Sunday, January 02, 2011

A Lost Weekend

The Rangers played today? Now did they do? Lost. That stinks.

How did they do yesterday? Lost. That stinks too. Anyway, how about them Jets.

The NHL has tried to stake out dibs on New Year's Day for the Winter Classic, that's great. But packing in other regular season games on this big sports holiday weekend is not the brightest scheduling strategy.

Losing and injuries have become the story of the New Year. The Rangers are dropping games and players like losing tickets at Aqueduct. And goals are like virgins at the Playboy Mansion. Why score when you can block a slap shot with your face? The Chris Drury blocking bug has infected the entire team. Jim Cerny notes:

The Rangers entered play on Sunday ranked third in the NHL with 620 blocked shots, despite the obvious risk-reward scenarios.

“When you sacrifice your body like that to make a block sometimes it’ll hit the wrong spot and you get some injuries, but that’s the way we play and we’re not going to change the way we play,” said defenseman Marc Staal...
I would like to see the statistical value of blocked shots compared to the minutes, assists and goals, lost by those injured players. Drury missed a total of 31 games because of his brilliant blocking efforts. So that cost the Rangers, what, a total of two goals and three assists? Maybe that's not the best example of the skewed risk-reward ratio of shot blocking. But Cally took one for the team too. That's a real loss. Now it's Fedotenko getting a badly bruised hand on a shot block today in the 3-0 loss at Carolina. You have to know this blocking bug is virulent if it's infecting Ukrainians.

All the Rangers need to start suiting up like Lundqvist if they want his job.

The bottomline is that the 2 games this weekend are very forgetable. And the Jets looked good against the bottom feeding Bills. Happy New Year.

Winter Classic Highlights

It's good to see Chris Drury cultivating his next career. We're counting the days too.

Drury gives a tour of his new restaurant, the Colony Grill in Fairfield, Conn.: Rangers TV

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