Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

No, I'm not talking about jb's article that went up this morning. I'm talking about the Ranger game last night. The Rangers were on their way to their most impressive win of the season when they hit a wall. If continued I would have extolled them and I would have predicted that now they are on their way. This would have made The Dark Ranger happy. However, they tanked and it was probably their biggest loss of the season, certainly their most depressing. The game was eerily reminiscent of the game played the last time the Rangers were in Montreal. Then, the Canadiens took a three goal lead and the Rangers stormed back with five goals to win 5-3. This time the Rangers blew a 5-0 lead. It is the first time in the history of the franchise they have blown a five goal lead. I could crow that the war-time teams never did that, but I can't remember them even getting five goals.

The Good. Shanahan gets two goals, Jagr gets four assists and they are all over the Canadiens and their mad man, Mike Komisarek, challenging him a couple of times. They drive rookie goalie Carey Price from the nets and score two goals on his replacement, Cristobal Huet. They have the Canadien fans so upset they litter the ice with objects that hold up the game. They are on their way to one of the greatest Ranger wins in one of the hardest places for the Rangers to win, Montreal. Granted since the Canadiens have left the old Forum, they are less formidable.

The bad. They collapse. They play defense instead of offense. At least I think that is what they were playing. They become reactive and stop taking the game to the Canadiens. They allowed Montreal to take the offensive zone with ease and continued to back peddle so that their goalie, Lundqvist, was left defenseless. Also, Lundqvist continues to be vulnerable to scrambles in front of him and has shown trouble controlling the puck lately.

The Ugly. The shootout itself is an aberation. Last night the Rangers made it a complete farce. Shanahan, who has three shootout goals, decided to use a new tactic last night and it failed miserably. Drury, who should not be in shootouts, was an easy stop for Huet. Jagr's attempt was a complete embarrassment. He might have well just skated into the goal with the puck, bowling over Huet. Lundqvist was faked out of his skates by Saku Koive and the game was over.

This will be a lingering loss. The spin doctors are saying things like, it's a point, it's one of those things that happen in a game, and we will bounce back. I hope so. I hope coach clueless can rally the troops because this is a game that could stay in the Rangers fragile heads for a long time. Stay tuned.

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  • Section 335 said...

    This one hurt. I blame the coach.

    What would Mike Kennan or Scotty Bowman have done? They would have pulled the goalie after goal three. They would have benched a few players when they stopped hitting. They would have yelled and screamed. After goal four, they would have threatened trades. And, the Rangers would have won the game.

    You have to understand that the Canadians will not tolerate being embarrassed in front of their own fans. The press would kill them. Their omlettes du fromage would be burnt. They will do anything to fight back. We did not have the same level of fear or desire. And, that is why you need a coach.

  • mike said...

    section 335-This team will not ever achieve its potential with coach clueless.