Can you say "Frustrating"?

Monday, December 7, 2009

After a good road win in Buffalo against a stubborn defensive Sabres squad, the Rangers came home in less than 24 hours to take on the Detroit Red Wings. The Rangers were hoping to make it 2 in a row and get headed in the right direction. Unfortauntely for the Rangers and their fans- the boys in blue found a way to let victory slip through their hands with a 3-1 loss.

The Rangers went 0-3 on the PP in the third period which proved costly as Henrik Lundqvist let in a soft goal with just over 2 minutes to play. The goal ended what I would call a very frustrating game for the players, coaches, and fans. Did the Rangers deserve better? Probably. But when things break down and scoring is scarce- little mistakes become big ones. Those who want to lay the blame on the King, have at it. Yes, he has not played up to his standards. But I ask- where would this team be without Lundqvist? This team has forgotten how to score and the pressure on Hank is 10 times what it should be. That alone makes it frustrating for all involved.

I can understand not scoring goals against Ryan Miller, but not scoring against Jimmy Howard? Who is he? You have got to be kidding me! It seems like a broken record for the Blueshirts that has continued on from years past. The lack of scoring is so evident now that I had to take a good look at the stats for the Rangers squad. Gaborik is obviously a fantastic scoring machine, as we all know. However, if you look at the players after him and his 21 goals- boy does it sink like the Titanic! The next 5 leaders goal totals are 6, 6, 5, 5, and 5. Not good! Way too big of a discrepancy from the top to the next 5. Coach John Tortorella has tried every coaching trick in the book. Juggling lines, benchings, sitting players out, giving players more ice time, putting players on the PP… and still nothing seems to work. I wonder sometimes how players can get to the NHL level and once they are there, they forget the basic fundamental of the game (scoring)!

With the Blackhawks coming up next on the road, the Rangers are in for another tough one. This is no time for the players to feel sorry for themselves. They made this mess and only they can get themselves out of it! What other choice do you, as a player, have?

As for my other team, the Quinnipiac Bobcats got sent back to Earth this weekend with 2 straight losses (7-4 to Yale and 2-1 to Brown) and have fallen to #7 in the country. They have no excuses because in reality, they just got outworked by both teams. If you don’t put in the effort and energy, you will lose. It’s fairly simple. I still believe in this team and I hope they learned a big lesson with these losses. Over and out!


Rocco said...

Kotsi- how can they solve the goal-scoring problems? A trade? I hear Vinny Lecavalier's name floating around..

Kotsy's Korner said...

Rocco, I would love to see Vinny in a Ranger uniform, But I don't see that happening. Maybe a miracle?

The way things sit it's going to be up to the players themselves to snap out of the offensive funk.

Jason said...

Chris, regardless of the Sunday loss, the team certainly tried harder over the weekend. You are absolutely right in that the goalscoring deficiency is a recurring problem for the Rangers. The other teams just focus on stopping Gaborik, not fearing any other line. Hell, the Rangers have made a number of second string goalies look like Vezina candidates the last few years. Howard is no different. Callahan made a great move on the penalty shot, but Howard, no matter how good a sprawl, still left about 5 inches open at the post. Unless you can lift the puck, you'd better make use of those extra inches. Callahan did not. The less said about Higgins on the breakaway, the better.

I think the Rangers need to make the other teams (and not just themselves) believe that there is a real possibility of secondary scoring. Once that happens, the goals will keep on coming, because the focus of the other teams will shift. Easier said than done.

I would not blame Lundqvist for the loss, but that second Detroit goal made me cringe. This is not the type of goal that should be scored against a top flight goalie in a tight game with only a few minutes remaining. He gets paid an enormous amount of money, and he needs to deliver accordingly. Too many soft goals in crucial situations. Regardless of the team in front (even the 1994 Rangers), this type of goaltending will not win championships.

I guess my bottom line is that this team needs a tweak -- maybe not a major tweak, but something to get them going in the right direction. Can Sather make the right move? That's the $56 million question.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jason, Tough to make a move when you are right up against the cap. You and I have discussed this before (Like beating a dead horse) you need a willing partner to take your crap for their crap.

The NHL needs a cap free year like the NFL is about to have so teams like the Rangers can get their relief. I can dream can't I? LOL.

It's certainly "frustrating" to see goalie after goalie play like "Jacques Plante" against the Rangers over the years.

Scoring goals when you are in a slump is tough to do. However you have to have a certain mindset and be determined no matter what.

As for Lundqvist it's happening way too often these powder-puff goals no question. I also understand the enormous pressure laid at his feet game in game out with the lack of any kind of cushion that every goaltender craves.

snowcloud said...

YOu guys mention Vinny! I had the feeling Vinny would end up on the Rangers since Torts was hired as coach. What is it with this team that they forget how to score once they are in the big city? Rangeritis? I don't get it. The only guy that could, in the last 15 years or whatever was Jagr.

Kotsy's Korner said...

snowcloud, Vinny would be a great addition and he probably could use a change of scenery. I just don't think it's possible with his huge contract and Rangers cap situation.

It's a common occurrence for players to lose their scoring touch the last few seasons in Ranger Land. I don't get it?

greg m said...

i thought " FRUSTRATING" and being a "RANGER FAN" were synonymous.i think henrys confidence is so shattered,hes just not the same guy he was at the begining of the season,and can you blame him? i dont think the players forget how to score when they come to the nhl, i think they forget when they come to the rangers,if they can make it here they can make it anywhere, its not necessarily the other way this the point in the season where we go " well theres always next year? for a while there i thought the olympic break was going to interfere with the early momentum the rangers had, now im looking forward to it,to see some good hockey.
Yale and Brown, maybe the rangers and bobcats can scrimage, sounds like it would be close game.
dont forget the jersey city police department is playing this sunday at the rock in newark in a benifit game for Marc Anthony DiNardo who was shot and killed in the line of duty this past year, there playing the nj devils alumni,and also some rangers are jmping on board i thinkn but dont hold me to that ...but its for a good cause,and everyone should have a great time, hope to see you there, if you want tickets let me know,
thanks chris!

Kotsy's Korner said...

greg m, It's tough for all who put their time and patience all in with the Rangers. I still have confidence that this team will bounce back and make the playoffs.

Greg, The bobcats much like the Rangers found out what it's like to fly high and then get knocked down a few pegs. It's all about hard work and being prepared once the puck is dropped. If not you will lose.

As for the charity game in honor of the the police officer nice to see that people do care. Unfortunately for me I have a previous obligation in CT.

Leatherneck said...

Hello Chris, that start in the begining of the year is haunting the Rangers, this team currently playing is what I imagined before the start of the year. Gilroy makes a mistake and we lose the game, what sucks..he got sent down to hartford, I assure you Dennis Potvin made similar mistakes his first few years...i really dont like that we have no identity as a team other than prima donnas or washed up vets on the last years of their careers...NYC or not middle of the pack year in year out gets you know where, you must taste defeat to understand the glory of championship teams, its called learning.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Leatherneck, You are so right about the learning factor. I have to admit even I didn't think this team would have no identity or be this mediocre.

One shot in the 3rd period is not a coaching problem, it's a players mindset and right now who knows what they are thinking.

As for Gilroy?....unfortunately that's hockey. I'm still hoping though.

Jason said...

Chris, did you hear that Fetisov is supposed to suit up later today for CSKA in a regular season KHL game? He apparently signed a contract through the end of this season. Maybe you can make a comeback with the Rangers and force out some of that dead weight on defense.

All kidding aside, the defensive lapses continue for the Rangers. It is not often that Joe Michelletti is openly critical of the Rangers on the air, but on the first Chicago goal he was right on the money. What were Roszival and Boyle doing watching the puck in the crease instead of taking the Hawks trying to poke that puck in? Aren't these the basics of the game? Maybe, this is Gilroy's fault as well. Speaking of Gilroy, I have no problem with him being sent down for poor play of late, but you cannot have other D-men staying with the main squad after playing just as badly or worse. Granted, that may result in almost the entire blue line being sent down. Sad state of affairs indeed.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jason, I think Fetisov is in much better shape than I am. Then again I know I could drop a few guys in front of the net still LOL.

On that 1st Chicago goal,Redden, Boyle and Gilroy just stood there and watched. Like my son Cody said to me when that happened and I quote "Bodies should have been blown up". Perfect right?

As for Gilroy, He'll be back. Hopefully he adds another element to his game by being more physical.

JohnM said...

I am in utter disbelief that the Rangers blamed Gilroy for his soft play. He is an offensive player. I don't know Gilroy before watching him play for the Rangers this year. But I am comfortable saying that Garardi, Roszival, and Marc Stall deserve to go to the minors before Gilroy does. What about Brian Boyle??? He was standing in the crease for many seconds prior to the Hawks 1 st goal without touching a soul!!!. What about Drury???? What does he do for a living??? He cant check. He doesn't win face offs. He never scores. He doesn't get assists. The assertion that Gilroy goes down while others continue to make us lose is preposterous. And now I hear PA is sitting tonight. Instead of Boyle??? WTF????

Kotsy's Korner said...

Johnm, What can I tell that you haven't heard. Gilroy will be back sooner than we think.

I would like Gilroy to pick up his physical play so he doesn't fall into the Rangers Heap of no hitters.

As for the rest can't argue with you one bit.

greg m said...

im still so frustrated, im looking for another place to vent...haha
i know theres never a good loss, but i saw someone somewhere post that phrase, i thought the D moved the puck up ice better than they had in some time,( DZ got beat a few times tho,MSG is so pro DZ THEY SKIP over it)i thought henry was outstanding, but that other kid Hedberg was fantastic....the decision for kotalik to shoot wss a good one, (im sure that no one said omg no why him)he faned on it...i thought dubiniski played ok for a kid with a busted hand ..... next 3 are huge gamess tho

Mr.Greek said...

Hi Chris how about my Leafs eh! Finally some improved play in the last month. I think most of the guys are gaining confidence or they are buying into Ron Wilson's game plans. The goaltending was been much better lately. Playoffs? maybe a little to early to tell, but if they keep playing this way, it could be close.I think by the Leafs benching Schenn it is not a bad idea. He has had some bad games.Everyone must remember he is still young and he will develop into a good player.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Mr.Greek, Yes the Leafs are in business and that's due to scoring goals. Something my Rangers can't do.....

They are definitely in the hunt for the playoffs. I was off by a year but I told most that the Leafs will turn it around, just didn't think it would happen this quick. Good job.

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