No Gabby, No Problem

Monday, October 25, 2010

When Marian Gaborik went down with a shoulder injury in a home loss against the Toronto Maple Leafs I think the whole Ranger world took a deep breath and began to wonder- How on earth are the Rangers going to create offense and win the game? Personally, I thought this was a perfect time for this Ranger squad to show their makeup and mental ability to stand up and face adversity. With added pressure comes greater responsibility, and the boys in blue responded with flying colors!

After a terrible showing at home in a 3-1 loss to the Avalanche, the Rangers went on the road for two. First, in Toronto, with a 2-1 win in which I thought they were the dominant team. The score was not indicative of the play. Then it was off to Beantown for a 3-2 win (didn’t get to see this one). By all reports it was a well deserved win- at least that’s what my son Cody told me and I value his opinion greatly. The next test came at home last night against the hated New Jersey Devils (boy, have they got problems). The Rangers played two periods of dominant hockey and had to hold on in the end for a 3-1 win in which Lundqvist was solid. In these three games the Rangers have proved to themselves and the coaching staff that they can handle a major crisis (Gaborik’s injury). More importantly they have found a formula that works. It’s really quite simple, work hard and play to your limits. Nothing more, nothing less. I can’t stress enough that if you outwork the other team the results will tend to lean to your side. Playing smart and to your limits means- do what you are capable of. If you meet these standards, that’s all you can ask!

It also helps when you get great goaltending and the duo of Lundqvist and Biron have stepped up in a big way. Martin Biron shut down a tough Maple Leaf team in Toronto and the King did the same in Boston. Lundqvist’s performance in the third period last night as the Devil’s were trying to claw their way back was vintage Lundqvist. Listen folks, I’m not an idiot. Trying to replace Gaborik is absolutely out of the question. Gaborik is a star player who is a major threat every night he laces his skates, and the opponents know it! Are the Rangers better with him in the lineup? That goes without saying. But until he is healthy and ready to go the Rangers MUST stick to the formula that has them winning: Hard work! Hard work! Play within your limits! It’s really that simple.

I just want to give a shout out to a player who I believe is a throwback player if I’ve ever seen one. Brandon Prust is first and foremost a great team player. He is tough and competes like no other. Prust gets cut over the eye in Boston (looked serious) and plays the next day! That’s old time hockey for you and I will speak for most Ranger fans that we are glad to have him in a Ranger uniform. Up next is Wednesday at MSG against the Atlanta Thrashers. Over and out!

17 comments:

grassrootsconservative said...

Those gritty wins are the best in my opinion. They don't seem to miss their captain very much at all.

grassrootsconservative said...

Oh, and by the way, excellent post, Kotsy. Thank you for having this blog.

greg m said...

no gabby and no drury,they've played like we all expect them to, good, and winning.its nice to see callahan and dubinski be the players that everyone has been waiting for(or atleast me anyway).when a player like gaborik is out,of course your going to miss him, but he should just add to what you already have,and not be 100% of your goal scoring.i like the way anisimov is playing as well hes looks like the big kid that he is....gabby will be a welcomed return, drury im not so sure, i know i know hes a leader...but is he? im with you on the prust thing he reminds me of jerry butler from back in the day,hes a little meaner than butler though.

Kotsy's Korner said...

greg m, They certainly have proved to me at least with hard work that they are capable of playing good hockey. It shouldn't matter who's in the lineup.

I've said all along that in order for Rangers to turn the corner that the core of this team must step up. Callahan, Dubinski, Staal, MDZ Girardi are these players.

Anisimov, Is playing with more confidence and will get better as the season continues.

Let's face it Gaborik's a star player in the NHL and he's the star of the Rangers. He will be needed big time if the Rangers plan to do some damage this year.

As for Prust what more can you say about the guy? He is a a true "Hockey Player". I Like the Butler comparison. Butler was tougher than you think.

Kotsy's Korner said...

grassrootsconservative, Definitely got to like how they responded to the early season crisis. Rangers must stick to what works and that's play hard and give maximum effort.

Thanks for liking the blog and your comments are welcome anytime.

Scoop said...

Great start to the season. THis team could have made the playoffs last year instead of the Flyers. They missed by a hair. With luck, it could have been the Rangers that could have made the finals last year. This team is better than last year's version. You know what I'm scoopin at. This team has a shot. Love Prust's game too, vital component. Rangers are as tough as any team.

B.J. McSitteer said...

The one thing about a player like Gaborik going down is the rest of the team aborts their mental dependancy that the star will carry the load. Everyone simplifies and as a unit play better with everyone chipping in. A theory I've had for years has been proven many times over with the top player out, examples being when Sundin went down and the Leafs strived in the play-offs (until he came back)and the best being when Dale Hunter took out Turgeon and the Isles bound together and came back from a 3-1 series deficit. The Rangers have been on an incredible run lately, I only hope it comes to an end Saturday night.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Scoop, If they would've played well at home last year, the game in Philly wouldn't have mattered. Home ice is where you make your gravy.

I like what I see so far, but I'm still looking at the Rangers with "Guarded Optimism".

Prust is a complete throwback. I would have enjoyed playing with him. He gives you all he's got and more.

Kotsy's Korner said...

B.J.McSitteer, You are spot on with your comments. It becomes more of a simple game. Work hard and stay within the confines of what you can do as a player and a team.

I return your comments about Saturday, only in reverse LMAO.

greg m said...

i like your term "Guarded Optimism" i got rousted because i said 3 in a row wasnt worthy of planning a parade route,and i was told i had sour grapes,and told to go home....of course laughed, i too share your "guarded optmisim".....last year was a great start and well, im not falling for that again.........lol

Leatherneck said...

Prust actually reminds me of two players, Stan Smyl and Eddie Johnstone. The Avery incident in Boston was refreshing to see as well though the hit was pretty doggone clean. "D" still lacks that hitter but over all much better than last years group. I love how Sauer has played so far and in my opinion been better than MDZ in his own end. Would love to see him paired up with Staal as I believe they will become a very efficient shut down D combination to play against the likes of Ovechkin and Crosby....Derek Stepan is pretty nifty himself...How about the play of Brian Boyle???? he has been a surprise as well...eh...

We have yet to bring up these lads, Krieder, Grachev, Werek, Wiese, McDonagh, McIrath, Valetenko...To be a Ranger fan is exciting...on a personal note I wouldn't be overly upset if we ended up as a top 5 pick should we end up down that path. I honestly do not see us being a Stanley Cup contender this year however I do see us being a favorite to win in a few years on a consistant basis...so a top 5 pick to pluck a number 1 center is not such a terrible alternative...and finally let us say hello to our future Captain, Ladies and Gents say hello to your future Captain in Ryan Callahan....

Jason said...

Chris, we have seen over the last three games what I wanted to see from the Rangers for years and was hoping would happen when Gaborik went down. Hard work, as you said, often pays off and can overcome more lazy talent. It would be naive to expect the team to maintain that kind of intensity for an extended period of time, but is is certainly possible for a few weeks. There is always a danger of a letdown once people start patting you on the back. Let's hope this does no happen and the leaders of the team hold everyone in check and accountable. I wonder what happens if the Rangers are playing this well once Gabby is ready to return. I would hate to see them start watching and stop working as hard.

On a separate note, I think I am taking some sick pleasure in watching the Devils implode. After what seems like an eternity of machine-like performance, they simply stink. Is this just a matter of bad coaching (might as well be) or has Lou finally put together a roster that cannot play a cohesive team game? Something tells me things will not stay the same across the river for too long. Well, I'll enjoy it while it lasts.

Kotsy's Korner said...

greg m, You have every right to be "Guarded". Ranger fans should be happy but honest as well. The NHL season is not a sprint. It's a long and grueling journey.

I wouldn't plan any a parade routes either. Those who feel different are unrealistic. That being said the formula for success is there.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Leatherneck, Prust is just simply a fun player to watch. Your comparison to Smyl and Johnstone is a pretty good one (Prust might be a little Tougher).

Not sure what they are doing with the "D" musical chairs or just keeping them on their toes LOL.

Boyles been real good, Although I would like to see him get more ice time and Stepan will be solid NHL center man as he get's used to the NHL grind.

The depth of this team is looking better and better each year. The player you mentioned will all be with the Rangers at some point.

I'm not going to rule anything out when comes to what lies ahead for the Rangers this season. I'll cross that bridge when it gets in my way LOL.

Callahan for Captain?...I've been saying that for a few years now.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jason, Sometimes you have to look at your roster and be realistic. I think the players have figured it out that as team working hard and giving total effort success is more often going to come your way than not. At least that's what I want to believe LOL.

Maintaing this will not be easy, But they have seen how this simple formula can work so there should be no deviation what so ever.

When Gaborik gets back he's going be Gaborik. We would be fools to think the team is better off in the long run with out him. The rest of the team should continue doing what made them sucessful.

It is shocking that Lou has finally come back to earth as a GM in this league. It is still early in the season, But he too has found out how difficult it is to build a team under the restrictions of a cap. Right now it's funny!

Scoop said...

Kotsy; thanks for reply, it's mysterious how the Rangers struggle at MSG recently. I ask a lot of players their favorite arena to play and a large # say MSG (like most recently Todd Bertuzzi) so maybe playing on the best ice rink in North America has it's disadvantages too.

Still would love to do a Biofile with you for Blueshirt Bulletin and thehockeynews.com. Drop a line at mrbiofile@aol.com, thanks scoop

PS Just recently did one with your buddy Doogie.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Scoop, Sent you my e-mail address. I've tried this many times...Hope you get it.

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