Friday, March 29, 2013

16-14-3: Insanity

As the idiom goes, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Examples: the Ranger power play, constant line juggling, Roman Hamrlik receiving ice time, John Tortorella's coaching.

In addition to being an obvious egomaniac, the Rangers' bench boss has made a case for being called crazy as well.

Tortorella has yet to realize that he has a different team in front of him from last season and hasn't adjusted his outlook or his gameplan. As I said last week, he just keeps laying the whip hoping for a response. He's not getting one, but that isn't stopping him.

On the other bench on Thursday night was Paul MacLean. MacLean lost his best forward, defenseman and goaltender and yet has been able to adjust, turning his squad of foot soldiers into a cohesive unit that gets the job done with alarming regularity. And that is what they did last night, handily defeating the Rangers 3-0.

The Senators played a smart, tough team game and the Blueshirts couldn't match up. Ottawa clogged the middle, filled passing lanes and were stronger physically. Torts' response was to juggle his lines - his usual crutch - and, not-so-surprisingly, the decision didn't do a thing except seal the Rangers' fate.


Just a few Late Hits as this stuff getting old quick:

*Time for Marty Biron (or, preferably, Cam Talbot) to get some starts. Not only is Hank getting headaches, but he is not playing like himself. He is getting frustrated and taking stupid, senseless chances. He needs a break.

*Hank definitely needs some physical assistance from his teammates - as I've railed upon in the past, the King has been ran a number of times this year and no one has done anything about it. Dylan McIlrath can't grow up fast enough.

*If the bottom six aren't going to contribute offensively, they should contribute physically. They didn't. They can't be petrified of taking hard-hit penalties, especially when the rest of the roster takes dumber, lazier ones with infuriating regularity.

*What are the odds Zuke will be able to jump start Gabby? Thinking slim and none, as Gabby has been getting chances but he just can't bury them. As I tweeted, he's played 98:14 of power play ice time this season with just one goal.

*MacLean had his guys keep close check of Step and Nash and neither one was a factor whatsoever. Nash is a big power forward, he should be able to battle through tight checking like last night. He didn't, he attempted just one shot the entire night.

*Had Hagelin finished his opportunities, last night woulda been a bit different - the result may have been the same, but at least the Rangers wouldn't have given Bishop his second NHL nono.

*Cally's broken stick was only part of the problem on the Ottawa power play goal - Derek Stepan also erred. Step never closed with any of the Sens to try to force a mistake and was practically standing still by the time Benoit shot. That was after almost a full minute of the Rangers being trapped in their own end, after Step's shorthanded rush down the left wing resulted in soft., bad angle shot. He either should have changed or, after being trapped for so long, lunged at someone to either force a turnover or a bad shot.

*Is it any wonder Iggy didn't want anything to do with this franchise?

*PHW Three Stars:
3-Erik Contra - no points.
2-Mika Zibanejad - two assists.
1-Ben Bishop - 24 saves.

Scotty Hockey Three Stars:
3-Methot/Phillips - Ottawa's top pair had far more success than the Blueshirts' blueliners.
2-Zibanejad - Clearly the extra time in the minors paid off for the smart, good skating Swede.
1-Chris Neil - Neil was his usual acerbic self and it paid off. Not to mention his quick recovery from injury ...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I swear I heard people in the crowd laughing during the first Ranger power play. It was such a joke watching Ottawa play Keep-Away up and down the ice.