Wednesday, March 23, 2011

40-30-4: Two Letters

Tonight's 1-0 victory over Florida is best summed up with two letters - Z and W. Z as in Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz because it was a godawful, dull affair and W as in Win. Thankfully style doesn't count in the standings, because this one was atrocious. The Blueshirts played down to the level of their atrocious opponents and yet somehow escaped with two points in the standings.

And, at this time of the year, that is all that we can hope for. But let's hope that those points are the only things that the Rangers take away from tonight. They were woefully bad in all areas but the clawless Panthers weren't good enough to take advantage so it is all for the better.


*Hank's best saves came on shots that were going wide, and he was falling all over the place. Why Chad Johnson did not get the call for this one is beyond me, especially after Buffalo lost in OT to Nashville on Sunday. But hey, if Torts wants to ride Hank the rest of the way with a bad neck, that is up to him. In past summers we have heard about mystery injuries suffered by Hank - headaches, hips, whatever - so at least we know what is ailing him now and what could very well cost this team their season.

*Perhaps some credit should be given for the Rangers discipline as they did not take a single penalty. Perhaps credit should not be given because it wasn't like they were trying all that hard. Penalties happen when you are giving it all and you take it over the line. Both teams stayed well below the line in this borefest, and thus there was just one two minute minor. The Ranger power play was pathetic - as it often is in the Garden - but that is alright as they managed to score five-on-five.

*The one goal that beat the Florida keeper came courtesy of Brandon Dubinsky. Dubi tried to set up Arty for a one-timer that the Russian couldn't handle (because there was a Panther actually standing near him, making him nervous or something) and the puck slid out to the right wing. Cally came over to take control and swing it back to the slot. Dubi, who was completely left alone by Florida, skated right through the slot unmolested to chip home Cally's feed and that was that. Sweet stuff. The BAR Boys (Brandon, Arty & Ryan) have recaptured most of the magic they had earlier this season before Cally was injured.

*The Panthers dominated in the faceoff circle and yet they often turned the puck right over to the Rangers. The Rangers used that to their advantage to outshoot their opponent but, for as good of a goaltender as Tomas Vokoun is, they hardly tested him. Pete DeBoer's team had little trouble clearing out what few rebounds there were and Vokoun simply pulled the puck out of the logo on his chest the rest of the time. That man has stood on his head in the Garden several times in his career - this night was not one of them, he just got the job done.

*The Garden renovations are continuing and are continuing to inconvenience the paying audience. Bathrooms are closed, food stands are closed and now several rows behind the goals and two wheelchair sections have been blocked off. This is just like my time in college - they renovated a perfectly good campus, forcing everyone to live in a construction area. Future students would enjoy the fruits of that labour while my class was the sacrificial lambs to so-called progress. And now the university wonders why we don't donate as much as other generations. Sadly Dolan won't see his revenues go down by much as he is already pricing this group of sacrificial lambs out of the building and there are plenty of tourists and companies around to pick up the paychecks. Sad.

*The fans made a few half-hearted efforts to get into the action but all of the chants fell as flat as the Ranger play. The building exploded when Dubi scored but it was the lone moment of real excitement in the audience aside from the anthem. The Garden of Dreams girl who sang it did a nice job.

*PHW Three Stars
3-Tomas Vokoun - 32 saves.
2-Henrik Lundqvist - 22 saves.
1-Brandon Dubinsky - one goal.

Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Ranger Fans - Didn't see a single person sleeping - quite the accomplishment.
2-Vokoun - The netminder swallowed up easy shot after easy shot. He is going to make some team quite happy come July 1st.
1-Dubi - He scored a goal so we didn't have to see a shootout between these teams. First star material right there.


Anonymous said...

yes the game was a bit boring but no way did we downplay to the panthers level. We dominated basically the whole game. Would have been nice if we scored some goals while dominating but we didnt. Your negativity quite frankly disgust me, but i will continue to read as i do find ur post interesting.

Adam Brett said...

I will never understand your hatred for Anisimov

the KID is a 2nd year player and if you truly know hockey the way you so often put it, then you should realize that AA is gonna be a beast

he has been one of our best players since the trade deadline and you cant blame him for not filling out his frame yet

but i promise you once he does he will be one of the best players in the NHL, bank on that

Craig said...

Anisimov has been playing better this second half, driving to the net, getting his face dirty after teh whistles not shying away. sure the contact does bounce him off the puck, but he is getting stronger and stronger. Has been putting up points and goals lately. One of the few who have the natural ability to get shots through to the net. Shows noticable effort and fits in with the work efforts of Dubi and Cally....good line!

November-January i agreed with most of the criticism when he seemed to slump a bit. Potential is there though and is showing improvement and effort.

Beuke23 said...

In the eleven games the Panthers have played in March, eight of them have been decided by one goal. Of those games, they've beaten Chicago and Tampa and have lost to Carolina, Philly Washington, Atlanta and the Iceprancers (the latter three in OT). While hardly a cup contender, I wouldn't go so far as to call the Panthers "atrocious", despite their record. At least not as of late. I will take an ugly win against a team that plays ugly. A reminder, this is a game they would have lost last year.

Sometimes your negativity, although many times appreciated and well-warrented, clouds your judgment and gets the best of you.

Anonymous said...

i used to like reading your website...but you suck, your a hater....and clearly never played hockey, anisimov's a young kid and playing real well....your just a tool

Scotty Hockey said...

Kinda surprising that I barely say anything about Arty in this one and everyone leaps to his defense. I said from the start that he would be good if he had some more weight behind him and a pair of balls of his own. His confidence has stemmed from his linemates (Shelley/Prust, now Cally/Dubi) to date but if he could find that confidence and fearlessness in himself he would be a helluva player.

For all pointing out my "negativity", I've been doing this blog for nearly four years now writing this way, accepting nothing less than success so if it surprises you or upsets you or something that is your own fault for still reading.

And Anon, there is a difference between your and you're.

Anonymous said...

YOU'RE an asshole. There's only a two letter differece between Scotty and shitty. What a joke you are. When faced with constructive criticism you come back with spelling and punctuation corrections. What a waste of bandwidth YOU ARE.

Sucka Me Balls Scotty No Hockey said...

I don't even know where to begin. You keep writing your blog. It's free. You don't get paid. You tell readers they can read it or not. That means you don't want any validation -- but if you go back a couple of years you were very obvious in soliciting references to 'when you get your sports writing job' or 'if this ever becomes anything in hockey' - so you obviously did care about a balanced tenor to the blog.

When did you turn on the Rangers as a organization and most importantly as a team?

This team is young. They fuck up. But they play hard and they give it their all (and the operative words are..) most of the time. they are more exciting to watch than the first half of the season but that hasn't changed the way you write about them.

Your approach when they lose is "this God awful team lost again.." and when they win, your take is "they grabbed it despite the other team playing God awful.' It's a pattern and maybe you don't even see it.

It is expected that your readership will turn on you Scotty with what you're writing. I know you say you have no plans to change that ("you can go elsewhere if you don't like what I write") but this season its more curiosity to check in with your blog now and again to see if you've changed your ways (even after five wins in a row and slowly securing a playoff spot). But no...the hate flows.

Dude...we readers love the RANGERS (go ahead, make fun of my grammar, I dare ya) and a RANGER BLOG should also love the Rangers. It's not about the highest standards of play every single game (everything is the CUP to you)and some mythological Rangers history, it's about supporting the integrity and the character they bring to the ice every game.

Shame on you for not seeing that. And the hits you're getting are those checking in with someone who is no longer a Rangers fan. Just be honest with yourself and declare yourself a Kovalchuk lover. I love Kovy. He's my hero. (smooch). Go with Lou. Go with Wang on the Island. That makes sense now... Come out of your hockey closet and accept that maybe this year you have nothing really to bitch about except that your Devils couldn't go the distance.

I don't know much, but I know that you are not Rangers United. It's a brotherhood. A family first. you're the distant 2nd cousin that eventually no one will want to keep in touch with.

Scotty Hockey said...

"When faced with constructive criticism" - I love constructive criticism, but "you suck, your a hater....and clearly never played hockey ... your just a tool" is not constructive.

Sucka: Not sure where you got "when you get your sports writing job" from as I have been doing media for over a decade and have no desire to be a beat writer. I do my damnedest keep my professional life quite separate from my passion. The 'if this ever becomes anything' does sound familiar as something friends kept mentioning so perhaps it made it up here. I admittedly did want validation, no doubt about that. And I got it, and I am extremely appreciative to those who gave it. Now this is just me up on my soapbox - if you want to listen, feel free. If you want to constructively interact, feel free. But I am not forcing you to. I just don't feel the need to listen to people constantly telling me I am negative. I am what I am, by now you should have an idea of what that is.

And I see the pattern, but I also see the times when credit was earned and given - look back at the awesomeness that was the win over Vancouver. I just don't see every win being something to gush over when the goal isn't to get through one night but to win a Cup. I am utterly sick of the accepted mediocrity. I think that this team is headed in the right direction (finally) but I refuse to celebrate every little step. If you want rainbows and unicorns there are plenty of people out there willing to give it to you, guys who regurgitate the nonsense they hear on the broadcasts. I am not one of them. I've witnessed firsthand what it is to win a championship and I accept nothing less.

And you clearly do not keep up if you think I am a closet Isles fan as regular readers know I am an unashamed Wings fanboy. Duh.

Craig said...

Good rebuttal scotty to some of the less than constructive critisisms.

My comments on Arty were just what I was seeing over the past couple weeks. I am not specifically an Arty lover or apologist. Just calling it like I see it. He definitely deserved critisism earlier in the year.

As a regular reader, I like your commentary and views on many parts of the game and think the Blog is well written and a good read. If I dont like some of the negativity, you allow comments to voice a difference of opinion and you respond many times. The anonymous "call outs" are not useful, but specific disagreements can turn into interesting debates.