Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Well Ranger fans the New York Rangers have hit a critical point in the season. After losing 5 in a row the Rangers find themselves treading water playoff-wise heading into a huge match up in Atlanta with the Thrashers Friday night. Carolina, Atlanta, Buffalo and even Florida are fast on the Ranger’s tails. Is it time to panic, as many of my Ranger friends have suggested? I think not. Is there reason for concern? Absolutely! The Rangers have played with effort and energy- there’s no denying that. What they haven’t been able to do during this losing streak is score goals. Plain and simple.
Let’s break it down a little bit here. 1st the Big guns have not, and I repeat have not, pulled their weight in producing offense that the team desperately needs. We can all look to Marian Gaborik as the lead man and his lack of production and the trickle down effect goes right down the line of the roster from there. Gaborik needs to pick up his game and lead the Rangers in scoring, that’s what he does and from there the rest will fall into place. Second, how about crashing the net and creating more traffic in front of the goaltender? More goals are scored from a few feet out than any other place on the ice. It may be down right ugly, but it sure is effective.
Other thoughts I have at this point of the season. One thing that I’m sure of is you can’t point fingers at the goaltending with Henrik Lundqvist as the lead man and Martin Biron. They are, in my opinion, as good a tandem in the entire NHL. Has there been night’s where the “King” has looked less than stellar? For sure. Overall though, in my humble opinion, there is really no concern in this area. The defensemen on this team have done an admirable job all season and really surprised most us with their play. Once again no problem there. Now if you want to talk about the PP that’s another story… Yes you can point a huge finger in this area. I do know one thing about Power plays and that is you can’t SCORE if you don’t SHOOT the puck. I know I’m beating the dead horse here, but really stop with the “Euro I’m going to paint you a pretty picture perfect goal” attitude on the Power Play. PASS PASS PASS… No shots, just keep passing it. Drives me nuts! If you watch the successful PP’s in the league they shoot the puck every chance they get. Why is this? Well maybe it’s because most goals that are scored on the PP come from rebounds and deflections. Duh! The Ranger players have got to start shooting the puck and forget about painting a picture.
This past Tuesday, Pauly D and I had the great pleasure of talking with Hartford Whaler legend Blaine Stoughton on our “Instigators Hockey Show”. “Stash” as he is commonly referred to, also played a short time with the New York Rangers. The show was filled with stories and laughter. It is a must listen You can go back and listen to the show by hitting the link below.
One other thing I’d like to give Claude Julien head coach of the Boston Bruins a standing ovation for his comments about the players taking more responsibility for the head hits and hitting from behind. Finally someone with some kind of stature and importance in the NHL telling it like it is. Julien basically called the players out and I applaud him for that. You can read the whole article here: http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=352460
Finally, I’m looking forward to the Rangers game on Friday night. This game will tell us plenty about the Rangers and where they are heading. Feel free to make your voice heard here on “Kotsy’s Korner” by adding your 2 cents. I dare ya! Over and Out!
Instigators Hockey Show: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/pauly-d