Saturday, March 28, 2009

Two Bad! NYR 3, Penguins 4

1. Two bad games in a row
2. Two points we didn't get.

The Dark Ranger and The Blueshirts are in a tight spot these days and after the second loss with only six games remaining in the season -- we find playoff qualification hardly a sure thing. Those deep conflicted feelings we all share about our Blueshirts are beginning to show once again - yes, they are a fast moving, puck pushing attack hockey team AND yes, they are certainly a better team with Sean Avery, Nik Antropov and (dare I say) Nik Zherdev actually playing hockey these last few months, AND yes, we have a fast no-nonsense talking coach in Torts that gives our players and the fans confidence that 'lazy' and 'defense hockey' is a thing of the past.

But....the defense cannot secure the center. This was the case this afternoon and it has been all season. Our D-men cannot hold back the onslaught of a playoff-minded Atlantic division rival. Roszival is out for another couple of weeks due to injury, Paul Mara looked like a version of Rocky IV and we are in desperate need for blueline recovery and much needed support. Ooh...look for call-ups from Hartford to secure our 'D'-needs, Corey Potter or Bobby Sanguinetti to take on the role at the most crucial and honest point in the season. That should be fun to watch against the final two games against the Philadelphia Flyers!!?

Official recap here.

The Blueshirts have six games remaining, all against teams that are higher in the standings than the Rangers - so it's going to be a tough road ahead. No doubt, but I do believe they have it in them to be contenders in the final stretch. Everyone plays differently in the playoffs. Aside from some of the most atrocious referee calls and nine penalties called against the Blueshirts (all killed, thank you kindly), without discussing the moments of the game that led to our loss I wanted to fundamentally discuss the state of the New York Rangers.

Is this a team that can get past the first round in the playoffs? Are they capable of actually reaching the Cup? How might one answer without carrying the pessimism of the last seven months?

On a tangent, I was participating in one of the NHL media junkets where they typically interview someone important or relevant in hockey and allow media and bloggers to ask questions live. Because of the "critical Rangers' nature" of this site, The Dark Ranger has never been given permission to participate in a Rangers interview, but I was present when the Coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Ken Hitchcock, was asked about how it felt to potentially reach the playoffs for the first time in Columbus. I took interest in his words (also because he successfully coached the Philadelphia Flyers for years) and I enjoyed that he was non specific in his answers. He described what it felt like getting into the playoffs, the pride & glory of the experience, and the vindication of having worked so hard and being given the chance to win the Cup. He wasn't even sure his team could get far into the playoffs, but he did describe "those teams that you know really want it -- you know what I mean?....the teams that are playing their hearts out, burning up the ice with a knowing that there are bigger things ahead. Fear. Guts. Pride. You know which teams have it and which teams don't have it. My team has it!" Now this was Ken Hitchcock talking about the Columbus Blue Jackets.

What is John Tortorella saying? Do we have it? Can we WIN it?



  1. Hey Dark,

    great post! I am loving the obscenity filled tirades and the 2 word ("f*ck off!") post game interviews he's been giving Brooks and the press that ask stupid questions. I am also loving Avery's fire, Antros playing upto his size and ability, and even Zherdev's point production while looking half interested.

    I realized the problem with these guys and I am sure that many will disagree with me, but I have to say these f*ckers are soft. Theres no consistent hitting on this team from anyone not named Avery Betts or Callahan. That and the poor conditioning. We look so run down in the 3rd period because all our players are spent from actually having to play a full game now the the 4th line under Torts doesnt get 16 minutes a game like they did under Renney. Aww too bad. SUCK IT UP, buncha pansies!!!
    The calls today sucked, but I say if you're gonna go to the box anyway... May as well earn it and lay someone out. It was pathetic the way half our players got bowled over today by coasting penguins that barely reached the puck or skated away instead of finishing their checks. I also got the feeling that Henrik just sorta went "fugget..." on every breakaway goal after the first.
    We definitely made these little B*tches from Pittsburg bigger than they were by not playing up to snuff. Having to listen to Rosen and Michiletti give the verbal handj*b to Crosby was sickening after trying to hype up the "abuse" he took today. I for one don't buy it. We all the know that kid is perfectly content to hurl himself to the ice, curl into the fetal position and start whining about a bruised uterus or ovaries at any given opportunity, so I doubt we did the number on him our broadcasting team in claiming.
    Somewhere between the disinterested, defensive lazy team that scores 4 goals a game without trying and still loses by one... and the defensive 2-1 winning team that cant score for sh*t, is a team that can make the playoffs if so inclined.
    I for one can't really start blaming Torts yet, like other fans that have been, claiming his coaching cost us the game against Atlanta. Valiquette cost us the game against Atlanta. Guess his spidey sense was in the shop. Anyway, getting back to Torts... You can't undo in 12 games what was f*cked up in over 60. I think if we had a whole season under Torts, we wouldnt be going through this crap now. Unfortunately the only time we'll know for sure will be this time next season. (that is Torts doesn't go berzerk from the frustration and walk into the lockeroom one day with a 12 gauge and decide to free us of our overpaid underachievers before getting committed-- if he does, I say we all chip in and pay him a Bonus.)

  2. Dark, Unfortunately the NHL and it's horrible officiating didn't allow the Rangers to play on a even ice surface.

    The Rangers played about as well as could be expected given the circumstances.

    Are they Playoff worthy?. I think tomorrow night will tell it all.

  3. I have to say, pathetic... not the Rangers, but the one-sided officiating.... I really didn't sit for the game, because I was going crazy... I understand (to a degree) that Cindy is the "poster child" for the NHL, but damnit, be freaking fair! A penalty is a penalty and should be called regardless of the team that commits the infraction, and my dear lord, the fact that so many obvious calls against the Pens were not called...... I was insane, the Rangers would have had more of a fighting chance if Ray Charles were an official!

  4. Kots is right. TONIGHT WILL DETERMINE OUR FATE. onward...



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