No, that wasn't Joe Torre who said that. It was said by the captain of the star studded Rangers, Jaromir Jagr. And pray tell me when is this game going to be found. Where is it lost? Is it lost in the bowels of Madison Square Garden? Is it on the stage of the WaMu Theater along with all those other rock stars. Because that is what the Rangers are, rock stars, right? They must be rock stars because the game of hockey seems to be passing them by.
It is sad coming out of the Garden with my two sons and grandson and hear the fans making statements like: "We outshot them". "That 52 seconds killed us". "We played them even up, except for the 52 seconds". "Our defense is strong". The fact of the matter is that the Rangers are not ready for prime time and are not in the class of the Ottawa Senators and that is one of the teams they must beat to win the Eastern Conference. Hell right now we are not in the class of the Islanders, who have one third the talent of the Rangers but 100% more grit and a coach who knows how to adjust to a game situation.
The Rangers are tied with the Ottawa Senators for the best GAA in the Eastern Conference this young season, 2.0. However, Jagr, Shanahan, Gomez, Straka, Drury, Prucha, Callahan and company have scored all of ten goals in five games. After going 3-8 on the PP against the Capitals the Rangers returned to form and were 0-6 on the PP last night. This year they are 3-29 on the PP. However, the tic-tac-toe is working beautifully.
Marek Malik continues to distinguish himself by his feeble and tentative play. However all three Senator goals were caused by Ranger defensive breakdowns and while that in itself is a problem that soon won't be corrected how do you explain the lack of goals from this high powered collection of all stars? The offense is dismal and lacks any pattern. The power play is a complete shambles. Other teams shoot from the point, our plan is to pass. It reminds me of my kids little league basketball teams. The coach always admonished, "No shots until everybody touches the ball". But Pock sits while Malik continues to give the puck away. Marc Staal gets about twelve minutes of ice time while Malik gets over twenty. Nothing will change soon, not with this coach.
However, soon we will find our game. Ah yes, there will be a brighter day tomorrow and we will find our game. Tom Renney said it, "You can't kid yourself into wins". Whom is he kidding.
ICINGS: Had a great day in the city today celebrating my young son's birthday with his friend, my other son and my wife. We went to Angelo's in Little Italy and the food was fabulous. The pasta dishes were a meal unto themselves and there were really no reasons to order an appetizer but we did anyway. Great food, great time and great company.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Posted by mike at 8:33 PM