Rangers Come Up Large, Win 4-2

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The New York Rangers, knowing quite well that their playoff fate is in their own hands, came up with a huge effort against the Nashville Predators with a 4-2 victory. The Rangers came out flying in the first 5 minutes and it showed when Sean Avery banged in a rebound to give the Rangers an early 1-0 lead. However, from that time on until the end of the 1st period, the Rangers took all their own momentum away by taking 3-straight penalties (Boy were some of those dumb and I'm being kind). Nashville, who has a poor PP themselves, was able to capitalize on Markus Naslund's interference penalty. Shea Webber fired an off-wing wrist shot past Henrik Lundqvist - who got a piece of the shot, but not enough (He's gotta make that save, no excuses). From there, J.P. Dumont got a gift goal off of Dan Girardi's skate which gave the Predators a 2-1 lead at the end of the 1st period.

In between periods, I can only tell you from my experience as a player is what went on in the dressing room - to put it frankly, was a good old fashioned tongue lashing. There was one player in particular that got the worst of it - Nikolai Zherdev. Zherdev has all the talent in the world, but at times he reminds me of Alexei Kovalev with the "I don't care" type of play. I'm pretty sure Zherdev's benching has to do with effort, not skill. Anyway, the result was the lines changed constantly and the Rangers played one of their best periods in months. Goals by Scott Gomez and Marc Staal gave the Rangers a 3-2 lead that they would not give up. You gotta give Coach Tortorella credit for making the decision to bench Zherdev and play the players who were going well. Zherdev may not have stepped on the ice, but there were a few other players who the Rangers expect more of and as a result found themselves getting less ice time as the game wore on. I think Coach Tortorella knows there's not many games left, so if he has to hurt a few feelings then so be it. The playoffs are the goal and the Rangers received a ton of help around the league tonight. Now it's on to Philly for a home and home... should be very entertaining to say the least. Over and out!

Quinnipiac Bobcats at St. Lawrence

Listen to the Bobcats on the radio this weekend as they take on St. Lawrence in the best of 3 series (unfortunately I will not be able to do the color).

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


Canyon of Blueshirts said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Canyon of Blueshirts said...

Tom Renney never would have benched Zherdev, I'm not so sure he would have benched anyone actually. Zherdev continues to baffle me. He has games where he his skill is very apparent, but he also hustles, throws his body around and makes strong plays. I remember one game in particular where he had a beauty of a goal and also hustled back and broke up a breakaway (much like what Ovechkin did tonight). Then there are games where he's nearly invisible.

It's very clear that when it comes Zherdev, effort is always going to be the problem. Hopefully Tortorella's decision to bench him for two full periods gets the message across. Guys like him can infuriate me at times, because they have all the skill in the world yet don't want to put in the effort. If only Nikky can somehow be given Ryan Callahan or Blair Bett's desire.

Kotsy's Korner said...

It's baffling to me as a former player when you have all that ability and it goes to waste.

Zherdev has it all, skates like the wind, can stick handle the puck in a phone booth, and add in a super shot.

Unfortunately he falls in the category of "lazy". Not a good trait.

I can only imagine players like Blair Betts or even Colton Orr who have to scratch and claw with their effort night after night think.

Too often we give free passes to players because of the "Promise of Stardom"

Zherdev is a much needed player for the Rangers. He's been exposed now let's see how reacts.

The Dark Ranger said...

I guess after a Torts tongue lashing and the fear of a Torts 'bags skate' - gave them enough to change their confidence. What a difference.

You talked about the double-edge sword of benching your players...Zherdev will probably learn something from it as he is younger and impressionable, but Naslund is probably still licking his wounds.

I smell optimism in the air -- I'll be at the Wachovia tomorrow, ready for a repeat.

Great post...


Kotsy's Korner said...

Dark, there is no time to coddle these guys. Playoff push is on and Tortorella is going to play the guys who are getting the job done.

Zherdev must learn that effort is just as important as skill.

Naslund well he's been around long enough to know better(Dumb Penalties).

I hope you don't get the "Philly Flu" going to the Wachovia lol.

JohnM said...

Coach Tortarella put his players on notice Thursday in Nashville. The boys were turned into men. It was just in time for a trip to Philly during the playoff push. I remember way too many of these Flyer-Rangers scenario's in my Ranger fan life span. Not many turn out right by the way. Tortarella gives the Rangers the best chance to beat the Flyers at crunch time . I am not going to get into the coach's well overdue benchings and ice time reductions because to me, that is standard operating procedure in a good, successful hockey organization.
The Rangers are scoring 1 full goal more a game now. That is why they are winning more. Torts will continue to reinforce the attack idea and the Rangers will be much more successful and much much more entertaining.

Kotsy's Korner said...

JohnM, Unfortunately the Flyers got the better of the Rangers today.

Let's hope for a turn around at the garden tomorrow.

Jeff said...

Hey Chris,

Very disappointed by this game, we could win it easily. Biron decided to pull his best game of the year, and Redden his worst, 3 bad decisions or turnovers leadings to 3 of the 4 flyboys goals.

The boys played very well the last 40 minutes, with a similar effort tomorrow, I'm confident for a win.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jeff, I was out doing a "Autograph Outing" with a former Flyer and team mate of mine in Hartford Rick Macleish (How Ironic?).

Was able to watch bits and pieces of the game, but not enough to make a fair judgment of the game.

Looked like lots of shots, but no goals? I'll have a new post after the game tomorrow.

Rangers must rebound at the Garden.

Jeff said...

We outshot the flyers 29 to 16 in the last 40 minutes (13-13 in the first), Biron was in playoffs mode and stopped everything. That was really a game within our reach. The game tomorrow should be fun to watch.

Wrath of Sanity said...

Gotta agree with Jeff on all that. We played very well the majority of the game, unfortunately for us Biron has his best game of the season.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Wrath, If that's the way you guys see it then that's the way it is.

Biron? Your kidding?

A must win tomorrow for the Rangers.

Leatherneck said...

Hiya Chris...well a tough loss against Philly...a team we need to beat...and come up against a hot goalie...Biron was fantastic but still...new players score..our old cast does not...Redden...slap my head will ya...i still want to see Redden..Naslund..and Roszi gone by the start of the new hockey season and will have to suffer the rest of the year watching these players...Gomez has stepped up so i am teetering on him now..i do believe we will have another massive face lift next year....Can you say Kommiserek!!!!!!!!!

Kotsy's Korner said...

Leatherneck, I heard Redden stunk the joint out yesterday. Lots of shots and no goals again. Biron standing on his head? Oh well...

Today's game is a must win for the Rangers.Oh and by the way Montreal has all ready started negotiations with Kommiserik. Damn!

I'll have a new posting after the game today.

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