Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Rangers Bedevil New Jersey 3-0

...The King of Cheesy Headlines at your service

Quick Hits:

- If you were looking for Avery vs. Broduer to explode out of proportion last night you were sadly let down. Aside from a little love-tap through Avery's legs, it was a pretty subdued match up all game.

- These 60-minute efforts are what Tom Renney desperately pleaded for before being let go as Rangers head coach. Hopefully Tortorella and Co. can sustain the momentum.

- I wish Antropov would shoot more. He passes up quality shooting chances nearly every game to pass, deke, or turn around. I'm sure Toronto felt the same way too.

- Scott Gomez and Ryan Callahan are quickly becoming a deadly offensive pair.

- If the PP was trying to appear as if they had no clue how to generate a shot on net, then they did a nice job stinking up the Garden.

- Following up the first point, kudos to Sean Avery in exercising patience to the max. Along with "Big" Mike Rupp, David Clarkson tried to goad him into a fight and, up 3-0 at that point, Avery didn't flinch. Even while being thrown down to the ice, TWICE! Avery's only mistake was dropping one of his gloves, which in the rulebook, is a 2-minutes penalty for roughing. But only for Sean Avery, no one else.

Until next time...


Monday, March 30, 2009

Avery vs. Broduer Chapter 2

...And so it begins tonight. The Rangers and Devils meet up for their last regular season game at the Garden with 2 points hanging in the balance in which the Blueshirts desperately need with Montreal a point behind.

But that doesn't matter. The focal point tonight will be what happens when Sean Avery steps onto the ice against Marty and the Devils for the first time since his return to the NHL to renew their personal rivalry. The Garden will definitely be electric this evening.

Things to Look For:

- NYR is 12-2-3 (including playoffs) against NJ with Avery in the line-up.

- Devs are 21st on PK, NYR needs to take advantage with that. NJ is a better team 5-on-5

7:00pm start on VS, if you're lucky enough to have it.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Penguins Keep Rangers Trapped Under Ice; win 4-3

Quick Hits....

- Unfortunately, I did not watch this game (or maybe it is a fortunate thing, especially for my blood pressure) so there's not much I can contribute to the blog.

Although I will say this about John Tortorella and Co. believing the officials unfairly let Sean Avery be punished by the opposition in this game. It's a fine line for players who have built a reputation up over the years of playing brash between legitimate penalties and a conspiracy. Sean Avery has a long way to go to win back the officials in the NHL. However, saying inappropriate comments about a former girl friend isn't a 2 minute infraction last time I checked.

Rangers will gear up for the final showdown of the regular season Monday night against the New Jersey Devils (also a possible 1st-round playoff match-up, assuming the Rangers make it). It's a 7pm game on VS.

Until next time...


Friday, March 27, 2009

Rangers Deserved a Thrashing; Fall to Atlanta 5-4 in Shootout

Quick Hits...

- Rangers had a 4-1 lead. Gave up a debilitating goal right at the end of the 2nd period. Gave up 2 more 3rd period goals. That gives the Rangers -11 goal differential in the 3rd under Tortorella. Not a recipe for wins.

- 4 shots in the 3rd period is unacceptable.

- For not playing in a while, Steve Valiquette did an admirable job. He wasn't given enough support by his teammates but did try his best to keep them in the game. Although, you can make the case if Lundqvist was in net maybe one of those goals do not go in. Congrats to Vally on his first NHL assist on Drury's goal.

- 2-10, doesn't look so bad, right? That's 20%, which is remarkably better than what the Rangers PP for the season amounts to. But, factor in 2 short 5-on-3 PP's (one in the 3rd period), and a 4-on-3 PP and that 2-10 looks paltry.

- I guess Zherdev was napping during the shootout.

Finally, as a fan you can't help but get a chuckle out of Tortorella's post-game, cut-short news conference when he flat out said his team "sucked tonight." That's the type of blunt force honesty you'll get from John Tortorella. However, what the media and, especially, the fans deserve is an explanation about why they sucked? Why they continue to give up 3rd period goals? Why Zherdev wasnt used in the shootout? Why Avery wasnt used in OT? It's comicial, but in more ways that you think.

Until next time...


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rangers Run Wild; Defeat Minnesota 2-1

Quick Hits...

- Minnesota's vacuum-like defensive trap nearly paid off for the Wild last night except the Rangers were just a tad more patient and were able to capitalize on their chances.

- Nik Zherdev's goal-line, impossible, how-the-hell-did-he-do-that?? goal last night is what not only frustrates you about his game, but also amazes you. He can accomplish the unthinkable, but has difficulty playing by the numbers. If only he could combine the two...

- Should I really congratulate Colton Orr for beating up an old man? Owen Nolan deserves some credit for sticking up for himself. He also deserves a brain examination for engaing with one of the NHL's heayweights.

- Sean Avery was a goal short of a Gordie Howe hat-trick.

- Lundqvist looked sharp last night. He wasn't tested much throughout the game but made the saves when needed to (especially with less than 2 minutes to go and Minnesota's goalie pulled).

-Gaborik's hit on Naslund is what the NHL would like to a) aliminate from the game and b) give a fair penalty for. However, the only one to blame on that play was Naslund. He reached for the puck, head down, and exposed himself. Gaborik made a clean hit on the play. No foul. It's the responsibilty of the players to keep themselves out of harm's way.

Next game is Thursday in Atlanta 7:00pm start. Maybe a Valiquette sighting??

Until next time...


Monday, March 23, 2009

Rangers lose 2-1 to Senators

Quick Hits...

- Rangers appeared to be a step behind the entire game, especially from the 2nd period on. 2nd game of a back-to-back will usually do that to you.

- Never had any offensive momentum to work with. Credit Ottawa for stifling the New York forecheck all night long and jamming up the neutral zone. There's a reason they've won 4 straight and 9 of 10

- Had the NY PP scored on 1 of the 3 chances it had in the 1st period the game could have had a much different look to it. Case in point, it's the reason why they lost the game last night.

- Congratulations to Brandon Dubinsky for ending his 23-game goal drought. For someone mired in a traditional "sophomore slump," Dubinsky has handled it with class, never giving up the effort on a nightly basis.

Until next time...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Renney's Rangers

...That's the thought I had in the 3rd period of the Rangers loss to the Gale-Force Winds Monday night. "It looks like Renney's Rangers, not Tortorella's Rangers out there." Those were my exact words. But after carefully pondering I realized the reason they looked that way can be mostly contributed to the fact that they were spent; 2nd game of a back-to-back playing an up-tempo, aggressive style. Having said that, I still see Renney's influences still linger with this team.

- Case in point, the Defense are still very tentative to shoot the puck and when they do it's routinely blocked. Tortorella will eventually get his D-men to shoot with authority and get puck movement. Until then, it's still agonizing to watch.

- The team still tries the dangerous, cross-ice pass in an attempt to spring a forward and catch the opposition napping. More often than not it's a turnover and transition the other way. I'm sure that give Torts heartburn.

- They make life too easy for goalies, especially, Cam Ward last game. Ward was barely tested and was able to see most shots come his way.

You can't expect to flush out the remnants of the old regime as quickly as a gust of wind. They'll creep in every now and then until the end of the season. However, you have to be encouraged with how quickly the Rangers, as a team, have grasped Tortorella's concept and have played in it. There's just the slightest chance the Rangers could catch lightning in a bottle and go on a run. There's an even bigger chance of them missing out on the playoffs entirely (they sit 9th in the East, first time all year they've been out of a playoff spot). Time will tell.

Until next time...