Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Are There Words. . .?

Let me start by saying I'm not an NHL coach. And let me follow immediately with - thank goodness I'm not an NHL coach.

I really wouldn't know where to begin. Quite honestly, I don't know how to begin now.

Was that the Rangers worst game of the season? No. Was it one of the most sickening? Yeah, it kinda was.

I just don't get it.

The game was not pretty, by any means. Those pleas for end to end rushes or at least some form of cohesive and fast skating, fell on dead ears. Despite all that, the Rangers, numerically, seemed to have an advantage, outshooting the Islanders 29-12 after 2 periods. hmm.

And then the roof caved in.

And let me say. I don't like or dislike Michal Rozsival. I think he's overpaid. Absolutely. And I would not have based my team defense around him, that is for damn sure. I appreciate that he thinks it was all his fault and took blame for the two shorthanded goals (YES, 2 SH goals) allowed last night in the 3rd period.

But I'm going to argue it's not his fault.

The system, oh yes the system, that Tom Renney alluded to post-game, is flawed. He said, why does our PK work? We have a system there. We have a system for our PP too. But we don't stick to it. Hmm. Really. Is this the same "system" that has been in place for the last few years? Well at what point do you stop blaming the players and start blaming the system?


Was Rozsival at fault? Sure. Fine. But wasn't it equally the fault of all the other overpriced PP participants as well? I think so. And if it's them, fine. If it's the system, fine. But something has GOT TO CHANGE.

I was sickened that, after the first shorthanded goal, that on the next powerplay, who should stumble over the boards but - oh look - Redden, Rozsival, Drury, Gomez, and Naslund.

I noticed Fredrick Sjostrom and Petr Prucha talking on the bench on the powerplay. On can only speculate but:

Sjo: Why don't they put you out there? You scored a ton of PP goals two years ago. What 15?
Pru: 16.
Sjo: Right 16.
Pru: Rangers rookie record too.
Pru: Why don't they put you out there? You are faster than any of them.
Sjo: I am aren't I?
Pru: And you have moves.
Sjo: I know. I know. 2 game winners in the shootout, but, they don't count now, do they?

Although I think it was a little more in Czech--Swesh language and a little nastier. But that's just me.

The point remains. . . the downright refusal 15 games into the season to not change, not even remotely change, the worst part of their game, night in and night out, is unexplainable.

Their PK, thank goodness, has only allowed 5 goals in 57 attempts (before last night). 2nd in the league.

Their PP, gosh help me, has allowed 5 goals TO THE OTHER TEAM! 1st in the league.

Their PP, which I really think they should deny next time if given the option, scored 10 of 70 times (before last night). 25th in the league.

Someone explain that to me!


It's too early for it to be some not-funny April Fools' Day joke, right?

Think, honestly, think maybe they all hate Perry Pearn and this has all just been a 2-year ill-fated effort to get the gray-haired one fired?


In other game notes. . .

-Joey MacDonald should be credited. He made 35 saves. Any way you slice it. And he made a monster save in the 2nd off Rozsival I believe. A thing of beauty really.

- Renney, as posted on yesterday [11/4/08]

' If we’re in agreement that neither Dan Fritsche nor Petr Prucha have exactly distinguished themselves so far this season, it’s fair to ask if the two players have been given the opportunity to do so. With Prucha’s reinsertion into the lineup, neither player has played more than two games in a row so far, but Tom Renney said that’s because neither player has made enough of a mark.

"If somebody’s locked in, they’ve nailed it and I’m happy with that," Renney said. "In the meantime that hasn’t been the case."
Curiously, Renney reintroduced Patrick Rissmiller into the conversation about possible lineup selections. The winger was put through waivers nearly two weeks ago, but is eligible to be put back in at the coach’s discretion.

"It certainly has crossed my mind of late," Renney said. "He’s a good player and he can skate. I think there will be a time when we’re fortunate we have him." '

Okay, so wonderboy Dawes here, drops a glove or two, and gets a four minute double minor for roughing last night. Because he showed a pulse, he'll never leave now, right? Never be benched? And Prucha, who finally looked a little less energized last night (but come on, they ALL did) will be back on the bench for Patrick Rissmiller? Pete, offer to pack your bags still stands buddy. I can't take this back and forth BS. Because that's simply what it is. BS. Favoritism. Hypocritical. BS.

I guess that's why the highest paid players are on the PP no matter what they do or do not do. Is this written somewhere in small writing on the bottom of their contracts or something??

- Markus Naslund apparently told the media they'd like a few more minutes to talk together as a team after last night's game. As most of the media were already there, his request was denied. But it begs to ask, why does it seem Naslund is much more captain material. And I don't just mean because he was one in Vancouver. He is as quiet as Drury, surely. But not when it counts. He says that. He talks to the referees. He looked animated after the refs called Zherdev for knocking down Boulton on the faceoff the other night. He seems to be caring a little more, no? Again, all speculation. I have no reason to assume anything. And kudos to Naslund because he looks better and more comfortable as the games go on. And at least he's scoring.

-Lastly I heard that All Star ballots came out for the NHL. And it's always this way but why, why, do they do this so far in advance? So many players are injured and, even if elected, will have to be replaced. And it's really a game of popularity or top $$ makers. Because the fact that Drury and Redden are on it for the Rangers is crap, of course. I'd honestly, if they were the only two, take back my long time plea that there should be a representative from every team on the roster. I really would. Thankfully I looked and saw Hank and, well, he can go. He probably deserves to go. And in a year where DiP, and Brodeur are injured, he just might finally get that chance. Three time consequtive Vezina nominee. But he's no All-Star? Please.

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