Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Five Things on the Rangers/Thrashers Game. . .

* Johan Hedberg owns the Rangers. This is nothing new. He always has. At least in my memory. (Again, again, again, - if Bob Hartley had stuck with Hedberg in game 3 versus the Rangers in the playoffs maybe, maybe, maybe it would have been a series. Not a different result but a series and instead of a sweep). The saves he made in the first period during that sequence. Yikes. Amazing. (And for the record, I am a Hedberg fan. Who doesn't love players nicknamed Moose?!).

* The Rangers now have, I think we can say, a dreadful record at home. With the exception of the game versus Columbus, I can't even remember the last time they won at the Garden. Any much more of this, someone will have to pinch me and tell me it's not 2003-2004.

* The Rangers record last year and the year previous was decidedly better at this stage of the season. Why? In part due to getting games to OT and to the shootout where they'd steal one, and usually 2, points. Not so this year. This was the Rangers third shootout game, their first at home and first without P.A. "I went on waivers today" Parenteau. They didn't get it done. The last two years, these shootouts bulked points and jumped spots in the standings. Now, they are infrequent and apparently not a guarantee.

* Michael Del Zotto makes me smile. At least someone on this team makes me smile. Please, please, please. Let him stay here FOREVER!

* Gaborik's goal in the 3rd was his 10th of the season in that period. That leads the NHL. Once again, big round of applause for Gaby. As much as I "like" this group better than last year, and he's a big part of that, he really, on many nights, leaves you thinking - my gosh, what if he weren't here? Thankfully he is. Thank you Gaborik. Which translates to "thank you Bob Gainey for taking Scott Gomez so we could afford Gaborik." Thank you. Thank you all.

Overall, not a bad game. A good one in fact. Normally (normally the watch word here) putting 48 shots on a goalie would result in more than 2 goals (if you are not the NYRs...). Normally shooting that much would result in a win (if you are not the NYRs). Again, all props in the world to Hedberg and Atlanta. A good win. A smart road win. The Rangers looked closer than they have been and tonight may have not been their fault. It just feels worse, of course, because they've lost so many, and so many at home.

HUGE two games versus the Isles. Huge! Too early to say "must-win." I'm actually not sure it is.


Luke said...

Thanks for the summary Kels. I’m not able to watch this one, although it sounds like it was worth watching. Even if we lost, again. There is a saying (not really a saying, more a train of thought) here in England about the soccer “The premiership isn’t won before Christmas, but you can loose it”. As strange as it feels to say, I agree the next two really are must win games. Not to ensure a playoff position, but to ensure we’re in with a chance.

Another random thought I had on the way to work this morning.

Does anyone else have that embarrassing and unspoken little thought in the back of their minds..... Would things have been better this season if we’d stuck with Renney?


kels said...

No problem Luke.

This team? What to do with this team?

It wasn't a bad game. Not at all. Again just way more frustrating when coupled with the last handful of defeats, I'm sure.

It's so true. No one, not even the Maple Leafs for their horrible start is eliminated numerically, but what teams do at this juncture surely affects how far they'll go or how much they may have to push to get, try to get, keep, secure a playoff spot. The reason the Rangers were able to the last few years (last Olympic year for sure) was because of big starts and saving points.

I am going to be honest with you. Admit it or not, you're probably not the only one that had that thought. The more low scoring, if they win they must win by scoring no more than 2 goals and letting in no more than one, games the Rangers have, the more I can't help but think of Renney.

Remember, Renney did work when he had a Jagr type talent, a powerplay that worked, and players willing to buy into it.

It stopped working when the Rangers had no major scoring talent, and more impoantly, when the Rangers stopped buying into it. And when Hank stopped being tolerant of being the guy taking all the heat.

Yes, in some way, Luke. Very eeirily similar there.

As for better? I think it's impossible to say. They were done listening last year. Could this group of "more Renney types" have been good under his reign. Perhaps they may have.

It's painful to remember, but subtract Gaborik and some offensive defensemen and this is very much a Renney type roster, no? Most players, at least at present capacity, have been almost interchangable. On lines. On the PP.

Jeeze, I've sufficiently scared myself with this line of thinking.

We wouldn't have to think that way if Tortorella was go-go-going as advertised. Sigh.