The Rangers were shutout again by another backup goalie, Scott Clemmensen, who made all of 27 saves in posting his first shutout since 2004, a span of 57 games. The opening and winning goal was scored by Bobby Holik off of a pass by Brendan Shanahan. Names sound familiar? Both were Rangers at one time. Holik was deemed a locker room distraction and Shanahan was deemed too old and slow for this upbeat tempo team that I believe ranks 25th in scoring in the NHL.
Once Holik scored the game was effectively over. Not only can't the Rangers score, five goals in five games, they don't know how to score. Their power play, 0-5, also ranks near the bottom of the league. They have been trained not to score. So they don't. They have been trained not to make mistakes, but they do. They have been trained to play defense first, at all costs, and they do this to ad nauseam. Isn't it past time to remove the architect of this failed strategy? Isn't it past time to remove the noose that has strangled this offense?
It is also time for the the Stealth GM to step down. Fire coach clueless and then resign. If clueless is the architect of the failed system the Stealth is the architect of this failed team. He jettisoned Jagr, Shanahan and Avery all strong players and all strong locker room personalities to please a coach who demanded a sanitized locker room. The Stealth then went out and overspent on three marginal defensemen, Redden, Kalinin and Rozsival, who have not performed to expectations. Redden is a continued embarrassment with his soft, careless play, but this was known by people in Ottawa so how come our genius GM did not know that.
The Stealth has assembled one of the softest teams ever to don Ranger Blue and opposing forwards relish the thought of entering the Ranger zone. This is all well known. Listening to the commentators on Versus last night they constantly cited the Rangers being out hustled and out toughed by the Devils. Sure there were exceptions. Orr sending Rupp to the locker room with one punch and newly acquired Erik Reitz squaring off with David Clarkson. But how much ice time does Orr actually get and Reitz will sit once Kalinin gets ready to return. Does Redden ever sit? The only one who sits is Petr Prucha, who at one time had excellent offensive skills. Before he leaves, I would like coach clueless to explain why Prucha sits and Voros plays.
It should be interesting tomorrow night at the Garden against the Caps. The way the Caps hit and score it could get ugly. For the first time this year coach clueless may hear the wrath of the Garden crowd. I think I might make it tomorrow night. It could be historic or it could be hysteric. What do you think?
The Grate One is now in Hartford. Parents lock up your daughters and hockey fans stay tuned to your blogs. The circus is coming back to town.
AHL's Wolf Pack bite on Avery --
Sean Avery is set to resume his playing career after the Dallas Stars assigned the winger to the Hartford Wolfpack of the American Hockey League.2nd update:
"I would like to thank Glen Sather and the Rangers organization for giving me the chance to resume my hockey career by affording me this opportunity with the Hartford Wolf Pack," Sean Avery said in a statement. "I am looking forward to getting back on the ice, working my way back to the NHL and playing the game I love. While I appreciate the many interview requests, at this point in time, I would like to focus on hockey and will not be making any further statements while with the Wolf Pack." ...
AVERY PRACTICES WITH WOLF PACK --
Avery, who left the Rangers to sign with Dallas after last season ended in the second round of the playoffs, skated with the Wolfpack for 70 minutes today at the team's practice facility in Cromwell, Conn. He wore a red practice jersey and a helmet with his customary No. 16 on it.
"I felt good, it's great to be back," Avery told The Post. "My lungs and legs are not as good as my head. But I'll take a clear head any day. It was good to skate, it's great to be back on the ice, great to be back with the guys. It's refreshing. It feels a little bit like I'm back in juniors."