Saturday, March 17, 2007

Powerless

The Rangers continued their futility on the power play last night and it cost them a big point and a chance to move into a tie for seventh and eighth in the Eastern Conference playoff run. The Rangers went 0-6 on the power play stretching their run of futility to two goals in the last thirty four attempts. Is it any wonder that they are floundering in the playoff race. In fact playoff race is a misnomer, it should be called the playoff back-in.

For the second night in a row the teams that the Rangers are contending with all lost. Toronto and Montreal both lost. The night before it was the Islanders and the Hurricanes who both lost and all the Rangers do is tread water. They are now one point behind the Islanders and the 'Canes. They are tied with Toronto for ninth and tenth, one point ahead of Montreal. The Islanders have a game in hand on the Rangers and the Rangers have a game in hand on Carolina. Talk about mediocrity, that is what the NHL is now. Five teams tripping over each other to see who can back into the last playoff spot to be eliminated in the first round and maybe they may even win a game. The owners will be happy, they get their million plus profit per game and next year they raise the prices again and we, the jerks, will go.

While the Ranger went 0-6 on the PP the Thrashers were 1-6 and that was in the OT and it cost the game. The ref called a garage league penalty against Cullen and the Thrashers, who failed on a one minute plus five on three in the first period scored on a four on three in OT. The Rangers had chances on the PP, boy did they have chances. But the usual suspects could not score. Prucha put a point blank shot right into Hedberg's gut. Isbister with a wide open net on the left, shot wide to the right, and Jagr, who was going to carry the team on his shoulders, had Hedberg down and at his mercy but couldn't lift the puck over him. So much for waiting for good things to start happening.


The kids? They were great. Dubinsky got only 7:40 of ice time, no PP time, but got three shots on goal and one hit. Ryan Callahan got 15:06, 1:38 of PP, and had two shots on goal. David Liffton had 7:26, two shots and one hit. Girardi and Pock got increased ice time, 17:53 and 16:25, and none of the five embarrassed themselves and should have gotten more time especially Dubinsky who looks like he is the real deal as does Callahan. The 'Canes out hit the Rangers 24-12, perhaps reflecting the absence of Ryan Hollweg. The Rangers were led by Callahan with three hits and Pock with two. While Jagr had five shots on goal, two in the 2nd period, he couldn't cash it in when we needed it. The kids should have been brought up sooner and maybe we wouldn't be in this mess. It was fun watching young legs skating north south instead of east west figure eights.

ICINGS: The bad news. There are only 11 games left to play. The good news. There are only 11 games left to play.



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