Rangers Stop the Bleeding!

Monday, October 26, 2009

After dropping 3 straight games (2 at home, 1 road OT loss) the New York Rangers put an end to the first mini-crisis of the season. The Rangers won 5-2 on Monday night against a good and fast Phoenix Coyotes team (coached by my former teammate, Dave Tippet). The Rangers came out with the energy that seemed to be lacking during the losing streak. Anisimov, Gaborik (PPG), Prospal, Gaborik (Again on the PP) all scored giving the Rangers a 4-0 lead midway through the 2nd period. Then- It happened.

The same problems that have plagued the Rangers in the previous losses crept in. The boys in blue stopped skating, forgot to play defense, and basically played lazy. Well, 2 quick goals by Phoenix (one short handed) turned what could have been a laugher into a serious battle. Not the way that you want to finish a 2nd period after being up by 4 goals! As this was happening, I turned to my son Cody and mentioned if the Coyotes get a PP, things could get even tighter. Well what do you know? To open the 3rd period that's exactly what happened. Dan Girardi got called for tripping and the Rangers faithful got that uneasy feeling. Fortunately, the penalty kill was excellent and the Rangers killed it off. Enver Lisin finally put this game away with a blast to make it 5-2 and the Rangers picked up a much needed victory.

It wasn't perfect, but a win is a win. There's lots of work to be done with this team, still. Neutral zone play and the defensive zone need to be addressed. I'm sure coach John Tortorella and his coaching staff see this. Trust me, it will be taken care of. You won't become a great team until you learn how to play in all 3 zones of the ice. In the offensive zone, it's easy to work hard. Especially when the goals are going in. It's the other 2 zones where it's easy to get lazy. Players must understand that!

Unfortunately this win was on a down note of sorts. Marian Gaborik left the game late in the 3rd period after flexing his knee/leg for a short while on the ice. Al Trautwig said during the broadcast that he saw Gaborik "limping" to the locker room. There is no definitive word yet on the status of Gaborik. Hopefully it's nothing major.

Also, on a sad note, my condolences go out to the "Big Whistle" Bill Chadwick's family. He truly was a big part of the Rangers history. A true legend. RIP, Bill.

**Quick Update thanks to Andrew Gross... Gaborik was NOT limping after emerging from the trainers room. He said whatever was sustained tonight was NOT related to either his hip or groin. Status still unknown for tomorrow's practice or the game on Wednesday against the Islanders. Either way, seems like some good news.


The Dark Ranger said...

Hey Kots...interesting that the funny feeling we get when we're up, then not-so-up, then headed toward disappointed is so ingrained in our hockey heads -- that all Rangers fans know exactly what we're referring to when you mention 'that familiar feeling'. We probably all thought this one was going south, but perhaps Coaching and Motivation broke the mold tonight during that second intermission. What do you think?


greg m said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
greg m said...

kotsy,then it happened is right, 4-0,4-1 ,4-2, and its like you gotta be kidding, not again, but somehow they pulled it together,they show signs of being a really great team. after what seemed to be a reaming by tortarella in between the 2nd and 3rd, msg showed him standing on the bench alone,like he just left them in the locker room alone and walked out, not that i blame him for doing that but how many times do they respond to that...anyway it was a must win, the stars continue to shine, and the others continue to disapoint... it was sad to learn of bill chadwicks passing on saturday night durring the montreal game he was a big part of my ranger childhood.... i watched him on wwor ny chanel 9 in the late 60ws i think early 70s ....im an old fan!my fingers are crossed for gaborik,the rangers arent that deep and they need him as if that needs to be said.lookig foward to the islanders on wednesday...

Jason said...

It was nice to see the Rangers stop the bleeding. Of course, some disturbing signs still remain, as demonstrated by the let-down at the end of the second period. I thought the Coyotes were getting through the neutral zone too easily during about a 15-minute stretch. This allowed them to set up in the offensive zone and apply pressure. Fortunately, they lack top-notch finishers and could not convert on a number of opportunities they did get. The Rangers may not be so lucky against Washington or Pittsburgh. Gaborik's condition is certainly a concern, because he looks to be a single engine that is driving the offense train. Understandably, he is not scoring or assisting on all of the goals, but knowing what he can do takes the pressure off other players, allowing them to concentrate on their games, which ultimately results in scoring. From several replays shown by MSG, it seems like Gaborik tweaked his knee when he collided with Prucha. Again, let's hope that this is nothing serious. I anticipate some fireworks Wednesday night!

Kotsy's Korner said...

Dark, I know what you're saying and it's just the way it is. It will take some time before we all lose that "OH OH" feeling.

I'm sure that Tort's was livid the way the last half of the 2nd period was played.

Like I said it's easy to play in the offensive end of the ice. Not so easy in the opposite end. No glamor in it.

Kotsy's Korner said...

greg m , The Ranger players need to learn that it's just as important to play in all areas of the ice.

Tort's and Sullivan standing alone certainly sent a message to the players as well as the fans. He won't tolerate lack of effort in the neutral and defensive zone.

Gaborik will be okay and the Big Whistle's passing truly is a sad day for all.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jason, It definitely wasn't textbook but the Rangers really needed this victory.

The Rangers have had this habit during the 3 game skid of being flat out lazy. No excuses.

Reaching,stick checking,lack of effort and no hitting at all during these moments of the game.

It's called hard work to play all areas of the ice surface and obviously it's not a glamorous part of the game defending the neutral and defensive zones.

I believe Gaborik will be okay. He truly is a gifted sniper. Looking forward to Wednesday as well.

Tony V said...

One thing I will say is that the Rangers are now a threat to score in any period and pot multiple tallies. That's such a refreshing change from the 2-1 team we had been seeing for the past couple of seasons.

Still, as we all agree, the team is a work in progress but to have the youngsters on defense blend well and the new lines clicking are amazing feats. Some teams are taking longer (Devils and Montreal) to get it together.

To think that the Rangers may have more than 20 points (I can dream, can't I) before hitting 15 games at the end of the week would be fabulous.


Kotsy's Korner said...

Tony V, Yes it is refreshing to actually watch a team that can light it up.

The Rangers can certainly score with the best 2nd in the league going into last night's tilt.

I would like them to put the same effort in the other end of the ice to make them a real tough team to beat.

The "Youngster's" on the D have been super and the best is yet to come.

GENO said...

Hi Chris, you hit the nail right on the head when you mentioned that ugly feeling again. The boys in blue were lucky they were not going against the Pens or Caps when the momentum shifted or it might of been a different out come. But as I told you in the past a win is a win, another 2pts. Chris, would it be a bad idea for Slats to investigate what it will cost to sign a grizzled Mean D-Man like Chris Chelios. I know he is 45 yrs old, but the Rangers are lacking his toughness and meaness, and he knows what it takes to win. Maybe having someone like him playing with Staal - Girardi - Gilroy & Del Zotto and teaching them at their young age of what it takes to win would only be a plus for this organization. Do you agree? Or is he just too old. What do you think ? Geno

Kotsy's Korner said...

Geno, Sorry, Chelios is about to be 48 years young soon if not already.

Chelios has had wonderful "Hall of Fame" career Geno, but I personally think his game was gone years ago.

Mr.Greek said...

Hi Chris it was nice to see that my Leafs finally won a game, well it is a starting point and i feel they will get going now, maybe one win will boost their confidence,we will see how they make out when they play Dallas. I really wonder if Toskala will be their main goalie this year.If one of the other goalies step up i can see Toskala on the bench more this year,i believe he has his work cut out for him this year.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Mr.Greek, Finally got a win. Tough start to the season and the Leafs can only go up from this point on.

I still think the Leafs are a year away from the Playoffs. You can't do a major overhaul without skill players. That is what's missing at this point.

I'm not sure about Toskala or any of the Leafs net minders period! Good to hear from you.

Mr.Greek said...

Hey Chris i agree with you that the leafs are still a year away from the playoffs. I agree with you the skill level up front is a little thin, i believe Brian Burke will steer this team to success in the future, but it will take some time. I think the Leafs sould be on the look out for a goaltender,but who is out there right now? Maybe should they bring back Allan Bester? he was a former team mate of yours if i am correct.I think it will take time for the defence to gel but it will work out. Burke traded Kubina for Exelby? I think that is what happened, i would rather have Kubina on the blueline with his big shot on the power play.Anyways the circus goes on in Toronto, I'm pretty sure you remember all the interesting times you had there with the media circus and Harold Ballard.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Mr.Greek, Toronto is not the best place to be as a player when the shit hit's the fan Hockey wise.

Give Burke time. He hasn't even been on the Job for 2 full years yet. Impatience is what caused the 42 year drought.

I have heard rumors that the Leafs are looking for a goal tender, but remember just rumors is all they are.

Mr.Greek said...

Chris we gave it a good run in Dallas last night but came up short. "The Monster" i thought he played well , i hope Ron Wilson gives him the start when they play Buffalo Friday night, Speaking of Buffalo, they are playing some decent hockey right now.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Mr.Greek, I changed the channel for few seconds the Leafs were up 3-2 late and next thing you know it's tied. Tough loss in a game they should have won!

Buffalo does it every year with no money to spend. Amazing!

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