TDR is a working professional in entertainment and is obsessed with the game of hockey. More four years ago, this site emerged as a means (or an outlet) to tell some truth'isms about the game post-lockout, rather than the crud fed to us through knuckleheads like Jimmy Dolan and his lemmings universe. Today, there are a hundred Rangers sites and is thankful and grateful to all those that have come after him, but honorable thanks go to his fellow Dark-writers, Graying Mantis and J_Undisputed. And "Let's Go Rangers!"
Bio of Graying Mantis
Graying Mantis is in fact a graying legal practitioner by day (and sometimes, alas, by night). In the cobwebs of his memory, he recalls starting to follow the Blueshirts in 1970 and remembers watching pivotal playoff games against the Blackhawks on a snow-covered Hartford t.v. channel in their 1972 march to the Finals. Giacomin, Gilbert, Ratelle, and Hadfield seen skating on a small B&W TV screens always will be among his first Ranger memories. He is grateful beyond words for the opportunity to work with his colleagues here in their never ending battle to inform and entertain. Most of all, he appreciates the chance to engage with fellow hockey fans.
Bio of J_Undisputed
"J_Undisputed is an Information Tech Professional; a student, and on and off in his dreams, Mike Richter. He caught his first glimpse of Rangers Hockey when an overtime preempted his favorite pro wrestling broadcast on WWOR-9 one late saturday night when he was 5 and he's been hooked ever since. He's been watching the Rangers for 30 years despite family attempts to make him an Islander Fan (Rest easy...they're out of the will). What started as a minor annoyance has become a life long passion (and at times, a frustration...But he wouldn't trade it for anything). Lets Go Rangers!"
Bio of General Ganz
General Ganz is a cynical yet well-informed student of the human spirit. He's a professional of sorts, with a post-graduate education, some experience working in real companies, and some limited athletic ability. The total small package. He got picked on a fair bit as a kid, and he experienced his first human-non-relation kiss in his teens. He also grew up on the other side of the tracks, thereby helping to cultivate a healthy contempt for dreamers and optimists whose rosy upbringing gave them something to smile about, even when "life produced lemons." Like it or not, his only mission is to point out the potholes you're lucky enough to miss on your drive to work. To find the blemish on your daughter's carefully-stitched (and not-yet-paid-for) wedding dress. To take that little smidgen of hope that your favorite hockey teams fill you with, and pour orange paint on it. Oh, and he is a Blueshirts fan, and takes most of his fashion direction from Ron Duguay (whose name he dropped as a way to close the deal on that first kiss).
Did we really get beat by the 25th place team and become only their second win since the season started? It was kinda of hard for Ranger fans to not ride the wave of a good 7-1start to a conclusion that this team has changed. Injected youth, point men with hard shots on the power play, developing defensive studs, and lastly the pure goal scoring of Marion Gaborik. The slick styling of the silky Slovak (say that 5 times fast) wouldn't be present for this game due to a lower body, non groin related injury and while Del Zotto had been outscoring his former teammate, the highly touted John Tavares....In the context of a rivalry, pedigree means nothing.
In the first period, the blueshirts were caught off guard early as their defensive mistakes came back to bite them only a minute into the game as a quick pass lead to a breakaway goal for the islanders. Enough to make every Ranger fan wince, it would only be a taste of the abuse the team would endure for the first period. While the scoring was kept to one for the Islanders, their forwards battered their Ranger counterparts like .. well, like a fish sticks. While individuals like the feisty, but vertically challenged Ryan Callahan tried to hold their own, this was a rivalry game and team effort would be required to match the once we were facing by a team driven with the idea of nothing left to lose. A standout for the Rangers was the visiting PA Parentau, who showed he wasn't thinking about just visiting when he scored the lone goal for the rangers and kept up a high energy level throughout the game. As a call up, Parentau also had nothing to lose, showed a sense of urgency the rest of the team sorely lacked because he felt he had everything to gain by keeping things simple but working hard every shift.
In the Second, the Rangers would come out of the lockeroom fired up and seemed ready to meet the physical requirements the game demanded. That would put the teams back on an even keel momentarily as the Rangers would give as good as they got for a few shifts. That soon faded as the Rangers watched indifferently as the Islanders resident Frankenstein (Sutton) skated cross ice at will, elbowing and falling into other Ranger players with vigor. The fierceness with which our boys in blue had played for a few shifts, completely evaporated and was only hinted at with verbal jabs after being boarded and players like Girardi, tossing an Islanders player aside like yesterdays garbage only after he grew frustrated with harassment in getting to the puck. These could be called signs of life, but as we learned during the Renney administration... In its purest form, hockey is a game of aggression. That's the what the pads are for and purely offensive systems or playing out of defensive shells won't work without the basic understanding that things can't always be pretty and sometimes you'll have to get your hands dirty if you want the win. Tortorella would later echo these thoughts after the game. "I thought they wanted to play harder than us tonight," he said. "I think we're too easy a team to play against in these types of games. They played hard. They played through the body, and we didn't answer as far as hitting back, other than for a few shifts in the second period.
"We simply have to be a harder team to play against."
The frustration seemed to be mounting on the Rangers side and boiled over in net when Lundqvist snapped and lashed out after making an excellent stop only to have Girardi over skate the rebound and swipe underneath the bouncing puck, leaving it wide open for the islanders to chip in the go ahead goal. Things only got worse from there as the Ranger forwards spent the night trying to speed through the neutral zone and attempting to corral pucks from behind as an afterthought while trying to avoid the physicality and pressure. It was akin to watching a 7 foot man running through the rain with a chihuahua in tow that cant keep up. It's a horrible habit our team has formed in the linear thinking they have receded to after the first few wins. Offensive mindset + possession of the puck = win, purely on # of goals. This would be a winning formula in many sports. First and foremost, this is hockey, where one check can separate you from the rest of your career if you're caught with your head down or looking the wrong way. Our players spend way too much time looking backwards on the rush using the skate and scoop from behind method and taking shortcuts to puck possession by chipping it along while hoping for slight of hand to help confuse the defense. It results in goals some times but painful turnovers the others. Our D-men do the same and over skate the puck, thinking of threading the neutral zone with perfect outlet passes for cherry picking forwards before they even secure possession of the puck. I think think they team needs to be taken back to the woodshed and give a reminder of what hard work, crisp passes and stiff shoulders are all about. Playing a complete game at a slower speed is the only way this team will learn to do it under pressure at a higher speed.
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