Saturday, December 18, 2010

Zorro Zaps Rangers

They usually come back to haunt you. It's amazing how these guys do it. There was Nikolai Zherdev, persona non grata at MSG, leading the Philadelphia Flyers over our heroes with two goals as the Flyers creamed the Rangers, again, 4-1. I'm always amazed how guys who were ripped into on a nightly basis go to another team and star. Zherdev now has 13 goals, but can he play defense? I've said for a long time that if Gretzky had come up through the Ranger system he never would have achieved the records he did. Poor defense.

This game showed how far behind the Rangers are to challenging for the top spot. The Flyers had control of the game from the start of Rozsival's giveaway to Richards. Fortunately Lundqvist saved that one. However we will continue to see that waste get 20 plus minutes a night. What did Avery get? Ten minutes?

Anyhow, The Dark Ranger keeps getting darker with each Flyer-Ranger game, but there is hope. We 'only' have four more games with them. You think we could use Zorro now with this team? Naw. Too soft on defense.

So, keep voting for Sean Avery for the all-star game.


Torts postgame remarks:


Scotty Hockey
adds some more insight on the Rosey problem:
[the Rangers] have a good excuse for losing.

... The continued employment of Michal Rozsival and Michael Del Zotto. The pairing was nothing short of atrocious, directly accountable for the first three Philly goals. They both step up at inopportune times to add nothing to the play in the other end, they both abandon their positions and coverages and they both aren't physically strong enough to matter in the Ranger zone. That Torts keeps this pair of offensive defensemen (dual meaning completely intended) together is shocking considering how well both Eminger and Sauer have been through much of this season...
How does a 3 goal loss against a team that dominated the play constitute a "narrow miss"? The Rangers PR guy, Jim Cerny, puts a crazy spin on the Philly game with this ill-conceived title:
Rangers narrowly miss a dream sweep

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  • blow-me-down said...

    I recall a thread here when Zherdev arrived, in which we contemplated what nikname (pun intended) to attach to him.

    At that time he was scorching opposing teams with his obvious talent.
    In my opinion,there are recognizable factors explaining Zherdev.

    1. At his age, too early to even remotely entertain the thought of his talent regressing.
    2. On the Flyers, the supporting cast is so strong that it both makes Zorro better when he is out there, and less noticeable by his absence when he is in civvies. "Want to play like a turd, Nikky? Okay, but don't trip on your way to the end of the bench (or pressbox). We'll hardly notice you're gone", says Laviolette.
    3. He might be getting it through his skull that NHL clubs might be pulling in the welcome mat for him. The book is out on him. Since he realizes that he likes the opportunities in North America in the best hockey league in the world ($$$ and perks), he decided to pull his head out of his rear end and not screw up his chance to play, and maybe even hoist a Stanley Cup.

    Rangers played a decent enough game overall IMO. I know it's a cliche to say 'they made mental mistakes" but I have not discovered a more accurate way to describe things like, for example, trying to make a long stretch pass through the middle of the ice when the chance of success is miniscule, and more importantly, the attempt is NOT NECESSARY.

    In other words, please send Michael Del Zotto to Hartford for a decent stint. Learning on the job is one thing, but when it becomes apparent that you're not learning, i.e. making the same bullshit mistakes that hurt your team bigtime...ah, time for some measures. To be honest, I'm getting sick of watching him. I believe in MDZ long-term, but long-term for me means paying his dues and improving his play.

  • jb said...

    Hi, B-M-D,
    I just got back from Mike's 80th birthday party (a surprise) over on Long Island. He also had a super surprise guest that will knock your socks off. He'll have a great story up sometime in the next couple of days after he sleeps off the Grappa. Just kidding.

    Regarding Zorro, maturity is certainly a big factor and those long trips to the frozen tundra cities of the KHL (a league spanning 10 time zones and mostly 5-7K seating) would certainly motivate someone with talent to buck-up for the NHL.

    I agree with you about MDZ. There seems to be a ground swell of people saying it's time that he *buck-up* or go Whaling.

    By the way, someone at the party was saying that since the Hartford team changed their name the attendance is way up and the teams is playing well. They have a veteran d-man who certainly can pass along some NHL knowledge, if not ability. Adding MDZ to Hartford would add to the value of a Whale ticket and maybe lure a few folks up there for a game. Not a terrible fate. It's not like its Amur Khabarovsk.

  • blow-me-down said...

    Happy 80th to Mike!!

    JB - now you got me all wound up about the special guest.
    I'm looking forward to the details.

    I saw MDZ's face the other night after he got back to the bench after a misplay. He looked so hurt and bewildered it made me feel very sorry for him. He needs some help finding his way.

    I'll have to catch a Wolfp...err, I mean Whale game some time. It's been a while.