Sunday, February 8, 2009

"The Rangers Were Chew-Toyed Tonight. . ."

Those were the words the Dallas Stars radio announcing team used after the final buzzer sounded ending the Rangers humilating 10-2 defeat at the hands of the Stars on Friday night.

Even though I was out of state, I listened to about 70% of the game on the radio.

I listened to the first period, where they called Gomez's pass that ended up in the back of the Rangers net for the first Dallas goal "vacuous."

For those of us who want to know exactly what vacuous means, tells us:

1. without contents; empty: the vacuous air.
2. lacking in ideas or intelligence: a vacuous mind.
3. expressing or characterized by a lack of ideas or intelligence; inane; stupid: a vacuous book.
4. purposeless; idle: a vacuous way of life.

Now if that does not perfectly describe what the majority of the NY Rangers were during the majority of that game, I don't know what does.

The announcers continued to say that the Rangers did not seem ready to contend or challenge Dallas' forecheck.

As the night went on, it became apparent the Rangers could contend with very little.

The announcers continued to say that they made silly/stupid passes to nowhere and turned the puck over on almost every shift.

I left the car after the 2nd period (4-2 Stars) and did not return until 4 or so minutes to go in the game. At which point I believe Dallas had just scored their 9th goal.

9, I said. Well, they certainly outdid themselves.

Look, after Renney's absurd comments that I wrote about on Thursday about dominance, I almost wanted this team to have Dallas hand it to them. I almost really did. Hear what the coach had to say to defend himself if they had another "dominant" game.

Well, it happened. I listened for the 10th goal - "and they score again!" - the 10th and final one.

I felt bad for Valiquette, because I knew, even without watching, this was just another showing of the go and play dead routine the Rangers have shown over the last year or so. One or two goals go in, they lose it, fall apart, and can't do anything to stop the bleeding. The goalie is left to just try to stay afloat.

They've done it before. Many times. But in this case, it was worse than ever before. Well almost.

Dallas, for the record, had not scored 10 goals since 1992. If I'm remembering what I read in the paper this morning, the Rangers had not given up 10 goals since around the same time. It was slightly before my time, so I had never seen it, I'll admit.

I'd have been sick, if I didn't know that this had the possibility of happening. If I didn't expect it. And I didn't kind of hope for it. Not because I like seeing/hearing/reading about my team - a team I do love and remain loyal to - lose in such a horrific manner. But because I hoped it might set the stage for changes so long necessary and overdue, I can't even put it into words.

For the saddest thing of all. While many were cheering and lauding this team for it's great start, I remained hesitant. Because there is very little - VERY little - that differs on this team now from that started the season. They had a little more luck, perhaps. They had a little more timely-ness.

But they always lacked cohesiveness. They always lacked offensive ability and defensive prowess. And they always lacked character, heart, and the ability to stick up for themselves.

The only thing that changed in the last game, the last week, the last month or so plus - they stopped fooling people.

If there is anyone that is still thinking this is a team on the right path, a team that can contend for the Stanley Cup, a team that can even make the playoffs, a team that we can even call a team, period, well then they are sorely mistaken.

"The Rangers were chew-toyed tonight."

I couldn't have put it better myself.

P.S. The bright spots, it would seem and if one could be found, were Nikolai Zherdev's two goals. Fun fact: If he scored one more goal, he might (MIGHT) have been only the second Ranger to score a hat trick and break his nose in the same game. Anyone remember Jeff Toms?

No comments: