Friday, February 27, 2009

Single Digit Midgets

James Dolan shows Rangers fans his digit

One is a lonely number
One can never have fun
When I met you
I thought I lost the blues
But now I find that I'm back in
That same old boat again.
One is an unhappy number
Why do you always make me wait
One and one makes two
That's why I need you
One is a lonely, lonely number.
One is a lonely number
One is always on it's own...
-- George Jones
The Rangers are stuck on scoring just one goal a game. That's not the same as stuck on stupid. But that's just a small difference without a distinction for our heroes. For the second night in a row the Blueshirts suffer a third period collapse. David Booth and Nathan Horton scored on consecutive shots a minute apart in the third period to rally the Panthers to a 2-1 win. Markus Naslund had scored the only Rangers goal at 7:34 in the first period.

It was a spirited, fast moving and highly entertaining game. But, as a Rangers fan you had this building sense of dread as our guys kept flubbing their scoring chances. You knew in your bones that not closing the deal and getting that second goal would mean the evening would end badly. And it did.

Whatever happened to the good old days when a line stayed together for a season or more and developed a scoring rhythm? The Rangers top three lines have been a mish-mash since training camp. Ouch.

So what now? Can Torts squeeze some more goals out of his roster?

I believe he can. But, will Torts then have to worry about the defense/goaltending springing more leaks? Lundqvist has shown he's human this year. The good ship is floundering.

So for now let's dance around the poop deck, as the orchestra plays their final songs, and the women and children head for the lifeboats. The icy cold water below the 8th place water line will be refreshing. If only we could clutch to Kate Winslet before we go down.

Here's a roundup from some of the other lifeboats lowered off the USS Lord Stanley.

Scotty Hockey:
31-24-8: More Of The Same --
Ugh, do I really have to go over this one? Blah, blah, blah, more of the crappy same play, blah, blah. Some glimpses of John Tortorella's influence were shown during the Ranger 2-1 loss but they were just as ineffective as the Ranger offense was. The defense jumped up when they could, the fourth line barely played and the Rangers ventured into the tough scoring zones more often. But they missed the net wide on open shots from the wing, missed mostly-empty nets and were 0-3 on the power play, including a disgraceful 5-on-3 opportunity...
Natural Hat Trick:
This Lack of Scoring Thing Is Getting Kinda Old --
But...I'm still being more entertained. I know. I know. Way too much of Renney's passive, timid hockey for too long and ANYTHING seems exciting. But the pace of the last two games, even back to back, you have to admit was much better. Much...

The bad news: The pucks aren't going in. And the team is not getting to rebounds, which has been a problem all year long...
Rangers Review:
Come on now, let’s be real guys. Do you honestly think these guys made it all the way from mites, to juniors to the AHL to the NHL without being able to bury the kind of chances they missed tonight? Come on now, you guys are smarter than that. We know what the problem is with the Rangers. It’s NOT, I repeat, NOT, because they are unable to bury the chances they got tonight. It’s because they are so overthinking and squeezing their sticks that they can not do ANYTHING right...

More calling out the Stealth GM. A chorus is building. Will Dolan hear it inside his bubble?

Jay Greenburg / NY Post:
If the new coach thinks Chris Drury is tense, wait until the meeting when Glen Sather - who, much to the disappointment of the chanting fans, will not be fired any time soon - explains how tight the Rangers will be this summer against the salary cap...
Forgot to note that last week Bill Price at the NY Daily News also realized we had a Stealth GM. Who would have ever figured out that Sather was Stealthy? Like maybe years ago?

Bill Price / NY Daily News:
Where is Sather? --
Tom Renney and Chris Drury said all the right things after the Rangers did all the wrong things in Sunday’s dismal loss to the Flyers at the Garden.

“I take full responsibility for where this team is right now,” said the coach.

“I’m not doing what I was brought here to do,” said the captain.

As for the man who put this team together . . . nothing.

In case you’ve forgotten, he’s Glen Sather, the president and GM of your New York Rangers. Honestly, I can’t blame you for forgetting, because he’s nowhere to be found...
Who'd a thunk the Staal Bro's were jinxed?

Staal Brothers: Coach Killers? --
Of course our "Coach Killer" label is tongue-in cheek, we found it amusing that all 3 Staal brothers have had their coaches fired since the start of the season.

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  • blow-me-down said...

    The single digit curse will be lifted soon, I feel it in my bones. The final result on the scoreboard looks pretty familiar, obviously, but the team looks decidedly more motivated.

    Plus, we gotta be getting some kind of player shuffle by the deadline, right?

    Nothing like optimism, I say!

  • jb said...

    I am slightly baffled by the Avery situation. The logic for the Stars to keep him down in Hartford is considerable. Why would they hand him over to Sather and take the hit of about $1.6 million in cap space for the remainder of this season and 3 more seasons to follow.

    But none the less there is this report today -- SPORTSNET.CA:

    Sportsnet has learned the Dallas Stars will place Sean Avery on re-entry waivers as early as Monday.

    Avery will play in both AHL Hartford Wolf Pack games this weekend. The New York Rangers have committed to claiming Avery providing he was still available.

    In six games with the Wolf Pack, Avery has one goal and one assist...
    The only Ranger most rumor guys see the Rangers moving is Prucha:

    Petr Prucha - NYR - 75%, Phx - 15%, SJS - 5%, Col - 5%

    It's possible we are still lamenting Drury, Gomez, and Redden in 2011-12 and Gomez/Redden in 2013-14. That is depressing. Sather will be long gone, but he'll haunt the team for years.

  • blow-me-down said...

    It is a crapshoot, because the Stars could perhaps do better by trading Avery, couldn't they? That would mean no cap hit left at all for them.

    How does that work? My understanding was that this type of gentleman's agreement goes on all the time. Legally, I guess nothing could stop the Stars from trading Avery outright.

  • jb said...

    This is the logic for holding Avery in Hartford:

    Dallas will wait until the buy out period(June) when they can buy out Avery at 2/3 of his contract. They would still suffer a salary cap hit, but it would be about $1.3 mil spread out over 6 years. That source also indicated that Dallas might shop Avery at or before the draft after teams see how he performs in the minors. Hoping to unload all of his contract, but they understand its a long shot at best, but not impossible.