Rangers Give Gift to Isles

Monday, October 11, 2010

After a very nice road win to start the season in Buffalo (6-3 win), and a bit of a coming out party for Rangers rookie Derek Stepan (hat trick), the boys in blue headed to Long Island to take on the New York Islanders in the (affectionately dubbed) "Mausoleum".

This game had it all. Pre-game festivities during warm ups with Avery and Konopka, a really long and great fight between Brandon Prust and Zenon Konopka, and great back and forth action. However, in the end, the Rangers came out on the short end of a 6-4 loss. At times the Rangers looked good (PP, forecheck) and at times just awful (MDZ's giveaway, late second period goal by the Islanders). That, folks, was the killer to me. The boys in blue should have started the 3rd period with a 3-2 lead. But because of sloppy and lazy play, it cost them the lead. Matt Moulson was able to fire home a rebound that, quite frankly, the Rangers all fell asleep on. This is unacceptable late in any period.

In the 3rd period, the Rangers battled hard to take the 4-3 lead on a nice shot and finish by Artem Anisimov. It looked like the win was in the books. When Ryan Callahan was called for a rather dubious tripping penalty, Marc Staal then got careless with his stick and received a high sticking penalty shortly there after. As a result, the Islanders were on the 2 man advantage for over a minute down by just a goal. That's when it happened. P.A. Parenteau tied it up (...I think I've heard of him before) and then Blake Comeau got the game winner. The Islanders later added and empty netter to finish the Rangers off. It was a game in which the Rangers could've, should've won... but didn't. The Islanders got gifts handed to them and took full advantage of them to secure the win! Next up for the Rangers, my old team the Toronto Maple Leafs... that will not be easy!

Just a little about the Quinnipiac Bobcats. The Bobcats split last weekend at the Q with the Ohio State Buckeyes. They won a goaltenders dual, 2-1 on Friday night. However, they dropped the next game 4-0 the very next night. Much like the Rangers, the Bobcats looked very good at times but very sloppy as well. It's early and this is a young team (no seniors at forward) and they will have to grow up as a team real fast as the college season is not an 82 game schedule. It should be fun!

Bobcats Link: http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x981.xml

Remember to listen in Tuesday nights to the Instigators hockey show with myself and Pauly D. That's every Tuesday night at 8:30 PM EST. You never know what I'll have to say! Over and out!

Instigators Link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/pauly-d


B.J. McSitteer said...

Hey Kotsy, it's amazing how the Isles tend to receive charity from around the league. I've seen it many times over the past few years. With the young soon to be phenom (Taveres) out, you'd think it would be a cake walk. But between the natural rivalry (America's best in my mind)and the mentality of taking the group from Long Island perhaps a little lightly, before you know it you've surrendered 2 points. It's frustrating I know (remember that 60 saver Roloson pulled on the Leafs last year)but for every gift there is often reciprication, hopefully not on Friday night though!

Kotsy's Korner said...

B.J McSitteer, That's why you have to play the whole 60 minutes not parts of it. Islanders took advantage of what the Rangers gave them.

The rivalry is not what it once was. It needs to get back to where it once was. That can only happen when both teams become part of the elites in the league.

As for the Leafs in Friday's home opener for the Rangers. It will not be an easy game. Won't see it though I'll be at the "Q" for the Bentley Tigers game.

Jason said...

Hi Chris. It feels like it's been a while since I posted a comment.

This version of the Rangers team is certainly different from what I can recall in quite a while. Maybe it's the post-lockout malaise, coupled with Tom Renney's regime of religious defensive posturing, that prevents me from remembering defense that has been so porous and less than effective. Sure, they have been potting in goals and accumulating assists, but what is a defense worth if they surrender more than they score.

If we are watching the growing pains of the youngsters coming into their own (cue MDZ), then so be it. If this a problem stemming from behind the bench (Torts and Mike Sullivan, please stand up), then it is never too early to panic. Correct me if I am wrong, but a lack of a reliable defensive system that is played and enforced consistently is not too good for developing young talent. MDZ may be -20 in his rookie season, because of inexperience. If he is -20 in his fifth season because he has not been taught any better, then there is likely a larger problem. Anyway, time for some X's and O's for the fearless (well, more or less) 7.

I like the play of the second line. They look to be deployed correctly and play to their strengths. I hope the first line starts looking like a first line (every time the opposition scores an even strength goal, I keep looking for No. 10 dejectedly skating to the bench). We'll see if Stepan now gets a chance there if Christensen is out.

Where did I hear that letting in a goal in the last minute of a period is not a good thing, especially in a period in which your team utterly dominated. It is deflating and disappointing, but it should also have served as a wake-up call for the team. Not yesterday, as the Rangers got sloppy and committed lazy penalties with a one-goal lead at the end of the game to hand over 2 points to the Isles. Seeing who committed those blunders (hello Saal and Callahan) is not the most encouraging. They should be setting an example in good way.

All-in-all, there is a lot hockey left to be played. However, falling into a whole early in the season is not a good idea. You don't want to spend 5 months dogging yourself out.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jason, Where you been? Good to hear from you. Once again the NHL season is underway and I chose not get to giddy with team until consistent play and results are shown to me. That being said there are a lot of positives to go with the negatives.

I did have a chance to talk to MDZ at a Ranger golf outing and told to be himself, Do what you do best. His defensive game will get better as he matures. I'm sure of that.

Jason, I know one thing for sure that this is the first time that the Rangers have built up their depth at the "Big Club" level as well as "In the system" so to speak. Sather and his staff has done a good job.

The second line is definitely upgrade from we have seen in the past and I wouldn't worry to much about the top line (Way to early).

That goal at the end of second really pissed me off.Lack of concentration and not knowing the situational play with time ticking...Terrible.

There were some dubious non calls and calls that didn't go the Rangers way and we know that. It's up to the team to understand that this is how it is some nights and learn from it.

My old team the Leafs are up..They had better be ready! Stay tuned my friend.

Mr. Hockey said...

Kots---Ten goals in two games---great-grand-wonderful---what twizzels my stick though,is the backcheck---they seem to get back and don't get out of position for the most part---too many times it's like watching mites or squirts running around getting caught out of position---then again Drury is out---don't want to defend Avery only two hours into the season but---The Troll was at the game--said that he did not see the GESTURE---it happened at the play--what the hell was he looking at not to see that??? this is puffery, but I'd bet the southwest part of my body that if my man Avery made the GESTURE, The Troll would have been watching and he would have gotten alot more than two games!!! anyway they got almost a full week of practice before the Leafs come to town--I hope they take advantage of that free time to get ready for a much improved and tough team---do you think the fourth lines will start the game so the Boogy Man and Orr get right to it??? see you soon.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Mr.Hockey, A bit disappointing how the Rangers gift wrapped points to the Isles. They must learn from this.

Avery would have been crucified by the league had it been him who made the gesture. Bettman conveniently didn't see it...You got to be kidding? right Gary.

Leafs will be tough no question. Rangers had better be prepared. Boogeyman/Orr could be.

Leatherneck said...

Hey there Chris, 9 goals in 2 games is too much, and even thought it is a young "D" I think the pairings are not right and MDZ needs to be doing a ton of "Herbies" for his bone headed plays. Frankly Sauer has been the best shut down D so far and the best in consistency is Girardi. Two games here is my observations, Sauer needs to be lined up with Staal. Girardi with Eminger/Gilroy(preferably McDonagh) and Del Zotto with Roszival. Honestly in 2 games Sauer has been that shut down D-man. Late in a period with the lead keep MDZ off the ice till his defensive responsibilities shore up and again be in a state to trust the kid late in a game. The growing pains have surfaced in just 2 games and frankly in my opinion bring up McDonagh and lets do the growing pains in 2 years instead of 4. Let them learn.

D of the future

Del Zotto paired with McIrath
McDonagh paired with Girardi
Staal paired with Sauer and Valetenko...nice and robust. This is why I think McDonagh should be brought up this year

In Staal and Sauer we get a beautiful shut down "D" pairing against top players

McIrath Del Zotto gives us the hope of a Buekeboom / Leetch potential and Girardi and McDonagh a very competitive 2nd pairing. and now we have 3 solid pairings and not the typical 1 through 4 with number 5 and 6 defenseman. In Valetenko we get that exciting defenseman that can play 40 to 50 games a year platooning with the other D-men.

I think the purpose of this year should be to gain experience for the young core with expectations for a push to make the play offs. Should we not be a play off team or appear that way by mid January then I say lets be in a position for a very early first round pick.

Is this team a play off team, No not by witnessing the 1st 2 games of the season. Is this team exciting you betcha, and am I proud of them, hell yeah. Next post I will give my thoughts on the offense. Lets Gooooo (New York) Rangerssssss...bleed blue my friend.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Leatherneck, 9 goals is too much, but way too early to shuffle things around. In 10 games or so maybe depending on the results LOL.

Herbies for MDZ?...I wouldn't wish that on anyone. Not worried about MDZ he's going to get better defensively as he matures.

I've been hammering it home to everyone and anyone that the future looks excellent for the Rangers. Not just the "D" the "O' as well.

We will have to let it play out with this squad. The potential for very good things is there. Stay tuned my man.

Leatherneck said...

Hey Chris...here I am praising Sauer and Trots is benching him next game?....what gives here?..any clue? It baafles me

Kotsy's Korner said...

Leatherneck, I have no idea for the change. Does it make sense? Not really. We will have to wait and see.

Leatherneck said...

Trots has shaken the confidence of Gilroy supposedly and now this action may do the same with Sauer..2 young kids. I don't agree with his strategy here. I will say I am not on the ice in practice or in the locker room, however I will say with regards to Sauer highly doubt he was in a position to become a distraction. same applies to Gilroy. Whats your thoughts on the "D".....
We are 3 games in and now there is room for concern. My feeling is we should bring up the kids and let it be a development year..I doubt we will make the playoffs so even if we do finish out of the playoffs i would prefer to have a top 5 pick than say a 6 to 12 range.

On offense we are in trouble with the loss of Gabby and the loss of Drury effects our leadership on the PK. here is what doesnt make sense Kennedy was sent down and Wiese has not been recalled and White plays. This is a move that says to me we will attempt to salvage the year. Frankly In see it as games lost for the kids. Salvaging the year would have to be done via a trade and that goes against the philosophy of letting our kids develop. I sense that these actions go against the vision and concept for the team.
Yet again I am baffled as to the direction we are headed as a team.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Leatherneck, I still think it's way to early to get ourselves in panic mode. The "D" is obviously not settled at all. It needs to be set and soon.

Gaborik's injury is a big concern, No questioning that. Others will have great opportunity to prove themselves in his absence. I'm Not sure If I agree with you about Drury, Only time will tell on that.

Leatherneck, You can't just load the team up with a majority of kids this early in the season and tell the faithful that we're packing it in.

Jason said...

Chris, I, like many, am disappointed because of the injury to Gaborik. However, as you alluded to, this is an opportunity for some one else to step up. Now we will really see if the team is at least tough mentally. Yes, it may be more difficult to score. While Gaborik has not yet scored this season, he does attract the other team's best defenders and opens up the ice for the others. While the schedule is packed over the next few weeks, the games are mostly with teams against which the Rangers can grind out victories if they try hard. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing how the boys respond and how the coaching staff directs the show.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Jason, It's definitely going to be a major test for the players and coaching staff. This is as good a time as any to see if the depth they have built up is sufficient enough.

WALLY said...

Hey Kotsy,
When to the game last night sporting a Ranger Jersey, had a great time frustrating the poor Leaf fans around me as they are once again planning the parade in October, HA, HA!!! What about those 49ers??? I know it's all Singletary's fault(X Bear).

Kotsy's Korner said...

Wally, nice of you to wear the Ranger jersey. Leafs fans don't mind and they never have LOL.

As for my 49ers...You got it! Singletary must go!

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