Monday, March 25, 2013

Caps Creep Closer

The bottom feeders are starting to catch up to the pretenders, contenders and the outright stiffs. Yes, the Rangers sneaked into 8th place with their one point 'win' over the Caps. Yes, you are right it was a shootout loss but the coach and the press seem ecstatic over the point. We are now in 8th place, one point ahead of Carolina, two ahead of the surging Caps and the moribund Islanders and three ahead of the come to life Buffalo Sabres.

The Rangers did their usual first period 'walk around', falling behind before the 'big guns', Asham and Stepan stepped up to tie it at two. For the rest of the game it was the usual 'rope-a-dope' to get it to the shootout to win it. Alas, it backfired as shootout goals by Ovechkin and Backstrom beat the lone goal by Stepan. Backstrom and Ovechkin also scored the Caps two first goals. Ovechkin more than made up for his last performance here when he literally gave the game to the Rangers.

Kris Newbury was brought up from Connecticut and assisted on Asham's goal. In the AHL Kris had 18 goals and 38 assists in 62 games. Naturally he was put on the 4th line and got all of 8:55 of ice time. He was the linemate of Chris Kreider with the Whale so you would have thought the genius coach would have paired them. There were all kinds of maneuvers. Kreider was moved up with Richards and Nash and Gaborik was moved to Boyle and Pyatt. Gaborik might have been better off being benched then playing with those two.

Also, excitement brews over the possibility that Swedish Flash Jesper Fast will join the Rangers. A sixth round pick in 2010, Fast will be a welcome addition to the 4th line and 4-6 minutes of ice time while he learns how to block shots, muck it up in the corners and play defense. Score goals? What's that?

Meanwhile, while the coach and the media sleep the bottom feeders are starting to stir. Last place Florida, who beat us handily last time here, are 'only' nine points behind. But, have no fear. The play for a tie and win it in a shootout is alive and well. However, it's the bottom feeders who are being successful with it.

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  • jmaz said...

    You ain't kidding Mike!!

    I haven't posted here in a while, but I very much enjoy your take on things...thanks for keepin it real Mike.

    That being said, it makes me cringe to hear some Ranger fans and media absolving Tortorella of being the cancer that keeps this team in mediocrity. I'm many years removed from my days as the rabid ranger fan where my days and nights were predicated on how they won or lost games. I totally don't miss it either lol. However, I saw something last night which spoke volumes, so feel free to tell me if I'm looking too much into it. Before the shootout began there was some talk amongst Sam and Joe about Tortorella's choosing of the shootout 3, and whether Stepan wanted to go. Needless to say Stepan scored on his opportunity by way of a pretty nifty backhand toe-drag to the forehand and roofing the puck. Pretty nasty if you ask me. At that moment though, the camera pans to Tortorella and catches his facial expression, and IMO, this was a combo of "where did that come from" and "is this kid holding out on me, WTF?". So at that moment I said to myself, he has no FRIGGEN CLUE what he has in that locker room. He really has no trust in certain guys and just seemed so out of touch with his facial expression. So what does he do? He follows it up with sending dead-a$$ Richards out there to get us ahead. Thus proving my point that he really is clueless and out of touch! Head-scratcher

  • jeanine1994 said...

    Oh absolutely jmaz, torts has zero idea what any of his players are capable of especially offensively. How can he? His sole focus is on defense he regards the goals as icing on the cake, not as an integral part of the game. oh sure he is aware of the fact that you have to score goals to win, but if he had his way we would win every game 1-0, with an occasional 2-1 victory just for a thrill. that would be perfection for him. He doesn't give his players any freedoms offensively and has no idea if they are even capable of offensive production unless they are an obvious offensive player. That's why our bottom 6 forwards can never produce he has them pigeon holed into checking forwards.
    What coach wouldn't try Kreider with Newbury when they had good chemistry in Hartford and we are so desperate for goals right now? Uh this coach of course. He couldn't be any dumber or more stubborn. Probably because he thinks the 2 of them together are a defensive liability, that's the only criteria he lives by. Gaby finally scores a goal in the last game and what does he do? Switch his line of course. Brad hasn't done crap all season yet he never loses ice time, always plays with top forwards and stays on the pp. He is a torts favorite and he will not take anything away from him. Personally I think Brad is also tired of the Torts way of hockey.
    Bad start again last night leads to a game of catch up and then clamp down on D, ride it out until we get to OT. This team seems very satisfied with this mediocrity and you know why? Because it's acceptable to the coach. He likes that we 'grind it out and get the point'. Average and mediocrity are 2 words synonymous with the name tortorella . His next win will be his 400th career win, well guess how many games he's coached in? 817. Yup that's right a .500 career coach. His career teams finishes overall? 14th. average. His teams overall pp% and finish? 17% and a 15th finish. Average, average, average. And that is what we will always be with this guy.
    We are going backwards, this team is reminding me of the 2010 team. If we move Gaby for depth players that's exactly what we will be. Scrapping by for every point. So boring, so unnecessary and so unfair to Henrik who has to be perfect for us to win. I desperately want to get a coach in here to see what our team is capable of because I just know we have a great group who can go far, just not this way, not with this guy.

  • jmaz said...

    .500 career coach, teams finish 14th/15th avg, PP% 17% - these stats speak volumes. As you said Jeanine...average, Average, AVERAGE!