Is it just me or do you think our Blueshirts make an impact when we're injured?
With six losses in a row, followed by wins against the Penguins and Los Angeles, and with the Rangers losing in a monstrous battle against the Jersey devils of Newark on Friday, one would think they'd bring their "A" game to The Garden yesterday against the top team in the East - the Philadelphia Flyers.
Well...they didn't. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Official recap here.
So where do we start? Let's just say half way through the first period, 'supposed-difference-maker' Marian Gaborik left the game not feeling well, which in other words mean 'concussion-like symptoms'; in hockey terms that means out for at least the next two, twelve weeks or indefinitely, as evidenced by every major NHL star who wants to get back in the game after such concussion-like symptoms (Crosby, Malkin, Savard) but cannot properly tie their shoes in the morning, let alone skate. So here we are again, without the million-dollar-sniper who was supposed to steal games from others - while faraway chants of "We told you so..." can be heard from as far away as Minnesota. Hardy har har, you Wild bunch.
I do wonder if all the crazy Gaborik trade talk has any truth to it?
Goalie once-extraordinaire Henrik Lundqvist played fairly well, except for a softie backhand by soon-to-be-incarcerated Daniel Carcillo in the second period. It kills me that this criminal is turning out to be their difference maker for the Flyers. It hurts bad..
Not to be forgotten were the efforts by Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky, Sean Avery, Brian Boyle, Brandon Prust - and even Marc Staal and Dan Girardi. These guys are the makeup of never giving up, the ones that won us games when our stars were out.
As it turns out, the experiment called Vinny Prospal appears to be dwindling as he is slow and extremely tired looking, unable to stay with Gabs when he is actually on the ice. But it's a moot point for now, as Torts will be spinning his wild line rotater over the next 2-3 games in an attempt to find the magic that used to win the third periods. Wouldn't you do the same? Maybe we can borrow Tom Renney for a couple of practice sessions because the line changing is beginning to parallel that of John Tortorella.
Speaking of injuries and players not playing to their potential, here's an update:
- RW Derek Boogaard (concussion) remains out indefinitely due to headaches and other concussion symptoms stemming from a fight Dec. 9 against Ottawa.
- C Chris Drury (left knee) underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Feb. 11 and will miss about six weeks.
- LW Ruslan Fedotenko (sprained shoulder, appendix) already was out with a shoulder injury when he underwent an appendectomy Feb. 2. He's expected to be sidelined until late February.
- LW Alex Frolov (right knee) is out for the season after suffering torn knee ligaments Jan. 8, requiring surgery.
Mathematically, it seems that in games when you're down (which defines the entire season thus far) you either play strong in the third, you win them or lose them. The first half of this season we won most of them -- exciting last-to-the-minute type games that drew you in and made you believe "This team could actually go all the way..." But like a casino, keep playing and the house will get it's money back. The latter half we find ourselves playing as hard and with as much passion, but the losses are plentiful.
And so it goes, we find ourselves again scratching our heads wondering if this ailing Blueshirts squad, with 21 games left can win 13 of them to make the post-season...
And so it goes...tomorrow vs Carolina.
|Lundqvist has to be the difference maker for the remainder of this season.|