Wednesday, January 12, 2011

No Room For Error

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.


Don 'Bones' Raleigh
Greatest Hockey Legends:
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...

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  • Kevin DeLury said...

    Love the recap. Especially thoughts on Avery.

  • Wes said...

    Totally agree, Avery is not getting a fair shake from Torts for some reason.

    Also, Torts is a hypocrite in my opinion. He preaches consistency, but he coaches inconsistently. Look at his constant shuffling of the lines and changes in playing time based purely on his hunches. How can the forwards play consistently when they don't know from one game to the next who they will be skating with.

    The defensive tandems have stayed pretty consistent and the Rangers are 5th best in the league in terms of goals against (due also in a big way to Henrik). They rank 13th in offense (2.82 goals/gm).

  • Section 335 said...

    I love Avery. Now that I have gotten that clear, if I were his coach I would be very reluctant to play him 12-20 minutes a game until he could prove to me that he can play that long without getting too many penalties.

    The proof is that in the last 10 games he has just 6 minutes of penalties and averaged under 10 minutes of ice time. In the prior 15, where he averaged over 10 minutes, he had 67 minutes of penalties.

    Sean has the key to his own jail cell. Play smarter and you play longer.

  • blow-me-down said...

    I agree totally on Avery, Mike. I don't think this team has the luxury of keeping Avery at the back of the shelf so much.

    Good review of the game. Watching, it, I just kept thinking NYR will be slaughtered by Vancover if they bring the same game tonight. Way too much time wasted watching the Habs, who they should have beaten.

    Better luck tonight Rangers, but you have to make that luck, too. Wolski looked dangerous, his skill is undeniable (though we've seen that before, haha).

    Go Rangers

  • mike said...

    Kevin DeLury-Trust me. First chance he gets the coach dumps Avery.

  • mike said...

    Wes-I can't keep track of the different line combinations during a game.

  • mike said...

    Section 335-You are asuming that most of the extra time is tied up in penalties.

    Also a lot of the penalties are for supporting his team mates, coming to their defense.

    There are not too many Rangers who will drop the gloves for a team mate.

  • mike said...

    blow-me-down-Avery is not this coach's type of player. Only he doesn't want to buck The Stealth who likes Avery.