Saturday, March 09, 2013

Hit The Road Jack

The Rangers have 25 games left and 16 of them will be on the road. However, the road made no difference to Ottawa, who since April 2006, have gone 12-1-1 on the Rangers home ice. How about those sour apples? Last night was more of the same where Ottawa just took control of the game in the third period and never let up until Jakob Silfverberg lifted a rebound over Lundqvist to seal the win. The Rangers, especially the D-men, looked exhausted and were running around losing their men constantly. The Senators put 17 shots on goal in the third period. Was it the second of back to backs, or was it the fact too many guys are getting too much ice time?

I've been singing this tune for a long time and honestly I'm tired of my voice. Four Ranger D-men got over 20 minutes of ice time and it showed in the third period. McDonagh, 26:40, no shots on goal. Del Zotto, 24:54, 6 shots, his man scored game winner. Girardi, 22:08, 2 shots and Stralman, 21:44, no shots. Hamrlick, picked up from Washington got all of 7:29 and Emminger got 15:23. This team badly misses Marc Staal but there must be a more sensible distribution of ice time. This season is short and condensed and we are at the halfway mark and players like McDonagh and Girardi looked pooped already.

The game started out like it would be a barn burner but it was the Rangers who would burn out. Smith and Gonchar put the Sens up 2-0 but the Rangers stormed back to tie it on goals by Nash, (9), and Richards, (3). It then turned into a goaltender duel with Lundqvist, 36 saves and fellow Swede Robin Lehner, 33 saves. In the end it was Ottawa outlasting a tired Ranger team for the win. No truth to the rumor that next year Ottawa will play all their games against the Rangers at the Garden.

So now its on the road. Hit the road Jack, and don't you come back no more, no more!

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  • Andy said...

    How is Michael Haley and Stu Bickel ahead of Brian Boyle? Not a big Boyle fan, but he's sure as hell better than those 2 and has been skating somewhat better since his first round of healthy scratches. Don't get it.

    How is Roman Hamrlik, obviously old, out of shape, and new to the system ahead of Matt Gilroy? Again, not a huge Gilroy fan but he's sure as hell looked better than Hamrlik, he knows the system and can pose an offensive threat if given the chance. Unless he's hurt and I missed it, I don't get it.

    To me this comeback fell short because of tired D men (as pundit mentioned) and because of wrong coaching decisions. Boyle brings more than Bickel and Gilroy brings more than Hamrlik. But that's logic, something this staff has never had and certainly never learned.

  • Jen9400 said...

    Out of gas and poor coaching decisions were the reasons we lost last night. They were the reasons we went 7 games vs OTT in the playoffs. They were the reasons we went 7 games vs WSH in the playoffs and they were the reasons we were eliminated by NJ in the playoffs. I feel like pundit. A broken record. Do they even make records anymore? Anyway, yes Andy Jeanine and I are annoyed about Boyle too. I've been writing about Bri on here from time to time and to me it always comes back to the obvious fact this coach has no idea how to get the best out of people,no idea how to inspire confidence and as Jeanine just said no idea how psychology works. Brian Boyle was our MVP in the series vs OTT last season until Chris Neil knocked him out. Since then Brian has not scored one goal, has played like he's scared and has been benched by the unsympathetic coach. He doesn't help players, he helps ruin them. Even so, the benching did force Brian to try and work through it. He came back stronger and more physical. He hasn't scored but he's been more effective. Won a lot of faceoffs in the Islander game and had an overall good performance. For some reason coach has Bickel on some kind of pedestal and he would rather play an AHL caliber D-man as a forward over actual forwards. I know there are a lot of people who feel Boyle is a waste but I am not one of them. I don't feel that his 20+ goal season was a fluke. I think that was a sign of what kind of player he can be but like all players he is at the mercy of the coach and how he decides to use him and who he gets to play with. I think Boyle could and should be a solid 3rd line center who chips in 15-20 every year. As far as Hanrlik, I am ok with him so far and I would have liked to see him play vs his old team tomorrow. Gilroy is not so impressive. I was hoping he would be better this time around. He has just been average and probably isn't going to be an NHL player for much longer if he keeps going this way. I don't like it that we have no options in the A for bringing up D-men being that we are a team whose game plan is centered around D. We don't have a set top 6 at the NHL level and brining in Hamrlik was basically to have another option for that 3rd pair and now obviously with Staal out we need the "depth" if you can call it that. I had no idea what to expect from him but he's been ok back there and even though Eminger is not the best player to strap on the skates, he's solid enough. They don't make a bad 3rd pair to me. Let's see what happens in Washington tomorrow. I really hate the Caps and their fans. Going there always sucks plus they lost to the Islanders today and they'll want to win tomorrow. Hope we play 60 minutes. Hope we play in the 2nd period, the 2nd period has been a big waste of time lately would be nice to fix that problem but they won't, that's the slow this game down period - "don't get into a track meet boys."
    Listening to Neil Smith while typing this- I think I'm starting to forgive him for what he did to Messier now and I wouldn't mind having him back to boot out Sather- the guy is one smart cookie. Sigh.