One game does not make a season

My hair so sexy.
My hair so sexy.

Well, the Rangers lost last night. Not only did they lose, but they looked awful in the process. They were rusty, sluggish, sloppy, and looked like they needed another week of training camp. They took bad penalties, and missed defensive zone coverages more often than I can count. The only good thing is that Henrik Lundqvist looked to be in midseason form.

But around the interwebs, there was much panic about that game. After all, the Rangers did not look like a team that should be competing for a Stanley Cup. In a short season, the Rangers cannot afford to lose any games, so this one loss in the season opener crippled their playoff chances. That’s what a lot of people are talking about.

Part of that sentiment is true: The Rangers can ill afford to have an extended losing streak to start the season. Instead of the 82 game marathon, we have a 48 game hybrid between a sprint and a marathon. Teams can overcome three game losing streaks over the course of an 82 game season. It is much more difficult to make up those points when the season is almost cut in half.

There were some positives last night, so let’s focus on those heading into tonight’s game against the Penguins:

  • Lundqvist looked phenomenal.
  • The powerplay had great puck movement, although they lacked shots on net.
  • The penalty kill was pretty solid as well.
  • Yes, Marc Staal missed his assignment on the first goal, and Anton Stralman’s bad pass led to the second goal, but the defense played a decent game considering they were playing a man down (Stu Bickel played five minutes).
  • Ryan Callahan showed, in a small sample size, that he can hold his own on powerplay face offs. He won two of three.
  • We saw the save of the year in the first game of the year:

14 thoughts on “One game does not make a season

  • Jan 20, 2013 at 10:20 am

    I certainly realize it’s after only just one game, but the fact remains, that even though we now have not one but 2 pure, elite scorers on this team, namely Gabby and Nash, the underlying root-cause problem STILL is you gotta a guy behind the bench who INSISTS that they all block shots, for example. My point is, JT is the only coach I have ever witnessed who year after head-scratching year emphatically goes against the winning notion that “you go with a player’s strengths,” and tries to change players’ games way too much. If he simply lets those two plus Richie – and even DZ to a certain extent – free-wheel more at even strength and esp on the PP (UGH!), we’d see a heckuva lot more scoring out of them overall. No question! I mean, did you SEE some of those moves Nash made last night?! That guy has incredible innate talent, for sure.

    Now, I’m all for guys like Boyle and Cally playing solid D up front and blocking shots – sans a Chara one – but damn, JT would be screaming at Gretz or Lemieux or Jagr to back check, for goodness sakes! Can u imagine any of those three ever being “allowed” to hang out at the red-line under JT?! LOL! Even Bossy had Trots and Gillies to come back for him. That’s why they call it a “line,” but that’s another story entirely.

    To me, the “all 20 players will play the same robotic way” remains the fundamental flaw here. You need variety to confuse the opposition. And while this team will STILL go deep once again regardless – BECAUSE of Hank and IN SPITE OF its coaching staff – getting over that last hump may always be just out of reach if the “philosophy” stays the same. I hope to heck I’m wrong. We shall see…..

    • Jan 20, 2013 at 10:27 am

      So they lost this game because they tried to block too many shots?

  • Jan 20, 2013 at 10:25 am

    I said this last year and I will say it again, albeit I will cut the number of games in half – I refuse to have an opinion on this team until we are 5 games in! They looked sloppy. They looked like a team that had te shortest camp in league history. They looked like a team that was feeling out how to play with Nash, someone who will play more than 20 minutes every single night. Yes the Bruins were in the same situation but they looked like a team hopped up on adrenaline from their own opening night. Yes this is no excuse but give the guys a bit of a break. Lets watch them for a couple games then develop an opinion on this team.

  • Jan 20, 2013 at 10:57 am

    First off Two of the goals that Hank let in were far from mid season form. He has got to stop letting in soft goals if he trully wants to take it to the next leval.

    And once again even with a short camp this team looked unprepared. This is not what a team that drafts players with great leadership qualities should have. All we have been hearing is how good these players are suppose to be at leadership and how they take their training. And way too many times they come out flat or lost.

    Now getting back to the coach. No blocking shots did not stop us from winning this game. But it did hamper our counter attack. It takes players out of position way too often hence why we get pinned in our own end WAY TOO MUCH. And aslo wears the lines down way to much. Who cares how many elite goal scorers a team has if they are sucking wind before they get in the Off zone.

    Kreider looks lost because he isnt use to playing this way. And many others didnt do all that much as well.

    Also another thing about Torts. Why the hell is he not working on getting another D man if he isnt going to use Bickel. This is getting real old.

    • Jan 20, 2013 at 12:50 pm

      Regardless of whether I agree or disagree with a lot of your opinions, I will say that you probably have the most honest name out of anyone who regularly posts here.

  • Jan 20, 2013 at 11:19 am

    The Rangers got Nash but they lost a lot of depth and character.I think Pyatt will be a good addition and a line of Boyle, Callahan and Pyatt would make a formidable checking line. Kreider should be paired with Stephan and Torts needs to be patient with him as he will come around. The defence played ok, but Gilroy should be in the line up in place of Bickle when the Rangers play against fast teams like the Penquins. I like Bickles’ moxy but he needs to work on his skating. Shot blocking is a part of hockey and the least shots at Hank the less big saves he has to make.

  • Jan 20, 2013 at 11:48 am

    My biggest issue that the team’s weaknesses from last year were NOT addressed at all.
    We still struggle on faceoffs, breakouts are bad, and only 5 D see the light of day.

  • Jan 20, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    My biggest issue is…I have no issues. It was one friggan game. You guys want to off the most winningest US born coach in the history of the game because of one loss? Gaborik has scored how many goals under JT’s watch? And how many shots has he actually blocked? Haha

    Here’s a TAMPON autographed by Torts for all you biatches!

    Go Rangers!

  • Jan 20, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    I’ve cheered for this team since the 60s. I get it, it is only one game and there’s little to predict a season from, BUT, there are still ominous signs and recipes for failure:

    1) Bickel, who would die for the rangers, immediately got in a fight and dominated the guy after Rupp got his butt kicked but still gets less that 6 minutes of ice time. It is the first game of the season for crying out loud. Really, after DG and MCD were so obviously out of gas towards the end of the playoffs. Why does he get less than 6 minutes? Add Stralman’s less than 14 minutes and our D will be toast at the end of the year, even with the shortened season.

    2) Pathetic Play: MDZ is no quaterback – Richie is great at the blue line but you need a defensemen QB on the power play and there hasn’t been one since #2 got uncerimonously kicked to the curb and sent to the Bruins. JT had 7 months to figue this out after being the coach of a horrific pp.

    3) JT. Yeah, he won 1 Cup but his myopic vision and unrelenting insistence on favoring some players and dog housing others, thereby hoding players to different standards will, in my opinion, be partially responsible for him never bringing the cup to NY

    • Jan 20, 2013 at 12:56 pm

      I have followed this team since the 50s and I’ve noticed after a win there is half as many comments on these posts. Where do all you whiners go?

  • Jan 20, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    I sick of reading these posts about losing Prust.i for one was worried about too many changes.i see getting Nash that’s not the issue.all I hear is its gonna take a lot of players on this team to replace what Prust brought to the team.if he was that important why not give him the extra money.i personally think we should have kept him Feds and Mitchell and not mess with to much chemistry.i know everyone’s gonna tell me about the money and if you reads the posts torts makes it sound like he was worth all the money in the world.well than you should have paid him.thats all I’m saying is I hope it wasn’t to many changes.

  • Jan 20, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    A bad opening night by all accounts. But, short prep time, guys recovering from flu and new line combos…surely all of these things just need some time. Short season or not, we’ve only just begun.

  • Jan 20, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    First off constructive criticism. IS NOT whining… These forums are not just here to kiss people’s azzes.

    When someone sees a flaw they have every right to talk about them. And this team no matter how many wins they had last year has many flaws.

    What people arent talking about on here is that for every close win we had last year We could have been talking about a close loss. And that doesnt cut it. Why must this team be built so that every game is a nail biter?

    This coach is not a great coach yes he got the job done in Tampa. But he has alot of the same going for him that OUR STANLEY CUP winning coach did. And that is his style wears thin or wears out hockey teams.

    Mike Keenan also only won ONE Stanley Cup. When all the right pieces were put in place. This team we have today has Three potential allstars on Def. An Allstar goalie. and two Allstar forwards. So things should not be as hard as they sometimes seem to be. Yes folks I know its one game and players are not in shape or in a grove yet. But like I have said and others have said. Most of what was missing last night was missing all of last year.

    • Jan 20, 2013 at 8:43 pm

      Sacking a coach after one game isn’t constructive, its irrational.

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