Almost crack of noon. Sorry kids. Been burning the candle at both ends (without the fun) and it finally caught up to me.
Some thoughts about the game yesterday.
1) You know I don’t sugarcoat things, so maybe you’ll respect me when I say this. I didn’t think, overall, the Rangers played a horrible game yesterday. I mean, Del Zotto had that dreadful giveaway. But the second one he was actually doing the right thing, actually just trying to bang the puck from the slot up the boards—probably because he had just been taught, and learned, a valuable lesson about trying to make a play there—when his clearing try hit Dan Girardi’s skate and ended up in the net. The tying goal was a 5-on-3 where Girardi did the right thing and blocked the shot, only to have it slide over to P.A. Parenteau. One of the goals was a bad hop off the backboard and another bad hop in front.
2) That is not to say they played great. They didn’t. They need to find a way to button up a game against a team decimated by injuries like that one. The other side of that is guys like Comeau and Sim and a bunch of others—and they really do have a lot of good young players—get all cranked up for a rivalry game, and the Rangers have to match that. For the most part they did. Just not completely.
3) Does anybody believe for a minute that John Tortorella didn’t know what the injury was to his No. 1 center … a half an hour after the game ended? Or was he exhaling because he doesn’t have to make the difficult decision in order to get Chris Drury back in the lineup?
4) The more I think about it, the more this Wisniewski clown needs to be suspended. Not so much for the gesture itself, but rather for pure stupidity. Doesn’t he realize that even the Islanders’ games are televised … you know, with cameras and stuff?
5) I forget who had the comment of the day, but it was something about “who brought the tartar sauce?”
6) I also forgot how crazy this place gets after a tough loss. Wow. Thanks for the reminder.
7) I wasn’t as appalled about the Callahan penalty as you guys were, or as Tortorella was … but that said, I think the NHL really needs to get this icing call straightened out. Either let them battle for the puck, or don’t. Not this inbetween stuff that leads to injuries AND penalties.
8) The Step-child’s goal-scoring average plummeted from 3.00 per game to 1.50.
9) And Dubinsky’s at 1.50 too. I think he’s playing some pretty good hockey right now. This is how he has to play—going to the net, consciously keeping his feet moving, aware in the offensive and defensive zones. He’s got the goods to be a very good player. It’s between the ears with him and I think he might be figuring it out.
10) Said it during the preseason and after Buffalo. There’s something noticeably different in the jump this team has—and the offensive ability—and I think it’s simply the infusion of some of the younger guys, plus Avery being Avery again, plus Fedotenko, plus having 2/3rds of a legit No. 1 line. I don’t think it’s necessarily that Drury and Prospal have been out (and that the Jokinens, Kotaliks and Lisins gone), but rather the people who took their places.