Now, as for hockey: be thankful the Rangers don’t always play like a bunch of turkeys, as they did in the first two periods last night.
1) There is no mail on Thanksgiving Day, but there is on Thanksgiving Eve, and a few of the Rangers’ best players mailed it in. I won’t name any names, but here’s a hint: Gaborik, Frolov. And Tortorella beat me to that punch by naming names. Meanwhile, MSG kept showing us the promo for Friday’s game, the one about how dangerous Gaborik is.
2) You’ve got to love Ryan Callahan’s honesty sometimes. He said the Rangers stunk in the first two periods. Not that Stamkos or St. Louis or Tampa’s power play were great. But that the Rangers stunk. And they did. They created nothing, they didn’t fight through the Lightning’s trap, they didn’t get the puck in deep and work it.
3) Marc Staal and Dan Girardi … and I really don’t like to always beat this drum. But they were bad, too. Now, on two of those first three goals on which they were on the ice, a forward didn’t do his job: Prust and Anisimov in picking up the forward coming late. But on the first one, both defensemen hit the deck (knees first) twice, leaving the Rangers scrambling for the puck. On one of them, Staal turned over the puck with a chance to clear, then chased to the half-boards, creating an odd-man situation in front. And on one, he was flat-footed as Martin St. Louis buzzed past him like Secretariat.
4) This idea that you just have to stay out of the box against Tampa is idiotic. You can’t play a whole game without taking a penalty. You just can’t. Especially when you’re trying to play an aggressive game.
5) If MSG Network is going to own the rights to all these area teams’ broadcasts, then there are going to be nights when they all play. And if that’s going to happen, and it is, then MSG has to do a much better job of telling people on what channel they can find their team. Because last night MSG couldn’t have done it any worse.
6) Maybe Michal Rozsival will be an upgrade when he comes back.
7) Hey, I got this idea while watching the game. Despite this recession, despite the unemployment numbers, and despite how tenuous most of our jobs are, go out and buy somebody a $45,000 car for Christmas. Must have been subliminal.
AP Photo above.