State of the Rangers

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Someone once told me a long time ago, "You're never quite as good as you think, and you're never quite as bad, either". Well, I think that's where we are with the New York Rangers.

After 18 games, the Rangers sport a pretty good 11-5-2 record. I believe in my heart that if we were told before the 2008-2009 season started, with all the new faces and turnover, that the Blueshirts would be 11-5-2 - we all would of done cartwheels. Yes, there are problems... but which teams in the NHL don't have problems? Sometimes we, including myself, tend to overrate certain players and really underrate others. I leave that to the fans and my fellow bloggers to figure out who is and who isn't.

This team is built a certain way. So far, the record proves that it's working. But, this team is going to have to get tougher and more physical. As of right now, they are not (Are we sure that we don't miss Avery?)! As for beating a dead horse: lack of offense and inability to take advantage of the PP opportunities were at the forefront again last night. Players have to take special pride that you have been given the privilege to be on the PP. It's a "free chance" to help your team win hockey games.

Also, I'd like to address the issue of protecting your own goalie. If your goalie gets run over by an opposing player, there must be retribution. If teams feel that you are soft, then they will take advantage of that. I don't care if you're a tough guy or not... you must defend your goaltender. Especially King Henrik! He is your best chance at being able to go far into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

With a 3-1 loss to Washington and a shoot-out loss at home last night to the Edmonton Oilers, the Rangers are still in a good position to be a force when it counts. They will still have to address the obvious glaring needs, but I believe the brass is well aware of the problems the team has... no time to panic just yet!

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Now, on to my other favorite hockey team, the Quinnipiac Bobcats. They are almost like the Rangers at this point. Lack of scoring has diminished outstanding goaltending by Freshman Nick Pisellini. The Bobcats have been shut-out for 133+ minutes of hockey. I covered 2 games over the weekend and the Bobcats were defeated 1-0 by Colgate and played to a 0-0 tie against Cornell. I'm pretty sure that coach Rand Pecknold of the Bobcats is pleased with the overall defense of his team, but not too happy about the lack of scoring. Anyways, if you're interested, they play tonight against Princeton... check it out. Oh yeah, I have another article posted on the Fourth Period (About the Maple Leafs). Please give it a look! Over and out!

» Fourth Period Article: http://www.thefourthperiod.com/columnists/journal/kotsopoulos.html
» Bobcats Link: http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x981.xml

21 comments:

Mr. Hockey said...

Kots--If a fan didn't know which team played a game the night before--or which team was on the last leg of a long road trip--I'm pretty sure most fans would have guessed the Rangers!!!--Guess again---Sorry coach,but I always felt that when a team comes out that flat(especially at home)--It has to be on the staff for not having them ready to play!!--Standing around--not anticipating the play--getting beat to all the loose pucks--generally just having it handed to you by the road team is a bad way to start a game!!--Fortunately the staff and the players are good enough to get the game back in hand--Come back from 2 goals down (the dreaded 2 goal lead) and at least salvage 1 point after a weak start!!!----Something MUST be taken care of, or it will continue to happen game in an out until the only All-Star on this team gets injured!!!---I am talking about the runs The King is having to take!!-- If I'm the coach on another team I'm letting my guys know that the Rangers are not blowing any teams away offensively--and their PP basically is not a threat right now--so if I have to kill a PP for taking a shot at their prize goalie--the main reason they manage to win the games they have, with such a paltry offensive output---THEN DO IT--- we'll take our chances--until they start to score on the PP--or kick someones ass for even looking at their goalie sideways!111----Last night at around the 10 minute mark in the 2nd--Oilers on the PP--The King gloves a shot from the near boards--Big and Bad Sam Gagner glides by the front of the net and takes a hack at the Kings glove hand!!!With Redden a step behind--NOTHING--not a scrum--no wolf talk--not one Ranger goes to Gagner to make him realize the mistake he just made!11---I understand the guys that are doing this stuff to King are big tough players that the guys might not want to tangle with--Nylander---Semin---Gagner---come on man even I can make these guys pay!!Get tough guys it don't take long for the word to get around in this league!!
QUIZ::Why did Redden choose #6 when he signed with the Rangers??? Hint::It has to do with Sather!!---Good guess, but no--not because it was Slats number when he was Ranger on the ice..It's so Sather never forgets how many millions he has to give this guy every stinking year for 6--6--6--6YEARS---look at the bright side maybe he'll get faster and make better decisions with the puck as time rolls on --just like Old Man River!!

Kotsy's Korner said...

mr.hockey: Mr.Hockey, your absolutely right about the Rangers being "Flat" at the start of the game. Once again where is the scoring?-the PP?. I also noticed that the crowd at MSG didn't really wake up until the hit by Callahan.

This team in my eyes is built for a quick transition game on offense and stingy defense. A finesse type team, that tries to out speed you. That's great, but you have to have some kind of intimidating game that you can call upon when needed. Right now I don't see that. Thank God for Henrik Lundqvist.

Now, we can talk about players taking a run at your goaltender.
It's incredible to me that there's even a "frickin" hint of that happening to your "ticket" to the Playoffs. Yes I saw the slash by Gagner, nothing was done. You must be kidding? The "King" should be protected better than the Pope.

The Rangers are a soft team at this moment and I believe that will be taken care of in the the near future. A "little birdie" told me.

Hey, as for Redden, it's the risk you take in today's true "Free Agency". We can only pray that it works out for the Rangers in the end.

denis said...

chris as i can see your name is Greek . but in wikipedia say that you are ethnic macedonian . whats the true ? denis

Kotsy's Korner said...

denis: Denis, I was taught at a young age to speak Macedonian. My grandmother from my mom's side bribed me by giving me a quarter to speak in Macedonian to her (hey a quarter was a lot money in the 60s) So I learned. I do know a little bit of Greek as well.

I think, as you can tell by the last name "Kotsopoulos" it is Greek. I don't know if that helped you or not.

denis said...

Dear Chris
as i saw there post in famus greek canadians too in wikipedia.
as i am greek with roots in minor east ( my grands was from mikra asia and was imigrated to greece afte the 1922 disaster ) i am also bilingual . learned turkish also from my grand mother . there are still greeks who can speak varius slavic dialects in the greek macedonia. let me be proud for you cause you did it well in sports . regards from greece. you are always welcome .

Wrath of Sanity said...

Good game last night. Always good beating the Devils. I was a little worried though after falling down 1-0 and looking extremely flat in the first period... again.

Penalties or not, the offense looked pretty good in the 2nd period. Drury's shot and Korpikoski's 1 timer were nice. Hey, at least we scored some PP goals.

Kotsy's Korner said...

denis: Denis, thank you for checking out my blog. It's great that you, as well as others from around the world have taken the time to respond.

I guess in the end I am exactly like you (Greek/Macedonian) not quite but close.

Kotsy's Korner said...

wrath of sanity: Wrath of Sanity, Ah... a little "Devil soup" is what the Rangers needed. There is nothing like "winning" that takes all our "griping" away.

It's along season, the Rangers need to find a consistency and run with it. Nice to see Korpikoski score as well a the "Captain Drury".

Jeff said...

Hey Chris,

Let's ask (Mr) Bettman to allow one goal to our opponents before the start of each game. We'll come into the game playing at 100%... Unfortunately, I don't see that happening. ^^

Watched a little the game, great effort. As you say Wrath, that's always good to beat the debbies. They have a lot of worries ahead of them with Marty out 3/4 months. Probably more worries than us...

Good to see our captain scoring again, he's on streak, let's wish him to keep up the good work. After all, that's up to him to lead the team wherever she's supposed to go.

Dubinsky going after Parise after Devils's first goal when he ran into Girardi was nice to see. If only we could answered back like this each time, our opponents will think it twice before to do something stupid.

Roszival, Dawes, Fritsche, Korpedo (No, Mr Doc Emery, that wasn't his first NHL goal...) on the scoreboard, great job guys! And our "scoring machine" Nikolai Zherdev, back on tracks too. Nice. He was so badly trying to get the Hatty, I'm sad he didn't.

Leatherneck said...

Hiya Chris, nice win against the Devils...great game and entertaining..now i think at the start of the first period the Rangers need to think as if they are down 2-1...haha..Kalinin has had 2 really good games ..the last 2 games..I give credit where its due...I told you Drury will be fine..haha...now for Prucha and Dawes, I dont see that happening for them this year but atleast Dawes hits...and Prucha plays with energy..however to be frank I always thought Fritsche deserved a steady ice time and more of a look in the line up...any rumors of the Rangers shopping for any key players? Also..its time to sign Mclaren....Have you seen Drew Doughty play? The kid is really phenonomal...also people bashing Sather for looking for a compensational pick for the tragic loss of Cheraponov..tell them to get real...he has to look out for the team as well as grieve for the loss of Cheraponov...

Kotsy's Korner said...

jeff: Jeff, I like the "Debbies" line. This Ranger team is going to be all right. We can criticize, dissect all we want(I am complicit in that), but the record speaks for itself.

They will have to address the "toughness" and "physical play". It doesn't mean fighting , just match the other team's physical play when needed.

Other than that , no complaints about last nights game. Solid effort all the way around.

Kotsy's Korner said...

leatherneck: Leatherneck, as I told "Wrath" (Devil Soup) Yum Yum. Also "Jeff" with his (Debbies) line, How appropriate to pick on the Devils. Nice game for the Rangers overall. "Just what the doctor ordered" (Ted Nugent)

Yes I have seen Doughty play, he's a good one. Maybe Delzotto will turn out to be our Doughty? Lets hope.

No deals are imminent yet, but don't take that as it couldn't change. I know for a "fact" the brass is completely aware of the "needs" for team to go far into the Playoffs.

Also, I'd like to mention that sometimes we as Ranger fans get a little to critical of the Brass (Sather, Renney, etc..). I guess what I'm trying to say is, when do the Players who make trucks full of money take responsibility for the results on the ice?.

As for the compensation claim for Cherepanov, Why not? Sather has every right to ask for it, it's his team and he's doing exactly what any GM would do.

Jeff said...

Concerning the compensation for Cherepanov, Cam hope has been very clumsy in his interview. I'm sure the Rangers didn't want to absolutely claim a compensation so close after Chere's death. The 8.3 article of the CBA is not clear. In my opinion, Rangers just want a clarification of this article to know where they're going. With the next GM meeting coming only in March, that's quite logical to put that matter now on the table, that kind of juridic "issue" can take some time to be resolved. Besides, the league has not yet answered.

As you say Chris, every single GM in the league would have acted the same way.

Kotsy's Korner said...

jeff Jeff, I don't really know much about the Cameron Hope interview. I just think that if this was my team, I would try to regain some sort of compensation for Cherepanov's "untimely death".

As tragic as his death was (It truly was tragic), It's still a business and you don't stop the responsibility of running the Ranger organization. You as a GM must do do what is best for your team. Basically as they say "A No Brainer"

I think you and I agree totally on this matter. The Rangers must exhaust all options as they seem fit.

Crock said...

Chris .... thanks once again for telling it how it is. Read you article in the Fourth Period and loved what you had to say. If it is true what you say about Ron Wilson and the press those guys have to be scratching there heads if Wilson is not budging to let the reporters dictate to him. You are right Ron Wilson does posess that kind of cold shoulder and not care what you think attitude. But the thing is he has done this whereever he has gone in the past and has put up some pretty impressive numbers with his coaching record. BUT when it comes to winning or going deep in the play-offs he has never been able to do that well with any of the teams he has coached. I hope he does make them successful and if they are winning with a bunch of no names then all the power to him.
I worked with Ron Wilson and know his work ethic but have to question why he can never win the big one.

Onto to Quinnipiac as you sound just so alive and happy on the radio for the games I listened to last weekend. I could not listen to the Princeton game as I was in la, la land early as you know what time I have to be at work. I will follow the schedule and listen as much as I possibly can.

Keep up the great job with all that you got going. Between the Blog, The Fourth Period, the radio and being the Mayor of Stroudsburg you are quite busy big guy.

Looks like the Rangers are rocking and still keeping pace for 1st overall but there is still alot of hockey to go. The good thing is we know Jersey will not be battling with the Rangers with the loss of Marty Brodeur but you know and I know when the back up gets a chance to shine he is always going to make sure he is on top of his game but see the Devils are just doing OK at the time. We know leapin Lou is not going to allow them to sink. Should be interesting.

One last thing speaking of the Leafs .... do you think Brian Burke is going to Toronto ??

See ya ................

Crock

Kotsy's Korner said...

crock: Crock, I agree that Ron Wilson has yet to go far into the playoffs during his coaching career. In Toronto's case who has?

It is (Toronto) the most scrutinized Hockey city in the world. Much like the Yankees in that "wretched" sport of Baseball. 24 hours, all year, all the time non stop. Hockey is king and nothing else counts in Toronto.

The media from my experience is mostly knowledgeable and quite respectful for the most part. However there are still some in the media who believe it's their "birth right" to criticize as often as they can. Basically telling you how to play, coach and manage. Insanely overkill.

Loving every minute of it. Doing the radio, good people and a fun time. The Bobcats are struggling right now, but they will snap out of it soon. As for the "Mayor" please... Ha Ha.

The Rangers are doing just fine thank you. I am a little concerned about Dave Tippet's team though. Brian Burke is in the "Bus drivers Seat" meaning he steers his bus any where he wants.

Leatherneck said...

Did you watch the game between Montreal and Boston...wow...what a game...Boston looked great and Lucic is something else ...should be a doozy tomorrow

Crock said...

Kotsy,

Did you hear and do you think there is any truth to the NHL wanting to put another team in Toronto.

They were talking about an exisitng team relocating there that is struggling in the market they are in now.

You should be flattered that I look at you as the Mayor of that town you live in.

I see Quinnipiac is on the road for a while. Are you doing any games during any of these up and coming away games ???

Do you remember the name of Paul Stewarts rink design company when you had him on the air he mentioned it and I forgot to write it down ???

Have fun man ..... you deserve it !!

Crock

Kotsy's Korner said...

leatherneck: Leatherneck, this will be a real test for the Rangers. Boston is one of the hottest teams and they have what I call a well rounded squad, Skill, Goal Tending, Good Defense, and Team Toughness. Jeez, I think that's a team that's built to go far in the Playoffs.

A great chance for the Rangers to step up and show what they are made of. Looking forward to watching, but like "you" I will be watching for other things that most fans don't watch for. Stay Tuned.

Kotsy's Korner said...

crock: Crock, I will be at Clarkson and St.Lawrence next weekend. The Bobcats are struggling and can't score at this point of the season.

Toronto could handle another NHL franchise, but I would bet against it right now.

As for Stewy's business I don't recall either. I will get you the Info from him the next time we cross paths. Keep checking back.

Mr. Hockey said...

Kots--They showed alot more character, than those phoney fans who spent half the game booing--- We took on a white hot team in the Bruins--This was a very good test for us tonight--we didn't play our best at times---we sure didn't take advantage of the PP---But they found a way to battle back from two down--which is not easy the way the Bruins have been protecting the lead--There is work to do, but you've got to like this win against a tough team!!! A damn shame about Barry huh--I hope he can get the knife out of his back!!---Can you imagine how fast he would have been dumped, if he sat the money players and the Vets, the way Wilson does up in Toronto???--Damn shame --thats all I can say!!!

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