A stunningly pitiful performance by our heroes. The slow, sloppy, lackluster Rangers suffered a devastating 3-0 shutout by the vacation bound Atlanta Thrashers.
The Rangers have now been shutout six times this year. That's 7.4% of all Rangers games end up with them laying a goose egg. The Thrashers, on the other hand, a team far out of the playoffs have just been shutout one time this year. So who is really the more consistent team? It is just more proof to us that without Henrik Lundqvist and his 11 shutouts and stellar shootout performances (9 SO wins) the Rangers are total bottom feeders.
Since the Rangers "are not a terribly gifted team," as Tortorella has said, they have to bring their defense and other intangibles to every game. That didn't happen tonight. Avery, Girardi and Gaborik made critical defensive mistakes that led to goals. The entire team looked spent. Even the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award winner, Brandon Prust, was gassed.
Gaborik's laziness on getting back on defense to cover the 34-year-old, fourth liner, Eric Boulton, led to the Thrashers third goal. Torts benched Gaborik for the final 15:41 of the game for that web gem. Gabby has been a ghost, no goals in his last eight games. His dismal performance down the home stretch just leaves you scratching your head. What happened to him? If something good doesn't happen this weekend the boo-birds will be aiming to drop some business on Gabby next year. Just like they did for that other Czech featherweight, Marek Malik.
Thrashers 3rd goal
The key measure of the Rangers defensive effort and intensity the blocked shot (BS) was also weak. The Rangers had only 11 blocked shots (BS). Girardi led with four.
So it comes down to the last game again. A Devils Saturday Matinee and Marty Brodeur, "Satan's Spawn," is sharpening his pitchfork. Payback time for Marty. Queasy time for Rangers fans.
Ban on Shot Blocking??
Some talk about banning or limiting shot blocking. How many player games have been lost this year due to shot blocking? Blocked shots (BS) have certainly changed the game compared to past decades. Is the sprawling shot block in the NHL like the flying wedge of football in in the 1890's: dangerous and an impediment to fair play?
Ottawa Citizen / Canada.com:
Gainey doesn't want full-body slides on shot blocking --
One of the best shot-blockers in NHL history is suggesting the league make alterations to the craft in an effort to increase offence.HockeyRodent Message Board:
Montreal Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey is proposing the NHL eliminate full-body sliding in the defensive zone to block a shot.
It was one of a number of proposals at the first general managers' meeting of the season yesterday in Chicago...
Ban On Blocking Shots --
I just caught the between period interview of the Devil game with Stan Fischler and he proposed a ban on blocking shots in light of the Callahan injury. Which was specifically brought up and led to his comments.
Now he's forgotten more abooot hockey than I can hope to know...but time to hang up the skates Stan. He compared it to obstruction...