Sunday, March 31, 2013

16-15-3: Self-Fulfilling Prophesy

Being the pessimist that I am, I have been told a number of a times by happier people to lighten my outlook on life. They've said, 'if you expect bad things to happen, then bad things will happen. If you start expecting good things to happen, good things will happen."

While I try to relate that I just prepare for the worst, I do believe that there are such things as self-fulfilling prophecies. The lack of confidence by the Blueshirts after their constant struggles has been obvious. And when you combine that with the recent history the franchise has had in Montreal which was spoken of ad nauseam, well, they lost this game before the puck dropped.

Sure, it was a fluke bounce that set up that Canadiens goal in the first minute and sure, the Rangers had several chances to tie the game but the Blueshirts' hearts were never in it. All of their various deficiencies that have hurt them over the past few weeks were evident and their fate was sealed long before the final buzzer sounded to end the 3-0 blanking by the bleu, blanc et rouge.

As written here after the loss in Ottawa, what has been going on is insane - a nightly retread of the wrong ideas and actions. Something has to change. It can be something as big as a coaching change (please, oh please), it can be a trade to shake up the lineup, it can be a big fight or big goal on Monday. Hell, it can be simply an outdoor practice or a visit to a kids' hospital to renew the players faith in their abilities, their confidence and their love for the game. Whatever it is, it has to happen soon or they can kiss the playoffs goodbye.

Late Hits:

*If Gabby didn't blow that power play breakaway moments before Plekanec's goal, would that have rendered all of the above moot? I don't think so, but it woulda been nice to have the Rangers finally score inside the Bell Centre.

*Welcome back Zuke. Mats Zuccarello was the best of the Blueshirts last night, likely because he hasn't had time to be brought down just yet. In addition to a hockey stick that is as tall as he is, the Norwegian brought a decisiveness that has been rare around the Rangers this season. We've seen it on rare occasion with the tic-tac-toe goals but every time the puck came to Zuke he knew what he was going to do with it. It was refreshing to see. If he has added a willingness to shoot to his sublime passing ability, he will be quite the asset.

*Another addition has to be made, someone has to come in to shore up the blue line. McD and Girardi are showing their mileage, DZ is still Del Zastrous in his own end and the other three 'defensemen' aren't playing at a NHL level. Last season worked out in that Sauer was in while Staal was out, Staal returned to cover when Sauer went out. Staal is gone, and there isn't anyone around who can fill his skates.

*Really don't understand why Sean Avery tweeted what he did when he did. I think he's right about Torts, but the timing of it was odd ... maybe he was just drunk and frustrated at some bar in SOHO that had the game on.

*Kris Newbury remembered he was Kris Newbury and took one of his typical poor penalties. Woulda been nice to have Powe out there to kill it, after all he was acquired for his penalty killing ability.

*Powe, like Asham were on the bench. Sure my Twitter buddy surely wouldn't have played that hard, seeing the game was against one of his former franchises, but there was zero toughness in that lineup. A good fight might have injected a little injury but there was no one willing to go to the wall.

*Ah, Pruster. I fully admit to writing that he was past his expiration date, that he never fully recovered from the Barch fight and the hard minutes had made him less of a player - one that wasn't worth the huge payday he was seeking. While Brad Richard$ was clearly hurt by the inactivity of the lockout, the extra time certainly helped Prust get back to being himself. What a warrior.

*Are we sure that it is Brian Boyle out there, not Peter Boyle from Young Frankenstein?

*PHW Three Stars:
3-Brendan Gallagher - one goal.
2-P.K. Subban - three assists.
1-Carey Price - 34 saves.

Scotty Hockey Three Stars:
3-Halpern - Considered giving Pruster the star just 'cause but Super Jew played a motivated game and won 11 of 17 faceoffs. Did he ever even take that many in one game over his short tenure as a Ranger?
2-Gallagher - Unlike J.T. Miller, Gally was able to finish his chance in close.
1-Subban - The much maligned defenseman has added some maturity to his game and should be considered among the best blueliners in the NHL.

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