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!
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