Welcome to the 2007-08 edition of the Blueshirts. Where they get your hopes up only to dash them away making you flashback to dreadful memories from a decade prior. Where it doesn't matter who the names are on the jersey because they sure are trying their best to hit the golf course a lot earlier than expected.
If I sound like a broken record, as a fave Nirvana song once said, "All Apologies."
What else could this team do
They don't have a god damn clue
What else should Renney try
Bench the stonehands fourth line
Why don't you try doing what I just did? It's rather easy if you apply yourself to that classic tune.
A 3-1 defeat on the road in Carolina isn't that surprising. I think what's most disappointing is that once again, this team didn't convert their chances. Oh. They generated plenty playing a solid opening 20 but the key sequence was a four-on-two rush in which defenseman Fedor Tyutin missed the net leading directly to a Canes' odd-man rush and tying marker from suddenly revived Russian Sergei Samsonov. He outwaited Henrik Lundqvist and went to the backhand flipping it past the Ranger netminder.
Another critical Blueshirt mistake led to the deciding tally. Martin Straka's errant pass was stolen by Carolina team captain Rod Brind'Amour. The smart two-way pivot walked in and beat Lundqvist on a two-on-zero break deking to the backhand.
The Rangers had some quality opportunities to tie it late in the second thanks to a strong shift by Scott Gomez, Sean Avery and Jaromir Jagr. However, superior goaltending from former 2006 Conn Smythe winner Cam Ward allowed the Canes to escape with their one-goal lead intact thru 40.
Remarkably, Renney's beloved fourth line helped seal their fate when they got caught up ice. When defenseman Dan Girardi stepped up and turned the puck over at the Carolina blueline, they turned it into another odd-man break. This time the recipient was fourth liner Trevor Letowski who took a pass and deked to the forehand to make it three unanswered Canes' goals.
After that, the Rangers seemed to give up resigned to their fate.
I threw in the towel too and went upstairs opting to listen to Dave Maloney rip this sadsack team to shreds.
Can anything save the Rangers?
I felt this one short Avery quote summed it up quite well:
"I wish I had some answers, but I don't really."
Neither do I.
It wasn't a good night for the other two locals either as the Devils fell at home for the second straight time 4-2 to the Sidney Crosby-less Pens. Ryan Malone tallied twice and ex-Devil Petr Sykora notched two assists as the Pens got the last three on Brent Sutter's club a la Montreal before the break. Wonder if he'll put them through drills again? Mike Rupp somehow hit the back of the net twice. You aren't winning many nights when he's your only offense.
The Isles meanwhile went down to the conference-leading Sens 5-2. Mike Fisher and Jason Spezza each had a goal and a helper while Sean Bergenheim and Bryan Berard tallied for the Fishsticks.
The Flyers were 3-2 OT winners as the sizzling Scott Hartnell stayed hot getting the deciding marker.