A half a dozen games remain, and with Boston and Atlanta winning last night (thank the Devils again, gang), time might be running short for your heroes.
This was a good win, considering from where they had to come, down 0-2. But it’s really disturbing, isn’t it, that at this stage, with so much at stake, after tossing a point in the dumpster in the previous game, the Rangers couldn’t match the Islanders’ intensity and couldn’t play smart in the first period last night.
1) I thought Marc Staal was right there with the rest early on. He made a soft non-play on the deflection goal, and he got bumped and coughed up a pass shortly thereafter. But he rebounded very well and had another solid game.
2) The goalie has to stop coughing up those softies now. Nobody cares more than he does, and nobody feels as personally responsible as he does. I don’t question his want. But that’s a couple of games in a row with a really bad one.
3) I think Brandon Prust might turn out to be a decent player, and if I were him I’d be taking “sandpaper” lessons from Sean Avery. He doesn’t do those little annoying things yet, but if he could add those to his games, his value goes straight upward.
4) This guy, Blake Comeau, who scored his 13th and 14th goals last night for the Isles … that’s two more that Capt. Clutch. Ugh. And how about big Nik down in Atlanta, with 24-42-66!
5) Did anybody else find it ironic that the Islanders, whose games are on Cablevision-owned MSG Network, have a big Fios TV ad on their boards near center ice, and that ad was on the telecast pretty much all night?
6) As much as they’ve aggravated you with the near-fatal loss in Boston and the kicked-away loss in Toronto, the Rangers have seven of a possible eight points the last four games. They might need to sweep the Florida trip. The good thing about the next four games: It doesn’t matter if the opponent gets a point. It only matters that the Rangers get two.
7) If I was an NHL coach (No, Torts, I know I’m not) … I’d fine players who insist on using those breakable sticks, fine them every time one breaks and it costs a goal, or one of them breaks on the penalty kill, or one of them breaks on a point shot during a power play. In fact, I’d insist my PK guys use wooden sticks during PKs. But, you know, I don’t really think things out.
By the way, the other day I went off about MSG’s baseball show, the Lineup, and ruffled some feathers over there. But I must say I really enjoy the show so far. It’s just that, as I said, so many positions are no-brainers, non-debates. Last night after Rangers-Islanders it was first base night, and Lou Gehrig won (surprise!) But it is interesting seeing and hearing about these guys. Gehrig had seven seasons of 150 or more RBI, and 12 seasons of hitting .300 or better! That’s good stuff.