Sunday, January 6, 2008

Another bad loss by underachieving Blueshirts

Let's face it folks. This team just can't get it done against a Western Conference opponent. Heck. They couldn't even beat a bad Oilers team which once again failed to win in regulation even though the Rangers tried their best to hand them the game.

Only a last second tying goal by Mr. Clutch, Chris Drury off a brilliant stop of a hard Jaromir Jagr pass with Henrik Lundqvist pulled for an extra attacker allowed the Blueshirts to come away with a brownie point at Rexall Place.

Before the game, leading goalscorer Brendan Shanahan talked about the lack of discipline his team had in their recent shutout loss in Vancouver. Then Shanny took a dumb slashing minor which led to the Oilers' first power play goal by Jarret Stoll.

The ill advised penalties continued in the third period when Ryan Hollweg foolishly boarded Shawn Horcoff from behind being assessed a match penalty and automatic game misconduct and probable suspension, especially given the energizer's reputation.

While it's true No.44 tried to let up, he still nailed Horcoff from behind and the Oiler center was in a prone position. So, you can certainly understand why he was ejected from the game.

It was totally unnecessary and came at an inopportune time for his team who very well could've won the contest in regulation if not for some splendid netminding from Mathieu Garon (29 saves).

That the major was followed by a Martin Straka hold only 15 seconds later summed up another mystifying night for this underachieving team.

Of course, the Oilers made them pay the price as Ales Hemsky setup Horcoff on the doorstep for his 17th with 8:31 left.

Sadly, the Rangers weren't done taking silly penalties. Jagr got into the act with a lazy trip with 3:48 remaining which easily could've meant no point. And on a night when other teams such as the Flyers, Bruins and Pens all won, the Rangers needed that point.

That's what it's come down to for this club. Against a team which sucked ass on home ice ranking dead last on the man-advantage. But here were the Rangers staring up at the scoreboard despite outshooting another opponent (31-25).

The saving grace was that Joni Pitkanen took a penalty with 62 seconds left giving the Rangers a power play. With Lundqvist pulled, they worked the puck around forever before Jagr found Drury, who got them a point by stopping the puck with his shin before depositing his 11th with seven seconds left.

After another needless undisciplined penalty- this time a Blair Betts goalie interference in overtime, Lundqvist made a couple of big stops and then Stoll went to the box for interference off a faceoff.

Anyone who's followed the Oilers slightly knows that they've been money in the shootout all season. So the Rangers really needed to go for the kill on their late PP. Instead, they passed the puck around during a dreadful 4-on-3 even with Straka failing to keep a puck in at the point for an offside. Un-freaking-believable!

This team flat out sucks right now! When are they finally going to show some urgency and wake the hell up already?!?!?!?!?!

Especially on a day where the first place Devils somehow didn't win or even get a point because Tim Thomas (19 third period stops, 42 overall) flat out stoned them, this was a chance to pickup two on their Hudson rivals.

But instead, they chanced it to the skills competition where Tom Renney couldn't even use his best shooter in Shanahan because he suffered a left knee injury when he collided with big power forward Dustin Penner late in the third.

Even the goalie let the team down in this one. Was anyone surprised given how pedestrian Lundqvist has looked the past month that he would let rookie Sam Gagner's wrister sneak through his pads?

That's how they lost. Of course Jagr was denied by Garon who somehow was turned into Patrick Roy by this Broadway gang which can't shoot straight.

I'm sick of Marcel "One Goal" Hossa. Ryan Callahan was a healthy scratch. He really needs to be sent down on a conditioning assignment to regain lost confidence.

When is our genius of a coach going to recall Nigel Dawes??? He of course factored into both Wolf Pack goals in a 3-2 home defeat to Lowell.

What else does the kid who put up as many points as Zach Parise in the 2003 WJC have to prove to get a fair shake? This team has zero secondary scoring right now.

Is it going to take a foolish trade where Dawes morphs into a Brian Gionta clone cause I can totally see that happening?!?!?!?!?!?!

Speaking of Gionta, he is the definition of a dirty player. All those sneaky hacks are starting to catch up as he's being nailed for it a lot more this season. And did anyone see that crazy finish at TD Bank Garden where No.14 and Boston captain Zdeno Chara were at each other's throats as the buzzer sounded? Slashes and all sorts of illegal stickwork were being done.

And why you ask? Because of the stupid instigator. Does anyone really think Gionta would be able to get away with all the stuff he does in front of opposing nets? And Chara's stick coming dangerously close to the Mighty Mite's neck was ridiculous. How dirty does it have to get?

If anyone wants a good read, try to pickup THN's Top 60 Game Changing Moments. No.52 is appropriately entitled, "Goon Hockey Is Done" and has plenty on the lack of accountability where players sticks continue to come higher. There's little respect today as compared to the game before the big change came into place starting in the 1992-93 season.

If you want to learn about the history of the game, pick up this special issue as it's very well written. I've gotten through the first 10 thus far.

Also, if you haven't picked up THN's Top 60 Post Expansion Era, please do.

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