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March 30, 2006

Comments

Not only was Rosival taking horrible penalties, but he was a NIGHTMARE with the puck. He blew so many outlet passes, and he just couldnt get the puck under control at any time. Horrible. But 5-on-5, I thought we played evenly with them.

Dominic Moore made an astute observation in his between-period interview: a lot of the Ranger penalties are attributable to breakdowns that precede them, such as poor positioning. Last night was another one of those maddeningly inconsistent efforts by the team. The penalties hurt, but it was the poor play leading to the penalties that was more glaring. Just one example: Poti misplays a puck at the blueline, Ozolinsh hustles back and takes a hooking penalty. There were too many individual ups-and-downs throughout the game. For instance, Rozsival muffs several clearing attempts early, then, as if to atone, wakes up and starts playing more physically aggressive than normal. I've seen this with the team repeatedly: they often have to screw up initially before elevating their intensity level. The intensity level really wasn't where it needed to be last night, and I hope, at least in part, that it was due to fatigue.

On Orr: Last night showed the flip side of the Colton Orr experiment; when Renney isn't confident enough to give him a regular shift, as in the 3rd period, it disrupts the lines. At one point late in the game, Moore was miscast on left wing with Betts and Ward, and they promptly gave up a goal.

On Moore: He continues to play hard and smart, should have had several assists the past few games, and his faceoffs seem to me to be improving steadily.

On the NY Post: Nice to see the Post thought so much of last night's game that they merely ran the AP story on it -- maybe Dear Abby can cover the Flyer game for them Tuesday.

The Post must have sent Brooks to write something on freaking George Mason, because we haven't heard enough about that. Like anyone really cares about that anyway.

Orr didn't play again after taking the penalty when he ran that POS Varada; personally I think he should have been rewarded for that. Varada almost killed Betts in the first period (that was a clean hit and Orr's wasn't?) and I commend him for sticking up for his teammate. On the flip side, he didn't fare too well, to put it mildly, in his fight with McGrattan, ugh.

I wouldn't be too hard on the boys considering the stretch they've been through, and was glad to hear Renney be supportive after the game. While there's no excuse for playing dumb even if they were physically tired, I thought it actually was a credible effort at even strength, and happy they came out in one piece after absorbing 32 hits. I'm concerned about Kasparaitis; they say he aggravated his groin pull late in the Icelander game.

throwaway: on the NY post comment..bwahahahaha i needed a good laugh

No excuse? C'mon. With 12 games in 20 days and five in seven (and two on the road in two nights), no team could reasonably be competitive. Anyone who says otherwise has never competed as an athlete. Our bodies are not machines. In a stretch like that, they're not sleeping right, not eating normally, don't have a chance to mentally unwind. And it is when you are tired physically that you are prone to mental mistakes. Throw out that game, it was a loss the day the schedule was made.

If they play bad after the 4-day break, then it would be fair to criticize.

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