Sunday, February 15, 2009

Free Fall

The Rangers now have one win in their last eight games after an embarrassing and humiliating loss to the Flyers today, 5-2. It was there for all to see on national TV and all to hear as one commentator after another, Pierre McGuire, Mike Milbury and Eddie Olczyk all blasted the Stealth GM for the overpriced, under performing team he put together. It was awful. The Rangers fell behind 5-0. Richards scored a shorthanded 5-on-3 goal, his third five-on-three shorthanded goal of the year. The shorthanded goal was the Flyers 14th of the season and the 11th the Rangers have given up. Lundqvist was yanked after the fourth goal giving up two softies. Even the Refs stunk. They gave Colton Orr a ten minute misconduct penalty for looking menacingly at a Flyer. Even Pierre complained about that one. The one bright hope for the Ranger fans was sent to the sin bin.

While the implications were that if this Rangers losing trend were to continue the Rangers coach would be fired, it was also clear that all the commentators believed that the Stealth GM was more to blame for putting this team together. The so called stars of this Rangers team have become invisible. The names are familiar: Redden, Rozsival, Gomez, and Drury. Now Lundqvist is starting to crack. Mara re-injured his right hand and if it's bad that means the return of of the very minus Kalinin. What's that old line about things will get worse before they get better.

It's going to take more than Sean Avery to save this season. What gets me is that the same idiot fans who booed Avery in October will be cheering him soon. But I remember that most of these fans have been cheering coach clueless, or Tom Terrific as the Maven and Al call him, most of this season. Hmm. Maybe these fans deserve this team. You think.

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  • jfl1066 said...

    You are right on- "the garden faithful" deserves this team-just for the way jagr was booed last year. I hope he signs with the pens.

  • jb said...

    This team has no firepower. They are unarmed and not dangerous. The Mets, Jets, and now the Rangers are all establishing a sad New York legacy of late season collapses.

    The debate about whether Renney has lost the team or not is over. He has. These guys are not playing for him. They can't hold the line any more and keep their games to 2-1 affairs. Especially with Lundqvist cracking. Maybe they're as fed up with Renney hockey was we are?

  • blow-me-down said...

    The team just chased the puck most of the game because none of them knew where to be. And talk about slow when they were doing it. They were little more than a minor irritant to the Flyers today.

    Hard to even talk about this one. But I have my Renney countdown calendar on the wall now.
    We should know more after St. Louis gets two points from them.
    Therrien was let go today, at least Pittsburgh is not ready to give up on turning things around. That should be interesting.

  • Ramblin' Pete said...

    Same Sh*t. Different Year.

    The team is flatlining.The offense is amemic. The power-play is comatose. Needed: A PHYSICAL Beukeboom-style defenseman to dish out checks and stop the opponent from taking liberties in the crease. (I am still waiting for Girardi to hit someone, three years later.)

    Redden? Naslund? Soft, past-their-prime veterans signed to l-o-n-g, and expen$ive(!) free agent deals. Sound familiar? Eh? GM Sather still overpays for overpriced ephemera. Redden = This year's Malakhov. He could skate into a corner with an uncracked egg in his pocket and emerge the same way.

    A lack of composure, lost face-offs in our own zone, zero forechecking, nobody crashing the net... It's deja vu all over again!

    Jagr is gone and we made no real effort to replace him in terms of somebody who can put the PUCK in the NET.

    We didn't replace Hollweg and Avery, so no GRIT, no sandpapery agitator who can take the body, dig in the corners, spark the team with a big hit...

    And no leadership. Shanahan was left to rot on the vine as a free agent and signed with Jersey. What a nightmare.

    Look, Drury and Gomez are pieces of a puzzle, not Leaders with a capital 'L.' ...nor Finishers with a big 'F.'

    Coach Clueless can't settle on line combos and plays a stultifying style that sacrifices the odd-man rush in favor of a defensive zone that leads nowhere, and takes the crowd out of the game. Bring us Shero's ghost. Or even Mike Keenan...

    Some nights Callahan and Dubinsky are the only players who hustle at all.

    Roszival seems to be a backwards-facing turnstile that fleet forwards skate through at will. The team does not hustle. The team does not care. It's the same ice-borne illness that plagues us EVERY generation.

    Look, when Sean Avery was wearing #16 at least the Rangers had a pulse. He's not the savior, but this franchise could sure use a spark. Some fans in the blue seats were chanting "We Want AV-ery!" after Philly chased Henrik, but it didn't really catch on.

    So he comes with baggage, and people hate him. Fine. We lack the Will to Win that Rangers like Messier and Graves took to the ice. We lack spirit. We lack presence. He isn't the answer to all of our problems, but at the very least Sean Avery can make hockey in NY fun again.

  • blow-me-down said...

    Not bringing in the topline scorer, a bona-fide proven scorer, before the season was a gigantic mistake. I wanted a cruncher defenceman too, but that took back seat to a guy up front who scared other teams. It would have made the rest of the forwards better. That's on Sather, not sure how much Renney was involved in player selection and I will not pretend to know.
    The roster management (wrong benchings and lack of benchings, playing useless players, never-ending and often stupid line juggling) and the style of play seen most games is definitely on Renney. Players arriving and becoming half of what they have been on other teams? That too. If the roster management is influenced by Sather, then this is a pretty bad example of no division of duties, and that just taints it even worse. A clean slate with neither of them would be great, but that's a long ways off I fear.

  • mike said...

    Just a few thoughts on all your comments.

    The fans chanting for Avery, are they the same crew that was booing him in October?

    Imagine what kind of record we would have if it weren't for the shootouts.

    Zherdev gets benched in the second period for indifferent play. If that is a criteria then Redden should sit the rest of the year.

    Petr Prucha gets limited ice time because "he lacks the stamina for a long run". Whats Scotty Gomez' excuse?

    The team needs a strong coach ala Tortorella not an interim like Schoenfield or heaven forbid Sather.

    The season was lost in the preseason free agency with overpaid, underachieving so called stars. It was aided and abetted by coach cluelesses misuse and ill advised use of the same stiffs on the power play and giving ice time to 'names' rather than performers.

  • blow-me-down said...

    "The team needs a strong coach ala Tortorella not an interim like Schoenfield or heaven forbid Sather."


    It's impossible to even understand the potential of some players (though a couple are fairly obvious, perhaps) under this coaching. Get this problem cleared up and then take a good hard look at what players can do, when they are operating at a decent level of intensity.

  • blow-me-down said...

    It's late. And I know that because I cannot provide a source, I may not be believed in what I say. Be that as it may, a little bird outside my window tonight told me that if (when) the team loses to the Islanders, our largest trouble will be gone.
    The bird was like an oracle, it was so hard to know what it meant, it was so cryptic. But sometimes that is how messages arrive. I almost think I know what he was trilling about.