Sunday, December 28, 2008

Is This Rock Bottom. . .?

And I'm not talking about the Rangers team, when I ask that. I'm talking about me and my love/hate relationship with this team. Has that hit an all time low? Is it possible for me to compare my thoughts now to my thoughts the last time I was so indifferent to my team (1997 post-Messier, for those of you keeping track). I guess it would be near impossible to do so.

But I must be honest in that last night, for the second time in the month of December, I watched the Rangers play the team I am supposed to hate the MOST, and I couldn't really care less that my team was losing to them.


I'd be hard pressed to say they were even skating!

Credit the Devils. They scored a short-handed goal - the Rangers league-leading 11th allowed on the year. Frankly, they walked all over the Rangers. And the Rangers let them.

I love the "concern" and "uproar" from the locker room after this most recent collapse - 3 straight losses and not a sign in hope of the ship being righted. But now the team is like, yeah, well this most recent game, that was unacceptable.


As if the Washington collapse less than a week ago was any less cause for concern?

The 4-0 loss at home to Florida (yes, Florida) on Kid's Day?

The Florida trip where two tying goals were allowed late in the game to force OT and then the shootout?

The trip to Montreal on the Habs 100th anniversary night where they were embarassed?

The 8-5 diabacle at the Rock earlier this month?

The countless games where the Rangers either failed to score more than two goals, or went down two goals early and had to scramble to tie and win in a shootout?

No. No. None of these were causes for concern.

But all of a sudden, people are thinking, jee, am I safe? Are their going to be changes in personnel?

No, it would seem, the political king of playing favorites coach, - he thinks it will magically be fixed from within.



We're waiting.

And have been since the happy team returned from Prague.

I'm sorry. This is more a rant that I intended it to be.

I am just confused about a few things.

Paul Mara, who I like a lot and has certainly been one of the best defensemen this year, said he'd hate for their to be changes, only because this is the "best group of guys he's ever worked with."

Larry Brooks made me crack up reading the NY Post today, with his response which is:

"They are a vanilla team three months away from the handholding club that sang Kumbaya in Bern and Prague. It's nice that the team has bonded and that everyone does everything together off the ice. Why, they can put that right in their high school yearbooks."

And later, after rattling off stat after stat for why this team has little to be proud of says:

"But they like each other! They really like each other! "

Sarcastic? - yes. But damn, damn true.

This team is vanilla, and even though young Steve Stamkos and I both like vanilla ice cream, for our hockey teams - we expect much more.

Brooks talked about how Avery got to NY, and joined a team very familiar to this one - although I do not and cannot think that the team even though lackluster and losing when Sean arrived, was anywhere near as boring and hard to tolerate as these mediocre group of best friends. And then how Sean turned it around.

I will not - yet - make a comment on this. Avery. Returning. Avery anything. Yet.

But the point is made.

This team needs something.

I love that they love each other. I really do. But there is something drastically wrong with the team when they:

Play so horribly.

Play so horrifically boring that their long time fans don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Skate like they are at Rockefeller Center or the Ice Capades.

Their fans hope the head coach gets knocked unconscious on the bench (again) by an errant puck or stick.

Causes for concern?

They are for me, guys. They are for me.

**Authors Note: The Rangers "political king of playing favorites" coach. More on this another day, I promise; but I'll give you a day or two to think about what type of mediocre/overpaid North American players get breaks from our Western Canadian coach and what European players do not get breaks from our Western Canadian coach. And if anytihng had anything to do with anything."

Also, as for those of you wondering why Prucha didn't play. It probably had nothing to do with the maybe-Orr-has-the-flu or not. Renney had the flu Friday when he used Prucha for more than dummy defense at practice, went to bed, woke up better, realized he hated him, and, well, you get the picture. Because, again, Prucha is obviously - from the locker room - the reason this team is one loss closer to complete and utter disarray. A fancy win to fix it? No. No. All wins do is hide what is so fundamentally wrong here. That's why I'm not going to cry that they lose.

Lastly, I will be a way for a few days. I will probably miss the game tomorrow. I will probably not be disappointed.

Everyone, Happy Happy and Healthy New Year!! :)

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