Into the Belly of the Beast

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The New York Rangers are now heading home to face the Washington Ovechkins this Thursday night at MSG. Talk about going right into the belly of the beast (the Caps are now on an 11 game winning streak)!

The Rangers must regroup after a less-than-stellar west coast trip which ended with 1 win and 2 losses. Once again, the effort overall was there… but the lack of scoring and offensive creation was a huge factor in this trip. Let’s face it folks- 6 goals in 3 games is not going to cut it in the NHL or any other level of hockey.

I’ve got one observation that I’d like to make from the road trip. The poor officiating once again reared its ugly head (Example: Prucha’s nice acting job at the end of the Phoenix loss). Sorry, but this is what was bound to happen and believe me it will continue to grow as long as the NHL continues to play games with changing the rules of this great game. Trust me, there’s more that I could talk about… but I think the fans have picked this up and are disgusted as well.

Now that I have strayed from talking about the Blueshirts, let’s get back to them. First, Gaborik has been a monster again for the Rangers. He’s done everything that a Rangers fan can ask for. However, the scoring has to come from others! That’s where Olli Jokinen comes in. You do know that the Rangers made a trade, didn’t you? Just kidding! GM Glen Sather made what I feel was an excellent trade. He was able to unload Ales Kotalik and Christopher Higgins for Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust. It’s a win/win situation for the Rangers. Kotalik and Higgins (I’ll be nice) underachieved in New York- period. Kotalik was brought in to boost the PP and unfortunately, all he ever did was make loud sounds when his shots hit the boards. One question that I have is: how does a player the caliber of Kotalik warrant a partial no-trade clause? On to Christopher Higgins… it was a nice story. He was coming home to New York and all that. In his case… yes, he worked hard and played many minutes. But in the end production is what counts and Higgins simply did not produce, it’s as simple as that.

The recently acquired players made their Rangers debut last night against the Los Angeles Kings. Going forward, Olli Jokinen should be able to give the Rangers a major lift in the scoring department. Yes, he has struggled for a while but he is going to get every opportunity to shine with the Rangers. Also remember that he’s also playing out his contract… if it works, it works. If it doesn’t work, then the Rangers can clear some cap space which is a big thing for this team. Now I would like to talk a little bit about Brandon Prust. If you want physical play, energy, toughness, and a player willing to fight for his team- then you’ve got the right guy. Prust is by no means a heavy weight, but he sure plays like one. I believe Rangers fans will love Prust. I know one thing for sure. The opponents of the Rangers, especially the defenseman, will know where he is and that’s a good thing!

Let’s hope the Rangers can fire it up against the Capitals on Thursday night. They have no other choice. Over and out!


DaGoon44 said...

It is always a pleasure to read your insight to the game and the Rangers. The fact Sather gets bashed 24/7 on the news site and is able to pull off a trade like this is amazing. Olli is a UFA and maybe can click with Gabby and Prust is a throwback warrior type player that the MSG fans will love. Keep up the great work Kosty and when you going to get some TV with the Rangers or some games on Radio ?

Kotsy's Korner said...

Dagoon44, Glen Sather did pull off a excellent trade and should be applauded for it. Like I said if it works great, if not then you have some cap space that is so precious in today's NHL.

Jokinen will be afforded all the ice time he needs to regain the scoring touch and Prust...Well I like his style of play and you're right Rangers fans will love him.

As for TV or Radio with the Rangers...Maybe in my next life LOL.

Pauly D said...

I'm sure glen is not done yet!
but you gotta love this trade for all the reasons you have stated...
Let's go Rangers!!!

Kotsy's Korner said...

Paul D, Exactly. I'm sure there's more to come, but it's nice start.

snowcloud said...

Good post, Kotsy. You can't bash the refs enough in my opinion. It is really sad to see how they have ruined this great game. I watch old games now and then, or at least parts of them on youtube videos (The Mouth's) and what a difference. It was actual REAL hockey then. Maloney made a comment the other night on the radio broadcast, "I think this is still a contact sport now.." or something to that effect.

I like the trade, too. It really is a win-win situation as far as the players go. Jokinen, even if he stinks it up here, is a UFA in June. So no contract problems there. I wish Higgins well and am sorry it didn't work out here. I liked his game overall a lot. He deserved better results on the scoreboard, but, oh well. Glad to have Kotalik out of here, though. I think Drury may be the next exit out of here. It was my suspicion that Kotalik was brought here to help Drury rekindle his Sabre days but I could be wrong about that. I have a pretty low opinion of the current captain.

Kotsy's Korner said...

snowcloud, It seem's like the more I watch the more inconsistent officiating gets. The NHL has to take long look at what they have created. The fans I believe have truly had enough.

As Ranger fan's let's hope this trade works out in a positive way.

B.J. McSitteer said...

I've been hard on Glen for a number of years but I'll admit in a quick turnaround he has almost completely removed that tragic signing of Scott Gomez. (I'm new to this blog but it's a pleasure to reunite myself with #26. A Leaf's fan throughout I always felt bad I moved away from the old Scarborough neighbourhood before I got to know you and your brother the way alot of my friends have). Jokinen is a dark horse, I'm just glad he's not a Leaf as I know many fans wanted. I'm looking forward to folling your thoughts.

Kotsy's Korner said...

B.J.McSitteer,Thanks for the comments. The old Scarborough neighborhood???. Now you got me thinking LOL. Anyways Slat's has made some questionable moves as well as some great ones.

Jokinen is a win win for the Rangers. If he finds his scoring touch perfect. If not you let him ride out of town as a free agent and have some cap space.

I checked your "Blog" out(Not Bad) and will add it to my site. Stay tuned.

Jason said...

Chris, how do you like the last few weeks?! Frustrating to say the least. There is a glimmer of hope for better offensive play, but that has certainly come with its share of defensive breakdowns. Were it not for Lundqvist on Saturday, there would certainly be another loss. How long can Henrik keep this up? No one knows. Do they have enough to squeak into the playoffs? Maybe.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jason, It's been an inconsistent Ranger team all year. What's hurt them the most is their poor home record(Look it up it's terrible).

I think Lundqvist is going to have to play like he did against the Devils for the remainder of the schedule.

Frustrating is a word I have overused, But it sure fits doesn't it?

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