NYR 2, Atlanta 3 - SO
These were the words of Henrik Lundqvist last night after the Blueshirts lost in the skills competition (a.k.a. the shootout) to the Atlanta Thrashers last night. We've heard it time and time again from our dear once-kicked-ass coach John Tortorella, 'how the boys are playing good hockey and there were many chances and as long as they stick with the plan things will turn around and they'll begin winning games again.'
Don't be so sure of yourself Coach. Stick with the plan and we're going to continue to lose games. Let's look closer. Captain Chris Drury is invisible and non-scoring, Chris Higgins is forever trade-bait and non-performing, Ales Kotalik our sniper lost sight of the puck during the crucial shootout last night, Sean Avery has been neutered by your forceful words and benching methods, Matt Gilroy was sent north furthering your actual disbelief that the youth will prevail and learn on this team, Michal Rozsival & Wade Redden continue to horrify fans of hockey with plenty of ice-time, Vinny Prospal has lost his scoring touch, Henrik Lundqvist has no support and is slowly losing his confidence. Oh yeah...and we don't have a backup goalie.
A handful of Blueshirts are out-performing everyone else: Marian Gaborik is dynamite & healthy (knock on wood, folks), Ryan Callahan has the best work ethic on the ice, scrambling, bruising, and beating his way to the puck on every shift, Michael Del Zotto (though many missed opportunities) has a hawk's passing eye and finds the holes that make goals (and he's 19!!! -- watch the highlights from last night's game where he found Ryan Callahan on a beautiful feed), Marc Staal continues to impress but cannot control the blueline with limited shifts. Donald Brashear, strangely, is playing decent hockey and is deserving of the $1+ mill per year he is getting, minus the gooning.
Official recap here.
So the negatives right now outweigh the positives. Not a happy place as a Rangers fan. With Gilroy, Valiquette and Parentheau all being sent up north to the minors there has been much chatter about a big move that is yet to happen -- some alleged magical trade that will revamp the team and help it find it's confidence once again. Sorry to disappoint, but things look grim RANGERS HOCKEY FANS as we cannot clear enough in the salary cap to find that impact player we so desperately need. Can't we just start over? I am certain Sather is calling his old buddies in St. Louis or Phoenix soliciting many wise-tales and great opportunities, but even his persuaded-in-the-past dear friends now want something in return -- which means a Brandon Dubinsky or a Ryan Callahan. No dice Gee-Emmy. During the off-season, Sather was publicly cheered for his dumping of the Scott Gomez contract to Montreal, which to this day I still cannot believe he did it - a Jedi in action, but I think the magic of General Manager Glen Sather is coming to an end. With The Hockey News finally declaring Sather a sham, maybe his time is near. One can only hope.
So if you're still watching the games (and God forbid reading these posts) I thought you'd get a kick out of the MSG spin on last night's game. Remember: MAKE THE NEGATIVE A POSITIVE.
New York Rangers Official Site:
STAT OF THE GAME
The Rangers outshot the Thrashers by a whopping 48-27 margin, which shows just how strong Johan Hedberg was in the net. Red-hot Hedberg truly stole both points on a night when the Rangers had a strong performance from start to finish.
Now here is the sad reality - New York recorded a season high in shots, but lost for the seventh time in eight games (1-5-2). The Rangers scored fewer than three goals for the 11th time in 13 games. We are in 11th place in the Eastern Conference (11 out of 15) with a record of 14-15-3. We are less than .500 and dropping.
No "P.R."-spin for those stats.
Maybe a back-to-back with our rival Islanders this week will fire off all cylinders and the puck will actually go in the net, as opposed to bragging about how many shots on goal we had after losing yet another friggin game.
Watch it with a grain of salt and maybe we'll all be surprised Wednesday night. Or maybe just crank out another Curb Your Enthusiasm episode to enjoy the negative. Your choice.
Once thing is for sure, it's getting awfully DARK in this room.
Our Captain Chris Drury in between a THRASHED SANDWICH.....