Sunday, March 29, 2009

Another Ugly Igloo Loss

I was trying to remember the last time the Rangers won a game at the Igloo and frankly I can't. Not only that, we also seem to get the short end of the questionable calls and the even shorter end of the phantom calls. I have stayed away from the mantra that Avery and the Rangers are getting screwed. I have changed my tune after yesterday's game. The Rangers were called for nine penalties to three for the Pens. While the calls and non calls against Avery were bad the worst call to me was for the five minute interference to Colton Orr on a clean hit. However, hockey has always been a sport subject to the whims of the refs, and these are the things that must be overcome in a game and in a season.

Right now the Ranger season is on the brink. They are in seventh place, one point ahead of Montreal and just two points ahead of ninth place Florida. Florida and the Rangers both have six games to play, none against each other. The Rangers strong suit right now is their penalty killing. Their Achilles heel, their power play, though you have to admit the word power is a misnomer.

Right now the Rangers seem to be in disarray. Even the coach can't decide on his D-men. Sauer got less than two minutes. Does it pay to dress a guy for two minutes? I guess it does as now they are sending him down and are bringing up Potter. How much ice time is he going to get? Of course the culprit on defense remains the highly overpaid Redden who neither sits or can be sent down. Twenty-seven minutes of ice time and on the ice for the winning goal by Crosby who went right by him. So Potter will be brought back up. Why not bring Bobby Sanguinetti up who was an AHL all star and a power play specialist? You think we could use a power play specialist?

The coach said that the Rangers did a lot of good things yesterday even though they lost. It is time to start winning and the time to start is Monday night against the Devils. Either that or start preparing for next year. The bad news, about that, is that Wade Redden has five more bloated years left.


Rangerland Musing on the Igloo Ignominy

Chris Kotsopoulos / Kotsy's Korner:
Rangers Screwed in Pittsburgh Again --

It seems like whenever the New York Rangers play the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Igloo, not only must they try to beat a very talented team - but they also have to beat the new age NHL and its referees...
Scotty Hockey:
Why is it that Joe Micheletti feels the need to be Wade Redden's personal publicist? Micheletti raved on and on about how wonderful Redden was when the Penguin ran into him in the neutral zone and the Rangers were able to go the other way and score. Not mentioned was the pathetic netminding by Fleury to allow the telegraphed wrap-around attempt slide past him. But Redden, wow. Just give that man the Norris NOW!!!!!
Hockey Rodent:
I'll heartily agree there were some gruesome calls and outrageous non-calls, the plain truth is that Pittsburgh outskated their guests at even strength, particularly in the attacking zone...
Steve Zipay / Blue Notes - Newsday:
After 4-3 loss to Pens, Rangers call out refs --
“The thing that’s frustrating is two teams with the type of position we’re in at this time of year, I just hope we allow the teams to make the difference and to determine the result,” said Tortorella after twelve penalties were called on the Rangers, giving the Penguins eight power plays to the Rangers’ three.

As for Avery, Torts said: “I’m the first one to say that Sean makes his own bed with some of the things that happened, but I think he’s done his penance here,” Tortorella said, “All I want is, I hope he’s given a fair shake, he does something stupid on the ice, give him a penalty; if it warrants him getting kicked out the game, kick him out of the game, the way he’s trying to concentrate on the game, and the way he’s trying to play, I hope he gets treated fairly.” ...
The Manic Ranger
Rangers Players Call Out Refs.. --
Apparently there are new "Avery Rules" in the NHL. Feel free to slash, trip, and do w/e the !@#$ else you want to do to him because it won't be called. There were numerous cases against Pittsburgh today when a penalty wasn't and should have been called. Granted the refs don't see everything, but when it's such a regular occurrence and often in plain view, it's inexcusable...
Colton Orr vs Eric Godard -- 6.3 rating, who won?
  • Eric Godard -- 64.1%
  • Draw -- 23.3%
  • Colton Orr -- 12.6%

Sean Avery vs Tyler Kennedy -- 2.6 rating, who won?
  • Tyler Kennedy -- 55.4%
  • Draw -- 40.0%
  • Sean Avery -- 4.6%

Did the loss to the Pens really push the Rangers out of the playoffs?

Your Projected Final Standings -- Eastern Conference...

1. Bruins (E)
2. Devils (E)
3. Capitals (E)
4. Hurricanes (+1)
5. Flyers (+1)
6. Penguins (-1)
7. Canadiens (E)
8. Panthers (+1)
9. Rangers (-1)
10. Sabres (E)

Rangers -16.8 (62.9%)-- percentage of making the playoff change today...

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  • blow-me-down said...

    A guy makes a hit, elbows not high, the opponent ducks and cuts his face on the boards. The hitter's elbow smacks the glass.
    Five minute major and 10 minute misconduct. For intereference, of all things.
    A possible 2 minute minor at most, if at all, incident becomes this?
    And, as you point out Mike, how about blatant non-calls with officials right there, and the same type of thing being called against NYR?

    To those folks with a penchant for automatically, in all cases, saying "you cannot blame the refs for losing the game", I say take a harder look at yesterday's game. I sure wish the NHL would.
    Once again, officiating shaping the game.

    I like the way NYR played. Myself, I do not mind them getting into a 'track meet'; take your best game to any team I say.
    The absolutes from this game are:
    1. Penalty Kill good
    2. PowerPlay bad

    Hard for me to comment on much else. A bit puzzled over Sauer's situtation. Should Mara have even been playing, it is reasonable to think his eye impaired his play, though that is just conjecture. I bitch and whine about Rozy's mistakes a lot, but I think he was sorely missed. Penguins are a very good team, but they shouldn't be getting as many assists from the black and white team.

    Yep, it sure would be nice to see a win against the Devils to help forget these last two games.

    Go Rangers!!

  • Section 335 said...

    The way I look at this has evolved over the past few games, with three one-goal losses, back to where I was before the season started. I said then and say again that this team lacks goal production - and in particular a go to goal scorer like a Jagr, Messier, Ovechkin, Malkin, Crosby, or Kovalchuk. It is hard to win a Cup, or be a top team, without one of those guys. It is hard to be a playoff team without goal production.

    This team should make the playoffs if it wins three and ties two (but loses) of its last six games - 42 wins and 95 points. Florida would have to five of its last six and get a tie to reach 96 and beat us.

    If we cannot get 8 points in the last 6 games, we should not be in the playoffs anyway. Maybe that would hit Dolan where it matters.

  • jb said...

    Penguins/Crosby are certainly blessed in the new NHL. Officiating is a pot luck dinner served cold in Pittsburgh.

    I think the PP weakness is related to that lack of a big scoring threat. A Jagr-type on the PP drew attention and also opened up others. I think Drury is the PP scoring leader with 10, or so. But he is usually stationed around the net looking for deflections or rebounds.

    Also, Z-man should be more effective on the PP, especially 5-on-3 situations, but he isn't. It's frustrating to see him skating around the perimeter and not doing anything. Jagr was labeled Capt. Perimeter, but Z-man wants the title.

    I hope the 8 point scenario works out for the Rangers, but why am I worrying?

  • blow-me-down said...

    We need more shots from the point, like one I saw Staal make on Saturday...low, hard and on the net.

    If for some reason Antropov, with the biggest frame, the longest reach, and the slickest hands, is not near the front of their net on every PP, then I will open the nearest window and launch myself, trying not to land on anything soft.

    I don't think Torts has played a speedy forward at the point on the PP yet, has he? It doesn't look like he buys into that.

    So, it's Mara and Potter. I never got enough of a look at Potter last time up, but he did play well.

    This is the game, as far as I am concerned. This is the game.