or b) put in your defensive specialist captain with one goal in his last 11 games?

*Brian Boyle's goal is the epitome of why Los Angeles Kings fans hate him. He has the ability to spin off a check, take a pass with the softest of hands and snap it into the goal and yet he can only pull it off once every 30, 40 games. At the same time, he is listed as having gone 0-10 in the faceoff circle on the Event Summary.

*Prior to the game Ales Kotalik told Andrew Gross that he had "no explanation" why he would possibly have been scratched. Hopefully he got that explanation from watching Enver Lisin. Lisin took Kotalik's spot and played with all of the heart and effort that has been completely lacking from Kotalik. Lisin used his assets to his advantage, getting scoring chances and drawing a penalty. Kotalik has rarely been anything more than a detriment to the team.

*As for the other sub, Aaron Voros also played like he wanted to stay in the starting lineup. If he can maintain that level of physicality, there is no reason for Donald Brashear to ever pull on a Blueshirt again.

*Chad "DosNueve" Johnson really had a good game. Sure Alex Steen's goal wasn't pretty but it wasn't like it was entirely the goaltender's fault. Steen skated into the zone, behind the net and back out again without a single Ranger getting within two feet of him. It was embarrassing watching the Rangers watch Thomas' kid score that one. The other two goals weren't DosNueve's fault as there was no stopping the one-timer and the second shot deflected in off a Ranger.

*John Tortorella keeps juggling the lines but hasn't separated Vinny Prospal and Marian Gaborik yet. It is a move I would definitely try seeing as both are struggling to find their 2009 form. Wish I knew where Gabby's lightning-fast shot release has gone but he needs to find it ASAP.

*Michal Rozsival, who I have admitted is playing quite well of late, earned all sorts of respect. Rozy got ran right into the stanchion, needed help getting to the locker room but sacked up and came back. And he came back and played great with two defensive stops that I saw as well as an actual check and even a good shot on goal. I may even pull my Rozsival sweater out of the closet to wear to the Garden for tonight's game.

*No Peepin' Foes for this evening's match against the Canadiens (7 pm, MSG). They are 2-1-1 in their last four but will be coming off of a 4-2 loss to the Senators Saturday. Jesus Price played net so Jaro Halak will likely get the start in the Garden. The MexiCan't Gomez has points in each of the last four games (one goal and four assists) and has 14 points in his last 11. Can't wait to boo him, but look forward to applauding Paul Mara.

*PHW Three Stars
3-T.J. Oshie - one assist.
2-Alex Steen - one goal and one assist.
1-Roman Polak - one goal and one assist.

Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Lisin - Best Ranger on the ice, for better or worse.
2-Polak - On a night where MDZ and Hobey combined for zero shots, seeing a young defenseman star for the other team was quite disappointing.
1-Keith Tkachuk - No front teeth, no fear. A veteran leader that grabbed a pair of assists and dominated at the dot. Makes you hate Drury just that much more.


Derek B Felix said...

Rozy has played better lately. Too bad he can't help in the scoring department. That game was so dull I hardly watched.

rusty said...

Lisin and Voros were 2 of the better players last night so odds are that Torts benches one of them at least. Interesting that the current scoring woes coincide eith Prospal's return, which prompted the coach to break up the Gabby-Duby-Christiansen line that had been scoring well. Personally, I thought that Vinny should have come back to the 2nd line while leaving the line that was working intact. This isn;t a second guess, I said this on Tuesday when Vinny came back.