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December 31, 2005


Brother, what a piss poor effort today. This team is starting to remind me of a previous team in the past. A team that sat back and waited for Mess to get it done. A team today that coasted around the ice to watch their "big guy" go in and get 2 or 3 goals.
This time the big man came up with just one. The team had 17 shots. 17? The big guy had 7 alone. The rest of them could only manage 10. Can it be that we allowed 37 shots on Hank. The guy was standing on his head all afternoon. This team has to start producing something when Jags is not on the ice. This team has to consist of more then Prucha, Lundqvist and Jagr. Those 3 guys are there every night. I must admit that Prucha had one of his quietest games in a while. I'm not even sure we deserved a point from this one folks.

Let me ask a question of Ranger fans, if your team can't beat the Sens who are the best in the East and can't beat the Pens who are just about the worst in the East then how can you believe this team can make the playoffs?

One can understand losing to the Sens as lately every one does but cmon the Pens for the 2nd time this season?

I don't care if they got A point they need to get 2 when they play teams like the Pens.

What is Malik doing talking to the referees in the first place?

That's the right of the captain. The Rangers have three alternates, Jagr, Kasparitis, and Rucchin. Rucchin wasn't there. Was Malik wearing an "A"? If so, unless he insulted Spada's mother's sex habits, he should have been immune from a penalty. If not, he had no right to open his mouth, once, let alone three times.

This looks like a case where the lack of a captain hurt the Rangers.

Under normal circumstances not taking an opponent seriously is foolish. In this case it was unforgivable given the fact that the Penguins had already beaten/embarrassed the Rangers already this season.

The officiating (if you can call it that) it made the Rangers performance look brilliant.

Nice photo, Dubi. Brings to mind Vin Scully after the Mets' Game 6 win: If one picture is worth a thousand words...

But putting aside the officiating, what troubles me is the seeming lack of a game plan from the Rangers, the lack of a consistent approach. What happened to getting the puck deep, forechecking hard, and cycling along the boards -- at least from 2 of the lines? Now, as the forwards reach the blue line, there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to what's going to happen next. Also, though i hate science, I'm a big fan of chemistry in hockey, and other than the "Big Guy's" line, i didn't see a whole lot of chemistry yesterday. Yes, the penalties disrupt flow, but it was more than that. Put HMO together. Play Betts/Ward and maybe Nieminen. Get them ice time, give them a defined role, and let them do their thing. Not sure what the reason was for getting away from this in the 1st place; now it's time to get back to basics.
Whatever. I'm going to watch some more of the Honeymooners marathon -- Ralph and Norton have great chemistry.

I think thowaway has a good point about the lines. Apart from the top line, no one's been playing with the same linemates for an entire game, nevermind from one game to the next. Switching things up to generate a spark here and there is great, but it's not like it's been a great success lately.

I'd also really like to see the team get back to playing 4 lines on a more consistent basis. I know the constant penalties upset the flow of the lines. But why bother dressing Holloweg if you're gonna give him less than 4 minutes ice time or Orr if you're only going to play him for 3?

"I think thowaway has a good point about the lines."
I think he had a better idea to watch Ralph and Norton! Hardee har har.
I'd really like to be all philosophical and stuff about every team turning in a clunker now and again. I can't justify that at all. Besides, we used that excuse on the Sens game last week.
Hey, maybe we missed Poti! I don't know what excuse can be made believable for this lack of effort.

Why does everyone keep getting this wrong? Surovy did not trip Strudwick. He tripped Moore. Watch the play again. Surovy's stick pulls down Moore who attempts to move away with the puck. JD kept ranting about Surovy tripping Strudwick, but the ref's arm doesn't go up until Moore gets trip.

Jas, I just came home and checked the recording and you're right, it was Moore was tripped, not Struds. You know, I remember watching the play live and thinking it was a trip, then the replays focused in on Strudwick and I didn't see a penalty, so I doubted my own first impression. I didn't have benefit of a DVR or VCR to go back and check the live feed. But I did a short while ago, and that was indeed a good call.

But there was a bad call there too -- Strudwick took someone out along the end boards, with Spada looking right at him, the puck being shot at the time, and no call.

I also reviewed the play where Crosby took down Rozsival, the one that made Malik so mad. Crosby got the stick into Rozsival from behind, either up into the groin or a jab into the hamstring, making Rozsival go down like he was shot. Spada was right there watching the whole thing.

I have to add that the veteran referee Bill McCreary is guilty of poor judgement too. He clearly had doubts about the call on Malik, the two refs shown on TV discussing the call at somewhat great length. McCreary should have told him right there what I've said here a couple of times -- Craig, you can't make that call now. You should have called it before during regulation when he showed you up on the ice. But you can't influence the game this way because of something personal that happened before.

If you say that Malik should have sucked it up (yes, he should have), so too should Spada have sucked it up. What was said wasn't that bad that it absolutely could not be overlooked.

McCreary also should have gotten Spada under control during the game. Presumably these guys work together a lot, the way the NHL pairs veteran and young refs up these days. Spada's poor officiating is a reflection on his mentor.

Dubi...I don't mean for it to sound like I'm getting on your case, but when a professional like JD is missing the obvious, it gets frustrating. Yes, it was a bad call on Surovy tripping Strudwick, JD, if that was the call. But, how did he miss Moore falling and the ref immediately raising his arm? And, then he proceeds to beat his point into the ground.

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