Where's B.B. King when you need him? Even the King of Blues would be appalled by what's happened to the Rangers' offense. So what if they finally scored a goal in a dismal 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues. It didn't matter much. Not when you hardly test their goalie. At one point, shots were 13-7 St. Louis with like seven minutes left in the second period. Somehow, our punchless club managed to be tied 1-1 after 40 minutes thanks to immortal Brian Boyle, who slipped a backhand past Chris Mason from Aaron Voros. That was the extent of our offense.
Just how unwatchable was this? The Blues led in SOG 15-12. Outside of Team USA wrecking ball David Backes absolutely destroying our team, there was little entertainment value. Unless you caught a rested Henrik Lundqvist during first intermission and the one and only John Davidson back with Sam Rosen during an emotional segment. It's always a joy to see JD, who admittedly is balder now with whiter hair but definitely has dropped a lot of weight and still has the passion for the sport. Something missing from our cigar smoking son of a gun that somehow continues to cash Jazzy Jim paychecks. At least I caught it because there was little else to keep from switching to awful playoff football and a much more entertaining Sabres/Islanders conclusion in the shootout which Rick DiPietro finally won in his Coliseum return. Ah. Emotion. There was plenty of it written all over his face, thanking just about everyone.
Who should the Rangers thank for another listless performance that made watching a chore? They're slowly killing their own fans. It's no wonder so many sold their tix to Devil fans at the game of the season. Well, it should've just been the final game. Period. That's the lone highlight. Mike Brodeur would disagree since he won a second consecutive start for the Sens in the Hockey Night In Canada match-up over the Habs. The same club our team returns home to play tomorrow. Scott Gomez and Paul Mara's MSG return. How thrilling. They'll probably have a lot more to smile about.
So, how much did I see? Enough to conclude we weren't winning. Even with two bit scrubs like Voros- in for Huggy Bear- and Boyle combining for the club's first goal in 172:00 wasn't enough to inspire most of their teammates. At least Enver Lisin dressed in place of Ally and played hard. Watch Tort healthy scratch him Sunday for some unknown reason. Speaking of the coach, when does he finally realize that Vinny Prospal isn't the same since returning. Why is he still on the top line? Marian Gaborik is being wasted. He must feel like he's in jail. Teams are keying on him, taking away time and space. He's been stuck on 28 goals for a while. Gabby's still trying as evidenced by three break-ins during this putrid stretch but even he's stopped finishing. It's now five games without a goal and only one point. The Big Ticket's scored just twice in eight games this month. Dating back further, it's two over the past 11. It's hard to get on Gaborik because minus him, this would be the worst team. Good job Slats!
Yes. Ocho Cinco got his second start and fared alright, finishing with 21 saves, giving them a chance. Ultimately, our soft as molasses team were overmatched by a much bigger, stronger opponent that pounded away putting the Blueshirts into submission. As Anthony might say in our section, 'how could this team be so soft?' They don't stand up for each other. The other night, the biggest cheapshot artist Jarkko Ruutu did whatever he wanted and nobody answered the bell. Humiliating.
Roman Polak (who???) scored the winner and had a primary helper on Alex Steen's insurance marker. Our great powerless play went 0-for-2 with no shots! Tort even pulled Ocho with over two minutes left using a timeout. As if that was going to save us. My favorite part was when Prosp had a two-on-one downlow and didn't shoot, instead passing for a covered Gabby. You're down two goals! Wow. Twenty-two lousy shots on Mason, who should've had a shutout. Give up a goal to Boyle and you should be sent to the dungeon.
Fittingly, Backes hit the empty to put them out of their misery. When even Joe Micheletti says something negative about the effort, you know it's bad. Dave Maloney sounded comatose. I also heard Pete Stemkowski trashed them on the radio. Think the old-timers are fed up with these cupcakes. They should be sponsored by Hostess.
Well, there's always tomorrow! Annie's warming up.
BONY 3 Stars:
3rd Star-Brian Boyle, NYR (goal-1st in 19 games, 5 hits, +1 in 10:51)
2nd Star-Roman Polak, Stl (GWG/assist, 2 blocked shots, +1 in 21:15)
1st Star-David Backes, Stl (ENG, 5 hits, 2 takeaways, 7-8 draws in 19:14)