Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Rangers In La La Land

Rangers go for bike rideI warned you after the Coyotes game not to get too excited over beating the worst team in the league. I know the drive-by media got excited and Tom Renney said the Rangers were on a mission. Some mission. Maybe they should have gone on a novena. Novenas go for nine days. But it is going to take more than a novena to get this team back on track with this defense. The Rangers gave the puck away nineteen times. While Jagr was the chief culprit with four, Rozsival and Malik were up there with three each. And they are usually standing right in front of Lundqvist when they give it away. Oh No Ozolinsh gave the puck away two times but his mere presence was noted by his ineffectiveness. He was supposed to be a power play specialist but Renney, in his infinite wisdom, gave him all of 4:36 of ice time on the PP while Rozsival got 8:17 and Straka got 9:36 all on the point. Pray tell me, what is Straka doing on the point on the power play? The Rangers were 0-9 on the PP. They were 0-5 in the third period with a chance to get back in the game. They were 0-2 on the 5 on 3.

The offense wasn't much better. Thank goodness for Brendan Shanahan. He did everything. He scored the only goal, got seven shots on goal and played on the PK, which killed 5 of 6 chances. Shanahan is truly Ole Man River, he justs keeps rolling along. Colton Orr got his usual 3:47 of ice time. Why even dress him? Why isn't Nigel Dawes in on a regular basis? Marcel Hossa was useless again. He got 9:00 of ice time and pitched another perfect game. No shots, no goals but got more ice time than Orr and Hollweg and only a few seconds less than Jason Ward and Petr Prucha. Straka and Nylander logged well over twenty minutes each, mostly skating in circles and depriving the younger guys of less ice and game time. For all their ice time, Straka got one shot and Nylander had three. But there are beautiful figure eights on the Staples Center ice.

Where are the young guys? Thomas Pock sits on the bench. Why? Nigel Dawes gets spotted when he isn't sitting on the bench. Why? Jarkko Immonen is in Hartford. Why? Ivan Baranka is in Hartford. Why? Why are players like Malik, Ozolinsh, Hossa still playing? Why do Rozsival, Straka and Nylander get so much ice time while Prucha and Hollweg get minimal time? The answers to these questions lie somewhere in the upper portions of Tom Renney's brain. This is a team that is going in the wrong direction and Tom Renney doesn't have the smarts or a clue on how to turn it around. You still think Brian Leetch is too old for this team?

ICINGS: The Rangers did not have an early skate in LA, but they did go out and have a bike ride. Maybe instead of having a skate in Anaheim they should go to Disneyland and and ride around in its "a small world, after all". Isn't it getting close to the time where Sather trades for an aging vet and gives away a young prospect who comes back to haunt us. See Mattias Norstrom, now Captain, of the LA Kings.

October 31, 2006
Daily News
Kings clobber Henrik, Rangers,
Kings roll over lifeless Rangers
NY Post
Court Jesters Kings Expose Rangers as Road Fools

October 30, 2006
Daily News
Hollweg Living His Dream
NY Post
Rougher Rangers
Hollweg's Game Has Developed For Rangers

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