Monday, January 21, 2013

A Lost Weekend

The Lost Weekend Film (1945), starring Ray Milland not the same as Rangers lost weekend of Jan19-20, 2013
Notice I didn't say The Lost Weekend. I think we may have a few more clinkers in store. You think Ray Milland had it this bad back in the 40's? Ah, the 40's. They could chant all they want about the 40's, but at least they were alive then. This group, two games in, looks pooped. What was it Sam said last night? Was it tentative or hesitant? Sorry to bring up the old lament of mine, but the team looks scared. Scared of making a poor play, missing a check, not blocking a shot. Not blocking a shot? Go to the bench, or go to Hartford. Do not pass go, do not collect your paycheck.

But there are exceptions to the rule. Rick Nash is playing to expectations and of course there is Captain Crunch, Ryan Callahan, who plays with abandon, heart and a lot of talent. He would have been wonderful along side Phil Watson and Alex Shibicky. And of course Henrik Lundqvist, who was mercifully pulled halfway through game two by coach disagreeable. Not that the goals were all his fault, but The King seems to lack a certain sharpness that will come as the season progresses.

Ah, the progression of the season. If this keeps up coach disagreeable will put back the weight he lost. If this keeps up we will see more line changes than "I Love Lucy" reruns. But it's only two games and there must have been something last season that can be recaptured to make this a hockey team again. Two games do not make a season, unless you are the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Pens look solid. Two big, really big, wins on the road against the Flyers and Rangers are making the Pens look like The Habs of the 50's and 60's. But, of course things could change, and fast. An errant elbow, a 100 mph puck, a balky knee, a tired groin and we have a new season.

Right now, the Blueshirts need to regroup and maybe reassess what they have and how to use them. We can't expect to hit rock bottom, as Ray Milland did, and come back. The season is too short.

ICINGS: Glad to see that Scotty Hockey is back. We already lost The Dark Ranger and Hockey Rodent. Losing Scotty would have been a tough Hat Trick to swallow. Welcome back Scotty.

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  • andy said...

    Ah yes, only coach disagreeable could have a team that is lost, tired and clueless 2 games in to a very short season. Why? Because he doesn't, I should say he 'still' doesn't have a clue offensively. He traded for Rick Nash, that was his work for the offseason instead of being a man and taking responsibility for the horrid offensive scheme he loves so much. It didn't work last year. Or the year before that. Change the system, or it won't matter how many rick nash's you have Fonzi.

    Now, Mike f'n Rupp. What a waste of a hockey player. Pure and simple. I'll let Scotty Hockey explain
    my rage over the goon squad the rangers call "tough" guys:

    "Speaking of neanderthals, a big thank you to Mike Rupp and Stu Bickel for killing any chance the Rangers had at coming back. Brad Richards gets a lucky goal and the two idiots have to go out and pick that moment to justify their pathetic existence. You fight to start your team's momentum. You fight to stop the other team's momentum. You don't fight the second your side shows a sign of life. Sheer stupidity by the lowbrows.

    And he mentioned how effective Boston's pest was:
    "Shawn Thornton - The Bruins' resident tough guy taunted Rupp into the fight that sealed the Ranger fate. Smart. Credit also to Brad Marchand for being a pest all night long, completely distracting Cally and others."

    Didn't we use to have the best pest in the business who could actually play hockey also? Oh yeah, he's on the moon, i forgot.

  • Scotty Hockey said...

    Thanks Pundit. But I'm not sure how long this will last if they keep playing like this. So incredibly unhappy ....

  • mbernold said...

    everybody thinks the rangers will be good this year--but they are wrong. the idiot coach will make sure they can't score and the shot blocking will destroy the players. the performance of no shots, no power play, was on display in their two losses to boston and now will only get worse... its too difficult to even watch them... to hell with the rangers as long as torts is their coach..and this from a ranger fan for 63 years!!!

  • jb said...

    Andy, You're right about the Bruins showcasing great "pest" talent. That's a game that still works in this league of big egos, and we had the premier pest in the business.

    Torts decided that his ego was supreme and he didn't need no stinkin' pest on his team. The irony is that this year other teams will see that pestering the Rangers into stupidity and oblivion will work.

    Scotty, I think it's a toss between Brian Boyle and Marek "Lurch" Malek as to who is or was a better player. Malek translated a circus shootout goal in 2005 into three more years in the league as a stiff.

    mbernold, it's been a tough gig for 63 years. That reminds me...

    Mike, any thoughts on the changing of the RangerPundit tagline from 70 years to now over 75 years of "frequent frustration"?

  • Jen9400 said...

    andy - great post. That Scotty Hockey quote you pulled out was the best part of of his recap of game one hands down.

    Its amazing how every year we have to have the same conversation about what the Rangers are missing and why. How long do we have to live with this stupid system? What astounds me even more is how many people insist coach disagreeable is a "great coach" but my absolute favorite is when people call him "classy". That can't even be classified as rose colored glasses that BLINDERS!

    I am not a fan of the goon approach. Starting Asham on the opening faceoff is just a macho stroke my ego move by the coach who constantly has the need to prove he's carrying his "man card". I just told my dad last night that this guy is a classic case of "the empty can rattles the most" - he talks a big bad game but every aspect of his game plan is gutless. Its like Mike said, fear of making a mistake. Keep the puck on the wall to protect it, don't take too much of a risk on your PP because it might lead to a shorthanded goal. All that crap does is cause all the shots to come from the perimeter. The Pens want that puck all the time. They swarm. They shoot and they convert. Do they make a defensive error from time to time because they take risk? Of course, but they make up for it on the scoreboard. No risk - No reward. We talk about this offense-less system every year. I saw a fan comment on Andrew Gross's blog that said he doesn't understand why the Rangers have a great coaching staff and have no offense. Then suggested the Rangers hire a PP coach. I just laugh out loud at these people. I should have enlightened him I suppose but sometime I just don't have the energy. Imagine coach disagreeable giving up some of his control to a guy who might want to take a risk on the power play? That'll happen.

    As far as Sean Avery, i can't even get started. Part of me is a little relieved that I don't have to stress and get angry watching this coach kick him around but that doesn't mean I don't miss him. I miss him more than words can say. I don't subscribe to this every player has to play the same exact way theory and anyone who knows anything about Sean knows there is no cookie cutter mold you can stuff him into. And I don't get why you would want to. I subscribe more to Lou Lamoriello's orchestra theory. Every player is an individual who has something to bring to the table and collectively the make a team. A great coach know how to use players strengths to the team's advantage. He identifies roles. He does not try to force everyone to be the same. This guy is clueless. No question.

    Nash- I agree he looks better than anyone. He's getting more chances and taking more risk than anyone. Is it a coincidence that this is coming from the new guy? The guy who didn't have to go through camp Torts? The guy who has only been exposed to the system for 2 weeks? Don't worry he has already been called "low maintenance" by the coach so he's already on his way into the mold. They all come over here looking offensive until coach gets his hands on them, then they cool off. BTW Dubie and Anisimov got praise from the Columbus coach after their first game which Artie scored in and Wolski scored in his first game away from disagreeable. Coincidence? Hmmmmm.

  • jb said...

    Would you go so far as to call Torts a "facist" coach. The definition of Facism begins like this:

    Fascism (pron.: /ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism--->coaching. Fascists seek to unify their nation--->team through a totalitarian state that seeks the mass mobilization of the national community-->players through discipline, indoctrination, and physical training...

    Seinfeld made fun of the "Soup Nazi", do we have a "Puck Nazi" running the Rangers? Would calling Torts the "Puck Nazi" be in bad taste?

  • andy said...

    Thanks Jen, same to you. It is quite sad to have the same discussion every year. Pathetic.

    jb, that's hilarious man. You're so dead on with the definition and seinfeld. I'm picturing the soup nazi as torts, "You want ice time? 3 blocked shots! You can't handle that? No NHL for you! Come back 1 year!

  • Jen9400 said...

    JB - Would I go that far? Oh yes. And funny you should say- but maybe not so surprising, my sister and I often use the words "facist" , "Nazi" or "totalitarianism" to describe him. Calling him "Puck Nazi" would not be in bad taste, however, its too affectionate for me to call him because I love Seinfeld's Soup Nazi episode and relating it to Torts would ruin it for me. But you go ahead. I have plenty of other names I call him :D

  • jeanine1994 said...

    JB - yes Torts is a fascist and a dictator, absolutely
    And yes hello, I'm Jens sister