Monday, February 11, 2008

A Good Loss, Rangers 2, Capitals 3 OT

Yesterday's loss in overtime to the Washington Capitals was a great game to lose. Official recap here.

Aside from the unforgivable Ryan Hollweg penalty with thirty seconds to go in the third period and his two missed open net opportunities, the rest of the squad played with fervor and confidence. There were a bundle of missed opportunities throughout the game, but they were going to the net and trying to make goals. They worked hard and it was the first game this season, though disappointing, I enjoyed watching their efforts. The Rangers have captured three of the last four points available to them this weekend and keeps them in the 7th qualifying spot in the Eastern Conference (28-24-7).

Stephen Valiquette, Henrik's "mini-me," played his first two-consecutive games this season, and despite the loss in OT, played a great game. I do appreciate that Coach Tom Renney kept him in goal after Saturday's amazing shutout against the Philadelphia Flyers. Today, "Valley" plays a more consistent game than our 'Prince' Lundqvist - while Henrik cannot be feeling the love as his agents are negotiating a long-term Blueshirt contract while simultaneously sitting on the bench and playing sub-par second half of the season. Renney should be playing Valley every other game, or at least until Henrik gets his 'mojo' back.

I am a little disturbed to hear rumors of Slats trading Sean Avery to the Calgary Flames for center (thanks OChaos) Alex Tanguay. There are a number of sites suggesting that this is going to happen, and for the life of me I do not understand why management would consider taking the 'spark plug' out of this Rangers engine -- yes, he disturbs hockey fans across the globe....yes, he instigates fights and throws dirty words around like a 'cougar in heat'....yes, he fights his own team members in practice (fighting the Coach's pet....thanks Pundit). All of this makes him a fan favorite - but let us not forget -- he's a damn good hockey player too. This would be a huge miscalculation for Rangers' management to go Sean-less the remainder of the season, or even worse, going into the off-season.

So I digress, I am generally pleased at the building of confidence our Blueshirts are showing -- this without Brendan Shanahan and our "anti-shooting the puck" Jaromir Jagr. Imagine what the team would feel like if we had a genuine, caring and hard-hitting hockey star like Ovechkin from the Caps on our team. Though losing to him hurts, he is a pleasure to watch because he naturally enjoys the game -- enjoys the hitting and makes good old time hockey.

So with five days off and our next game on Saturday against the ailing Buffalo Sabres -- this break gives four teams in the Eastern Conference the chance to come within 1 point or replace the Rangers' standings. Scary stuff. So enjoy the mini-off-season this week and pray that the Western teams take every game against Eastern rivals.

Here it goes, the official playoff push.



  1. 1) In regard to the Tanguay rumor(s) the key will be his willingness to waive his NTC.
    2) Alex might be able to add some offense, but you can't get the intangables that Avery can give the team. A guy who has offensive ability AND can screw around with the opposition/play physically is an undervalued asset in our opinion
    3) Larry Brooks may have been right in his thoughts on trading JJ for some depth going into the playoffs.

  2. avery is a fan favorite and a management nightmare. ultimately management will win and they want to control the team. i think he'll stick around, Dark, through the season, but he is gone this summer.

  3. Agree with dj that eventually Sean Avery will be gone. There is no way to replace a Sean Avery. You can replace anyone of our so called top four forwards and the team wouldn't miss a beat. Sean Avery is irreplaceable but the Stealth GM and his sidekick, coach clueless, see him as a detriment. Plus, you can't fight a Czech and expect to keep your job. You haven't seen real darkness until you've seen Avery gone.

  4. Tanguay is a center, not a blueliner. He's good on faceoffs, and has 45 points this season. I know Avery's a fan favorite and plays hard, but I see how a trade for Tanguay could appeal to Slats.

  5. faux..Tanguay is apparently underperforming and a trade to the right team may boost him back to expected performance. Not worthy of an Avery trade in my book either. the brooks piece on Jagr was a great summary piece on what he's done for the Blueshirts...i subsequently posted the article for others-- good suggestion. are right, i agree that he most likely will not be a Ranger after the summer. sad but true.

    pundit..."you can't cross a Czech..." hilarious and true. You could probably lose more than 4 at this point...inclduing Ryan Hollweg (would be nice). Avery appeals to the fan base, which in turn makes the team play better -- you count on half a hand how many players on this team play with their heart. Avery is one of them. What a shame to think of his departure.

    orderedchaos...nice on Tanguay...corrected and thanks. obviously not too familiar with his performance so I don't have much opinion outside of losing AVery. What is your take on a potential Avery trade?



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