Rangers Shutout at "The Rock"

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.


Leatherneck said...

Oh boyyy...again...i think its time to unload Gomez..literally for anything..to open up cap space...deal Redden for Avery and come to terms that this is not our year and build on a foundation that sorely needs to be reinforced ...this game is another testiment to we are pretenders not contenders and we have a mountain to climb to get out of this situation.. I say lets become sellers and open up cap space Chris and hope for a high draft pick... I dont like quitting ever but even in the Military retrograde and consolidation operations occur to strengthen the situation to prepare an effective counter atack that is viable ..if we can trade Roszi...Prucha..Dawes...Voros...Kalinin...Naslund..then they should be listened to and entertained for a feasable trade ridding those player and waiving what we cant trade..,by far this is one of the worst Ranger teams since the era of all those super stars who didnt do jack..ie Bure era

DO WORK said...

Gomez sucks agreed.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Leatherneck: Leatherneck, One thing you and I have agreed on all season are the weaknesses of this team.

Scoring is the number 1 problem and for the life of me I can't understand why is it so many believe it ultimately falls on the coach?

Some of us were skeptical with the signings over the last 2 yrs. You are included in that group (Keen Eye For Hockey)

Unfortunately for Ranger fans the "Cap Era" is a crap shoot. When most of these signings were made I would say most fans,experts were jumping for joy... most but not all.

Kotsy's Korner said...

DO WORK: Do Work, It's not just him. There are many more that are not living up to what the Ranger faithful and management expect.

DO WORK said...

i still say renney should stay. This is a transition year due to the fact we lost alot of meaningful players. Cant blame it on tom.

Kotsy's Korner said...

DO WORK: DO WORK, I may be wrong, but I believe sincerely that the players have either grossly underachieved or were simply overrated in the first place.

To place all the blame on Rennie and Sather is just plain idiotic. They don't skate, shoot, hit, score, play defense...etc.

Jeff said...

When I say it's the coaching staff's fault, it's part of the problem, I don't put all the blame on the coach, even though this system showed his limits in the last weeks. Just to make it clear Chris, I agree about our underachieving players. ;)

I'm not particularly against Renney and this defensive minded system, actually I'd love it a lot as long as we win of course. I've been rooting for a team here for a long time, the Albatross, who came out from a win recently on a score of 27-3, yes 27-3, no typo. I must recognize I love tight games like the Ranges provide us sometimes.

That said, this Franchise is out of breath, the coaching staff, the management, the players. We are living actually on the brink, this team will never win anything if major changes are not made. Renney has done a great job around here, but I think it's time for the Rangers to rebuild something, with or without him... When 2-3 players are struggling, I'm all for it to blame them, when this amount climb to 15+ every nights for severals months, the system has to questioned. I include Sather in the system, these contracts are ridiculous.

We had our chance to run for the cup in the last 2 years. Jagr, Shanahan, Gomez, Drury, Lundqvist, we had all the elements to make beautiful runs, we failed. Time to move on.

Sather has to get rid of Redden and/or Gomez first. Let's save what can be saved this season and let's rebuild something healthier in the off-season.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jeff: Jeff, I think we are all frustrated at what has happened to our Rangers.

I just feel strongly that what I have watched with a open mind,is that the players are not living up to what was expected.

You may be right about the other possible reasons for the dire situation the Rangers are in and who's to argue?

In the end though it falls in the players laps. Just think about it for one second Jeff last in goals scored in the whole damn league!!!

I think that stat my friend tells it all.

Jeff said...

You're right, I guess we're all frustrated about this situation. What scared me the most looking towards the days that come is that I'm not sure dumping Redden's and/or Gomez's contracts would be enough. Unless we lay our hands on a number one superstar like Kovalchuk, I don't see an improvement in scoring with Renney behind the bench. I'm very torn about that. I hope I'm wrong.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jeff: Jeff, all we can do is hope, wait and see.

JohnM said...

Under Achievement is the only word that describes all aspects of the Rangers offense. In my opinion, this is a result of allowing underachievers to continue to run the management of this original six franchise.
As always, and in every industry, when underachievers are allowed to take over the top spots of an organization , all aspects of that particular organization will be set up to reward and accept mediocrity. The Rangers are a far cry from the organization that was. When the battle cry from the top was we will settle for nothing less than a Stanley Cup. In those days, the management was committed to that goal. The management understood that you needed to score many goals to win in the playoffs and ultimately , the Cup. A well balanced score sheet, where all lines contribute to scoring, was the priority. This is an important factor. The philosophy of achieving by scoring goals is risky. It may mean that a coach will look less favorable to the organization if A. the team does not achieve the scoring or B. the team gives up too many goals and lose more often than win.
The difference of an achieving based organization is that you must, and I reiterate, must, take risks and stick your neck out much more than a conservative manager would. This may cost a manager his job. But lets think what that would be like if the NYFD or the NYPD chose to be tepid and conservative in there respective roles. I don't think New York's finest and bravest could or would. It is a character trait of a hero. Rangers fans desire a hero. A risk taker. It is the very fabric that has made NYC great.
With every great success, comes many failures . An achieving organization knows and accepts the fact that if they go for it and fail they may be fired. I do not see that character trait in the N Y Rangers organization today.
I implore the NY Rangers to change back to achievers with the hiring of Mark Messier and Brian Leetch for starters. These two would bring back some of the urgency that is missing from the organization. Accountability is a very overused and very rarely executed term in the Rangers management today. I for one,as a fan, want to feel that responsibility from our Ranger management . So that it will be demanded from our players.

Kotsy's Korner said...

JohnM: You clearly have some valid arguments and each and every one can be debated by frustrated Ranger fans.
Even my own arguments can be scrutinized.

One thing that can't be debated is the lack of scoring from the players (And we all know who they are) whom the "Ranger Brass" had counted on.

I will stand by this. if it isn't obvious by now then it never will be for some people.

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