Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Star Gazing

The big crowd came to see the Rangers play the Pens and watch all the Penguins stars. Unfortunately, the Rangers also watched as Lemieux scored from Weekes' doorstep, untouched. Crosby scored by splitting the Ranger defense, untouched. Finally, Palffy scored on a shot that he pumped faked a couple of times before scoring. I thought the Rangers were going to applaud him after the goal. Frankly, had this been the NBA the shot clock would have expired before the goal.

It was 3-0 in the third when Palffy was awarded a penalty shot. Weekes came up big, Hollweg delivered a big hit and the Rangers woke up, too late. Hollweg and Hossa brought the Blueshirts within one but to no avail. The Rangers are not the kind of team that can take any portion of a night off and expect to win.

Jagr was dogged all night by at least one Pen defender. On the power play it was usually two defenders. If Jagr doesn't score the Rangers are in trouble. Martin Rucinsky being out is adding to the problem. The Rangers do not have enough firepower. Grit? Yes. Determination? Yes. Effort? Missing last night. They are the type of team that needs all four lines chipping in and solid aggressive defense.

Aggressive defense? This brings up Poti. Must I? Yes. Renney insists on using him on the first team power play unit. Why? He is so ineffective. He has no shot to speak of. This is a weakness the Rangers have on the power play. Their point men can not get the puck to the net. This is how you score power play goals. Shoot from the points or middle not the side. Drive the net and look for the rebounds. This game exposed too many Ranger warts. Now they hit the road for five straight games which should tell us a lot about this team.

: Congratulations to Sal 'RedLight' Messina on his election to the Announcers Hockey Hall of Fame. What a fun, smart color commentator.

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