Rangers Recap; Thoughts and RantsOctober 29, 2011, by
Well that was interesting. The Rangers keep finding ways to lose games. First they couldn’t muster any offense, now they can’t hold leads and through all of it, they have still to play a complete game this season, something they were nowhere near to doing this afternoon. With the 5-4 shootout victory for the Senators in the books, let’s get to some thoughts on the game.
- Gaborik and Richards looked good tonight. Gaborik in particular has had a good start to the year and it showed today. He was full of energy and yet again he went to the net and was rewarded. That’s how you score goals and what was missing last year. I’m ready to declare that Gaborik is definitely back.
- Seriously, the Rangers have been outshot in every single game? That is an abysmal trend.
- The Rangers first period was dire. Their second period was solid and they began the third fine, then they lost complete control. 4 goals scored (to an extent) masks another poor performance
- Erik Christensen doesn’t score in shootouts anymore. So what is his role now? Electric Six had a song called ‘Naked pictures of your mother’… I think EC has shots of Torts’ mother because there is no other way of explaining his presence on this roster any more.
- Spezza’s redirect goal; you need to move players out the way there. Exhibit A of why this team needs Staal back quickly.
- Some Twitter folk (including Brooks) said the call on Konopka was borderline; why? Anisimov had his head down and was facing the boards when Konopka came in elbow out and planted Anisimov into the boards. Penalty. Simple call.
- Dubinsky was better, more engaged, but seriously; can the guy hit the net now? He gets a fat new deal to hit the plexi 300 times a year? Get him doing shooting drills 8 hours a day and every time he misses the net, 30 press-ups. He’ll either become Brett Hull-esque or have the body of a Greek God: win-win for Dubinsky.
- So there were actually some good things to come out of this game. Richards looked faster more confident. The power play was better. Gaborik continues to improve game by game. Del Zotto is growing more confident and is playing better. Mike Sauer is healthy and ready to hit anything that moves. Penalty kill solid (despite the one PPG). Lot’s to build on……honestly.
- Just one Ottawa based remark: Jason Spezza is starting to look like the Spezza of a few years back when he was one of the top 5 centers in the league. If he gets back to that and their D grow (ton of talent on the blueline) this team actually has a decent future.
- San Jose next. Very possible that the Rangers start their home season 0-2-1. Now that’s a scary thought on Halloween weekend.
- I’m not going to discuss Wolski because you know what; not everything he did was bad. Just a bad ending to the game.
- One mini rant to end the quick hits: Seriously MSG; your team throw away a 3 goal lead, have OT looming and you boo? Awful timing to vent your frustration. A nervous, fragile team doesn’t need that at that crucial point in time. Poor show fans, very poor show – dumb actually.
The Rangers probably played 15 solid minutes out of the 60 today. That isn’t enough to deserve a win in the ECHL, let alone the big league. Tortorella needs to get in to the players heads. Is this form a coaching issue? Is it technical issues? Is it a lack of focus? It’s all of that. The passing is poor (Richards crisp passes aside), players look nervous, team-wide the confidence is low and Tortorella doesn’t seem to have many answers in the past few games.
The season is still young; this hasn’t gone from a talented young side to a lottery pick in two weeks but the Rangers need some serious practice time and a chance to re-focus.