The coach clueless philosophy of defense at all costs was in full bloom at the Coliseum last night as the Rangers and Lundqvist hung on for a 2-1 win over the hapless Islanders. Only thing, last night the Islanders looked less hapless than the Rangers who were saved by Lundqvist and quite a bit of luck. The Rangers scored two goals in less than two minutes by Drury and Dawes and did nothing after that. Two goals against the worst team in the NHL. Two goals against a team that has given up the second most goals in the NHL. Two goals against a team playing their third string goalie, after their second string goalie got hurt after 5 minutes into the game. Two goals. Think about that.
Strong defensive effort you say. Holding the Islanders to one goal is no big deal. They have scored the third fewest goals in the Eastern Conference and rank 25th in the entire NHL. The Islanders outshot the Rangers 34-29. If not for Lundqvist, the goal posts and some fortunate bounces they could have won the game 5-2. They outhit the Rangers 35-23 and their hits were much more effective than the Rangers. Heck, the Rockettes can out hit the Rangers.
After the game coach clueless mumbled something about puck management and some other mumbo jumbo, and looking at the video today. To see what? To see what he has wrought with this offensively challenged team that must depend on its goalie every night to be competitive. How bad is it? There was Sam and Joe talking and marveling over Nikolai Zherdev's defense. Defense? The guy who was to be a potential 40 goal scorer is lauded for his defense. This keeps up they will be comparing Zherdev to Jan Erixon instead of Alex Kovalev. But that is what happens when the main philosophy is, "Not playing defense is not an option."
Kotsy makes Ryan Callahan his skater MVP.
Chris Kotsopoulos / Kotsy's Korner:
Never a Dull Moment, Rangers Win 2-1 --
My observations of this game are the Rangers never get away easy. It's almost like they enjoy these close games... or is it they realize they can't and never will be an offensive juggernaut? I think it's the latter. Physically, they were out of it, which is common - but I really didn't like the way Tim Jackman was running around without any repercussions. You can't allow that to happen and someone should have let him know.Tony at the Dark Ranger also observes that Renney the "Prophet of Puck Scoring Parsimony" is intent on delivering the meager goods in his gospel:
I will also continue to hammer this point... Ryan Callahan, pound for pound, dollar for dollar, has been the most consistent Ranger all season. In fact, if I had a vote - he would be my MVP of the skaters on this team. Obviously, the King would be the overall MVP... but Callahan would be a close second in that race as well. I really don't see any argument here....
Moreover, coach Renney's observation that the Rangers are a 2-1 team is becoming gospel...No one was very excited by this win.
The Brooklyn Hockey Guy:
We saw tonight that even the worst team in the league can outplay the Rangers for an extended period of time when they stop backchecking, forechecking, and pressuring the puck...Least of all the Hockey Rodent:
If you think I'm negative now, you ain't heard half the expletives which accompanied each pelting of the TV with The World's Most Famous Foam Masonry.
Did we stink?
Not quite. However, the final score is the only thing pushing the needle mint side of ADG's poo...