Saturday, February 7, 2009

Seeing Stars before Seeing the Bottom?

I don't have any answers. The players and coach may be passionate but you cannot tell that on the ice. If you want a recap, go here. I cannot even bear to look at any pictures of the game after watching the Stars feed on my computer while at work last night.

Valley had the Morton Salt look like he did in Toronto earlier this season -- when it rains, it pours -- as the Stars lit the goal lamps 6 times in the 3rd period. Dallas scored 10 goals playing the second of back-to-back games. It was the first time the Stars had scored 10 goals in a game since moving from Minnesota.

The drumbeat continues among fans to unload the overpaid underperformers -- Drury, Gomez, Redden, Roszival. The team is resembling old Rangers teams -- back in the day when the Rangers had the highest payroll and the roster was filled with "stars" of similar ilk (for example, Rod Seiling was one of the highest paid defenseman in the NHL). Of course, now there is a salary cap so unlike the Yankees, Sather cannot simply add more overpaid players to the roster.

No snarl for the Rangers -- for goodness sake, Zherdev was sandwiched and bleeding from his nostrils and even his mouth. Payback? I didn't see any. Even though it was a clean hit on Zherdev (the scorer of the 2 goals -- perhaps there's a reason the Stars smashed him?), in recent games Girardi and Dubi were recently drawn into fights by opponents taking exception to their spectacularly clean hits. No Ranger went out on patrol to restore some order or send messages. Meanwhile, Steve Ott did his best Avery impression and made life a living hell for the Rangers.

It's sad to think that Lisa Simpson has more snarl than the Rangers.

The worst label for any piece of entertainment -- BORING -- is being thrown around by everyone. How long before the Dolans wake up and clean out from the top? No playoff appearance, a big drop in season ticket sales? We may see.

Still, if the Rangers convert the 2-on-1 in the 2nd period -- the one where Drury drilled a shot between the 3 and 5 on Turco's jersey or convert later on the 5-on-3 advantage, I wonder if the Rangers had tied the game at 3 going into the 3rd, things would have turned out differently.

Dallas' James Neal had some great moves last night scoring 2 goals. He totally undressed Roszival and you had to admire the moves and the score.

It's a shame that there was not one Ranger out there last night who looked like they knew what they were doing or had something positive to contribute perhaps other than not losing by 10. (The floodgates surely opened thanks to 5 PPGs yielded by the normally stellar PK unit but that was due to Valley being a little soft on some shots and Dallas speeding around the Rangers like they had wooden legs.)

In the Rangers' defense -- 2 players (Mara and Henrik) were stricken by the flu. Who knows who else is being impacted. Also, the Stars have been hot: 9-3-2 in their last 14 and their record since unloading the serial dater of fashion models and actresses is sterling as they have won 2/3 of their games since his departure and climbed back into good playoff position.

For the Rangers, the schedule gets unfriendlier -- starting on Monday with a trip to the Rock. Last night in Atlanta, the Devils kicked Atlanta's butts, chased Lehtonen early in the 2nd (after 2 SHGs and 1 PPG) and Parise scored his 30th during their 5-1 win. BTW, No Ranger has 20 goals. Even Weekes acquitted himself well. Shanahan took on a big bruiser. I'm so glad I was listening to this game on the radio in the background.

When the Rangers arrive in Newark, who knows if they will have a returning player (the unmentionable one), a new coach, or new resolve. Regardless, games with the Devils and then the Caps with Senor Ovechkin at the Garden on Wednesday loom in the immediate future.

The Rangers are only 6 points out of 9th place. Their playoff seeding is becoming tenuous right now especially since Pittsburgh may be righting its ship and Carolina is not going away.

October seems so far away. Dallas which started off poorly is now rising and the Rangers, well, let's say this picture gives a clue.

-- Tony


  1. I could not agree more. lack luster performance,no forechecking, no defense{are you listening Rosie?},Too many men on the ice{over and over again}, poor coaching, too many line changes, too little time on each shift. The Rangers seem exhausted. Maybe the over coaching with new line mates has worn out the continuity and effort put forth in the beginning of the season. When a line seems to jell Renney changes the line. It's like starting the season over every game. Wait til next year!! Again???

  2. I think you placed too much blame on Valley. He played pretty well in my eyes. There were a few he should have had, but there were just as many that he saved that he should not have. The defense has gotten pretty poor recently. Look at Henrik's stats. The Rangers are looking pathetic overall. I think this is a sad time for all Rangers fans. I think Renney needs to be fired. He does not have what it takes to coach in New York The Dolan family is a disgrace for all of sports. They will sit back and watch the Rangers fail. Just look at how great they run the Knicks. Sorry to say, New York sports are not what they used to be. Furthermore, it is time for Rangers fans to step up and say that one cup every 54 years is not good enough. Time to clean out the team. Henrik is a good goalie, but the NY media makes him out to be a God. He isn't. What's worse is the Rangers cannot score! It is time for a change.... A Renneyless change! He looked pathetic after the Dallas game. He lacks emotion needed to spark this team. If I was behind the bench, I would have been throwing S***.

  3. Tony...great post and you nailed it. It is sad really, isn't it? Larry Brooks did a piece on Tom Renney this morning and asked him straight out on his job security. It is not threatened and feels he is solid in the organization. That's the thing about hockey. When big contracts are signed, the scapegoat is the coach and they never see it coming, do they?

    If we drop to NJ and Ovechkin on Wed home, he might have the benefit of seeing how Sean AVery-as-a-Ranger again brings to the table. The magic man pest is on waivers as of today will clear tomorrow and be re-assigned to the Hartford Wolftrap for conditioning.



  4. Justin hit it on the head. The Absentee Owner, The Stealth GM and coach clueless have brought this franchise to their knees.

    The Ranger 'style' is killing Lundqvist. I would protect Lundqvist, Staal and Zherdev and put the rest of the team on waivers.

  5. Justin --

    I don't think I blamed Valley at all. I meant to say he had that shell-shocked look like he did when Toronto put 5 behind him in the 3rd period earlier this season. Some were his fault (nut when 10 go in, some are bound to be the goalie's fault) but mainly he was deserted by his defense and forecheckers.

    For example, Gomez should have gotten an assist for the turnover on the first goal. Neal's goals were beautiful and only Tretiak in his prime might have stopped them.

  6. It's scary to think that the most intimidating player on the Rangers' roster is Aaron Voros. I was wondering how Sean Avery will fix the Rangers current problems but after seeing thinking about it for awhile perhaps he is exactly what the Rangers need. They have no grit or passion, two things that Avery excels in.

  7. Mike (and Justin as well)--

    First, I appreciate your blog, Mike, and I know your thoughts about Rangers management. I think we all share your feelings about the Dolans and Slats. Sather has hamstrung the team similar to how Isaiah Thomas decimated the Knicks -- paying filet mignon dollars for chopped chuck.

    Second, it is only recently that I have concluded that Renney should no longer be coach. I like the man and respect how he stands up for the team but he simply does not appear to be someone who can lead the Rangers further.

    Only if Sather has magic to perform by the trading deadline can this season be salvaged.

    Even if the Rangers don't make the playoffs, I doubt changes are going to be made.

  8. This is it folks....0-2 against Jersey with 12 minutes left. It's getting desperate at THE ROCK....

    We've seen this before... (gulp)


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