Random Thoughts

Monday, May 4, 2009

Now that things have settled down since the Rangers bowed out in 7 to the Capitals, I have some thoughts about the series itself. First, the lack of scoring is really the reason that the Rangers could not move forward into the second round. Sure, we can point fingers in other directions. But really folks, Rangers fans have known this was the number one problem stemming all the way back to the start of the season. This will have to be addressed in the off-season, cap willing! Also, size and toughness is something that the Rangers have lacked for the last 2 years. If you look at the teams that have moved on into second round... my God! It looks like the old sci-fi show, "Land of the Giants" compared to the Rangers. With Naslund officially hanging up the skates, the Rangers will get some relief capwise and let's hope the problems I stated will be fixed.

Now, onto the second round of the NHL playoffs. In the Western Conference you gotta like the job that Joel Quennville has done with his young Blackhawks. This team sort of reminds me of the Edmonton Oilers of the 1980s. If you remember back then the Oilers were stocked with young and fresh talent - we all know how that turned out. Chicago is loaded with youth: Kane, Sharp, Toews, Etc. Vancouver has their hands full with this group.

How about those Anaheim "Quack Quacks"? What a game it was for the Ducks to prevail against the Detroit Redwings in the 3rd OT. This was a fun game to watch! Speed, skill, great goaltending, and very physical as well. I believe the Ducks have a shot at winning this series. How would Ryan Getzlaf look in a Rangers uniform? For that matter, you could include Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan as well. Oh yeah, when do you think Colin Campbell will take a hard look at Niklas Kronwall's leaving his feet when he delivers a hit? Just wondering.

In the Eastern Conference playoffs, the Bruins and Hurricanes are tied up. Boy, you got to give some love to Carolina. Nobody even talks about them, but if you go back about 30 games or so - they've been real hot. Sure, they got lucky a few times against New Jersey (Nice meltdown Marty!) but they are still playing. It's like they are irrelevant to the media during the playoffs, but I think they have caught the eye of the Big Bad Bruins who now know who the Hurricanes are about.

Last but not least, this is in fact a Hockey Fan's dream (I know Gary Bettman thinks so anyway). The Pens and the Caps on prime time TV. Two of the games biggest stars are going head to head in this series. The first game was a game that I thought the Penguins were the better team, but Varlamov sort of stole the show with the highlight save of the playoffs on Sidney Crosby. The Caps went on for the eventual 3-2 win, taking the 1-0 lead in the series. Game 2 of the series just ended and Washington won by a score of 4-3, lead by Alexander Ovechkin's hattrick, the Capitals were able to top the Penguins and Sidney Crosby's own hattrick. Hey, both of the big time players played lights out tonight. However, in the end, Simeon Varlamov's goaltending is what really won the game for Washington. The Pens once again played a stronger game, in my opinion, outshooting the Caps 36 to 33. Ovechkin will get all the props he deserves for his virtuoso performance, but trust me - right now the Penguins are asking themselves "Who is this guy?" regarding Varlamov (just like the Rangers did). The Caps are on a roll and now lead the series 2-0 and the dream match-up may fizzle out soon if Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal continue to be invisible. Over and out!

*Also coming soon is "Greschner Sports". It will be a Sports Memorabilia website started by my good friend Ron Greschner, as well as Nick Fotiu and Vic Hadfield. If you want authentic autographed memorabilia, this is where to look! The site will be up very soon and when it launches I will add the link to the right hand side.


GENO said...

Hi Chris, its good to see you blogging again. Yes we all settled down a bit from the Ranger/Caps series, so we have time to really think about why the Rangers lost. They simply cannot score, plain and simple. In your article you also mention the size factor. No truer words can be said. The Rangers were out muscled to every puck. They showed some toughness, but there is not enough toughness on this team. Maybe if the Rangers had a few Gary Howatts on their team, who wasn't big in stature, but had a lions share of toughness they wouldn't get pushed around as much. Teams would think twice about going after the skill players and Lundquist. Other than Orr, there is no one else willing to take that role. Maybe Avery, but he is on PAROLE with Bettman's League. One more incident he will be executed at dawn. So, that leaves us with little cap room with the Naslund retirement, and a whole lot of holes to fill. I do like your suggestions, especially Getzlaf. Big Strong & can score. It will be interesting in the up coming months. ---- Geno

Wrath of Sanity said...

I am very interested to see what the Rangers do this off-season. Who stays, who goes, what kind of raises with the RFA get, etc.

As far as the rest of the playoffs, I think that Anaheim Vs. Detroit series will be a great one. I think (and hope) that Anaheim can topple Detroit and go all the way for another cup. It's still early, afterall Detroit could just rebound and win 3 in a row. But, I am a believer in the Ducks.

The Ducks have an extremely solid Blueline: Pronger, Niedermayer, Whitney, Boucheman, Wisnewski, Etc. A very talented group of fowards: Getzlaf, Perry, Ryan, Selanne, Christensen, etc. Combined with the good goaltending of Hiller and the grittyness of the 3rd and 4th lines so far in the playoffs... this team could go a long way. They did just win the cup 2 years ago, with pretty much the same core.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Geno, I like your line about Avery getting "Executed at Dawn". I'ts so true about Bettmans obsession with Avery.

The Rangers have some big problems and need to fix them up to compete for Lord Stanley's Cup.

Just making the playoffs is not enough. Ranger fans want and expect more.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Wrath, the Ducks have certainly taken most Hockey experts by surprise. Wasn't Pronger rumored to dealt at the trade deadline? Who's laughing now?

Well, the Ducks are in it for the long haul and will give Detroit all it can handle and it should not be a surprise to anyone now..... They will be tough.

The Quack Quack's as I affectionately call them are a solid team from top to bottom.

As for the Rangers we will have to wait and see.

Leatherneck said...

Hello Chris...well my computer was on the fritz...sad to see the Rangers go down...as for my dark horse of a team....how about them ducks..gotta love Getzlaf...what a stud..thats a very good team and a blue print of how i want the Rangers to be like..Well one of the 6 that needed to go is gone...good luck to Mr Naslund in his new life..time to look at the draft..power forward is my guess

Graying Mantis said...

I have noticed for the past several seasons how much smaller the Rangers look compared to their opponents. The Rangers may outwork several teams but they do need more size and speed. Some help may be at Hartford as Asinimov has nice size.

Apt descriptions of the remaining series. Each is worth watching. I certainly enjoyed the 3OT game on Sunday afternoon into evening. It's interesting to see how the Blackhawks have been able to solve Luongo. Both of those series are fun to watch especially since we do not get to see the Western teams that often.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Leatherneck, The Ducks are exactly what I would want my team to look like. They are Big,Tough and Very Skilled. If only we could get Getzlaf....... I can dream can't I.

As for the Rangers they get a little relief from the cap with Naslund retiring.

Power Forward would be a great choice wouldn't it?

Kotsy's Korner said...

Graying Mantis, It's become way to obvious that the Rangers have no size and it showed.

Asinimov does have the size and didn't look out of place in the last game. Should get a serious look next season.

The Ducks are one solid tough Hockey club. How they escaped everyone's radar including me is puzzling?

Chicago getting 8 goals past Luongo in 2 games is a shock and has to bode well for the young Hawks.

Leatherneck said...

Hey Chris...whats your opinion of Zipay whom covers the Rangers...any merit to what he says on his blog blue notes? he rubs me the wrong way with his opinions..

Kotsy's Korner said...

Leatherneck, I have no problem with his thoughts. I don't read his blog on a regular basis, but I know his work.

I'm pretty sure that I've rubbed people the wrong way with my not toeing the company line er... NHL line. In fact I know I have LOL.

Jeff said...

If I had something to say to mister Zipay: PLEASE CHECK THE FACTS BEFORE TO WRITE ANOTHER BOOK ON RANGERS HISTORY! What a shame! The Rangers never won game 6 of the 1971-72 Stanley cup finals to force a decisive game 7 against Boston! The Boston Bruins won that series and the cup in 6 games, not in 7!

Sorry Chris, but mister Zipay pretends in his last book that a game 7 has been played... Hm... What to think about the rest of the book? I'm wondering if I can ask for a refund or something, I consider I have been cheated. LOL.

Speaking of books, anyone would know some great books/reference books on Rangers history? I'm still hungry to know more about our blueshirts. Thanks in advance for any help.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jeff, I'm glad you brought that up. I was a Boston Bruins fan growing up in Toronto and I remember the Bruins winning it in 6 as well.

If I something clicks in my head about books on the Rangers I will let you know. LOL.

Jeff said...

I have had the chance to get some old videos of the NHL, some season highlights. Quality is not that good but I got all the seasons where the Rangers where involved in the finals, I will post them on my site one day or another.

I discovered the mistake in the book a couple of days ago precisely after I have watched the video for 1972 and after I have read an article on Gerry "cheesy" Cheevers. Was a bit mad.

Chris, so you have played for Toronto and NY and you were rooting for the Bruins growing up. Any regrets to have not be given to opportunity to play for Beantown? Damn me... Sorry I had to ask. ;)

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