Monday, November 10, 2008

Souray The Barbarian Takes The Garden, NYR 2, Oilers 3 SO

It was a shootout loss that should have been stolen by NYR goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who once again demonstrated that a team can play and win games without a defense. Unfortunately, tonight did not go his way. Though, "The King" remains The New York Rangers security blanket (11-5-2) and we'll take the point.

Official recap here.

The better team did not win the game tonight and our inconsistent Blueshirts came alive in the third period and played as they should have from the opening minutes -- though, Edmonton's Sheldon Souray displayed more grit and confidence than the entire Rangers team all evening -- especially evident when he back-checked Scottie Gomez into the Edmonton net without penalty.

Maybe there is something in the air when we play teams with backup goalkeepers -- we just don't win 'em. Special kudos to Ryan Callahan, Blair Betts, Aaron Varos, Chris Drury and Dan Girardi for some damn good hockey. For the night, Paul Mara can go to hell (but at least he played for the love of the game). Lost are all our defensemen, Scott Gomez, Marcus Naslund, Nik Zherdev, and most importantly, the power play unit. With an entirely new set of players on the roster this season, one might consider our special team coaches as the guilty parties as our power play is beginning to honor and pay homage to the Jaromir Jagr years: pretty-looking-shot-hockey!

The speed and confidence of the Rangers that opened the season is slowly deteriorating -- though still leading the division, we are outshooting but scoring less than most, which means we are just dumping the puck toward the net; this is effective when you have someone in mind to deflect or follow through within range. This philosophy of 'dump & puck' will not win us games -- and they need to work harder on the special teams, harder during three periods rather than catchup, and not allow every team of late to score the opening goals. We have some distance to go before this team is a satisfying playing unit.

With the benefit of winning and leading in the standings, despite our wishes, Coach Tom Renney will continue to play with his chemistry set and hope that if he adds liquid depth to a hollow substance and mixes up the periodical lines, we will get results worthy for a Scientific Stanley Cup. Hockey is a science, ya know!!?

Onto NJ this Wednesday and for some last parting words....DARK Curses to Souray and Hemsky. Cheers.



  1. I am getting tired of the lazy first periods. Not sure why the Rangers are always behind one to two goals in the first period. What is that? three times out of five games?

    Ugly stuff. That's leadership if you ask me.

  2. DJ,
    It would seem that the problem is our "new leadership" are suffering the same old problems because of the same old coaching staff.

    We only have enough focus to right half the ship at a time, says Renneys little notebook. In Toronto, we came out early and got the goals and then coasted the rest of the way in route to getting burned. Now we start soft and put ourselves in the hole every 1st period and then finish strong and dig ourselves out by the end of the 3rd. Our coach has a tendency to play favorites and feels like if he gets the lines just right, there will be a click and every player in a rangers uniform will start to magically glow and play the best they'll ever be capable of... Whats worse, is our players are starting to adopt the attitude of the coach. "This is bad bad bad.. but say the right things, because we are a good team and have hope because good fortune is just around the corner." Good teams don't need to rely on hope and they create their own luck.

    Our new captain feels he is leading by example, I think. Drury never really gave me the impression that captain is a role he relishes. Kind of like Leetch. It's an honor and you can't let the team down, but for a humble guy like need a vocal leader like Shanny was for Jagr and Yzerman or a co captain like he had before in Briere. From what I've seen so far from the guys on the team, Naslund has the potential to be that guy as much as he would seem to want to keep a low profile himself.

    Funny enough Shanny wasn't necessary, and niether was Avery during this free Agency period. The only 2 things that were consistent last season was that Avery was a pain in the @$$ whenever he was in the line up and Shanny was being proactive talking to the refs, the coach, the other players, the emotional captain and the media and anyone else he could get his hands on. That gave us an identity and a personality. We have a faceless team now and some of the guys that we signed are just trying to resurrect their own careers while playing a role in the whole teams success. Instead the team was placed on their shoulders. Naslund was probably used to it because of how he was treated by "the nucks". Same for Redden in Ottawa. Aside from Naslund, Drury and Henrik, there are a lot of guys avoiding the media these days and leaving quickly after the games... and Sean Avery is somewhere smirking over his prediction that our acquisitions wouldn't be able to cut it in NY. (remains to be seen, but one cant deny that niether has really carved out their niche yet)

    Renney wanted to make it clear he was in control of this team. Jagrs gone, and Shannys gone, as is Avery and the team is void of strong personalities. Theres noone to bully him and get in the way of him coaching the "the kids" , which is supposed to be his specialty. The only problem is theres noone saving his @$$ anymore either (except henrik, but you cant win games without goals). Rennys made a point so far of benching dubinsky and prucha (most recently), Malik (previously our worst defender) and Nylander a few seasons ago, but never really threw down with anyone with a strong personality or that would take him to task or could potentially save his rear when he needed some wins. Probably one of the reasons Messier had him ousted from Vancouver.

    - J

  3. That chemistry set, I promise, will produce wonders on the ice.....just wait, keep waiting...believe 'J'....believe!


  4. Hahaha Dark,

    Wish I coined the "Chemistry set" phrase.. it'ts such a natural fit. Perhaps I should attempt a graphic of that for you and your site to use. I have a feeling we'll be commenting on it for a while.

    - J


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