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).
If one period of play was enough to win a hockey game, all hockey games would be 20 minutes long. My first time at The Garden this season and traffic had me in my seat about 12 minutes late. I still managed to get there a period and half before the Rangers did.
Don’t let the first goal we scored fool you. This was not another hard charging 'full on assault' that lasted 60 minutes like the previous games. In fact, that goal mentally provided us with enough cushion to shoot ourselves in the foot when we didn’t follow through and coasted for two periods while trying to cycle the puck around the boards.
The pot luck Atlanta team across from us was made from enough talented youngsters, extra parts and cap victims and 1-hit wonders that had seen enough ice time with other teams that they found hardly any trouble capitalizing on mistakes as our d-men were caught deep in their own zone, had pucks chip past them or jump over their sticks and stumbled back into our zone scrambling for a clue that would help them pick up their defensive assignments. Our new backup could have been, perhaps, a little crisper in his efforts in goal. However... to lay the blame at his feet would be unfair.
With a back-up in goal, its mandatory that your defense step up their game a little bit and lend some support to their goaltender, even more than they would to their first. The “system” we seem to be playing is a full attack system. Its not 'all men up' and 'no men back', but it may as well be with the defensive conscience diluted with thoughts of offensive grandeur. With so much emphasis placed on goals and attacking… The absence of Gaborik, Prospal and Drury seemed that much greater. We found a niche in the physical, high energy game and just like that, it goes out the window as the team gets taken back to the system where Tortorella plays the hot line, hoping that eventually they will replace Gaborik, Prospal or other top line players, talent for talent. It was never more apparent than after the first goal last night as the farm triplets (Dubinsky, Anisimov, Callahan) hit the ice every other shift. Normally the strategy might pay off against an older team that is simply worn down by the amount of work put in by this line, but instead the triplets were hammered and their energy suppressed by a mixture of vets and high energy youth players like Kane on the Atlanta side. While the line being the most effective was a mixture of Avery, Fedotenko, Boyle, Prust, White, etc. a guy like Boogaard sees ice so infrequently in this system, that he doesn’t recognize it without a cocktail poured over it. While he’s not the best player on the team, he hits hard enough that it should be incorporated some how because…. A.) It worked in the games where we were taking the lead physically and banging up opponents… and B.) he’s not going to get any better or more consistent sitting on the bench.
A system can’t work on a foundation of inconsistency. It’s even less effective when channeled through intangibles like “untapped potential” as a replacement for documented skill. We saw that all these guys can hit and pressure other teams, so why not keep that rolling and build off of something simple and consistent.
As for the worry about losing any more players to injury, there was an over abundance of guys that were making it difficult to cut them in camp. Make some call ups, let them pound and grind it out smartly and hand the survivors jerseys. At least we’ll have something to fall back on when “pretty” is injured and “high energy” is worn out. Hell, you might even win a few games on intimidation. The best part of it is players like Gaborik and Frolov (even though Frolov hasn’t impressed me so far) have no trouble finding their stones when the time comes and things get a little gritty.
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