I’m going to try to not be too negative here. Why? Just because I’m sick of being negative, and because I’m sure there are going to be plenty of chances to be negative the rest of this season.
So the Rangers had too many men on the ice twice last night. For a lot of the game, they had too few. And I kind of agree with Chris Drury that the last few losses (and the win) haven’t been wrecked by a lack of effort. I think they’re trying. Drury was trying to make something happen—a breakaway for a team so desperate for offense—when he got burned for a goal last night.
I know, I know. He needs to score. Period. And I’m sure he would pay out a chunk of his salary for the answers to the problem’s he’s had.
Before we go any further, I just wanted to welcome back Jane from her week off. She is at practice today and will post this afternoon. Also, Sam Borden filled in last night and did a terrific column on Andy Bathgate for The Journal News and LoHud. com today.
1) Scott Gomez, for the third game in a row, got better, I thought. I kind of liked him with Brandon Dubinsky on the wing. And those who watched on TV know that Joe Michelleti called the Gomez 4-on-4 goal. Nice going, Joe.
2) Those were the Maple Leafs, right? The Leafs who have now surrendered a league-high 219 goals? What does that tell you about the Rangers’ offense? And they get to meet again Wednesday in T.O.
3) If Aaron Voros is going to play, then, in my opinion, he needs to stay away from useless fights and just play tough. I mean, fighting a guy at the drop of a puck for no reason is not what this team needs right now. It serves no purpose, and in fact can backfire if you lose the fight. What he needs to do is to play hard, to hit people, to aggravate people, and then if challenged, drop the gloves. Not some staged fight. That’s not helping in any way.
4) Petr Prucha: scratched. I do see that the kid has some defensive deficiencies, but, wow. No explanation from me. I have no idea. I am not on that bandwagon that thinks Prucha-over-Voros is going to solve anything major with the Rangers. But I don’t see why it’s Prucha sitting night after night. I just don’t. And now the Rangers pretty much have to trade him at the deadline and get something for him, because he’s not in their plans.
5) The ceremony. Too bad there were so many empty seats. But the ceremony itself was wonderful. It really was, for two absolute gentlemen who played and played hard, and were legit all-time greats. Both of them came off a little nervous, which was also endearing. It occurred to me when all the retired-numbers guys posed for that photo at the end of the ceremony that it might be a long time before they all get together again. I don’t foresee any more retired numbers for a while, unless the Rangers plan to right some wrongs and honor Bun Cook or Lester Patrick or guys from that era. And it could actually be the last time ever that all the retired numbers players are together on the ice. Too bad, because these annual gatherings the last few years had been really awesome. Maybe they’ll have a Gretzky night.
Jane will be back with an update later.