The way coach disagreeable has set up his team leaves little room for error. So it was not surprising that when Henrik Lundqvist muffed Benoit Pouliot's sharp angle shot to give the Canadiens a 2-1 lead with about 14 minutes left, the game was basically over. However, let's not fault Henrik. Who do we fault? Let us count the ways.
Let us fault the lack of consistency. Let us fault the lack of a steady forecheck. Let us fault the lack of a power play, it went 0-2 last night, is 1-22 in the last six games and is 3-35 in the past 11 games. Let us fault the perimeter game which is the M.O. for most of our forwards. Let us fault our reluctance to crash the net which seems to be the other teams main path to the goal.
Lundqvist made 36 saves and took the blame for the loss. Nonsense. The coach should take the blame for the loss. Sean Avery got less then ten minutes of ice time. The new wizard of 33rd Street, Wojtek Wolski, got almost 20. The blame street media is making all kinds of noise about how Wolski's game tying shot hit the post. Big deal. I've seen all kinds of players hit posts and crossbars in critical situations, starting with my all time heart ache, Bones Raleigh, in game seven of the 1950 Cup finals against Detroit. Bones was the real deal. Many duds and phonies have hit posts and were good time Charlies. Here today and gone tomorrow.
Sean Avery was a force in the Rangers mini three game winning streak. Sean forechecks. Sean crashes the net. Sean does not a perimeter game play. Sean stands up for his team mates. Sean sits on the bench in critical times. Sean has been averaging less than ten minutes a game.
Wojtek Wolski has been traded twice in eleven months. Wolski had all of sixteen points (6-10) in 36 games for Phoenix and was scratched five times. The word is that Wolski is an underachiever. Wojtek Wolski got almost 20 minutes of ice time. He fits the mold. Valeri Kaminsky anyone?
Just a note on the Rozsival trade. Whatever Wolski's shortcomings it is a plus by subtracting to get rid of Rozsival. Eventually no matter what job you are in you get one right. The Stealth got this one right.
Bones Raleigh --
Here's the skinny on Don Raleigh: He was skinny.
Hence the nickname that he became best known by, "Bones" Raleigh...
Raleigh joined the Rangers for the 1943-44 season, a call up due to a roster depleted by World War II. At 17 he became the youngest full time player in team history...
In the 1950 playoffs Rayner and Raleigh led the Rangers within a whisker of the Stanley Cup championship! Playing against the Detroit Red Wings, it was Raleigh who scored back-to-back overtime game winning goals in games 4 and 5 to keep the Rangers alive. Raleigh had his chances to score another OT goal in game 7, but ultimately the Red Wings emerged from that game as the Stanley Cup champions...