Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Brodeur Bests Lundqvist

Brodeur stops Straka
The Rangers revamped, punchless lineup could get no more than nine shots on goal in any period tonight and lost a key game that put their playoff hopes in jeopardy. Any hopes that the Rangers could climb up the ladder in the Eastern Conference were dashed by the Devils defense and Brodeur. Brodeur stopped 26 shots, mostly ordinary and Lundqvist stopped 31, letting what looked like a harmless wrist shot from defenseman Brad Lukowich go in for the only goal.

The Rangers new lineup was more of a reflection of the team's weaknesses than it was some bold strategy by Tom Renney. How else to explain true fourth line center Blair Betts, maybe a third liner, centering the second line of Shanahan and Hossa. Poor Shanahan. Not only did he not have a gifted center to feed him he had an obstacle on his opposite wing. Think of this for a moment. Brendan Shanahan, the free agent, who called the Rangers, has scored twenty four goals without having a true second line center on his line.

Where was Prucha, the rookie sensation who scored 30 goals last year? Why he was on the fourth line with Hollweg and Orr. The third line was new guy Jason Krog at center with Cullen and Ortmeyer on the wings. Wow! Prucha's name keeps coming up in a potential trade with the St. Louis Blue's for the recycled Martin Rucinsky. Martin Rucinsky. In his fifteen years in the NHL Rucinsky has never scored thirty goals in a season. He has never had more than sixty points in a season. The kicker is that John Davidson, President of the Blues wants Brandon Dubinsky, the twenty year old in Hartford for retread Rucinsky. Would you trade Prucha or Dubinsky for Rucinsky? I would trade Malik and Rachunek for Rucinsky, wouldn't you?

And what of our top line? Nylander, Straka and Jagr got all of four shots the entire game. Four shots! And there was Renney after the game beating his chest on what a game his team played. Four shots! Unbelievable? No! The line insists on playing an east, west, tic-tac-toe, perimeter hockey game exerting no pressure on the goalie and magnifying the defensive attributes of the Devils. This team needs help now, not at the trading deadline. Is it any wonder there wasn't a sell out crowd at the game? Is it any wonder that the Devils haven't sold out one game this year?

Another oddity in this game was the fact that the Rangers did not get one power play opportunity. Amazing. The Devils were 0-4 on the PP and seemed to be their old whining selves every time one of them was smashed into the boards. But the Rangers couldn't beg, borrow or steal a PP. Maybe the refs figured that if the team doesn't have the heart to crash the net and play north, south rather than east, west than they don't deserve a power play.

January 17, 2007
Daily News
Ex-Islander Lukowich Now Totally Devils' Advocate
Rangers Do Zip Vs. Brodeur
NY Post
Checking It Out
Fans Should Savor Masked Marvels Marty And Henrik
Straka Gets Another Year
Brodeur Shutout Widens Gap
Journal News
Jagr, Rangers Lost In Devils' Shadows

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  • Anonymous said...

    How does Hossa make it to the second line? This guy has about as much ambition as a turtle. He get rewarded for doing what? Obviously Prucha isn’t scoring right now, but I’d hate to see them trade him. I think he’s just having a sophomore jinks. This kid will be a 30 goal scorers in the years to come. He’s a real hockey player. He’s got the guts, the ambition and the balls to get back up after taking a beating.

    There has got to be something wrong with Jagr. He doesn’t skate hard or shoot when he’s in position. Did the team not notice the other day how they came back form being down 5 goals against Ottawa? They crashed and throw the puck at the net. Why can’t they continue to do this? Is it beneath them? Are they to ‘Good’ to play that sort of game? I don’t get it. You could see them change after scoring that fourth goal. They started “setting up” plays with 12 minutes left, and not scoring on any of them.

    I’ve been really impressed with Pock’s play. His defensive play is solid, quite possibly the best the Rangers have right now. And he seems to be getting comfortable enough to jump in for some offence when it’s appropriate. I have yet to see him make any major mistakes.

    For a good playoff run I think the Rangers would have to rebuild the D. The only major change to the offence I would make is getting a good second line center for Shanahan and Prucha. Send Cullen and Hossa packing and bring up some of the kids.

    The Devils’ played a good game last night but I definitely saw 3 or 4 penalties that were not called. It just adds to my conspiracy theory with the Rangers and the refs. And the fact the Fraser “accidentally” got in Jagr’s way during Jagr’s only bust of energy during the game doesn’t help either. And that Straka Interference call was total BS. We had control of the puck, he was skating towards it and collided from behind with the Devils player. If anything it should have been against the Devils player since he had full visual contact of Straka.

    Well that’s enough gripes for now. Thanks Ranger Pundit!

  • mike said...

    anonymous-Great article and comments. You summed it up perfectly. Its what I have been writing about and what I have been hearing from fans at the game.