Monday, April 12, 2010

38-34-10: We Are Who We Thought We Were

The Rangers proved they were the team that we thought they were on Sunday afternoon: a team that just wasn't good enough for the playoffs. Despite a heroic performance by Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers couldn't score and ultimately fell to the Flyers 2-1 in a shootout. They were officially eliminated from the playoffs and did just what most of us dreaded: they made us believe in them before breaking everyone's hearts with failure.

The lesson here is that a team can't start playing three weeks before the end of the season and think they will make the playoffs and that we should never believe in the Blueshirts, at least not until they really give us a real team to believe in. This collection of mercenaries and not-ready-for-primetime players managed just 25 shots in 65 minutes and couldn't get more than one goal past Brian Boucher. Brian Boucher. And that one goal? It came off of a goon crashing the slot, not the superstar sniper, not the gritty kids, not the highly paid albatrosses who damn this team to sail the seas of mediocrity.

But there is plenty of time to pick apart the carcass of the 2009-10 Ranger season - make sure you check back for report cards and all sorts of fun offseason fare - so here are some notes on this match:

*The selections for the shootout pretty much says it all: waiver wire pickup Erik Christensen, minor leaguer P.A. Parenteau and Calgary cast-off Olli Jokinen. No matter their past successes in the skill competition, none of them are products of the system and none of them the big money free agents signed by the franchise.

*As I said prior to the game, Parenteau simply couldn't match up the bigger, stronger Flyers. It showed in his two penalties, the second of which was the equalizer.

*You would think that Tom Renney was still the head coach of the Rangers the way they took the early lead and sat back and tried to hold it.

*People's Champ Aaron Voros fought Ian Laperriere at the beginning of the second period apparently for the sole reason of electrifying the Flyer faithful even further.

*Vinny Prospal didn't manage a single shot against his former team and Gaborik managed just two. Brian Boyle had two shots and Brian Boyle is, well, Brian Boyle.

*Apparently Arty thought it wise to attempt a feed to Boyle and his mistake ended up in the Ranger net on the aforementioned power play goal. I'm still not sure what either one was doing out on the ice killing a penalty in the most important game of the year but that just goes back to coaching.

*Anders Eriksson was rock solid yet again. It'll be sad to see him go with R&R still on the payroll.

Is there anything else worth agonizing over on this one? Feel free to plug it in in the comments. As mentioned above, there will be more post-season posts where I'll do a postmortem.

*PHW Three Stars
3-Matt Carle - one goal.
2-Henrik Lundqvist - 47 saves (46+1)
1-Claude Giroux - shootout goal.

Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Carle - Carle ate up the ice time and kept the Flyer offense pushing forward. Sure he wasn't as thuggish as some of his teammates but Carle, along with Timonen, didn't let their team dilly dally in their own end for long.
2-Peter Laviolette - The Flyer bench boss didn't have his team consistently giving up their own blue line or making line changes on rushes. He wanted them to put on the pressure and they did all game long.
1-Hank - The Rangers had no place being in this game and yet the King put on one of the best performances of his career to give them a chance. And they blew it.


icycup said...

"Despite a heroic performance by Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers couldn't score and ultimately fell..."

is that not this season in a nutshell?

also, torts is an assclown.

Dennis said...

So sad that as great as Hank is that he will never hoist the Cup. 4 more years of Redden, 2 more of Slowzival, 3 more of Drury. With all the stupid moves this team has made in recent years I wouldn't be surprised if they brought back Jokinen.

Rangers don't just suck, they will suck for years to come!

NYR34 said...

And to think, I was caught up at work all day yesterday and couldn't watch. Glad I was spared the health.

Drew said...

the rangers totally are too blame for not making the playoffs...ownership, management, coaching staff, and players. they all are to blame.

but, it is a damn shame that a playoff competition comes down to a gimmick with that shootout. the nhl is so smart with their marketing.

Pete said...

I love how Torts had no comments about why Gaborik wasn't his choice for 3rd in the shootout. Olli Jokinen? Really? I don't care if he is 5 for 9 in the shootout; if Marion fucking Gaborik is on your team, Olli Jokinen shoots FOURTH!

Eh, anyway, Hank admits that he was out of gas by that time, and understandably so. It really bothers me that his chances of winning the Vezina go further into the shitter in relation to the way this team plays in front of him, yet this team would be an abject mess without him these past 4 seasons, and Fatso wins the Vez just because he's Fatso.

All I can hope is that we see some meaningful changes over the summer. Real change. Not Obama/Sather change.

Unknown said...

Give Hank the "C"!

Sammael said...

Please, can we say goodbye to Torts? We got to see what he could do after one full season. Great job, dick.

Benson said...

Remember how good Zherdev was in shootouts?

John said...

not that wade redden needs any extra bashing, but didn't we pay him 8.5 mil or what ever this season and sign him up for 6 yrs b/c he was at one time an offensive defenseman? I nearly vomited on one play where the rangers had an oddman rush and he took a beautiful feed and shanked a low weak shot wide...any NHL player with talent would have at least got it on net there, and a player making that much money surely should have scored...grrrrr(not even talking about olli in the shootout, the rangers sitting on the 1-0 lead/playing for the shootout in OT, or the miserable PPG allowed).

Anonymous said...

will Sather's death in a fire happen this summer? One can dream...

nick said...

care to explain why gaborik wasnt in the shootout? "no" Wow, thanks a lot. Torts has been shelling out blame to all his players all year and yet refuses to take any himself.

"Safe is death".... riiight

Anonymous said...

Good luck getting your playoff ticket money back!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm a Pens fan who lurks here -- I've been in NYC for 20-some years and have a soft spot for the Rangers.

This was sad to watch, because on Friday they played like a championship team. There was real heart. I don't know what happened between then and yesterday. What the heck goes on in that locker room?

But on a happier note, Gonchar's contract with Pittsburgh is up this year; since he's an aging, injury-prone Dman, maybe Sather will snatch him up!

Anonymous said...

we cant blame this on torts or artem. Artem has been one of the best players down the stretch, its the fact that we have too many under achievers, signed by sather. Hopefully he will retire, torts has won a cup, its the players in front of him like redden and rozival that are the problem, I dont know why you hate artem, hes a rookie who has a lot of talent.

henrik lundqvist blog said...

Henrik deserves a better team and better management. He needs to move.

Anonymous said...

There's certainly shit to blame Torts for (though THIS loss is on the players) but putting Joker over Gabby is the right decision.

Gabs is 2-18 career in shootouts. Joker is like a 50 or 60% shooter. PA sucks at 5 on 5, but is good in shootout, so we use him there. Gabby sucks at shootouts, but owns elsewhere. Why does logic apply to one player and not the other


Sammael said...

I want to know why Joker goes in the shootout when he showed he was inconsistent with this team. I would have trusted someone else. Fuck his percentage. Get someone who cares.