Thursday, November 20, 2014

Cam Steps Up To Rescue Rangers

The other day I mentioned that it was time for someone on the Rangers to step up and I mentioned two in particular, St. Louis and Nash. Well Nash scored a goal off a beautiful feed by St. Louis as the Rangers won 2-0 over the Flyers last night at the Garden. However, the guy who truly stepped up was sub goalie Cam Talbot who posted his first win and shutout of the year. Talbot made 31 saves in outdueling Flyer goalie Steve Mason who had 32 saves. The goalies put on a good show with several big saves.

The Flyers, another poor Metro team, were the perfect remedy for a drifting Ranger team. This was the Rangers ninth straight win over the Flyers at MSG. The Rangers are now in third place in the Metro one point ahead of Washington and seven in front of last place Columbus. It should be a thriller the rest of the way.

This was Talbot's fourth start, (1-2-1), which is about one fourth of the games played. It might be a good idea  to give him more net time early in the season so as to have a rested Lundqvist down the stretch. Chances are Lundqvist will be in the nets Sunday against Montreal at MSG as tomorrows night game at Buffalo has been cancelled due to the massive storm that hit upstate New York.  Global warming will do that.

Anyhow, a win is a win. As the coach says, "don't critique a win."  We need a few more guys to step up. Right now the Rangers have too many passengers. We need more workers.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Its Really Getting Late Early For Rangers

Tonight at the Garden the struggling Rangers try to retain to form, whatever that is these days, against the struggling Flyers. The Rangers (7-7-4) and the Flyers (7-7-2)  are both mired in a funk, playing listless, unexciting hockey. In fact if you watched the latest debacle against the Lightning you wonder if the Rangers have any idea what consistent, sixty minute hockey is. If you were brave enough and rich enough to go to the Lightning game you probably saw the Rangers play less than five minutes of any hockey.

The telling thing to me was the interview Martin St. Louis had with a reporter. Marty was totally embarrassed by the Ranger performance and it showed. Something is wrong here and it lies with the coaching staff and especially head coach, Vigneault to straighten the ship out. With one fifth of the season gone the Rangers are in a dogfight with five other teams in the Metro. Sure its early, but bad habits are formed early and are hard to repair.

Yes, the Lightning are good but did anyone notice how the Islanders completely out played them last night?  The Rangers are inconsistent. Lundqvist has mentioned this many times about how the Rangers play. Right now the team is leader less. The coach can't get the team to play sixty minute hockey. Also, there is no leader on the ice. When Callahan left, Richards took over the reins. Now, no one has stepped up.

Its time for St. Louis or Nash to take over the team. Maybe when McDonagh comes back it will be him but he has shown little leadership so far. Maybe its time to make a change and make Lundqqvist the Captain, He surely is the leader but doesn't a goalie have enough to do without adding further burdens to his duties? Lets see what the response is tonight.

ICINGS: Now they tell us. Take a look at the blog Blue Line Station where the NHL admits a goof in the Rangers-Kings finals. No kidding.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Lou Costello Was Right

Lou Costello would have loved last nights game. You remember his comment while shooting craps in the movie, "Buck Privates." "Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose." Well last night the Rangers did both. In another shootout loss, their fourth straight, the Rangers snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. After Dan Boyle scored the "winner" the refs called everyone back from the locker rooms because Dan had hit a "double", two shots to get the goal. A no, no.

The Pens won it when Brandon Sutter put one past Lundqvist to give the Pens the two points. There was a time when the Rangers relished a shootout. Lundqvist was unstoppable. Now the shooters have figured him out and the shootout is not a Ranger strength. You know what I think of shootouts so don't get me started.

It was a feisty game as these two teams clearly do not like each other. Malkin put a thunderous check, legal, into Giradi with a little over six minutes left in the third period. Girardi left the ice but Dandy Dan, the Iron Man, returned to play in the OT. So the Rangers are now (3-3-4), losers of seven of their last ten.

For the third straight game Anthony Duclair sat. Pray tell me what is this 19 year old learning sitting on the bench, watching the Rangers floundering? He sat in favor of Jesper Fast, a nice kid, but all defense. Just what the Rangers need, another defensive specialist. On to the next shootout!

ICINGS: The T/Birds had a rough week. Two games, two losses. A 9-1 drubbing by Smithtown and a more competitive loss, 8-5 to St. John's. Still time to turn it around.

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