Monday, November 07, 2011

On a Roll...

The New York Rangers are on a roll with four straight wins. Is it a jelly roll with a quick sugar buzz or something a little more sustainable? The only question I had coming down the 3rd period stretch, of their 3-0 win over the Winnipeg Jets, was who deserved the Broadway hat more? Was it Derek Stepan or Marion Gaborik? Gaborik has clearly been the best Ranger forward since the start of the season, but Stepan is showing off a remarkable ability to make the no-look pass to set-up teammates for spectacular goals. So Stepan rightly got the hat last night, but please throw Gabby a derby too.

The Rangers really don't have enough hats to go around during this winning streak. So you can put these observations in the category of  "victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan."

Because Dan Girardi certainly deserves a feather in the cap. Hopefully they can hand a real hat over to old Dan'o before they carry the poor fellow out on a stretcher. The sum total of the massive ice time and being a shot blocking punching bag has to catch up with Girardi sometime, doesn't it?

Plus, Marty Biron (3 games, 3 wins, 3 GA, 0.95 GAA) has to be the best back-up goalie in the league right now, no doubt. So Rangerland is very sanguine this morning.

However, there are cracks in the good ship Tortorella. The power play is still a disaster.

The Hockey Rodent nicely summarized the problem:

Whereas your heroes solved the two-man advantage Sunday night, they have not fixed the tendency to shun the shot through traffic from the point in favor of a down-low finesse and misdirection attack, hoping for the back-door put-home.

The problem with NYR's approach is that they've establishing a pattern which will encourage opposition killers to pay lip service to the threat above the circle tops...
Sean Avery continues to get squat for ice time, as Scotty Hockey noted:
Avery was given just 5:21 of ice time, skating alongside Slow Deveaux and Mr. Softie Christensen. Talk about putting a player in a position to fail. Not that I am hating on Deveaux - he is actually a decent replacement for Rupp - but his lack of speed and skill set just doesn't compliment Avery's game at all...
The #AveryArmy wants to launch a bayonet charge on Torts, while noting that the Rangers are undefeated since Sean was called up.

Brian Boyle is not playing at all like last year. Is he hurt, or was last year a fluke? And Brandon Dubinsky is still on the schnide. So the good news about breaking into the upper echelon (5th place, 7-3-3, 17 pts.) is tempered with some caution.

Anyway, on to Ottawa on Wednesday.

The new MSG = sound and energy flows to the open food concourses

Has the redesign and renovation of MSG sucked the life out of the old building? Mike made the observation that during Saturday's game the only sounds that could be heard at times were the skates on the ice. During last night's game broadcast there also seemed to be noticeable spells of quiet. Was that due to a dull game or has opening up the arena via these open concourses behind the nets and up around the 10th floor allowed the sound and energy to leak out of the place? Has MSG been sterilized by this redesign, just like Torts wants to neuter the team by banishing Avery?

Will the crowd energy stay in the the arena or is it now in the food courts along with the ten buck beers?

And by the way, since they are renovating MSG don't you think it's time to retire the tired old 'Potvin S**ks' chant and put Dancing Larry out to pasture?
BlueshirtsUnited: The Rangers won their fourth straight game Sunday night, and as a result it was the fourth consecutive game that the Broadway Hat was presented to the star of the victory. Sunday's recipient was Derek Stepan, who notched a power play goal---his second of the season---to open the scoring in the second period, and added a pretty assist on Marian Gaborik's goal later in the third period, while logging 19:24 of ice-time.

Al Trautwig wants to call the hat the Broadway Fedora. Fedora may be an accurate description of the hat for now, but put that hat on enough sweaty MVP heads and the distinctive fedora crease will soon disappear. Anybody still clean and reshape hats in the Big Apple?

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  • Jen9400 said...

    Hey JB!
    I have to say I am just trying to enjoy the wins even though it is difficult to watch this stupid system we have and the power play is just.... well, there are no words.
    Anyway, I was at the Montreal game on Saturday night. I took Jeanine to celebrate her birthday. We ate the best mac and cheese at Warren 77 before the game and I must note the owner really understands what it is to be a NYer and a Ranger and he NEEDS ice time and line mates for heavens sake. I know coach idiot has him set up to fail and the pundit said he would rather see Sean go elsewhere so he can have the opportunity to help another club but Sean wants nothing to do with any other club and he is willing to sacrifice anything to be a Ranger so I am glad he is here even if the coach is an a self centered liar who is clueless in all things offense! But i digress.
    At the game I was surrounded by Montreal fans. They were in front of me, behind me and just everywhere. It was embarrassing to hear how loud they were and at time they were louder than we were. Seated next to me was two guys who made the trip to NY from Norway with their Zuccarello jerseys on talking to me about how coach disagreeable has no clue what Zucc can do and how he never uses him in the right way as i sat there in my Avery jersey nodding my head. All i could say is i feel your pain brother! The best part about sitting next to him was how he shook his head and rubbed his face in frustration every time the Rangers had a PP opportunity. He was grumbling to his friend in his native language but somehow i knew exactly what he was saying. The hate for this coach is becoming global!
    The Garden renovation is nice but it is different. I'm not so sure it has anything to do with the silence of the crowd because I have noticed the quietness in the past few years. There's no excitement. Our crap system sucks the life out of everyone and the Rangers inability to win in that building in recent years kills the buzz. We either don't make the playoffs or we die in the first round and lately we don't even have Avery to cheer for because the coach has taken his personality away. It's not limited to Avery either. Any use of a players own mind, personality or creativity is not welcome by the czar. There is only one mold to fit into around our team and that has never interested NYers. That only works in NJ! So as I said, I am trying to enjoy the wins while we have them. Just waiting until Sather wakes up and drops the ax on this coach. Let's just hope he hires a good replacement so we don"t have to start this all over again.

  • jb said...

    I was at a Rangers-Canadien game with Mike a few years ago. I had the same thought, where did all these Montreal fans come from? I think with the US$ at par with the Canadian dollar it's not as expensive as it once was for them to come down to NYC.

    I feel sorry for the Norway guys, they probably booked their trip a while ago thinking their boy Zucc would be on Broadway. Not a mood enhancer to come 3600 miles to not see your hero. Ouch.

    I like that observation: "The hate for the coach is becoming global."

    Regarding the new less noisy Garden, I think it's basic acoustical engineering. By adding more open space concourses they have created more sound baffles. Sound baffles are a fundamental tool of noise mitigation, the practice of minimizing noise pollution, reverberation, or in this case crowd noise. It would be interesting to have one of the sound engineers for an artist who has performed at the Garden before to run some measurements. I bet they could prove that the new Garden has less reverb. But, less enthusiasm for a perpetual also ran is certainly a factor too.

    Avery is in a tough spot. How can he play loose when he knows he's on an extremely short leash? I think Torts is practicing a form of coaching where he's trying to keep just over 50% of the guys (his guys) happy. Then it really doesn't matter what everyone else thinks if he can get Richards, Gabby, Stepan and Cally to buy in to his system.