Rangers-Hawks in review


I know, I know. I should be really scathing today. But you know what? My expectations for the Rangers are a bit lower these days. I looked at the matchup in Chicago before the game and thought, if they get a win out of there it would be a miracle, and if they got a point, that should be more than satisfactory.

Obviously, “how” they got the point was not satisfactory, however. Obviously, game circumstances change things. What would have been a good point before the game became a bad point lost afterward.

Chicago is just a lot better, and was dominant at home — as it usually is — and the Rangers were darn lucky to be up 1-0, then tied 1-1 in OT. Lucky that they have Henrik Lundqvist, who could not be blamed on either goal this time, and who was heroic at times. :

1) Said it before, say it again: Byfuglien = Monster.

2) Did you notice how a great team like Chicago throws pucks to the net? What was the stat? 75¬† shots attempted, blocked or on goal? And yet here were the Rangers trying to make cute passes (Drury in the final seconds of the second period). If you’re going to play puck possession, puck pressure, put it on net. Byfuglien had three shots on goal from the third line (Rangers leaders: Avery and Brashear with three each).

3) If guys like Drury and Callahan are going to play like third-liners, fine. But the other teams’ third-liners score goals. (See: Byfuglien).

4) Mike Keenan sometimes talks in circles, but in his own way he tells it like it is. While MSG was trying to sugar-coat the effort, Iron  Mike was ripping the effort of everybody but the goaltender, especially for getting one puny shot on goal in the third period. And his alter ego, John Tortorella, concurred with his agitated post-game remarks. (ps, Iron Mike should not be asking Dave Maloney and Joe Michelletti questions about what the coach should do; it should be the other way around).

5) I personally didn’t think the effort was as big a problem as the execution, and once again, the lack of skill — or more exactly, the dramatic difference in the skill level of the two teams.

6) The tying goal was a disgrace, two Blackhawks down low on the power play against three Rangers (Boyle, Redden, Gilroy), all of them fishing for the puck with their sticks, none of them putting a body on a red-jersey. Could the situation have been more desperate? Yet three of them were playing shinny.

7) I thought the game really turned during and after a Blackhawks power play in the second, when Del Zotto and Rozsival couldn’t get off the ice, and then they took an icing and Tortorella had to use a timeout to rest them. Their next shift, the same pair had another long, pinned-in shift.

8) The penalties: That’s what happens when the opponent is bigger, faster, more skilled, and has the puck 90 percent of the game. Still, two of those calls, the stick-between-the-opponent’s legs calls, would not have been made if the Ranger decided to, you know, hit the guy instead of trying to stop him with a weak stick-check.

Here are the official game summary and event summary.

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  1. Not sick. I’ve accepted the fact that the team is not good and won’t be good for the next few years. I still care, I still watch, but I don’t let it bother me.

  2. sick of watching overpaid hockey players playing like 4th liners…new players but same results. we thought this team would have more skill than last years but we were fooled again. sather is the worst!

  3. THE REAL MikeyNJ on

    Im Sick as a dog of wathcing the Rangers play pathetic uninspired Hockey if that’s what you mean?

    And i’ve said this before in years past, but if we see the problems, and everyone else see’s the problems, why isn’t Sather willing or able to fix them?

    And don’t give me “the cap” bullcrap excuse. If I have EVER given SAther credit for anything, its his ability to manipulate the cap space and make trades and moves everyone thought impossible.

    Forget salary, status, veteran or rookie. IF a guy is sucking and playing terrible, you sit him or find someone else to do the job.

    I always equate this to real life. If I started sucking at my job, adn wasn’t getting results, I’d get spoken to about, and given a chance to fix it. Then the second time, get reprimanded and told I have to step up or my job is at risk, then finally be let go becasue I was not fufilling what my job requires of me. Easy right? guess reality doesnt play into the Rangers organization.

    IF you take our best players (Hank, Gabby, Prospal, Avery, Cally, Del Z, Gilroy, Dubi and (lately) Higgins, you come out with 9 players playing well and who are integral parts of our team

    That leaves 14 other players playing like crap.

    I know you cant ditch the entire team, but if I were Torts, Sully and Shoney, I’d have a new 1 day training camp, re-evaluate EVERYONE, and put together the best possible team with the players we have. Then Make old Cigar face go out and TRY and make a trade for what we dont have and need (Brusing Dman, secondary scoring)

    After this past summer, I really beleived we had a new start, and I’m not blaming this on Torts, he’s been more honest and upfront then Renney ever was, and I am Glad he’s gone, and would never want him back. But Torts adjusting his and Sully’s system to fit these players jsut isnt working.

    Oh well, only 62 more games left in the season

    Again, end of January/10 games to turn it around otherwise I jsut cant see them even breaking 8th place to get into the playoffs

  4. mikey,

    you are 100% right. i wouldn’t even put higgins into that group yet, but you are right about the rest of the team nt carrying their weight. you gotta blame sather for putting this mess together. torts isn’t helping much, but its sather who put this together.

    no need to bring up redden, drury or roszy now. but what was he thinking giving brashear that contract? voros is a waste. i thought kotalik was a decent signing, but he has been bad.

    take away gabby and boyle and the signing he made this summer have all been bad. i won’t even give him credit for prospal…if torts wasn’t here he wouldn’t have been signed.

    problem is dolan will never fire sather so we are stuck with him until he retires

  5. Regarding the Blackhawks and stars, what I meant to say is no one star who is expected to carry the team, or else.

  6. THE REAL MikeyNJ on

    NYR13 I agree

    Sather is here until he retires or dies and that at the earliest aint happening for a few more years.

    And your right, no need to bring up the unmoveables, unless somehow Sather CAN move ANY of them.

    I honestly think one of two things are going to happen by end of January:

    1.) We’ll get on a streak, have an over 500 record for the month, and Sather makes one or two more minors moves, and we go with what we have for the duration of the season


    We continue to suck and play lazy Hockey, win one, lose two, have an under or at 500 month, and Sather starts going crazy trying to trade what HE THINKS we need to make the playoffs, which ultimately ends in us making 8th palce and getting bounced in the first round, or not making them at all.

    Differnet year, different team, same old story

    I think I’m starting to understand how Met fans feel

  7. As a Mets fan I’ll say that it would be great if 8 teams could make the playoffs.

    Worse part is that there’s no salary cap in baseball. Actually though on a position by position basis Mets have some of the most talented players at a bunch of different positions (3B, SS, CF, top end starter, good but not great closer). Rangers have 2, Gaborik and Lundqvist but in baseball a scrub player can have 1 good at bat and win the game. I suppose a 4th liner (Mike Rupp anyone?) could have one good game, but depth is much more important in hockey given that at best your top players are only on the ice for 25 minutes.

  8. Gross Twitter:

    Somewhat of a surprise: #NYRangers keep Ilkka Heikkinen, send Hobey Baker winner Matt Gilroy to Hartford (AHL).
    6 minutes ago from web

  9. And if I recall Gilroy has a one way contract, so if they recall him he gets exposed to re-entry waivers? I can’t imagine him making it through re-entry waivers, he’s got a cheap contract as is let alone at half price and got enough upside to take a shot on him. Are there any exceptions because he’s a rookie or is his Rangers career done?

  10. The blame lies at the feet of Sather.

    However, the blame also lies at the feet of Chris Drury. he accepted the “C”, he accepted this outrageous contract and he has done absolutely nothing to deserve the money he gets paid.

    Chris Drury does absolutely nothing when he is on the ice, NOTHING! His line gets pinned in their own zone each and every time they are on the ice.

    This is one of the worst stretches of play I have seen the Rangers play in a long time.

    The glimmers of hope form the beghiining of the season are gone… MDZ and Gilroy look like they are worn out.

    Staal looks like he has never played hockey before.

    Prospal looks like he is dead tired.

    Anisimov has lost all of his confidence.

    I said earlier last month this team might win, might win 30 games. That might be a stretch at this point.

    I sure hope Kreider, Borque, Steppan and other in Juniors and the AHL have something to bring to the table, if not this organization will be in trouble.

  11. Start Tanking Now on

    Taylor Hall would help the Rangers for years to come. This team needs 3 straight years of picking first overall just like every other good team now that isn’t the Devils, Wings, or Sharks.

  12. onecupin69yearsand counting on

    One thing is certain with rangers ,their draft picks come and die here.Prucha ,Dawes,Lundmark. etc.
    Since leetch and Zubov and I guess I’m missing a few others most have come and gone.
    How long before hank, staal, callahan etc are shown the door?

  13. One-way contract just means a player will earn the same money in the minors as in the NHL. Pretty certain Gilroy can be moved up and down this year as much as the Rangers like without being waived.

  14. Gilroy’s one-way contract only means that he gets paid the same amount of money, regardless if he plays in the NHL or the minors. He doesn’t have to go through re-entry waivers.

  15. onecupin69yearsand counting on

    I’ll bet the rangers gave up an gilroy, another team will pick him up where he’ll thrive.

  16. THE REAL MikeyNJ on

    And sending Gilroy Down?

    I dont like that at all

    Send Rosival down if anyone and expose his sorry ass to waivers.

    CT no idea, I had the same question

    Carp or Anyone, does he gets exposed to re-entry waivers or is he safe to recall back up?

  17. THE REAL MikeyNJ on

    OK well at least Gilroy is safe then, honestly, I like the way he palys, and even though he’s 25 he’s still a rookie

    but STILL, why wouldnt you send Rosival Down instead.

    At least you could HOPE someone would want to take a chance on him

  18. THE REAL MikeyNJ on

    And Chad Johnson was sent back down and MAtt Zaba called up

    I think and HOPE this is just to get Johnson playing a few games, before he’s called back up to play one of the back to backs against the Fishsticks.

    Zaba can not start over Johnson as Hank’s backup

  19. The Rangers are always overpaying overrated/washed up players and not allowing themselves the money and roster space to fill the gaps with talent. Guys like Roszival, Redden, Drury, etc have always been a part of the Rangers legacy. They get a Gaborik and don’t have the money or the talent to compliment him with anyone worth a pile of horse maneure. So what do they do? They get guys like Prospal and spend precious money on a Brashear. The key to a winning team is that every player plays their role. Scorers score. Checkers check. Defensemen defend. Instead, because we only have one true scoring threat, we have guys trying to play beyond their means which means the roles they they are SUPPOSED to be playing are suffering.

    You need TWO solid lines. You need a Crosby AND a Malkin. A Kane AND a Toewes. The Rangers thought they were getting something special in Drury and Gomez and they overestimated their scoring touch. Now we’re stuck with Gaborik and a bunch of guys who are trying to overcompensate for the lack of true scoring talent. Sather needs to unload salary and build. That’s what Chicago did. Look at how good they are.

    What made the 1994 Rangers so good? They all played their roles. The scorers scored. The chippy guys played chippy. The defensemen took the body. These 2010 Rangers look like chickens with their heads cut off. None of them knows what to do out there because the guy to the left and right of them doesn’t know either.

    It’s a poorly built team. Imagine if Lundqvist WASN’T their goalie. They’d be routed nightly.

  20. Nigel Dawes was not being “relied on to be a big scorer” here either, he barely got power play and was a healthy scratch by Renney at times.. i said it when he got traded that we gave up on him too quick… im not saying hes going to score 30 goals ever but he can score 20 definitely, it was one of the few guys we had that actually had a pair of hands, i dont care how short he is, he could play

    Lenny that “star” comment is ridiculous, Gaborik may be the best player out of him Hossa Kane and Toews but they are not far behind at all, all 3 of those guys are stars, and Sharp and Versteeg are both awesome too.. they just have a sick young team, great forwards, great D, good enough goaltending, if they dont win it all goaltending will be the reason

  21. Rob, I corrected it. What I really meant to say was the Blackhawks don’t have to depend on one star, or else.

  22. Carp: You are BANG-ON with point 5. The biggest issue with this club is a sorry lack of skill. One skilled forward, 1 skilled goalie, some promise on D and nothing else. Welcome to Glen Sather’s competitive rebuilding efforts. As fans we are doomed with him at the helm because 1) Competitive rebuilds are almost impossible to pull-off and 2) Sather’s resume since the late 80’s is mediocre, at best (unless there’s a section to boast about earning big $$).

    This team needs to finish last overall, draft a surefire talent (like Taylor Hall) and start anew, IMO. And FIRE SATHER’S INCOMPETENT ASS!

  23. BTW, Nigel Dawes, the guy who scored lots of goals everywhere he played, save for in New York, now has 9 goals and is on pace for nearly 30 for the year.

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