In one game Kevyn Adams scored almost a third of the goals he scored in 2003-04, when he scored ten. For Adams it was his first hat trick of his career. Adams scored one goal unassisted and the Canes added two other unassisted goals, one shorthanded as they routed the Rangers last night, 5-1. While the goals were officially labeled unassisted there were actually some pretty good passes that lead to those goals. Unfortunately the passes were from the Rangers. The beauty of the night was Steve Rucchin clearing a puck, when he had all the time in the world, right on the stick of Eric Staal who buried the shot past Lunqvist to start Carolina on its way.
The Prince allowed more that three goals for the first time this year. He started out with three very good saves but was soon swamped by the Ranger giveaways and loose play on defense. The Rangers lost Fedor Tyutin with a finger injury and that put a strain on the rest of the defense. The other five were not up to the challenge as the Rangers ended the road trip with three wins and two losses. Normally that would be cause to rejoice but the way they lost this one should send up alarms.
The Rangers even with Tyutin have a soft defense. Tyutin, Kasparitis and occasionally Kondratiev do play tough and hit. However Kasparitis has been beaten too many times as he attempts some of his hits. Marek Malik is slow and not very mobile. Michal Rozsival gives the puck away too often and especially on the power play that result in short handed chances for the other team. And then there is Poti. I am getting a little tired of the announcers over emphasizing every decent play he makes and ignoring the obvious.
Granted that the team still takes too many penalties. The Canes were one for eight on the power play. This is a credit to our penalty killers. But they are out there too long and they are mostly the third and fourth lines. They are also the checkers of this team. They get tired killing penalties and this cuts down on their effectiveness during regular shifts.
It's time for Renney to act. Bring up Thomas Pock and also Jason Strudwick. Pock brings movement, offense, youth and would be great on the power play. In 2003-04 in six games with the Rangers he scored two goals and had four points. He fits in with Renney's rebuilding program. Strudwick brings experience and toughness, something that is sorely needed. This is not a panic move as the team has played well on the road except for the last game. I'm sure the Rangers were tired and that contributed to their demise. However after one quarter of the season (21 games) now would be a good time for Renney to do some fine tuning.
Game recap [NHL.com]
David Lee at "Red and Black Hockey" saw some "Good stuff" from the Carolina perspective that Ranger fans might have missed:
* Not only did we prevent Jaro Jagr from scoring, but we kept him off the scoresheet entirely, and he finished the game at -3.
* Mikey C finished with a +2, leading all D-men in that category
* Craig Adams had seven hits, tops in the game. One of these hits was instrumental in allowing Kevyn to score his second goal.
* Radim Vrbata quietly snuck in two assists and finished the game with a +2. He's making a strong case for his place on the team.
Do the Ranger fans in the Czech Republic get better televison coverage than we do?
Adams hattrickem sestřelil Jezdce [newyorkrangers.cz]