Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Five Things on the Rangers/Penguins Game. . .

I so should be sleeping right now, but...

* How good did Christopher Higgins, PA Parenteau and Artem Anisimov look together in their first few shifts? Now, how sad that didn't seem to last much beyond that?

* My grandmother asked me if the coach was changing lines as much as Renney was last year? I said perhaps not quite as much, but she had a point, one we've all made at one time or another. I know the Rangers do not have much to work with, but they seem to take every line that seemingly has or will ever have chemistry and tear it apart. Worse in Tortorella's case is because he has "feelings" for some players, he will pull them from the lineup, sit them on the bench, play them minimal minutes. Well that all further disrupts any chemistry that may be going on with those or other lines. Again, I'm all for accountability but I'm thinking it's something else that has to change.

* This morning Mike Ross on Hockey This Morning/XM204 and Larry Brooks in the Post both said the same thing. It's Tortorella's responsibility to get this team going in the right direction. To get them on one page, one page where they know what effort is expected of them. Where they come to play. He can't control what they do on the ice, whether they win or lose, score or don't score, but he can help control the way in which they do it. I think we'd all be a lot happier if they were playing hard and winning, but honestly, I'll take playing hard at this point. And playing hard so we all can say, damn, they got robbed. Not playing hard so they can just say that they did but we can't notice as fans.

* While I'm mentioning Tortorella, how about Captain Fun? Everyone has to take accountability for how they approach the game and individual work ethic, yes. But if we're placing blame on Torts, we have to blame some on Captain Mumbles too. We can belabour (sp?) the point over and over that he's a great 3rd line center being paid 1st line center marquee player money. BUT really what we should be concerned about - more concerned about - is that this group turned from a group of fun players into a bunch of mindless drones. Again! And this time they actually have personality to squash! The captain needs to get the players motivated. Get them angry. Get them to show - anything. Once again, I'm just not seeing enough of that.

* Lastly, as much as I love to see Gaborik score goals (#20 and #21 on the season tonight), it's becoming all the more sad to see him do so. Sad you ask, why? Because it's becoming all the more obvious that he's the only one that can, truly can score goals. And if not the only one that can, the only one that will. Worse? It's being wasted. Not to get into the Jagr/Gaborik debate, but when Jagr had his season of all seasons here, he was playing well, the team was playing well, and more than just he was contributing. With Gaborik, no one else seems to be playing the same game. Yes, part of that is blamed on youth, and bad pieces, and bad game plan, but all of it makes me sad. Gaborik came to New York for many reasons. I doubt he came to be what's turning into a one man show.

Rangers have four big days off before the next game. I do need a break from this, but I'm very scared to see what they throw out this coming weekend.


Luke said...

How did that happen?!?! It all started so well. They had a bit of edge to their game, looked like they cared about the result and looked like they were playing well!

I fell asleep (finally) at the end of the 2nd period. Admitedly we'd been going down hill for the last 10 minutes of the 2nd. I'm guessing the 3rd was just sad?

How can something that started so well end so badly?

There are a couple of schools of thought on this. A buddy of mine thinks players come to NY, get a load of money, get the NY lifestlye and slowly but surely become overweight and over it. I think that's a little harsh myself.

I think.... As sad as it is.... We're just not that good. We're not a well constructed team. It's a bit like a random assortment of players and playing styles getting together for a pick up game :-( Some nights it all comes together, most nights it just doesn't work.


kels said...

Luke - I do not know. I don't know how they don't sustain energy. I don't know why they lose their focus. I don't get it - any of it!

Very disappointing trend from the Rangers lately. And the sad thing if I'm not feeling like it's going to improve.

As to your thoughts - your buddy is not too far off but I think somehow I still feel that it was more the case years ago, with the country club. HOWEVER, I can't say that with a straight face because I have very good reason to believe Gomez looked at it that way. I can't speak to overweight (I really can't speak to any of it) but - I'm sure they enjoy themselves here. Sometimes too much.

It's just hard to believe only a few players care: Gaborik, Hank. Who else convinces you they care, besides those guys and the rookies?

And, as misplaced as his energy sometimes is, even Voros plays like he wants to be there.

Does Drury? And he's made Callahan invisible with him.

To your second point (or rather your point as the first was your friends), I think that is closer to reality. I didn't think they'd be #1. I thought they'd be a playoff team, but I thought it on more balanced goal scoring. If they don't have that, or get that, they are done. They don't have enough else to overcome that. Your random assortment comment is spot on.

The only thing I can't excuse is the half efforts. That's driving me crazy. I know Columbus isn't Pittsburgh - but you come back, rally, and play that well...to a gutsy win in Florida...to the three disasters? What happened?

Luke said...

Valiquette is waived. An interesting scapegoat. You can certainly see how that conclusion was reached. Mind you, I personally think he's completely the wrong scapegoat. The King can't stop a puck with this team in front of him, how on earth do you expect Valiquette to do it?

I wonder how long it will take them to throw the baby out with the bathwater?


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Kerri said...

All those who are suggesting that Valiquette was waived just to shake up the team and to suggest that it doesn't matter who you are or how likable you are, the Rangers have no problem dropping you are probably on the money. However, I still disagree with it being Valiquette who has to take the fall.

Also, is that saying basically that Sather and Tortorella have already lost this team? In that case, we're screwed. They gave up on Renney LESS than a year ago.