Monday, February 9, 2009
The New York Rangers, coming off of a 10-2 blasting courtesy of the Dallas Stars (fortunately I did not see this game), ventured into New Jersey to take on the Devils at the arena that they love to call "The Rock". The end result, a 3-0 whipping by the Devils as the Rangers offense continues to fall like a rock... no pun intended.
I thought the Rangers came out fast, hustling, skating and really carrying most of the play. When Colton Orr placed a beautiful right hand and dropped Mike Rupp with the punch, I expected that to be the game changing moment. It should of been, but it was not to be. The Rangers never used it as a momentum boost and shortly after that Scott Gomez showed a lack of discipline by retaliating on what would of been a boarding penalty to Dainius Zubrus to even up the penalties. Sorry, as a leader you have to know the situation and in this case Gomez clearly did not. From there, Bobby Holik jammed in a wrap around attempted originally by Brendan Shanahan (He should still be a Ranger) to give the Devils a 1-0 lead. I got that lousy feeling that I got far too often this season... that 1 goal might very well be enough. When Zach Parise slammed home a rebound past Lundqvist, you knew it was over. At least I did.
I can't leave this game without my usual rant about the offense. It's the players people! Stop all this nonsense about the coaching is bad, the team plays too much of a defense style, the free agent signings have simply not lived up to the expectations and the salary that goes with them. The last 5 games there has been a total of 5 goals scored for the Rangers. The stats don't lie. There has to be some serious soul searching going on by the players individually... if not, the season is starting to slip away, fast.
On another note, after almost 20 years, yours truly finally laced up the skates (something that I thought I would never do again) over the weekend at the "Ice Vault" in Wayne, New Jersey. I was part of a New York Ranger/New Jersey Devil Alumni squad who played against the Don Bosco Prep High School Hockey Alumni squad. The game was a charity event to benefit the Vincent Linguanti Memorial Scholarship Fund. Vincent passed away unexpectedly in August 2006. He was a hockey player and a volunteer fireman. I was fortunate enough to be invited by a former teammate and friend, Ron Duguay, as well as Bruce Driver who was basically in charge of getting the players together. Thanks for inviting me, it was for a great cause! Over and out.