This guy has to be the worst defenseman to ever play for the Rangers. How was his latest performance? Let's see:
A.Roughly a minute after the Rangers got the lead on Brendan Shanahan's PPG which I was told shouldn't have even counted (depending on the skate rule as the Leafs bench bitched about but the review said otherwise), Karel Rachunek struck again with a mistimed boarding penalty. Not long after, Alexei Ponikarovsky's centering feed went off the back of Aaron Ward's skate and in to tie it. This seems to happen a lot with this team at home. They get leads only to botch them quickly. Might explain the disgusting 10-15 record on home ice. No, I don't go by the new piece of crap NHL rules!
B.With the game hanging in the balance about halfway thru the final stanza, Rachunek decided to pinch and take a shot which had no chance of getting through traffic. Predictably, Leafs defenseman Ian White intercepted it and then found a streaking Mats Sundin in stride at the Ranger blueline. The Swedish Leaf captain then beat his countryman Henrik Lundqvist with a wicked wrister off the bar and in for his 20th of the season. That was enough for the Leafs to get the win and pull two points up on the Rangers for eighth in the East.
So what can be concluded aside from the fact Rachunek is god awful:
1.Jaromir Jagr and his linemates Michael Nylander and Martin Straka didn't show. Where was the leadership from No.68?
2.Outside of the third line (really the 2nd) of Ortmeyer, Cullen and Prucha, nobody established much. Hello coach! Playing Shanahan with Betts and Hossa isn't working. And if your top line isn't going, why not break it up and have someone play with Shanny to try to get the tying goal in such a crucial game?
3.Daniel Girardi, who played a great second game got 12:49 of ice-time. For some reason, he wasn't out there down the stretch as the coach shortened the bench. Mindboggling.
4.The club missed Michal Rozsival (knee sprain) badly.
5.Colton Orr suited up in Ryan Hollweg's place. To his credit, he was good in his 4:42 of ice throwing a couple of thunderous checks. But he didn't play enough to make an impact as Renney opted to doubleshift Shanahan in the third.
6.Toronto got six penalties including a couple of tacky ones. The Cullen holding call with over a minute left in the contest was in one word disgusting and typical of the Bettman new NHL. There was an article written the other day on yahoo about Bettman's 15-year anniversary. It was appropriately entitled "Happy Unhappy 15th Anniversary." Signaling all the moronic moves this dopey commish has made.
Here is the link:
We'll go over some of it tomorrow and why much of Dan Wetzel's article makes sense.