Wednesday, April 17, 2013

21-17-4: The Ole Let-Down

As have often been the case with the 2013 New York Rangers, they followed up a big victory with a big loss when they failed against the Flyers 4-2 on Tuesday night. Just three days after Hank's heroics gave them a stirring overtime victory over the Isles, the Blueshirts put together a piss poor performance against a piss poor team.

John Tortorella, as per usual, is killing this franchise's fortunes. Torts' utter inability to get his team to come prepared to play at puck drop, his cluelessness about chemistry, his lack of creativity and his power play 'plan' is making a middling team terrible.

The bench boss is, of course, safe - can't imagine a company that employed Isiah Thomas for so long canning a coach amid an asterisked season - but his failings are sending this team to one nerve racking finish. All the talk about the Rangers playing non-playoff teams for the remainder of their schedule is senseless as they play down to the level of their opponents. And if they keep playing like non-playoff teams, soon enough they will be one themselves.

Late Hits:

*Steve Mason became just another sieve of a goaltender made to look magnificent by the Blueshirts. The Rangers threw a deluge of shots on net, shots that the netminder was able to see, shots that weren't followed up. Mason made what? two good saves? A glove on Girardi and a point-blank stop of Zuke. The rest were routine.

*Given their sheer size, Taylor Pyatt and Ryane Clowe should be crashing the net to bang home some rebounds. But they aren't. Pyatt has one goal in his last 38 games, Clowe none since that brace in his debut. I guess Brian Boyle is rubbing off and their size is going to waste.

*Speaking of Boyle, he was unsure of his own injury after the game. How do you not know what hurts? And was there a single person - other than Torts - who missed him after he left in the first period?

*Maybe Arron Asham should get his GED. Instead of being proud of not graduating high school, Asham should get a clue and realize that stupidity is something one should smile about. The team suffered through an awful first period that saw them fall behind 2-0. The smallest player on the ice came through with a goal to cut the deficit to one. The right thing to do was not jump on the ice and start a senseless fight that you summarily lose. You would think that you wouldn't need no fancy buk lernin' 2 now thatt ...

*Continually astounding what low-lifes Flyer fans are, really the lowest form of life in the sports world. Classless, vulgar, obnoxious, ignorant slobs. No wonder they still have love for Asham.

*Brad Richard$ was abominable, possibly his worst game as a Ranger (or NHLer). While you would like to think that he can only get better from here, like the rest of the Blueshirts, he surely will find a new way to disappoint.

*No disappointments from John Moore. None at all. As I tweeted, I fully admit to underestimating him when he came over in the Gaborik trade. While I have advocated for more and more ice time for the kid over the last week, even I did not expect the display he put on at Wells Fargo. Smooth skating, solid stickhandling, confident ... even edgy - did you see him jump to Cally's defense when the captain was knocked down in front of the Flyer net? Delightful.

*Del Zastrous night for him and his partner Anton Stralman. I delighted in the shot that hit DZ's face only in that he blocked it and no one was able to skate around him and get a scoring chance. That's it; the report that it was I who yelled "Get up you pussy!" is inaccurate ... I only thought it.

*Really can't wait until Dylan McIlrath gets to town and finally makes opponents accountable for hitting Hank. What a day that will be.

*PHW Three Stars:
3-Jay Rosehill - one fight.
2-Kimmo Timonen - one goal and one assist.
1-Steve Mason - 38 saves.

Scotty Hockey Three Stars:
3-Rosehill - Not only did he stunt the Ranger rush at the top of the second period by beating the hell out of Asham, he also took a stupid penalty in the first to allow his team to get two minutes closer to victory. Some less sarcastic credit to Sean Couturier for solid work on both sides of the ice.
2-Claude Giroux - The former Eisbaren won 18 faceoffs, including the offensive zone draw that went right to Kimmo for Philly's third goal.
1-Timonen - An all-around fine performance by the Finn. The 38 year old will not end up in the Hall of Fame but he will be able to skate away from the game next year having had an admirable career.

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