John Tortorella remarked a few days ago that the Rangers may not be in the shape they need to be to play the type of hockey he wants them to play. Last night may have well proved Tortorella's point. The Rangers were listless to a fault. Sean Avery said that the Rangers didn't bring their 'A' game. Hell, it looked like the 'B' game was missing too. Back to back, didn't seem to bother Ottawa, which was playing basically a defensive game. What are the Rangers going to do Tuesday against trap happy Minnesota?
Ottawa has now won nine of their last ten and snapped the Rangers winning streak at three games. Now I know you can't win them all down the stretch, but there are certain games that are there for the pickings and this was one of them. It was a game that could have, and should have been won. The Rangers reverted to old bad form going 0-6 on the power play and getting all of four shots on goal. It was back to the pass, pass and then pass again. The Rangers got 29 shots on goal. Some things never change though even with the new coaching regime. Wade Redden got over five and a half minutes of futile power play time while Girardi got about a minute and a half and Marc Staal got all of 25 seconds. So much for the mantra, if you play well you get the ice time. If you have a $6.5 mil contract you play until it hurts and trust me it is hurting for Redden to play so much.
With nine games to go the Rangers have to get back on track. Fourth place is still within sight and with two against Philly and one against Pittsburgh it is a possibility but you can't let the gimmees get away. Tuesday night against Minnesota should be a gimmee. Let's see if Avery and the gang can bring the 'A' game. It sure was missing last night.
Hope Sauer sweetens defense.
Steve Zipay / Blue Notes:
Mike Sauer summoned (Update) --
Mike Sauer, 21, a rugged defenseman whose early pro career has been detoured by injury, has been called up from the Wolf Pack and will make his debut against Minnesota tomorrow replacing Michal Rozsival, who injured his left knee last night against Ottawa...Howlings:
SAUER TO NY --
Sauer played with Brandon Dubinsky with the Portland Winter Hawks in the WHL for two seasons, 2004-2005 and 2005-2006. Sauer is also, along with Lauri Korpikoski, the only remaining pieces of the Brian Leetch trade...