Wednesday, March 13, 2013

13-10-2: Beaten In Buffalo

One of the most remarkable things about the Blackhawk's now broken undefeated streak was their consistency. Sounds silly and obvious, but no matter if they were winning or of they were losing, they were battling. The Rangers ... well, they haven't been.

Combine their inconsistent effort with their continuing tendency to take poor, lazy penalties and you have a 3-1 loss to one of the worst teams in the league.

After the embarrassment John Tortorella said he wouldn't give Buffalo any credit and he was disgusted and disappointed with how his top guys played. Despite being disgusted and disappointed with the Rangers on a regular basis, I do give the Sabres some credit. Interim head coach Ron Rolston had his largely unskilled lineup play smart, positional, counterattacking hockey. However (!) the Blueshirts, who should have been able to overcome that obstacle, couldn't break through.

They barely even tried.

Perhaps all of the confidence gained during their recent 5-1 run was just cockiness, a conceited self-assurance that made them overlook their awful opponents. Perhaps it is their innate inability to play 60 minutes of hockey. Perhaps they're beginning to get used to Tortorella's lash, giving a short knee-jerk of a reaction before the numbness sets in.

Whatever it may be, it can't go on and can't be allowed to happen again. There are tough games ahead and easy points like these shouldn't be pissed away.

Just a few Late Hits:

*As I wrote when the Rangers lost their last game before the 5-1 run, the Blueshirts inexplicably do not follow Ryan Callahan's example. The captain put forth his usual balls-to-the-wall, anything-for-the-team effort and yet no one followed suit. How is that even possible?

*McDonagh and Girardi were not the usual McDonagh and Girardi. Really not a good thing, when you consider that they are the only real Ranger defensemen.

*Given that Del Zaster's defense is ... lacking ... his offense is supposed to make up for it. Two golden chances. No goals.

*The best offense came from Micheal Haley. Just think about that. You'll end up weeping, like me.

*Remember how everyone declared Marian Gaborik 'back' after his goal against the Islanders? Two games since, zero contributions.

*Hank outplayed his Swedish subject Jhonas Enroth, making several big saves. But Enroth's awfulness was hidden by the five skaters standing in between him and the Blueshirts. Hank was left to hang.

*No Kaleta, no revenge for Richard$. Not much physical play at all actually, aside from some guys clattering into each other once the puck is gone. Not surprising but disappointing nonetheless.

*PHW Three Stars:
3-Andrej Sekera - two assists.
2-Jhonas Enroth - 32 saves.
1-Marcus Foligno - two goals.

Scotty Hockey Three Stars:
3-Hank - Seriously, he made these saves.
2-Foligno - Mike's boy Marcus scored goals that Taylor Pyatt was scoring at the start of the season. The least he could have done was leap like his dad afterwards.
1-Ron Rolston - The Sabres bench boss knew how to get his team a chance to win. Torts knew how to piss off the media afterwards.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Leave it to the Rangers to end other teams' losing streaks. I watched the game a few hours after it took place and as soon as the commentators mentioned that Buffalo lost their previous 4 games, I thought, "Oh great. The Rangers must have lost today." It's frustrating watching these guys enter games against lousy teams with the attitude that they don't even have to try. If I ever saw the Rangers put a game away early... I don't even know what I'd do.

This loss was particularly annoying. When I spend money to get these games, I hope to at least see players who came to... oh, PLAY.