Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Statement Of Some Sort. . .

The Rangers made a statement alright. Just not sure it was a good one though.

I'll be honest and then blunt.

I had a lot to do last night so I really only watched the second half of the game. I listened and looked up at the TV from time to time, but I did not watch.

(Notice a pattern with me and the Isles/Rangers games. First I fall asleep for the first game on the Island, then I miss the Prucha game of the year, and then I choose last night's game to house-keep my file cabinet. Although necessary. *Sigh* Only game I watched on the full was the Rangers/Islanders game where they scored two shorties against us. Yep. And no idea why.)

Now back to reality and back to being blunt. I don't think a Rangers/Islanders game is true analysis for anything. I really don't.

It's a rivalry game. True, the one side of the rivalry is falling slowly (quickly) into oblivion this season (and for the better part of the last decade). The one that isn't, used to be almost as much a laughing stock. But yet, the teams come together and they usually play.

Now, in my opinion, the Islanders always play the Rangers well. Always. The Rangers do not seem to match that intensity, and that might be a symptom of the above.

Thus, I don't think you can take credit away from the Isles last night. They play like this is all they have...and well with a franchise goalie two years into a 15-year contract who rarely sees the inside of an arena (in uniform), a team whose managment staff has two goalies who have played hockey in THIS decade, and an arena no one outside of Long Island can easily get to. . .well that is all they have right now.

You know what you should really credit them for though. Their powerplay. One of the worst teams in the entire league and a good powerplay. (#17; the Rangers, btw, are at #27). Mark Streit leads the team in points (33) and power play goals (7). I would have given my eye teeth for this guy over Redden. He made the Montreal powerplay good. And he was even able to do it on Long Island. Look at that.

As for the Rangers, Tom Renney must have been thrilled. A 2-1 win. Which would be great. Against Montreal, San Jose, Detroit. Impractical, but great.

Against the Islanders, they should be able to score more. They really should. And yet, they can't. Or they won't.

Even if this team is, as described over and over again, merely a low scoring team, destined to win by 1-0, and 2-1, that's great. But if they had a powerplay that worked, they could potentially win games 4-2, 3-1, even. Anything has got to be an improvement over 2-1. And the powerplay is the easiest way to start without wrecking whatever master plan of boredom the coach is trying so desperately to employ.

Is this team a team of goal scorers? No. Sadly no. But even the Islanders can score on the powerplay (at present 32 goals to the Rangers 27 on the man advantage).

Think about that.

Think about that and tell me that if this team makes the playoffs (still a question at this, the just-over-half-way-point of the season), they will ever make any mark of success there.

I just don't see it. 1-0 games happen in the playoffs. Sure. To teams that are capable of playing perfect defense for 60 minutes.

I do not trust the Rangers defense to do that. I'm not sure who would.

So 2-1 wins versus the Islanders are nice, and the two points are important.

But that's two more points leading to a promised land where the Rangers have little to no promise of succeeding.

Honest. Then blunt. That's how I feel today.

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