Thursday, December 10, 2009
Rangers fall short in Windy City
A bit late to the fray. But also, didn't see much of the Rangers' latest loss- by a count of 2-1 to the Blackhawks in overtime. A game in which they got outshot severely and couldn't nurse a one-goal lead with Jonathan Toews (PPG) and Dustin Byfuglien (OT winner) to make it five losses in six.
Who cares if we got a point? Based on the little we caught, they hardly had the puck with Chicago in an all out attack which led to three power plays that eventually came back to bite the Blueshirts, who basically hoped Henrik Lundqvist would get a shutout because it was the only chance in Hell. Indeed, he was under siege all night and kept the Hawks at bay until he flopped around like a fish, allowing Toews to flip one upstairs with under six minutes left. We're not saying it was his fault but being down doesn't usually help keep the puck out. Especially on a goalmouth scramble with our exhausted penalty killers.
Not surprisingly, the Hawks won it after Vinny Prospal couldn't bury a great chance, which Duncan Keith got a piece of. Keith, who in our view is the best defenseman this season, then passed to an onrushing Byfuglien who did the rest- abusing Matt Gilroy before deking Lundqvist for the decider. Now, Gilroy made an awful read which can sometimes happen for first-year players. Marian Gaborik tried to get back but it was too little too late which leads us to the goalie. Why wasn't Henrik more aggressive there? If he had come out and pokechecked, Byfuglien never scores and the game probably gets to the skill comp. Just saying.
On a night of little positives, Chris Higgins scored the Rangers' lone tally from Gaborik and Michal Rozsival, who had a strong game. Wade Redden was decent in his return after missing six games. The problem was they had no attack with John Tortorella irate. Hell. Even Mike Keenan on MSG supposedly blasted the lack of effort. Pretty sad considering the days off they had. I could care less if they hate the coach. When you wear that jersey, you play for New York and all the legions of Ranger fans, who live and die with this team. One Cup in 69 years. Is it too much to ask these overpaid stiffs to earn their keep? When Donald Brashear gets more shots/chances than most in his return, that speaks volumes.
Also of note, as we were headed back from The Slope, Dave Maloney chewed up Tort for having no center out during a Blackhawk sequence where they had our guys on their heels. Sometimes, I really wonder what the coach is thinking. Why doesn't P.A. Parenteau get more ice-time? And why is Artie Anisimov getting so little along with Erik Christensen? We're not exactly an offensive juggernaut. One word comes to mind. Popgun.
Well, the Sabres visit MSG Saturday and then the Thrashers. Both of who are much better teams. Will it ever end?