Rangers Tighten Up On Road

Sunday, January 11, 2009

After giving up 6 goals at home against the Montreal Canadiens, the New York Rangers tightened up the D and have gotten off to a great start on their road trip by taking 3 of a possible 4 points in their first 2 games. These points are ever so important as the Rangers have lost control of first place in the Atlantic division - but are still battling to stay at or near the top. Trust me, 3 points on the road is a good thing!

The Rangers started the road trip with a 2-1 shootout loss against the Buffalo Sabres. Although they lost, the Rangers played a pretty solid road game in front of backup goalie Steve Valiquette (who played well). The Rangers just failed to get the rubber by Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller in the SO with, let's be honest, 3 lousy attempts by Zherdev, Naslund, and Drury (I don't understand why people don't shoot more, rather than deke). Overall, a point is a point and they all count. The offense was still a continuing problem (haven't we heard this before?). The D played well and 44 shots is a good sign, I think? Now, on to Ottawa...

With the King well rested, the Blueshirts played the Senators tough with timely scoring by Brandon Dubinsky and Lauri Korpikoski. Henrik Lundqvist turned aside 33 shots for his 2nd shoutout of the year and the Rangers walked out of Ottawa with the 2-0 victory. The team played well overall, but I got to give props for the play of the youngsters who night in and night out have been the better Rangers players. The 3 that stand out most to me as of late are Prucha, Callahan, and Staal. It was also nice to see Korpikoski and Dubi break the ice with goals (Boy, was Dubinsky in a slump).

It was also interesting to see how Chris Neil of Ottawa tried and really did take advantage of a few Rangers players (Prucha & Staal). But, when facing probably one of the most honest tough-guys in Colton Orr, he declined. I'm not here to say Neil chickened out (he is a legitimate tough-guy himself)... but you make the call. Also, I would like to comment about the Rangers streak of not taking a penalty in Buffalo and most of the Ottawa game. I guess Renney's comment struck a chord with the referees after the Montreal game. I personally am here to tell you that no matter what era or decade of hockey - It's impossible to play this game without penalties. How the Rangers got away with it is beyond lucky. Fortunate? Absolutely. The Rangers will get a good rest and off to Long Island to face the hated Islanders. So far, so good!

Lastly, I just wanted to say that it's a sad day for Rangers fans as Brendan Shanahan has decided to sign with his first NHL team and hated rivals, the New Jersey Devils. Shanahan was a good player for the Rangers and one of the key players in the post-lockout Rangers revival.

Over and out!


DO WORK said...

shanny you broke my heart, i am upset..........

Kotsy's Korner said...

DO WORK: DO WORK, You cant blame Shanahan on this one. I would want to finish my career on my terms if I had the "Distinguished" career that Shanahan has had.

As a former player and fan, sure it hurts to know he's with the Devil's but it is what it is.

Good luck Shanny, unless your playing the Ranger's.

The Dark Ranger said...

Shanny a Devil. Not happy about it. This was entirely Slats fault to play the 'trust me' game and not follow through. These expensive contracts are going to 'hold-back' some of the more interesting free agents mid-season and off-season from coming to NY. As a fan, season ticket holder and blogging maniac -- it hurts to see these big contracts getting outplayed by the young'ens. Even worse, what happens this summer when these guys finally want to get paid?

The business can get in the way. Ugh.


DO WORK said...

I hate Slats. Shanny wanted to come back no matter what. Such bull when Fritsche, Voros and Rissmiller dont play. Waste of money on some players. Slats can go to bed with Wade Redden.

Kotsy's Korner said...

The Dark Ranger: Dark Ranger, I don't think you could have said it better.

It will be interesting to see how it all unfolds for the "youngster's" when it comes to Pay-Day.

Kotsy's Korner said...

DO WORK: DO WORK, I'm not making excuses for the Rangers. They clearly went in a different direction this year.

In today's "Salary Cap" NHL, It's a major gamble when you sign free agents for huge contracts.

Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose and I think it goes for every team not just the Rangers.

Leatherneck said...

Its sad to see we didnt give Shanny a shot...but then again..it is what it is..and an indicator of the teams direction when it comes to player personnel... and frankly I dont like this direction however I maintain my loyalty to my Rangers no matter what...I am not in Sathers shoes to know what he is trying and what he is not...one thing though...the call up of Sanguenetti over Potter disturbed me...what message is that sending Potter? That was a dumb move... The Rangers played a great road game yesterday and a nice win against the Sens...now...whats your opinion..on players like Voros, Prucha, Fritsche, Potter, Rissmiller and how their confidence gets shattered by this system? Amazing Prucha has done so well...and a testemant to him for persevering..Chris...what changes do you see needed in specific..at the half way mark that we need to make..who goes..who stays...what do we get to better the team? Finally..Chris Neil what a coward...sucker punches Staal but declines a fight with Orr...lost much respect for him

Mr. Hockey said...

Kots---Long time, no talk---Been so efin sick --worse than the San Jose game--Halfway pole and they still are around the top---I'm starting to think,that maybe they are actually over achieving--based on WHERE they are--and WHAT they are!!!---What are they ?--No matter what MSG is telling the faithful, the fowards are third liners!!!Zhrdev the only one with first line skills,plays on the third line???--I Won't question Renney,but!!!---I say first liner because he has the goods, but just like the rest of em---goods don't win games -goals do and they just don't have the finishers---the D has really solidified Kalinin and Redden have improved tons---Somebody has to tell Staal that sometimes you just have to get your face punched in!!! You can't just look at someone calling you out and wait for a teamate to bail you out--get tough kid there are only a few Semin's in this League!!!--Do you know what the difference is between--Scott Gomez-Chris Drury and Bernie Madoff is???? Madoff admitted he was stealing other peoples millions!!!!!---Once again I could care less what MSG is trying to sell on these LEADERS--Go "wag the dog" to fans who don't watch---These guys suck---for the $$$$ they rob---for the ice time they get---for the returns we and the team get---THEY EFIN SUCK--period end of sentence.----Look at their numbers--look at the first three lines numbers--anybody want to tell me that if the fourth line got the ice time that these fellas get they could not match the lofty numbers that our top players are putting up???--Hey if Slats wanted to pay them superstar $$$$--that don't make em superstars!!!Overpaid third liners--this is what they really are----I wish the line changes would stop, but other than that I tip my hat to Renney and the staff for putting a team on the ice that at least won't quit( like the Penguins did in the 3rd ) and are for now still closer to the top than the bottom--and thank God for our All-Star!!!----Shanny-a few years ago I recall him saying,how he always dreamed of playing for the Rangers---As Rangers we want to beat all the other teams, but some teams we want to kill because of a hatred that only lives for these select teams---the Islanders--Flyers and the Devils--I know things are different now, but if you always wanted to be here--how can you not hate the thought of being there???---If you have lots of playing time left, you gotta do what you gotta do---His movie is just about over---to sign with them now, for what? 12 maybe 15 weeks--I still but the blame at Slats' feet,but come on Shanny---Back in yhe 50's (for those of you who were not around)--Jackie Robinson was traded from the Dodgers,to the hated Giants---He knew he didn't have alot of playing time left(like Shanny)so he said frig you---I'd rather retire than to play for those bastards---thats what it meant to really want to play for a team!!!---I saw where Poodle said that he felt the Rangers should do what it took to get Avery back--He was just what the Rangers lacked(as alot of us realize)--If the locker was a problem than a few players should address said player--just like in the good old days!!!--It seems that Gomez was at the same gathering, and when told of Poodles feelings--he did not agree--seems he feels the team is just fine, and that it would not be fair for a player now to have to sit to make room for Avery!!!???--I guess he's right it would be a shame for Voros-Dawes or Korpikoski to sit in place of Avery when you think of all the positives that those guys bring to the game that Avery dosn,t have!!!Is this guy @#$% kidding me--He should be thinking that at least he's safe if it happened,because Avery is not a center---As I said this is what they are!!!---back to bed.

Jeff said...

I agree Chris, there are worst ways to start a road trip, especially for a team looking for some confidence and most of all for points. I was a bit upset against Buffalo when I saw the players in the SO. Zherdev, I can understand, but why Naslund and Drury??? Players like Dawes and Sjostrom were better choices in my opinion, they scored huge SO goals in the past, that would have been smarter to give them a chance.

Our recent under achievements in defense have been corrected, the whole group is way more solid and responsible, that's a good point. At least Renney has still some tricks in his hat, that's good to know.

I'm sad to hear that Shanny stabbed us in the back, but I don't blame him, he waited for a looooong time for Sather. All the blame is on our GM. Why wasting money on guys like Voros (even though I liked his start as a Ranger) and Rissmiller, when a guy like Shanahan is desperately wanting to join the team? I don't get it. I wish him all the best anyway. Let's hope we won't regret this move later in the season...

Kotsy's Korner said...

leatherneck: Leatherneck,I think they still need that abrasive, spark plug, plays with an edge type player and obviously a scorer. Who? Your guess is as good as mine. They lack those elements of the game as of now.

Everyone you mentioned outside of Potter have been given the opportunity to show their wares.

In today's NHL the lower contracts get less chances to stick. It's the way Salary's have affected the game.

Chris Neil shocked me as well.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Mr. Hockey: Mr.Hockey, nice to hear from you. You basically have covered all bases as to what the positives and negatives are for the Rangers.

I was with the Ron Duguay(AKA The Poodle) on Wednesday and he mentioned the Avery quote he gave. Hey,

I think he's right plain and simple. Avery would bring the "Edge" back that this team sorely needs.

Oh, Shanny.... Back where you started. Can't blame him.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jeff: Jeff, Good D, goalkeeping and 3 of 4 points with no scoring? Great outcome.

The shootout bothered me as well. Try shooting at least you have 50/50 chance of scoring. By faking you can lose the puck and not even get a shot off. The order of players was puzzling that's for sure.

Not much I can say about Shanny that I haven't mentioned all ready. Good Luck, accept when he plays the Rangers.

Wrath of Sanity said...

I'm happy about the start of the road trip, as well as the elevated play of the young players.

If only Captain Cash and Gomez could start contributing... rather than turning the puck over, playing lackadaisical defense, and getting cheap points on empty net goals...

Kotsy's Korner said...

wrath of sanity: Wrath , It is nice to see the young players pulling their collective weight.

Can't say your wrong about the rest of the team.

All in all good start to the 5 game road trip.

Leatherneck said...

Ughhh....on the Giants...that was so disappointing to watch against the Eagles..Maybe the Giants can go talk to the Rangers about the value of time and urgancy...inspire this team to have a great 2nd half..i know in my heart 2 pieces need to be ut in place or we will say the same thing about the Rangers...a scoring Power forward and a tough D-man...Roszi is starting to get his game back..pair up Mara with Girardi...and this tough D-man...a la Mclaren with Redden...and then I think our D will be paired up well...they are not..as of now..in proper order in my opinion...Girardi is an offensive player and will suit better with Girardi and more in his role as he is with Redden...do you concur Chris?

justin said...

New York Rangers


Kotsy's Korner said...

Leatherneck: Leatherneck, Now I have to listen to all the Eagle fans tell me how good they are. It's bullshit I tell Ya!

Girardi is a tweener, I don't think that the Rangers ever envisioned him as an offensive threat. As he matured his game has improved with time.

Girardi is simply put an all around player, can do a little of both.(I wish he would hit more)

You and I have always maintained what this team needs and it hasn't changed. (Toughness and scoring)

Kotsy's Korner said...

Justin: Justin, Welcome to my blog. Interesting site you attached.

Rangers Rule!

JohnM said...

What did I learn from the Rangers games this weekend? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. The Sabers and Senators are sleepwalking these days. I can't remember the last time the Rangers went to Ottowa and didn't get pasted from wire to wire until Saturday. Who was the impostor of the Ottowa Senators that played the Rangers???
Ryan Miller was as good as Stevie V Friday night. But yet again. Who were those impostors in Sabers uniforms? That wasn't the Lindy Ruff coached team that I have been accustomed to seeing . Albeit, the Sabers did use a 5 man forecheck at times during the game. But not nearly as much as they normally do against NY.
The Rangers played like The NY Rangers usually play in 2008-2009. No forecheck, very few scoring chances, and borderline defense. Good enough to tie and win for 3 points in Buffalo and Ottowa. This road trip is about beating the teams you are supposed to beat at this point of the season. The Rangers did that so far.
Hey if you long for a proven superstar , it sure sound like Jagr wants back into the NHL. Even for minimum wage!! That should make all excited! LOL!!!

Kotsy's Korner said...

JohnM: JohnM, I don't know what has happened to Ottawa. Plenty of talent , no passion? It's been going on for 2 yrs now.

As for Buffalo they still play like a "Lindy Ruff" team in my estimation.

The Rangers did what they had to do, 3 of 4 points on 3 goals ... incredible.

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