Another DVR fail, so some points from being at the gameDecember 11, 2013, by
My DVR failed again last night, as Optimum told me the game was on NBCSN. It was not, and I recorded soccer instead. Luckily (or unluckily), I was at the game last night. While I won’t be able to give a goal breakdown, I can still manage some thoughts on the game:
- Losing Ryan Callahan is a big blow, but maybe the time off for his sprained knee will help heal his shoulder as well. I’m convinced he was not 100% when returning, and it showed on the ice.
- This was another game where the Rangers failed to show any real urgency or desire to win. Too many lazy backchecks, missed coverages, failed zone entries, avoiding taking the body, etc. The list goes on and on, but you all see it on the ice.
- There were very few people at the game last night. I’d say MSG was 75% full. Some of it may have to do with the Rangers record, some with the weather, some with the fact it was the Predators. But there was no one there, and The Garden was quiet for the entire game, except when they got scored on.
- This team sure is boring to watch, maybe that’s why no one showed up.
- In 2011-2012, teams hated coming to MSG or having the Rangers come to town. That was a team that hit, fought along the boards, and made you pay for every inch of space out there. This team, not so much. Too vanilla. Even the additions of Arron Asham and Derek Dorsett can’t change the attitude of this team.
- Alain Vigneault does not have the personnel to run his skill-based system. At least he admitted that last night. But it makes you wonder. There were coaches out there who ran Torts’ systems, the 2-1-2, puck pursuit, north-south game. If you already have a team built for that, why slam on the brakes and go to a system that this team clearly couldn’t handle? I’m not going to make this about John Tortorella, as there have been way too many rumors of him losing the room. But there were different personalities that ran the same system out there.
- Makes you wonder if this team is going to get blown up. That’s not the right move. The coach needs to adjust. Torts realized safe is death wasn’t the appropriate system and adjusted. Time for AV to adjust.
- Of course, I was a fan of bringing AV on board, since I thought he was a different locker room personality who would improve the powerplay. Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for. He improved the powerplay, but this team has no identity.
- The first goal really stands out for me. After Ryan McDonagh hit the boards hard, no one came back to assist in playing defense. The Preds wound up outnumbering the Rangers, and put one in the net very quickly. That’s what this team is right now. No one plays defense consistently.
- This team needs a mean player that can play, preferably a right handed shot. And no, losing Brandon Prust did not cause all of this. Perhaps losing all of Prust, Brandon Dubinsky, Ruslan Fedotenko, and John Mitchell (all blue collar guys) was an issue though.
- Looking at the farm, there is only one player who fits the bill of what this team needs: Dylan McIlrath. He’s not ready yet though. If something is going to be done, it will be done via trade.
- Don’t expect a call up, in my opinion, to replace Cally. Taylor Pyatt will likely be back in the lineup.
- When this team was losing earlier, they were still doing the right things on the ice, and that’s why we weren’t that worried here. If they continued with that effort, the wins were going to come. Problem is that they didn’t continue with the effort. They started getting complacent. They aren’t dominating puck possession anymore. They had a better FF% than the Preds last night, but that’s because the Preds are a trapping team that sat back once they had a lead. Score effects matter with FF%.
Fire away. I know you guys have some pent-up anger.