Monday, December 04, 2006

The Prince Falters-The D Collapses

Sometimes you learn a lot listening to the crowd at the game or the crowd on the train. The crowd at the game was wondering how a gutsy guy like Kasparaitis and a fiesty rookie like Pock should be sitting while two wimps like Rachunek and Oh No Ozolinsh get regular shifts. They were both on the ice for more than 19 minutes each, had no hits each and were a cumulative minus five. Marek Malik, the other ball of fire who poses as a defenseman and makes Lurch look a speed demon, also had no hits. In fact the Islanders defensemen out hit the Rangers 'sweet six' 11-4. The telling blow came at the end of the second period, with the score 4-3, and the Islanders crowding the net and not a tap of a body from the defenseless duo of Rachy and Oh No. Kozlov scored his second goal to basically kill the Rangers hope of coming back. To rub it all in there was Brendan Witt doing what Brendan Witt does best. Pushing the skaters to the outside, clearing the goal mouth area and dishing out four hits and even getting an assist on the first goal. This is the guy that the 'drain trust' passed over for Aaron Ward, who seems to have completely lost whatever game he brought here from Carolina.

Ah yes, Viktor Koslov, who scored four goals, mostly unchallenged. This was Koslov's second career hat trick. He has 11 goals for the season. Last year he scored all of 12 goals playing with the Devils. His forte was shootout goals. The most goals he has ever scored in a season was 22 with the Florida Panthers in 2002-03. In his 14th NHL year he has a grand total of 155 goals, which averages out to 11.07 goals per year. Last night the Ranger defense made Viktor Kozlov look like a superstar. He skated around virtually untouched. Is it any wonder he was smiling all night?

Now from the train crowd on the way home. It was noisy on the LIRR and it was mostly Ranger fans and they were having a good time despite the loss. But they were wondering what happened to Lundqvist. Oh yes, they were blasting Renney about not playing Kaspy but The Prince was the topic. Remember this was before Lundqvist's admission that he really couldn't get into the game. What! The man is a goalie and that is his job and these are the Islanders the Rangers were playing, and he couldn't get into the game? What happened to the guy that played two outstanding games in a row against Tampa Bay and Carolina? What happened to the guy that along with Jagr carried the team on his back last year? If he can't get into an Islander game maybe he needs a brainwashing tour in Hartford.

The train crowd seems to think that Lundqvist has gone Broadway. He is now a rock star. He couldn't concentrate on the game because maybe he is worrying about the next gig for his band. He's eating it all up now. The Cindy Adams article in the New York Post, the 100 most beautiful people in New York list, the New York night life scene, the adoration of the Garden crowd, ad nauseam...Shades of Ooh La La Dugay.

The Islanders took 21 shots and scored 7 goals and only misfired 6 times. The Rangers took 43 shots, misfired 14 times and scored only 4 goals. The difference was that the Islander shots usually weren't challenged and the Rangers allowed them the offensive zone with little resistance. This is not a new revelation about our porous defense. The Pundit usually blasts it after every game and the fans notice it also, but nothing changes. I would be hard pressed to think of one outstanding save made by Rick DiPietro. Most of the shots were right at him and he looked ready to be taken, instead it was the Rangers who were taken.

So the Islanders are in first place and the Rangers are reeling with four straight losses. Yes losses. I know we had three OT and shootout losses which gaves us three points in the new NHL. Kiddies, we have lost four in a row. Its not all bad though. If we keep losing Renney the Philosopher will actually have to act and coach instead of relying on Shanahan and Jagr to carry the team. Or maybe the great 'drain truster' will hire Mike Keenan as the coach and then you will see how a defense is supposed to play. Still think Brian leetch is too old for this team?

ICINGS: Brendan Shanahan moved into a tie for the league goal scoring race, with his 18th career hat trick and now has 20 goals for the year. Imagine where we would be if he had not picked up the phone to call the chief 'drain truster'. Jagr tallied his 13th but seemed to be frustrated as his body isn't performing the way he wants it to. He played over 25 minutes and put five shots on goal, though none in the third period. Prucha, Orr, Tyutin and Hollweg had no shots on goal though Hollweg had 5 hits the most by the Rangers.

Daily News
Oh, Henrik! It's Pine Time
NY Post
Henrik's Psyche Takes A Beating
J.D.-Led Rangers Iced The Islanders
Kozlov Becomes Center Of Attention
Lundqvist Allows 4 In First, Asks Out
Can't Take Them Lightly Anymore
Journal News
Kozlov, Islanders Too Much For Rangers

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  • kaspar fan said...

    I wish Keenan would replace Sather's mouthpiece and "Yes Man," Renney. With only four players that are consistent goal scorers, you cannot be a championship caliber team. With a wimpy, at best, defense, it's a no brainer that that combination serves only the opponent. Everytime Oh No steps on the ice, it's almost a guarantee that there will be a goal scored (for the other side). And more heartburn for me. What was it, goal number two or three, where he was in the net, behind Lundqvist? I swear he jumped out of the way of the puck. While Hollweg has not scored, he is most consistent in taking the body. I thought that was also a job for the six on D? I guess not. And Orr's role? 4:31 ice time. Two minutes in the box. How about calling up Dawes? He is a good skater and has shown he can score. Sorry, I'm ranting. But, Pock and Kasparaitis are still MIA while so many others are so much more deserving of a trip to Hartford. I do not get it.

  • mike said...

    kaspar fan-Most of us fans think the same way, its the 'drain trust' that is out of step. Supposedly Kaspar and Pock will be in the lineup Thursday.