Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Train of Shame, NYR 2, Flyers 4

The train ride home from Philadelphia, that is......

Rangers' fans, young and old, where do we begin to explain what happened to our Torts-attack-hockey transformation this afternoon against our much-hated rival Philadelphia Flyers? Whatever coach John Tortorella used last game (vs Nashville) after the first period didn't work on this particular day against a real hockey team.

The Flyers saw right through it. Official recap here.

They engaged in a textbook counter-style to our 'pushing forward system', which left open our greatest vulnerabilities -- our defense (aka Wade Redden). We've heard this one before. Might I add on a sidenote, every time Wade Redden makes a bad play, he talks to himself dramatically into the air - not to anyone specifically, but probably to his makers or God. Maybe he wants to show that he cares. We don't. He is a strange bird. I digress.....

Yes, we are a more aggressive looking team in general - but we regress to the team that we know - a defensive one, without confidence, might I add. We are 'Sober House.'

Huge kudos to Nik Antropov and Sean Avery this afternoon, because they were the only guys visible on the ice. Nik Zherdev improved his performance from his previously benched game, but his finesse style was no match for a shutdown goaltender-extraordinaire-for-one-game Marty Biron or Timonen or Coburn. They ate him today.

The King Lundqvist looked like what Flyers fans would expect of their own Biron or Nittymaki goalkeeping- an average performance, allowing some pretty soft goals - two of the Flyers goals scored by the second worst player on the Flyers - Aaron Asham. Perhaps his performance this afternoon will encourage NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to further expand the league into the Asian territories, as I am told Asham is the first Asian player in the NHL. I cannot confirm the accuracy of this ethnicity hockey stat, as I am riding home on the "train of shame" as mentioned. Hey, it worked for baseball!!?

God, I hate losing to Philly. To me, they remain the greatest rival to the New York Rangers, maybe on par with the Islanders. I am hopeful that with the home crowd tomorrow, in a back-to-back rematch we can turn this around and make it even. If not, and we cannot compete against Atlantic division rivals, then we are close to writing off playoff contention. It does not get any easier from this point forward.

As there are a number of games throughout the day, the standings will change, but at the time of this writing, the Rangers are still in 7th place. Today's game further solidified Philly's place in the standings.

If you can sum up the season, tomorrow's rematch and potential two points means everything and will determine the direction of our Blueshirts. There is nothing worse than the oxygen being sucked out of The Garden during crucial games, so our dear Coach Johnny has great motivation and work ahead of him over the next 24 hours. Perhaps the entire team could be benched -- that would show 'em.

As for me, I'm only as far as God foresaken Trenton.

May the Torts Be With Us!



  1. Dark, Unfortunately I did not see a whole lot of the game. It's ironic I was doing a "autograph outing" with a former Flyer and team mate of mine in Hartford Rick Macleish.

    There was a TV on with the game, but I didn't get to see most of it. From the very little that I did see, it looked like there was lots of shots but ♠no goals.

    The Rangers must rebound at the Garden tomorrow.

  2. Well Kots, you had a more rigorous game signing autographs than Redden had on the ice today. ;) Just kidding. Hey, that's great - The Mac was one of the original clutch men -- a true Broad Street Bully. Watch your back!

    They were outshooting the Flyers most of the game, but it came down to quality of shots and overall play -- Marty Biron played playoff hockey throughout -- he was pretending to be Marty Brodeur looking for one more win.

    Tomorrow means much...

  3. I thought Lundqvist kept the Rsngers in the game in the first 2 periods given the number of odd man rushes he faced and the energy the Flyers brought.

    Nashville only had 7 scoring opportunities the entire game the other night. I could swear the Flyers had that many in the first period.

    Have you noticed that there hasn't been any recent talk about an extension for Zherdev?

    And how can the Rangers have only one goal after 30 shots in 2 periods? Oh that's right, the team has no elite scorer.

    Still, if the Rangers win tomorrow and beat the Habs on Tuesday, they will be right back in it.

  4. The first asian actually played for the Rangers - Larry Kwong. There have been a number since then but the best was probably Jim Paek, who won Stanley alongside Super Mario. And there has been a few others including Richard Park and whatshisname goalie Fukufuji on the Kings last year.

    But you have my sympathies for going all the way there to watch a loss. With the Ranger performance in Philly, I am kinda dreading the trip home from Montreal on Wednesday ...

  5. Dark, good times yesterday. My comment was that Asham was Philly's first Asian, not the NHLs. Last night I ordered my cheesteak teriyaki style in honor.

    Go Flyers today, let's get rid of the Rangers once and for all.

  6. Hello all I had the pleasure or displeasure (depending on how you look at it) of sitting next to TDR on the train ride down from Manhattan yesterday. Although he is a Rangers fan, I will say it was a pleasure, as the thought never occurred to me that I should toss a left hook then pull his shirt over his head and land some upper cuts. Which is rare for me, and is usually my first thought.

    I digress. Yesterdays game showed me two things. 1.) The Rangers are a mess 2.)Marty Biron is mentally in the playoffs . . . yes this been stated repeatedly this past week.

    I want to touch on the first issue. Yesterdays game may have shown just how far the Rangers have fallen. In the past they would have won that game or it would have been much closer . . . say 4-3. The first period was fairly even, the Flyers did not play up to their potential and the Rangers had asserted their game. However later in the game things changed as soon as Torts called his time out, immediately afterward the Flyers had two odd man rushes. That is worrisome. Though the Rangers lead in shots, mostly through Power Plays, the Flyers asserted their game and begun to win the puck battles.

    Today is make or break for the Rangers, this game is where we will see what this team is really made of. They need this game more then the Flyers.

    I assume it was a joke, but Asham is not Asian . . . he is from the Ojibwa Nation in Canada.

  7. Well then FdaRangers stands corrected. Remind me fellow Amtrak-er to never bring ethnicity into a hockey post again.

    It was never meant to be a joke, the only joke is that FdaRangers has to read up on his beloved Flyers a little more.

    Thanks for the ride and we got you back this afternoon! Looks like my Blueshirts are back in the race!

    Thanks Nitti.



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