Sunday, November 25, 2007

"Be Better, Be Tighter"

Those are the words of coach clueless after today's debacle. I call it a debacle because we can't get out of our own way in the offensive zone, were 0-9 on the power play, and despite putting 41 shots on goal we still passed up too many shots and the usual suspects continued to man the power play to no avail. Petr Prucha was again screwed which means the PP and the team suffered. Prucha got 10:47 of ice time and zero time on the power play and yet not one of the experts at MSG and the drive by media asked coach clueless the question. Why doesn't Prucha get power play time?

But according to coach clueless we have to play the game tighter which infers it was defense that cost us the game. I guess we are supposed to win games when we score two goals. Last game we lost to Florida 3-2 in the shootout. The previous game we beat Tampa Bay 2-1. The game before a 2-1 loss to the Islanders. So we have to play it tighter. How about, we have to open it up? How about, we should have won 6-3 today? So now we have lost three out of the last four and our next game is against the Islanders and it's Nolan against coach clueless so we are already down 2-0.

The first goal by Dallas was a gift by Gomez who refused to pull the trigger in the slot and had to make one more deke or pass. He coughed up the puck and trapped the whole Ranger team as Jussi Jokinen beat Lundqvist on a breakaway to tie it at one. After Shanny put us ahead, Loui Eriksson broke in alone on Lundqvist as Hossa waved at him and it was 2-2. The killer and winner was delivered by Brendan Morrow courtesy of Ribeiro undressing Girardi and putting a gimme on Morrow's stick. Since we already had gotten our quota of two goals the game was effectively over. Oh yes, Jagr had scored the first goal to give us a 1-0 lead. However, in keeping with the mentality of this team it was actually a pass that went off of a Star defenseman. Jagr looked annoyed that his pass didn't make it through and that he actually scored.

After the game Lundqvist thought he should have stopped the second shot. I don't know about that, but what I do know is that he should not get any more games off until he literally collapses. He doesn't look razor sharp after he returns from a game off. He insists he is not tired and is ready to play every game so why not trust him and play him until he drops. Who knows, maybe he does make that second save and even that first one and then coach clueless would brag what a great game the team played without going over their allotment of goals. By the way, the PK bent, giving up 2-5. Maybe we have to tighten the PK up.

So this is what the Rangers and their fans are up against. We will continue to play defense first at all costs, score a goal or two, and not make any critical mistakes. Go over this roster and you tell me who is incapable of making mistakes? And Malik isn't even in the lineup. I have to go dig up old films of the Sabres and the Devils and find where was the event that turned two pretty good hockey players like Drury and Gomez into tentative mushes. You don't think it's the coach? Nah!

ICINGS: Larry Brooks reports that Pat Burns is fully recovered and itching to get back into coaching. Very interesting. Nigel Dawes had a four pointer in Hartford the other night, 2 goals and 2 assists. What was it he was supposed to improve on by going back to Hartford? And Hossa continues to play. In six games with Hartford Dawes has 3 goals and 7 assists. He had four goals with the Rangers. Hossa has zero goals and 3 assists in 20 games. Thomas Pock had a goal and two assists in the same game and is 1-7-8 in 15 games.

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  • Anonymous said...

    dear ranger pundit,

    i can not stress enough how upset i am with this team..and i dont mean the players on the ice..i mean with management and coaches..why is hossa still playing..where is dawes and pock? oh thats right still playing with the hartford team that does NOT need any more players..this team is in DIRE need of SPRIT! you see jagr's face after the goal?? and all coach clueless does is a small pep talk like they are still in high school! prucha deserves a shot on the power play and for the love of god someone shoot on the power play! it looks like they are going though the motions and its not even feb. yet! i wonder when jed ortmyer was on this team he would go out and bang bodies with hollweg and get the team rolling...just watching this team lately has been very depressing..thoughts?

    thanks for you time!

    james hipple
    bronx ny

  • Anonymous said...

    I also miss the energy of that Ortmeyer-Hollweg line. This team is missing that fire.

  • mike said...

    anonymous-Management has forgotten how important role players are. You just can't overload with stars. Too many chiefs, no Indians.

  • mike said...

    anonymous-Orts was a special player who raised everyone's spirit and levels.

  • Anonymous said...

    I think rangers need a new coach,and
    a trade; Straka ,Malik, Hossa for a lw with size(somebody like Tayor Pyatt of VAN or.D.Penner of EDM.A.Voros of MIN.TO name few.For Jagr line)
    this will give younger players more ice time.Next year Sather is going
    to get less for Malik or Straka they have slowed down.
    Fire Sather too...

  • mike said...

    anonymous-Dolan will never fire Sather. Look at the mess Isiah Thomas has done with the Knicks and he is still around. I like your ideas. Lets throw in Montoya and ship them to Washington for Ovechkin who is a free agent next year.

  • Anonymous said...

    Goal scorers stop being goal scorers when the timing goes. And, usually, timing is severely diminished by age 35/36. Stop waiting: Jagr's days as a goal scorer are behind him. He does, however, have all of the assets to be a great centre ice man for another two or three years. Great puck carrier and skater with nice passing skills. Protects the puck better than anyone in the League. Eons ago, Toronto Maple Leafs took an aging defenceman name Red Kelly and made a centre out of him. He played super hockey for several years thereafter winning four Stanley Cups. If Jagr has a future, it is at centre ice. He does not need a setup man; he is the setup man - in waiting.

  • The Dark Ranger said...

    I like-ah this Ovechkin deal...he must be tired as hell playing for a losing team -- would blend well with the nubies, but we'd have to unload a bunch of salary cap. You pick 'em.

    The Dark Ranger challenges Coach Renney to step it up, demand that certain players making 6-8 million a year to shoot more than 3 shots per game, keep certain defensemen benched, allow Avery to keep stirring up trouble, keep skilled young'ens on the roster and not give in to upstairs pressure, and inject Jagr with a can of whoop ass special!

    Other than that, I love the shared first place with Philly (especially when they are losing to the Bruins 4-0 at the end of the 2nd period).


  • mike said...

    anonymous-Good points. Jagr centering Prucha and Shanahan sounds like a winner to me.

  • mike said...

    the dark ranger-I am officially throwing your hat into the ring to replace coach clueless.