Tuesday, November 11, 2008

When You Play Not To Lose

Markus Naslund is a 14 year NHL vet so when he says something you have to listen. One of his comments after last nights loss to Edmunton in a shootout was telling. "Maybe we're too concerned about making mistakes, so we stay back instead of taking the game to our opponent. Then when we fall behind, we have no choice." So when a player like Naslund has those thoughts imagine what some of the younger guys think, especially those that know that a bad shift leads to less ice time. So there you have the doctrine at its worst: "Not playing defense is not an option."

For the second night in a row a controversial goal cost the Rangers the game. Cole's goal off of his skate was ruled good and gave the Oilers a 1-0 lead. From my vantage point it was hard to see if it was kicked in. Also, Callahan's no goal was also close. It showed goalie Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers hand over the goal line but no puck was visible so no goal. So another slow start and another defeat for a team that after it started out with five wins is now 6-5-2. That is seven losses in the last thirteen games, which is sub .500 hockey. However, under the NHL rules the Rangers have garnered 14 points in 13 games so that is plus .500. Where else in the world do you lose more than you win and are over .500. In the new Gary Bettman NHL, that's where.

As my wife and I were getting off the train last night in Babylon there was a big crowd of Ranger fans getting off also. I remarked to her that there is a loyal base of Ranger supporters that have never wavered from their support of a team that has not always excelled. We both agreed that the fans are better than the team. Too bad the team has never reached the level of the fans.


Happy Veterans Day

Ted Leonsis / Ted's Take:
If you have the time, watch this film. It is very appropriate for Veterans Day. Let us never forget the brave men and women who serve our nation...

77 minutes / SnagFilms.com:
East L.A. Marine - The untold story of Guy Gabaldon

PFC Guy Louis Gabaldon ( March 22,1926 – August 31, 2006) was a United States Marine who was credited with capturing (or persuading to surrender) about 1,500 Japanese soldiers and civilians during the Battle of Saipan (1944) in World War II. He was nominated for the Medal of Honor but was instead awarded the Silver Star which was later upgraded to the Navy Cross Medal for these actions...

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  • Section 335 said...

    Thanks to those who noticed I am missing. I am up West and missed the last two games. However, I watched the Rangers game on Edmonton TV last night.

    Edmonton's announcers prayed for the last two periods to hang on for a tie - and even more thrilled to win. They expected to lose.

    One huge observation on their part - and true. They think the Rangers are soft if you drive on their defense. Sheldon Souray had told them that if they drive on net or along the boards the Ranger defense will not hit you, but grab you - and sure enough Edmonton got a power play at the end on a Souray drive against Mara where he grabbed.

    My observation is the same as Mike's, Renney plays for ties.

  • jb said...

    With a 2 goal a game offense. Ties are the only option. But, it seems a tad little early for Renney to go into his defensive shell and play for ties.

    Playing .500 hockey over the remaining 64 games equates to around 88 (24+64) points. And that won't get you in the playoffs. Last year you needed 94 pts to make it in.

    When 6'4" 219 lb Mara is grabbing instead of hitting something is not right. When did Malik syndrome infect everyone?

    Is the defense all Renney's responsibility? The team lists three assistants:

    Benoit Allaire - Goalie coach
    Perry Pearn - Power Play
    Mike Pelino - runs practices

  • blow-me-down said...

    Just back from a Remembrance Day service, moving as always, puts thing into perspective.
    Sec 335 - Being in Calgary, I thought I heard a Rangers fan cursing faintly in the distance last night. So it wasn't just my echo. LOL

    This general not taking the body thing is perplexing, always has been for me over the last few years. It makes a team less effective, yet it seems to be by choice. More than a few times the Oiler puck carriers should have been knocked off their moorings when they were skating around the Rangers net.
    Rather un-Mara-like that clutch of his. He usually likes getting the angle on giving a solid hit. I think that was rarity from him though, one of the few who do hit consistently.

    Wow, Naslund said that. That's the best thing I've heard from anyone in the Rangers' organization in a long time. I like him, and it's not like he doesn't know what goal scoring is about.

    I think the defense is all Renney's but I'm only making an educated guess.

  • Section 335 said...

    What is frustrating is that I see the potential so clearly. This is a team what dug out of a 2-0 hole last night and a bigger hole against the Red Wings. When they skate, they can score. Why play for a point once you get to 2-2 and have a team on the ropes?

    Yes blow-me-down, that was me!

  • Jonathan said...

    Hey Mike, this is Jonathan from Ranger Nation (www.nyrnation.com). Can you drop me an email when you get a chance at JRagus@nyrnation.com

    Wanted to see if you would be interested in coming on for a segment on Ranger Nation Radio one day soon.

    Thanks Mike

  • mike said...

    section 335-Good to have you back. Your comments on the Edmonton announcers is quite telling. Everyone in the league knows the Rangers weaknesses and how they play the game.

    Everyone but the clueless drive by media and house apologists. We come back so many times because we get desperate and abandon the game plan. Its the game plan that is killing us.

  • mike said...

    jb-If clueless is not running the practices he obviously is not running the game either.

  • mike said...

    blow-me-down-It is coach clueless's defense, clutch, hold and hook. He takes full credit for it.

    If it wasn't for Lundqvist the Rangers would have no defense.