Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Bad Habits Die Hard

Another big Ranger defeat to another over achieving Islander team. Forget the one point for the shootout that most of the drive by media mavens think is great. The Islanders beat the Rangers last night. We outshot them 30-18 but they out hit us with regularity 41-30. That's okay though. Keep guys like like Hollweg and Prucha on the bench. How about giving Straka and Jagr a night off? Suddenly newcomers like Sjostrum and Backman have become regulars. Where is Jason Strudwick to steady a Swiss cheese defense? Or is it a Czech cheese defense?

The Islanders beat the Rangers for the fourth time in five games. The Islanders have beaten the New Jersey Devils five times in six games. That is a 9-2 record against their two intra city rivals. Without the patsies of Rangers and Devils the Islander record is 23-27-7. All three goals the Islanders scored were off of huge Ranger defensive goofs and sloppy goalie work. The first Islander goal by Blake Comeau highlighted all the latest defensive shortcomings by the Rangers. Comeau took the puck away from a lazy Malik and from behind the net hit a confused Rozsival's skate and trickled off of an indecisive Lundqvist's skate into the goal. Whatever happened to a goalie putting his stick on the ice to stop ice level shots from going in? The Three Stooges would have incorporated that fiasco into their routine.

Bergenheim goal was scored off of a retreating Ranger defense which Lundqvist should have stopped and Hunter was standing in front of Lundqvist when Backman was stripped of the puck and Fedetenko's shot hit him and went in. Don't get me wrong, though. The Islanders earned all three goals as they constantly pressured the weak Ranger defense. At times Nolan was sending in three forwards to forecheck the Rangers who didn't have a clue (there's that word again) how to break out.

Before the game one of my sons mentioned that the Rangers were only five points out of first in the East. What he forgot to mention was that they were only five points out of ninth. They now are six points out of first and only four points out of ninth. Is that progress or what? Hey we got a point. Wade Dubielewicz weathered the first six minutes of the game helped by some bad Ranger luck and then beat us in a shootout for the second time in his short career.

One more point worth mentioning. Ryan Callahan, who played a strong game and scored the tying goal, shorthanded, was left off the ice in the five minute OT and completely ignored in the shootout as specialists like Michal Rozsival were given a shot. However, I guess it was okay as our Captain and team leader was also left off the shootout list. Not one main stream publication mentioned that Jagr wasn't in the shootout. Maybe he had to prime himself for the postmortem. Amazing.

ICINGS: Reader from Section 335 brought to my attention the post game news conference comparing coach clueless's comments to Shanahan's, suggesting that Shanahan should be the coach. Check it out and you may come to the same conclusion. Thanks Section 335.

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  • jfl1066 said...

    I think Sather got Backman so the fans will stop booing Malik....

  • jb said...

    Just to rub salt in your wounds. Isn't it funny that Sather let your old rock Kaspar go probably because of his big contract, then adds the Malik protégé, Backman, with another big contract. Backman was a -2 in the last game.

  • mike said...

    jfl1066-I think the strategy is working.

  • mike said...

    jb-He should bring Kaspar up and send Malik and Backman to the AHL>

  • Section 335 said...

    Thanks Mike for the thanks.

    1. Backman should sit the next game. I like his potential (he has skill and good size and can add a few pounds to his frame by next year to become someone who can play more physical)- but this time of year is not the time to teach a new player to play in the NHL.

    2. Marcel Hossa was -1 again. Four games and -1 each. Oh, did I mention the other team only got 1 goal?

    3. I would play Vally tonight. The team seems to be too relaxed defensively with the Prince in net recently. And, Henry has not been winning against the Isles. Time to try something different.

  • mike said...

    section 335-How about we trade Backman and his $3.4 million contract.

    You are now the official Hossa watcher.

    Already decided. The Prince will be in goal tonight and probably DiPietro, who plays well against us, for the Isles.