Rangers Squeeze Out A Point!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The setting was perfect: Adam Graves Night. The fans paying respect to this true gentleman and warrior. The lowly Atlanta Thrashers are in town. Surely an easy 2 points, right? Wait a minute, when has it ever been easy for the Rangers? ... Exactly.

On a night where the fans could of been sent home on a total high, the Rangers failed to secure the much needed 2 points. Atlanta slipped by the Rangers in a 2-1 shootout victory where the Blueshirts bombarded Kari Lehtonen with 40 shots but could only manage a late game tying goal by Markus Naslund with 11 seconds to go in the 3rd (with Henrik Lundqvist pulled for the extra man).

Hey, we've been down this road far too often. This "no scoring" is clearly a problem that the Rangers have with the team the way it is. I'm sorry, but how much longer are we gonna hear that it's Tom Renney's fault? Or Glen Sather's fault? Sorry folks, but I am not one of them. I'll say over and over again that it's the players responsibilities to step up and perform. Somebody, somewhere has got to take the bull by the horns and put it on his shoulders. This needs to happen soon though... I mean real soon. I get people telling me that the Rangers are too defensive and play a basic offense... are you kidding me? 40 shots? But only 1 goal (not the first time)? Anyways, they did salvage a point out of it at least. It's too bad they couldn't finish the night with a win as the cherry on top of Adam Graves Night. But, that's hockey for ya!

Speaking of the jersey retirement... Adam Graves truly is a remarkable man. He has done more things off the ice in the charitable work realm than any sports figure that I can think of. Adam, you deserved this night!

Also, I want to let you know that I was there last night and it was great to see my friends again. As usual, Ron Greschner, Larry "Ratso" Sloman, Nicky Fotiu, John Davidson, and Ron Duguay (Who I sat with at a reception party for Adam Graves). It was a fantastic evening and the Rangers organization must be applauded! No organization in sports does it any better... I thank you!

Well, on to Dallas for the Rangers on Friday. Over and out!


Update: I will be away this Friday & Saturday doing some more Quinnipiac Bobcats games on the radio (As usual). I will answer any comments when I get back!

» Bobcats Link: http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x981.xml


Mr.Greek said...

Hi Chris yes i thought it was good that Adam Graves was honoured, one of the better players during his time in the league. As you know i am a leaf fan but i had a good laugh last night when Bryan Mc Cabe scored last night. i still like the guy and yet they still booed him last night, some of the fans anyway. It will be interesting to see what happens when Mats Sundin comes to toronto on Feb 21, i think he will get his share of boos too, rightfully so considering he held everybody hostage. he has done nothing in Vancouver, which does not surprise me, i think his better days are behind him.

The Dark Ranger said...

I hear ya, Kotz....but you've lived there in the locker room. It starts with the players, but there is a higher motivating force in any coach. Simply, when you don't score or you frequently turn over crucial plays -- you get benched -- regardless of what level of money you make, what greater motivating force to an All-Star or rookie is being benched for someone who may perform better than you. Renney doesn't bench (unless your initials are P.P.)

Tom Renney receives criticism because he sticks with his defensive posture on the ice and off the ice. In life (and on the ice) when something is not working, CHANGE IT. Take a contrary position.

He's attempted this with his line changes frequently (to the point of hilarity), but there is no penalty to playing poorly - so the coach is not making a statement to the players, the press and the world of hockey.

It's difficult to watch the slow dismantling of our Rangers team this half of the season --- you are right, there is no spark plug in the locker room, so what is next? Who's responsibility is it to create CHANGE?

The Coach. Just a thought. I am mad too (along with our devoted followers).


Kotsy's Korner said...

Mr.Greek: Mr.Greek, I had the the pleasure of playing against and was a teammate for a short while with Adam Graves. The Rangers honored one of the finest.

I think I have stated before that Bryan McCabe got a raw deal in Toronto. The booing? I guess fans will be fans.

It will be interesting to see how the Leaf fans react to Mr.Sundin. Sundin has all the Leaf records, but couldn't produce when it counted.

DO WORK said...

THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!!!! someone agrees with me. It is not all Renney's fault, its not his fault the players cant score nobody freakin gets it.

DO WORK said...

I cant stand people that think they know whats going in the lockerroom and inside coaches mind.

You want a change talk to the GM thats who makes changes. Sheesh everybody thinks they are higher authority.

The Dark Ranger said...

The invisible GM. You could be right. Hey DO WORK...little 'ole DARK here is just a fan with a point of view.

Curious what Kotz thinks about Renney's inability to bench his star players. Does that work? Kovalev was benched last week and he's vowed to himself, the coach and even the press to play better. Could work. Maybe a hint of truth?

Kotsy's Korner said...

The Dark Ranger: Dark Ranger, I have come to realize in today's NHL, that if you bench someone of "high stature" or even better a "huge salary" you have basically admitted you were wrong about that player.

Based on that now you have cap issue as to what do with that player? It would take monumental moment for anyone to admit the mistake and bench that person or persons.

Sure, There is plenty of blame to go around (coaches included), but I still feel it's up to the players to right the ship.

Let's really think about it, 2 goals allowed in 2 games and you only come out with 1 point?

Great discussion, you made me think.

Kotsy's Korner said...

DO Work: DO WORK, The players simply need to perform up to the standards that they were brought in for.

Renney may take some blame, but in the end he doesn't shoot the puck. The player's do.

Kotsy's Korner said...

DO WORK: DO WORK, As a former Ranger when I venture to the Garden like I did last night, I see the passion in the Blue Shirt faithful.

I get grilled all the time about why don't they do this and why don't they do that. To me it shows how concerned the Ranger fans are.

Believe me when I tell you this Management-manages,Coaches-coach,and Players-play. It is that simple.

Kotsy's Korner said...

The Dark Ranger: Dark Ranger, Sometimes benching works and sometime it doesn't. You have to be real careful as to what kind of personality your benching.

Ive played with guys who did not take to benching lightly and wanted to shove it right up everyone's butt that they were wrong.

Others just went in to a shell and basically said F--k you and never got the message. It's a double edged sword.

Kovalev, is at the end of his days of making the big dollars, so I would expect nothing else but professing his game will change if only to hang on a few more years money wise.

DO WORK said...

yea i agree, but i for one dont like this blaming everything on the coach stuff.

The Dark Ranger said...

I agree. There's plenty of blame. I'm just pissed off because it took some of the shine off Gravey.

Leatherneck said...

Hello Chris...great night for Adam Graves....indeed...a warrior on the ice and a gentleman off of it and its no coincidence he is so loved by many Ranger fans...I liked what I saw of Reitz..and thats about it for last night... its getting very frustrating to watch this team..how in the world could Shanny not have helped this team?...ughhh...now rumor surfaces Thachuck and Guerin are on our rader? what gives there with the philosophy

DO WORK said...

I wish we did have Shanny, he would make us better. Screw that age stuff, like it matters nowadays..

Mickey Rourke is hooking up with a 21 year old, so what if we had a 40 year old hockey player.

Dark Ranger- I agree about the Graves part. It actually hurt last night cause Graves means alot to alot everyone and the rangers just made you want to forget the evening.

Kotsy's Korner said...

DO WORK: DO WORK, Unfortunately this is what happens when things don't go right for the team you cheer for.

I am not only a former NHLer, I am Ranger fan and my frustration is your frustration. The fans that I talk to on my blog or at the MSG know their Hockey. So we all are allowed to vent.

Kotsy's Korner said...

The Dark Ranger: Dark Ranger, It did take some of the shine off the night for Adam Graves. That's the frustration I think we are all experiencing.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Leatherneck: Leatherneck, I agree the night could have ended better.

Nothing could really take anything away from what Adam Graves means to Ranger fans.

All though it was a little bit of downer. Dropping a shoot out to Atlanta as inexcusable.

I loved Reitz's aggressiveness as well. He Tried to hit everything he could and got into a scrap which I believe is a good thing.

This Shanahan thing is disheartening isn't it?

Rumours? Oh well here we go.

Kotsy's Korner said...

DO WORK: DO WORK, I love the Mickey Rourke comment. Mickey Rourke F--king hilarious!

DO WORK said...

Thank you Kotsy!

Good for him i guess.

I dont know if its weird that women like Older men.

Jeff said...

Hey Chris, nice to see you spent a nice moment at the Garden despite the poor show on the ice. I mean the game, not the Graves' ceremony that looked really great and soul-stirring.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jeff: Jeff, It was an amazing night for Adam Graves. You couldn't honor a more decent man.

The game sucked big time! However I did not let that spoil my night. It was great to see my friends and former teammates as well as attending the reception party for Graves after the game. The Rangers are first class all the way.

JohnM said...

Congrats to Adam Graves. He is the poster child of what an NHL player should be. It is never only about the numbers. Gravy did it anyway it had to be done. As Leetch said, you always knew he had your back.
The current Ranger leaders do not exist. There is a void of leadership on this version of the N Y Rangers. This partly has to do with the fact that the strongest candidates for leadership are the youngest players. These players will not step up out of respect to the vets who are not willing to lead by example . There is no Heart Of A Ranger amongst number 23 and 19. Or number 6. I am not talking about the dressing room. It is what is left on the ice that counts. That's where it shows to the opponent.
The Rangers are not at all helped by the current coach's game plan either. The only vet who remotely challenges Renney's game plan in print is Marcus Naslund. Naslund will go on to say that his team plays better in attack style and that they should play that way all the time. He is the ONLY one who will say it.
Blair Betts has become a perpetual replacement player for a virtual injured center who never comes off the ir! That's how it appears to me . Betts reminds me of a backup infielder who is a great defensive replacement in late innings, but has a batting average lower than his body weight! Then the regular second basemen goes on ir for a month and the backup(aka Betts) gets to play every day for a month. After 100 at bats , the replacement has made 5 or 6 flashy plays in the field .. Maybe saved a run or two. But was 14 for 100 at the plate. That is Betts in a nutshell.

DO WORK said...

Naslund should shutup. Dont think you can come in here and control everything. As far as i know if your sooooo unhappy with the current situation you should step up. Not only challenge the coaching staff, but the players too.

JohnM said...

do work

Naslund leads the Rangers with 16 goals. I think he is most qualified to speak his mind.

JohnM said...

do work

Lets be honest. What counts is what happens on the ice. It is where you make a statement to your coach,your teammates, and your fans. I watched Zerdev give up a partial breakaway last night from center ice as the Thrashers were changing. Zerdev looked at the left side . Saw it wide open into the offensive zone. But yet, he decided to dump and change also. That to me says it all. No Balls. Because the coach has em in a jar someplace.Just my perspective.

Kotsy's Korner said...

JohnM JohnM, I think everyone has a different perspective on whats wrong with the Rangers.

I believe you scored some points with your writing. I agree with your analysis on leadership.

I really do believe it's a player's problem. They are the ones who have to battle their way out of this.

Hey, Betts is Betts but one things for sure he doesn't eat up the cap space like others do.

Kotsy's Korner said...

DO WORK: DO WORK, I give Naslund a pass because he is far from the fray of under achievers. Not great but not bad.

Kotsy's Korner said...

JohnM: JohnM, I did a little research, the Ranger are 4th in the league in shots on goal per game. The problem is the Goals for is 2.40 per game.

If you look at the teams above the Rangers in shots on goal they average any where from 3/4 to a full goal per game.

So with 32.2 per game average its pretty simple they can't score.

Leatherneck said...

Leave Betts alone...that 4th line is the only consistant line the Rangers have who are doing a great job...lets not forget...Orr is one of the best fighters in the NHL and if I am not mistaken the Rangers are number 1 in the PK which Betts and Sjo have alot to do with that..if you want to berate Betts...get all your facts and you'll see a different picture John...dont go there bro...the real problems are our high priced free agents who have not played up to par..not the Betts line...Chris...suprised you didnt back Betts..lol...am I wrong in my assesment here?

Kotsy's Korner said...

Leatherneck Leatherneck, I think I kind of did bail Betts out by mentioning how little cap space he eats up compared to others.

Betts is not the problem. The problem is no production from our "High Priced Guns".

16 goals leads this team, less goals scored than given up, terrible PP. Players have simply not lived up to expectations.

People want to lay it on the coaching staff and management? How about the players? When do they stop getting a free pass?

No my friend you are not wrong in your assessment.

JohnM said...

I've got your back leatherneck! As well as Blair Betts back if I played on his team. That's not the point. In the situation that the Rangers find themselves, they cannot afford the Luxury of penalty killers. This team lacks scoring depth because Renney insists,as well as you I assume, on playing 6 or 7 capable penalty killers who cannot contribute at all to scoring. Which the last I checked, still is needed to win. As usual, I am being criticized by the " Betts is a good soldier" argument. Yeah he is. But so is Voros,Callahan,Dawes, Dubinsky,Shostrom, Orr, Korpokoski. I cannot accept Betts playing every game for 2 plus years. Never producing offense. And keep having a regular spot. That is insane on a team that doesn't have offense. At the same time, Prucha scores after having to sit out for ridiculous stretches. Totaly ludicrous. If we were a strong team with solid balanced scoring. Betts would fit. It does not compute in our scenario. Good guy or not. If you have been given prime icetime, for 2 years and don't put the puck in the net at all you must go. If you would like we can have a Betts night when his career is over. Stop the insanity. Gomez and Drury have to be in counted on less and we need to allow Zerdev and Dubinski along with Naslund to play full throttle offense from minute one. The mistake was signing that dog Rosival. Who can't make a first pass if his life depended on it. Wade Redden was another blunder. But at least he can skate
The shots on goal are an improvement from years past. But really. What was the quality of 20 of the shots taken against the Thrashers? Not very good. I kept watching that shot total on Tuesday and was amazed at the end of the game that it was so high! I sure didn't feel like we took 40 shots. The oooh ahhh factor did not exist on Tuesday. The shots were mostly harmless. But all in all it is an improvement. Kotsy , the high shot avg proves only that the quality of chances are very low. I attribute that to the fact that the Rangers are not allowed to stick around for rebounds or they will be out of position getting back and feel the coaches wrath. Voros is a perfect example. He stood in front a lot more before he was benched. On his return, he doesn't stay there much cause he would be the last man back on the counter. Coupled with not being such a swift skater, that puts Voros in a bad spot.

Leatherneck said...

I hear ya John...there is plenty o point fingers to...ie not signing Shanny..on a team starved for goals and not benching the players who need to be benched..Redden has played much better lately and so has Kalinin..to my suprise...but seriously...no one can dish out the puck to the forwards and sadly not many ofour D are physical which makes it ultra frustrating...I have to say that the system Renny has in place chokes up the offense and I agree 90% of our shots are harmless shots...not many of those shots are second chance shots and our forechecking in the offensive zone sucks..defensevily they do ok and finally not being physical has shown its ugly face...I stated this to Chris in the beginning of the season..when we were winning those close games...that soon we will be the ones losing them quite frequently...and we have...my case then was not physical and lack of scoring was evident even then...anyhow...much has to change and it wont be easy with the contracts we have...Slats signing of Redden instead of Streit as an example...signing a name supposed marquee name instead of a useful PP QB in streit..that philosophy has to stop...we dont need to make the news by signing the top free agents year in year out...patience could have had us Kommisarek next year..thats a great signing if it would have happened...not these players we have currently...and whoa to Sather if he trades the likes of Del Zotto ...Garchev...Sanguinetti and Byers and the kiddos who play for us now...and..lastly..the death of Cheraponov also has been a major hit to our team depth in regards to offense...As Ranger fans its gonna be a tough 2 to 3 years...be prepared for that

Wrath of Sanity said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wrath of Sanity said...

Wow. What am embarrassment.

There better be a major change soon.

Excerpt from the post-game... Chris Drury: I will not let this ruin my Valentine's Day.

Ok, so that last part was a lie, but I bet you he would say that.

Leatherneck said...

oh boyyyyyyy....embarassing...i fault gomez with that idiotic play on dallas 1st goal for this loss and no heart..none shown what so ever...that was simply disgusting...why are no changes being made up front???? We are crippled for a few years Chris with this line up and contracts..oh boyyyyyy

Mr. Hockey said...

Kots--that was some week eh?--so now we're closer to the bottom than we are to the top---BOTTOM FEEDERS-just like we felt all along!--forget about all the mistakes they make on the ice--they have been guilty of that all season long--protect the puck!!--no unforced turnovers!!this bunch may be one of the worst I have ever witnessed at NOT DOING THAT.--they play SOFT and the rest of the vultures know it--if the King or Vali are not at their best, we're dead in the water--if these two can't erase all the mistakes that are made in front of them we are unable to compete we are unable to cash in on the mistakes made by the other guys--and you know damn well that they make em too--it just does'nt look like they do because we never finish--that will happen when all your fowards are 2nd or 3rd liners--as Confucius always told me " no score goali, no win gamei "--it's HOCKEY 101-play like they did in October and you don't concern yourself with out of town scores---play like they are now ????your feeding off the bottom... oh yeah I almost forgot--it ain't the coach, it's the LOTTERY WINNERS who are being out played by all the rest of their teamates--I know he can't do it ---but I'd sure like to see the coach give em a night or two off!!!would'nt you??

Kotsy's Korner said...

Wrath of Sanity: Wrath, What on earth happened. I was away doing the Bobcats game on radio and I see this score come across the tv screen.

I almost choked when I saw the score, actually had flashbacks of the teams I played for in Hartford.

Nobody gets beat 10-2 anymore do they?. Apparently the Rangers do.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Leatherneck: Leatherneck< what can we say about this debacle of a game.

As I said to Wrath 10-2 that just doesn't happen in the this slow down, non high scoring NHl does it?

Changes? not in a salary cap era. No way. I think your last comment tells it all.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Mr.Hockey: Mr.Hockey, I shocked I tell you, using aline from Casablanca.

You are correct in saying Its up to Lundqvist or Vali. If not it's a bust.

The players need to show some pride a the very least.

I also feel the same way Coaching is not the problem. It's the player's performance level that's missing.

Leatherneck said...

To be honest..its time to waive a few of these dead beats a la Rissmiller/Avery and rid of these contracts..better to acknowledge a mistake than let pride ruin this team...Redden and Gomez need to go for the simple fact their contracts have us crippled...better yet trade Gomez 1 for 1 for avery...we take Averys contract and rid ourselves of gomezs contract...and eat half of Reddens contract and or get OTT in the deal...I always like steve Ott... I still have faith in Drury

Wrath of Sanity said...

Might just be hearsay from HFBoards.com, but I'm hearing that we are obviously real interested in Avery... also interested in Chris Neil from Ottawa... and that 1, maybe 2 of our big contracts are looking to be shipped out by the trade deadline.

I would love to get Avery, first and foremost... Neil would be a welcomed addition as well. And please, PLEASE LET US MOVE ONE OF THOSE RIDICULOUS CONTRACTS (Gomez, Drury, or Redden)!

Jeff said...

Larry Brooks draw a lot of attention with his articles over the week end. Glen Sather making the trip and likely to discuss with Stars management, Avery placed on waivers the day after... Sounds really plausible. Wow, that would be insane. Avery back home. That could happen faster than we think, the last theory is to place him Tuesday on re-entry waivers. This way, other teams won't have the time to send scouts wherever Avery lands in the AHL.
After Dallas, this team needs more than a spark to relive. I'm all for it, plus if we can get Avery for less than 2M$... If that doesn't work, that doesn't matter, the season is already compromised. We have nothing to lose taking that risk. What will be risky is to do nothing.

Concerning Renney, I do respect your opinions guys, but I still believe that Renney if not totally to blame, has his part of responsibility in the recent results. Friday was again the opportunity to sustain another third period collective collapse. That's not the first time this season, and probably not the last. Every time the same scenario. This repetition is not only linked to the players. The problem is deeper in my opinion. Maybe it's time for Renney to go, or at least for him to take a new look at himself. Maybe some changes have to be done around him, how is this possible Pearn is still in charge of our PP? I know the payers have to share some responsibilities with their coach, no doubts, Gomez, Redden took really bad decisions Friday. But this repetition of open houses third periods is the reflect of an ill system, not totally the reflect of underachieving players imo. This happens too many times.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Leatherneck: Leatherneck, Not bad Ideas you came up with.

I think things are about to happen and fast.

I am not on board with you on the last part.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Wrath of Sanity: Wrath, it certainly would take care of the grit and toughness part.

Avery would add a little jolt of electricity and would crank up the Gardens faithful in a good way.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jeff: Jeff, I'm all for Avery's return. I still stand by that this is more of a player problem than coaching.

Am I wrong? to say that the majority of Rangers fans did jumping jacks of joy with almost all the free agents signings over the last 2 years?....

Well the results are average at best.

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