If I were the Stealth GM I would spend the rest of the week dialing 1-800-MSundin and see how soon he wants to come back and give him whatever he wants, the cap be damned. I would also call the old guy, Shanahan, and see if his weary bones are up to one more year skating on the Garden Ice. The Rangers are in deep trouble. While they are sinking in their own ice, coach clueless keeps up the discipline, defensive mantra: "Not playing defense is not an option."
Meanwhile the team has scored four goals in four games, being shutout twice, both times on Garden ice. Out of the seventeen games they have won, seven have been by shootouts, that's 41%. The players are more in tune with what is going on than the coach is. While Drury and Naslund have been warning that these shootout wins will be negated in the playoffs the clueless one keeps insisting that the team "finds" ways to win.
Against Pittsburgh coach clueless made some lineup changes that looked promising. Gomez centering Naslund and the Z Man and Petr Prucha back in the lineup. Prucha scored a goal. The next game Dawes was in the lineup to replace an injured Betts. Dawes scored a goal. Dawes was benched last night for the offensively hapless Betts and the three top skaters, Gomez, Naslund and The Z-Man were all on different lines and all were ineffective. There was no flow and there was no cohesion. But clueless saw an improvement. I guess giving up three goals after giving up six is an improvement.
I also saw a different Lundqvist last night. He seemed to be reacting to every movement of the puck and didn't seem to be his old confident self. Of course, having Rozsival in front of you for over twenty minutes should make any goalie antsy. Looking at this team I don't see the big guy who can carry us a game or two. Naslund has seen his better days and Zherdev seems to be trying to find his niche with this team. Drury and Gomez now seem to be what they were with other teams. Strong role players but not the type or talent to carry a team. At least not with this team, this system, this coach. Drury has had two thirty goal years in ten seasons and Gomez has had one in eight.
So make those calls Stealth, make those calls. While you are at it check out the availability of Pat Burns and Larry Robinson, just in case coach clueless runs out of adjectives. We don't need any more stinkers like last night.
The Ranger Pundit is gaining allies.
HDH / HockeyBird.com:
It's time [to fire Renney] --
... back to my original premises . . . time for change. What change, you ask? Well I hate to sound like a crazy ranting disgruntled Ranger fan, but it is time for Tom Renney to go. Pink slip time for sure...
Here are some reasons:
- Their record is deceptive
- The [non] offense
- The Power Play
- The 'Renney system' - It is defense, defense, defense. All defense all the time. When Blair Betts is your most important skater, your team is in trouble...