New York to Dallas and back is a long, long way to go to get it handed to you.
Some thoughts after a just God-awful performance. I have an assignment, so this will probably be the only post today. Sorry about that. I imagine once you vent, though, you wouldn’t mind a break from your favorite team, right? So this should be more than enough.
1. This game reminded me of two I covered – the one in Buffalo in 1992-93 that got Roger Neilson fired; and the second of back-to-back losses to Detroit in 2000 that got John Muckler and Neil Smith fired (and Glen Sather hired, ultimately). Both had that level of incompetence followed by a level of QUIT. Sather lurking on the trip might mean a change is coming … or at least that the Renney Watch has begun. And the fact that the Rangers reacted this way to the punishment skate the other day is even more disturbing for Renney and his staff.
2. Isn’t it remarkable in a salary-capped league that one team can have so much more skill and talent than another? I mean, Dallas has so many more players who can play. AND the Stars are without long-term injured Brenden Morrow and Sergei Zubov. AND the Stars are still dealing with the Sean Avery contract against the cap. AND the Stars still had enough space to trade for Darryl Sydor. So how is it that the Rangers have so little skill and talent, and are almost maxed out and have no room to add a player ? Easy. Sign B-list stars to mega-star contracts. Right?
3. Scott Gomez? What the heck are you thinking? Seriously. What do you think would have happened if he played that way in Jersey? By the way, how is the scorecard of Devils signed by the Rangers looking right about now?
4. Steve Ott is the reason the Rangers are even considering taking back Avery. They have nobody who plays even remotely like Ott. Voros tries, but he can’t skate well enough to deliver those hits, and certainly can’t mix the grit with the skill and the smarts of Ott. Avery plays the game that way. I wouldn’t want him on my team under any circumstances if I was a player or a coach. But the Rangers do need somebody like that, and Avery is the only one available.
5. Oh, and the coach behind the Stars bench? Dave Tippett … he applied and was interviewed by Sather for the Rangers job once upon a time. Another one who didn’t get it. Thought I might throw in this first paragraph from his team bio, just for effect:
“Dave Tippett was hired as the 19th coach in Stars franchise history on May 21, 2002, and has since posted a 235-127-48 record, the best record of any active NHL coach. He has led the club to two Pacific Division titles (2002-03 and 2005-06), five consecutive playoff appearances and the Western Conference Finals last season. Tippett was rewarded with a contract extension through the 2010-11 season on July 14, 2008 .”
6. Poor Steve Valiquette. He should go around the room and kick everybody’s butt, starting with Gomez.
7. Oh, the offense? Didn’t score from in front of the net again. But even with the two from behind the goal line by Zherdev, that’s what? Three in the last three games. Wonder if Petr Prucha is available Monday?
8. I don’t imagine “Rangers in 60″ got a very high rating last night.