The dreaded letdown game


I’ve said this before, but as impressive as the Rangers were in beating a hot Montreal team on Sunday, it’s almost as difficult to win a game against an anonymous team that sits at the bottom of the standings.

I say this because the Rangers have already had a few duds against mediocre teams this year, namely a 5-1 loss to Phoenix in December and a 5-3 loss last month to Tampa Bay.

And for a young team like the Kings, there’s still a lot of incentive to come into Madison Square Garden and steal off with two points.”I suspect this will be their best game on this road trip for a number of reasons,” Tom Renney said.


One strange thing about the Rangers playing the Kings tonight is I’m pretty sure there are no out-of-town writers here covering the game.

The L.A. Times, still one of the great newspapers in this country, doesn’t travel to all the Kings’ road games, nor does the L.A. Daily News.

This is of obvious interest to me as someone in the newspaper business (and as someone handcuffed by his own travel budget), but it also speaks to hockey’s continued marginalization in some cities in this country.

It’s true, hockey has always been only a niche sport in L.A., and even more so when the team there has the worst record in the league. But every other team in the NHL has at least one writer traveling with the team full-time.

Let the Giants love continue: A handful of players are expected at the game tonight.

Man, you’d think those guys would be tired by now.


The press room offering tonight is meatloaf. I mention this because The Journal News may need someone to cover the Rangers beginning tomorrow….

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  1. Nonsense Fairy Buttman and his merry band of retarded owners claim everything is wonderful! Sunshine and lollypops! The refs are the best they’ve ever been!

  2. Easy on the meatloaf big guy – run out and get yourself a large White Castle milkshake – that stuffs like Pepto Bismol, only it does a better job of coating your abdominal/stomach/intestinal walls to prevent serious damage!
    : )

  3. I love meatloaf!

    Almost as much as I love a Rangers win!

    And lets not forget my prediction including the last game:
    8-2 in their next 10.

    So far they are 1-0 in that span. I’m looking good!

  4. Thank Goodness we have Bettman!!
    with all the wonderful moves he’s made and should make for our sport, I still can’t figure out why hockey is so marginalized.
    You know what I’m going to make a bold prediction. If only we could get new jerseys for each team with new logo’s, Oh and a heated blade so the game is faster, oh and if they made the nets bigger or the goalies smaller. HA HA HA
    Maybe they should make the puck bigger you know like a frisbee.

  5. Since Shawn Avery is playing his ex-team the kings, I wonder who Avery didn’t like on that team when he was playing for the kings. I guess we will find out tonight.

    Let’s Go ranger!!!

    Keep it going!!!!

  6. First I had no sound at all from the Garden then I clicked on the Rangers link and I got the call from the LA Kings !

    It is just very impressive the NHL delivers for all their fans from far way abroad…

  7. Hockeyman Rangers #2 on

    Ok this is not good a post and goal in the last couple of minutes. This is where the turn it around.

  8. This king team is really fast which is not a good match for our slow defense like Mara and especially strudwig.

  9. The rangers look like they are skating in slush and the kings look like they are skating on air. If it wasn’t for lundqvist
    this would be a 4-0 lead.

  10. I hope now I don’t see anymore nonsense directed towards Drury because he is now playing exactly like the player the rangers thought they were getting.

  11. By the time the first period end, you just hear the big snoring coming as the only sound from the Garden….

    By the time the second period end, 4-0 Kings the whole bench was fallen asleep and

    by the end of games only about 5000 people in attendance …good morning Mr.Drury..

    unbelievable I hear a goal song….

  12. wow, betts is hurt, that’s huge. I don’t think Betts gets the credit he deserves. Betts is an excellent penalty killer, not good.

  13. how prophetic was the headline..

    what anotehr terrible letdown game.. man they are so frustrating it is crazy.. they think they are better then they are..

  14. They woke up just for a couple of minutes at the end of the first and the beginning of the second as far as the third Kings goal….

    Now they got it…I have fallen asleep now…


  15. the 3rd goal is on Avery. terrible play, terrible IQ…

    Newsflash Avery go forward not backwards in your own zone…why have to make the perfect play make the simple play, is he new to hockey???

  16. 4-2, say goodnight Gracie!!!!!
    This is the reason why I don’t get to excited with this team. There is no doubt that the rangers need to replace strudwig, mara and malik, too big, soft and slow.

  17. The meatloaf probably is the only good thing tonight. For a team to play the way they did means the coaches did not do their job to get the players ready for the game. No jump, stupid penalties. They are just disgusting. 2 needed points down the drain.

  18. BRUTAL LOSS! This team should be ashamed of the way they came out so flat tonight. They let a team of kids dictate the game on their own home ice. Fire Renny! Strip Jagr of that C! Burn Sather at the stake!

  19. Refs had nothing to do with this loss.

    This was all bad defense. Jagr is snake-bitten–had one off the shaft of “tonight’s Roy” and looked lost tonight.

  20. 0-6-2 against the Western Conference. Pathetic.

    You can win the Cup without playing someone in the West, right?

  21. here we go with the fire the coach and Jagr posts.. Jagr must have had 7 shots tonight, what else can he do??

    Why no dissing Avery for giving up the 3rd goal on a total moronic play total.

    terrible losee and now they play the ducks in a few days, they need to beat the bad teams……..

  22. you guys know the Kings have been one of the best teams in the new year right? We still should’ve won and played much better, but the Kings are pretty good. They didnt even give the Rangers a chance and capitalized on mistakes. They are quick and young and when they learn to be consistent, they will make the playoffs soon.

    Rangers have to learn you can’t come out flat agianst a team like this cuz it not an automatic win.

  23. Hockeyman Rangers #2 on

    You were 100% on until the fire Renny part everything else you said is right on.
    BRUTAL LOSS! This team should be ashamed of the way they came out so flat tonight. They let a team of kids dictate the game on their own home ice.

  24. the kings were blown out in NJ, but the rangers are impotent vs the west.

    everyone wanted to see how the rangers would look without the HBO line playing much. well, there’s your answer.

  25. dane byers got his 5 minutes of fame, unless betts is seriously hurt he will be back in hartford by this time tomorrow

  26. Tom G – Totally right on post. I still can’t believe Strudwick is on any NHL team, no less our team. He was awful tonight, and Mara and Malik are slow, soft, stick checking garbage D-men. This team (Kings) of wet-behind-the-ears kids put NYR to shame tonight.

  27. Hockeyman Rangers #2 on

    Did anyone notice Renney after the game walking into the dressing room. Shaking his head and looked totally pissed. Well Ok if you have ever seen any emotion shown from Renny that was definitely a pissed looked. So Ok was it his fault and not have his boys prepared or was the boys just decided they didn’t need their A game tonight????

  28. How can this team play with no spirit in their own zone? Strudwick a stupid giveaway. Avery a stupid giveaway and a few senseless penalties. Tyutin and Drury (great game but bad play cost us a goal) behind their own net watched Frolov play with the puck. We beat ourselves.

    But is the coach preparing them for the game? Is he telling them what the scouting report is? Is he not riding the D for playing super sloppy in their own zone?

    I just don’t get it.

    The team was skating like they had lead skates.

    F-ing awful.

  29. 1. Shame on this team.
    2. Renney should have taken a screaming Time Out after the FIRST goal against. It was so obvious they were flat.
    3. Avery hasn’t looked the same all year, and especially since his injury. Personally, I think it’s a shame he’s been so embraced. It’s made him soft.

  30. you people are all bipolar before tonight they won five out of SIX games they are not going to win every single game. they came out slow but offense picked it up they had alot of chances tonight the problem is the defense never showed up. RELAX and see what happens thursday before all u people rip them apart. way to have faith. BOSTON LOSS ISLANDERS LOST ATLANTA LOST. no one has posted a bad thing in days and now all u people jump on and talk crap…

  31. Ah, Sam, I just got home from the game and logged on here. I thought I was reading the RECAP of the game, not the PREVIEW!

    Bad game. They pressed often but couldn’t finish. They needed what should’ve been an easy 2 points, but the first game off a road trip is always tough.

  32. Since you all have been a big part of my life for a year, though you probably don’t at all realize this, I thought I’d share my first experience at MSG. I flew in from Los Angeles to watch my favorite team, the Kings, play my favorite player, Sean Avery on the year anniversary of the day he was traded. Game-wise, I couldn’t have asked for anything more: a win from my team (and a great effort) and a goal from my player (though I must say it was also quite hilarious to watch him unravel otherwise before his former team). As for the fans, I must say, I expected a little more. The insults were uncreative, the remarks unintelligent. Someone actually said to me that they were happy to let me watch my team do well because the Giants had just won and I had made the long journey from Sacramento.
    But I guess the most surprising thing was watching Avery crumble before the Kings. He acted exactly how other players usually act before him, allowing himself to be thrown off of his game and goaded into a stupid penalty. I knew he’d probably be anxious about playing his old team but I’m pretty shocked that he let it all get to him. Yeah, he scored a goal but regardless of the win, it’s Kings 1, Avery 0.
    Thanks for a great experience New York.

  33. dave – Right on with the HBO line off the ice. I can’t say that Frolov/kopitar & crew would have been as dominant if they were matched up against a line that understood defense. We’re going to miss Betts for sure.

    Newman – the only thing I can respond to your post is that Pelino does the scouting and prep work for opponents.

    joejoe – bipolar, good call. Watch it happen today.

    I don’t get how after the time out the guys regrouped and started playing the game we’ve seen in the last 2 weeks. Then they reverted right back to the bad habits. We need a defenseman pretty badly. 2 great saves by Gonzo(if you guys remember that) or 1 less turnover in the D zone could have been the difference last night.
    Amazing how Jags goes all retarded and talks around the questions that are being posed to him postgame after a loss. Right back to the “I don’t know, sometimes it doesn’t work”. A broken friggin record. How about layin into someone or the team for that matter, for poor play? That said, though his production is down, his play looks more spirited than it did a few weeks back. Jags’ production is so closely tied to Straka & Gomer its not even funny.

    Thought Byers shows some promise. And though its certainly premature, if your name is mentioned in the same sentence as Holmstrom…you definitely have something going for you.

    My reaction to last night is… Hol y crap

  34. From Dellapina…
    Close to finalizing a new, long-term contract for Lundqvist, agent Don Meehan will resume his negotiations with GM Glen Sather today. “They’re getting close,” a smiling Lundqvist said. Reached last night, Meehan said: “I just got back from Europe and I’m going to talk to Glen (today). He’s my first call in the morning. I feel positive about the tone of the discussions, but we’ve got work to do.”
    ….. ……. ……

    With that off his mind and his dad progressing well, it should bring him back to form for the stretch.

  35. That better be the wake up call that you are not to take an opponent lightly like that. LA OWNED us in that first period. Completely OWNED us. Humiliating! I hope they come out and respond physically on Thursday night. At least the Isles and Boston lost.

  36. hockeymanrangers on

    Sam is amazing he called it, we must worship him. Sam will they win Thursday night, oh great one????

  37. That better be the wake up call that you are not to take an opponent lightly like that.

    (The 5-1 Coyotes game called and left you a message)

    You want call this blog bi-polar? We take after the team.

  38. Hoperfully that’s just a one-game thing. Luckily, if we make the playoffs, we only get to play good teams (unlesss we’re sixth and play someone from the South), and we only play a Western Conference team if we make the finals, and we haven’t played Detroit or anyone from their division, so there’s no telling how we’ll do! (I think I got more sarcastic as that paragraph dragged on)

    Let’s see what happens on Thursday. I hope Shanahan comes back because I feel like Betts might have that dreaded MCL sprain that plagued us last season. Maybe a fourth lin of Byers, Callahan, Orr?

  39. joejoe315….you don’t get it. we have to win the easy games with the low hanging fruit where the only possible acceptable outcome is 2 pts. this was one of those games. we only play the worst team in the league once or twice a year, those are points you just can’t let get away. every team ahead of us has 2 or 3 games in hand on us. last night’s loss was unacceptable on so many levels.

    if we lost to detroit last night, no one would be screaming.

  40. bad loss of historical proportions for this team. there are no gimmes in this league or the nfl. how Renney did not blast his players at the first timeout shows he still doesn’t get the whip part of being a coach. its taken 2/3 of the season for the players to understand how to drive to the net in order to be a contender and then they take the night off against a team that was a must win. all of our games are must wins now. sutter has got the devils cranked up and in position with an inferior team that has been missing many of its key players. this is supposed to be our year and we’re docile for the most part. there were no checks in the first period and relatively few in the second although that was a good period and we just couldnt bury a puck in the traditional ocean. no excuse for the start and overall lack of 60 minute performance. and please get rid of strudwick and mara asap. i dont care about his leadership abilities, i dont want him on the ice. get me a dman like blake and bundle it with a couple of non essential kids.

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