Sunday, February 04, 2007

Where Is The Bottom?

The Rangers have now lost eight out of the last twelve, fifteen out of twenty since their five game winning streak, beating only bottom feeders Boston, twice, Philadelphia, twice and Washington. This does not bode well for Tom Renney's underachievers. Each game brings a new pronouncement from the Philosopher In Chief about even though they lost they continue to play well. The drive by media is bemoaning the fact that their top defensive pairing was missing last night and that rookies took their place. The fact that Michal Rozsival and Marek Malik are considered their top defensive pair is a problem unto itself.

Jaromir Jagr who promised a surge after the All Star game just can not do it. He gets no respect from the refs or his teammates. Outside of Brendan Shanahan who has fought for Jagr and criticized the refs for him the rest are a silent brood of pacifists. The only true scrapper in the bunch, Ryan Hollweg, gets all of four minutes of ice time, if he is not benched, in the Tom Renney scheme of things. The Ranger got three power plays last night, Tampa got eight. The Rangers spent all of 3:42 on the power play, Tampa got 11:32. Apparently John Tortorella's constant complaining and pained expression gets more results than Shanny's post game comments and Renney's puzzled looks. Even the announcers were silent after Jagr was taken down near the end of the game with no call.

The Rangers are now in 11th place, five points behind 8th place Carolina. The Rangers have three games in hand on Carolina. The problem is that Toronto, in 9th place, and the Islanders in 10th place, are two teams that the Rangers have a lot of problems with. Conversely, the Rangers are only 5 points ahead of the 14th place Florida Panthers. Can the Rangers do it? Is it impossible to do it? They can't do it with this team.

The Rangers need new blood and a new direction from their coach. The top line seems to be faltering. The power play is predictable and there are still too many giveaways. But it is the lack of toughness that is doing this team in and will prevent them from making the playoffs. A decision will have to be made soon on whether to be a buyer or a seller. The question is, who is desirable on this team that can appeal to a contending team? It will be interesting to see what kind of a crowd shows up tomorrow night against Detroit.

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  • topshelf22 said...

    A recent article in The Hockey News said that Columbus would consider trading Sergei Fedorov and/or Fredrik Modin. Even though he is 37 and making $6 million, i feel like he still has what it takes to score goals and would be the No. 2 center that Shanny needs. Plus he has won a Selke Trophy so that's an added bonus that the Rangers could use. Do you think the Rangers would make a proposal for him and what do you think it would take?

  • mike said...

    topshelf-He is tied for first in goals scored and third on the team in points, 14 and 32. I don't think it would take much to get him but a portion of his $6 million would be added to the cap and that could kill the deal. But you are right, he would full the need for number two center.

  • topshelf22 said...

    i feel like the $6 mil toward the cap would be worth it. Although I don't know how many years he has left on his contract.
    What do you make of the Sean Avery trade? I know he is an energy guy and can be a Matthew Barnaby type guy and adds toughness, but he led the league in penalty minutes which is something the Blueshirts don't really need considering how many stupid penalties they take. Plus it seemed like Marc Andre Cliche was a pretty good prospect.

  • mike said...

    topshelf22-Marc Andre Cliche is an excellent prospect but what are prospects chances in the Ranger organization. Yes, Avery takes a lot of penalties but he could be the enforcer the Rangers need if he gets more than ten minutes of ice time in Renney's scheme of things.