Sunday, January 15, 2006

Motown Meltdown

Darius Kasparaitis collided with Dominic Moore during the pregame warmups and sprained his right knee and sat out one of the biggest games of the year as the Rangers lost to the Red Wings 4-3. That was Dominic Moore's biggest hit of the night. Dominic Moore and his line mates, the HMO line, the Kamikaze Kids, did not have a good night. Sure, Jed Ortmeyer scored a goal with 2:26 remainuing to bring the Rangers within one, but the HMO line combined for only two hits, three if you count the one Moore put on Kasparaitis. The Rangers were outhit 24-18 and that is more telling than them being outshot 36-24. The Rangers have not won a game in Detroit since January 30, 1999.

The Rangers saw their seven consecutive game point streak (4-0-3) come to an end. They gave up too many odd man rushes as the forechecking game seem to disappear. The Rangers can use the excuse, Tom Renney didn't, that without Kasparaitis the defense had a lot of pressure on them and were forced to put in extra shifts. That's fine. What were the forwards excuse? With the exception of Ville Nieminen, who took another bad penalty that led to Lang's goal, there was no pressure from the forwards. Nieminen had four hits, played an aggressive game and was instrumental in Nylander's tying goal at the end of the second period. The Red Wings claimed that Nieminen had interfered with goalie Manny Legace but there was a review and the goal stood.

Henrik Lundqvist played a strong game for the Rangers and was done in by two rebounds, one on Lang and the killer on Brendan Shanahan. At 5:48 of the third period, Shanahan put in a rebound of his own shot as he stood in front of the goal and Marek Malik, who had just decked Chris Chellios, failed to check Shanahan and lost the battle for the puck. Putting his body on Shanahan's body would have prevented the go ahead goal. Lundqvist made 32 saves on 36 shots. Legace was 21-24 for the Red Wings. The Rangers were outshot by the Red Wings 27-13 in the final two periods. That was more a reflection of the offense than the defense. There was very little sustained offense by the Rangers.

Thomas Pock will be brought up to replace Darius Kasparaitis and may help a moribund power play that went 0-3 and is in a 2-30 funk. Petr Sykora hasn't helped the PP and putting Martin Rucinsky on the point hasn't helped the power play.

Would you think putting Jaromir Jagr at the point where his shots would come from the center rather that the side, might help the power play? We shall never know as we watch the predictable tic-tac-toe power play that ensures that every player on the ice touches the puck at least three times before a shot is taken.

Jagr had another goal and an assist. He now has twenty nine goals and one more would give him his 14th consecutive season with 30 goals or more. Mike Gartner holds the NHL record of 15 consecutive seasons with 30 goals or more. Jagr now has a league leading 69 points, forty points shy of Jean Ratelle's Ranger record 109 points (46-63) set in 1971-72. Not bad for a guy who most GM's predicted at the beginning of the season, "would not be interested".

ICINGS: Nice recap of the game from both Red Wings and Rangers viewpoints at Behind the Jersey.

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  • Anonymous said...

    Great page.... jagr on the point would be disasterous... so is rucinsky though. Pock, though, should be nice. Renney does need to get his head out of the sand and play two point men. Poti, Tyutin, Pock, and any other fourth DEFENSEMAN would be smart. DONT like having a winger on the point, because WHEN they get beat, we are in trouble. Pock will be really good, as he has been tearing up the AHL. Finally they will play him.

  • Ranger Fan said...

    I thought a few games back Jagr "accidently" ended up on the point during a power play and they actually scored off a rebound when he put the puck on the happened pretty quick I think skated from the side to the top and then fired...did anyone else see that?