Monday, January 21, 2013

0-2-0: No Home For You Here

The Rangers opened their home slate on Sunday and probably wish they hadn't. The building, the event, the game ... all were found lacking, to say the least. The joy of returning to our 'happy place' was completely dashed, wiped away by inconvenience, disappointment and one horrible hockey game.

The renovated upper bowl debuted to terrible reviews, the Blueshirts made no effort to apologize for the lockout and then were destroyed by the evil Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3 in a game that wasn't even that close. All in all, it was an abominable evening.

Late Hits:

*Welcome back to MSG, here is your cheap, poorly-designed tee shirt brought to you by one of our corporate sponsors. Never mind that our labour issues - brought about by greed - didn't stop us from raising prices across the board for tickets and food.

*While they didn't paint 'Thank You Fans' on the blue lines, they did play a prerecorded piece with Captain Cally telling us that "this season is for you!" If it really was, it would have started on time.

*Spoke to more than 30 season subscribers with seats around the new upper bowl and not a single one of them was happy with their seat, location or the reno. The biggest complaints were that getting around was far more difficult, there were obstructions in the view and the supposedly expanded concourses were cramped and choked with people. There are no escalators to the top level and Garden employees were not letting anyone not in a wheelchair or without a cane into the elevator. So people with breathing problems or other non-visible disabilities had to climb all the way up the 200s stairs, a physically difficult endeavour - even with the railings, railings that are in some people's line of sight.

*And then there was the game, which kicked off with a selfish, stupid, senseless fight by the Blueshirts newest town idiot, Arron Asham. The former Islander, Devil, Flyer and Penguin decided to make his presence known by coming out of suspension and starting a fight with Tanner Glass off the opening faceoff. A fight, by the way, that he didn't even win. Watching it again, he didn't even land a single good punch. What's the point of having three goons on the roster if all three suck at fighting?

*As with the opener in Boston, the Rangers showed they were physically unready to start the season. They were a step behind all night, they took bad penalties, they lost battles all over the ice and they couldn't complete most of their passes.

*Hank, again, made mistakes that he rarely did last season. And it got him yanked. The indignity. Perhaps he should have taken Frolunda up on their offer and played some real hockey. Or maybe they should move the games to AC and play them for a charity or something.

*Really not worth going into the analysis of the action, because the Ranger performance was terrible from top to bottom. It was a gutless, pathetic showing by a team that clearly did not care enough to keep themselves in shape while arguing over money for the last few months. We simply have to hope that the guys use their two days off to get their act together, because more games like this will be unacceptable.

*PHW Three Stars:
3-Kris Letang - one goal and one assist.
2-Evgeni Malkin - three assists.
1-James Neal - two goals.

Scotty Hockey Three Stars:
3-Pascal Dupuis - Solid play on both sides of the ice by the former Blueshirt.
2-Neal - Two goals alongside the real first star of the game ...
1-Malkin - Geno earned 65 points in 37 KHL games and clearly looked in midseason form. 

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