I really don't know what to say. So, this is going to be very random. If you were one of those fans that got sucked in, I really feel for ya. All year, the Rangers proved they weren't good enough to be taken seriously. Too bad someone forgot to inform the PR MSG staff which continues to pepper each frustrated loyal customer with the same redundant calls about playoff tickets. Maybe if they didn't cost an astronomical number (68 for cheapies), they might get at least better returns for a fanbase that has been royally screwed more than I can categorically describe.
Just remember this. The lockout was a fraud just as Bettman is along with Campbell and that lame Bill Daly. Losers like James Dolan do not deserve the bailout they got. Perhaps it's unfair to label all owners bad guys because some still have a heart and don't overcharge or tack on cheesy surcharges to cash in even more on a mediocre product. Hence our nickname for MSG of Mediocre Square Garden because that's what it's become under the misleadership of Jazzy Jim. How does he put the Knicks on MSG over a must win for the Rangers at Buffalo tonight? Can anybody please explain that? Screw the damn ratings for NYK-Celts because nobody really gives a damn until July 1 for Le Fraud anyway!
Aside from that, well let's just say the Rangers lived up to that MSG-+/FSNY listing by remembering who they were. A flawed roster that's not good enough to seriously compete. Maybe if they'd followed up Brandon Prust's latest goal instead of falling apart at the seams in allowing the Sabres to score five of the last six in a crushing 5-2 defeat that all but seals their fate on the golf course. At least it won't be shared with Tiger Woods. Honestly and brutally, John Tortorella deserves to share a hole with Tiger after tonight's fiasco. I still cannot believe he had the audacity to pull our bread and butter Henrik Lundqvist in a must win scenario. How ridiculous can he be? I had a few choice words for him on Twitter after a couple of glasses of red wine. Let's just leave it at that.
The man just has to go. And by that, I mean get lost! GTFO! Don't even show behind the bench for tomorrow's meaningless tilt versus Toronto. Save me the talk that "they're still alive" and can win out sweeping the hated Flyers. Uh. Hell-o McFly!!!!! Anybody home?1?1?!?!?!! This coach is a cancer. I wanted him here along with many others but let's be real. He royally sucks! I admit that I was wrong. Tonight sealed it. Okay. So, you want to say Henrik had no shot on that Derek Roy laser from a mad angle with Michal Rozsival in the box for another new NHL special? Fine. That was a wicked shot. End of story. But the second? Even if Rozy dropped down to try to block Drew Stafford's right circle shot that went past our goalie, he has to stop that. End of discussion.
It's not like our guys quit. They bounced back when P.A. Parenteau rebounded one home on another bogus call this time on a cheesy delay of game that wasn't. Anyone could see that the clear grazed the glass first. NHL officials need their eyes checked. This is what dumbing down the game has resulted in. Cruddy calls which aren't penalties. Not what you want to see in late May and June. Getting back to the action, at 2-2, the Rangers were already in the wrong kind of game against a lowscoring Sabre team that can expose you if your D sucks. They pinch theirs and when you boast Tyler Myers, that can spell trouble. We can only dream of boasting a defenseman as good as this big freshman already is. Apologies to Marc Staal, who's finishing Year 3 up strong but he's not in the same stratosphere as Myers, who looks to be a better righty version of Zdeno Chara. How did he fall to 12 again in '08? Mark it down. If Buffalo goes far this Spring, Myers will be a huge factor. He's probably the best overall blueliner in the conference not named Chara or Chris Pronger. And I'd rather have the 20 year-old from Katy, Texas.
One of the things we saw too much of was our D backing in. Part of it was the product of sloppy turnovers at the blueline and in the neutral zone. A no no against a polished Buffalo club who utilizes their team speed and transition to pounce in similar fashion to the Devils. Even minus leading point getter Tim Connolly and dangerous finisher Thomas Vanek, the Western New York hosts came at the Blueshirts in waves. Keep in mind they also were minus royal pain in the ass Patrick Kaleta, who's killed us this year. While it's true there was no Sean Avery on our side, Ryan Callahan returned making call-up Dale Weise a scratch. Unfortunately, Cally wasn't much of a factor aside from a borderline hit on Myers that drew the ire of Derek Roy.
Not many Rangers were where they needed to be. In fact, aside from the fourth line of Prust, Artem Anisimov and Jody Shelley, there were only a handful who measured up. That can't happen when you essentially need to run the table. Especially when your top two have off nights. We'll excuse Lundqvist, who after permitting Jochen Hecht's halitzer thru a Myers screen was sent packing for the rest of the night with his team trailing by a goal. Let me repeat. ONE GOAL! This is the thinking of a coach who never takes responsibility. He pulled this same stunt a while back opting for Alex Auld in a loss to the Devils. Granted. He permitted four while under the same duress, leading to our normally unflappable goalie tossing a towel given to him. Judging from the look on his face tonight, the steam was hotter than lava. Who could fault a guy that's actually put together one of his best seasons despite being handed the worst roster possible by the teflon smoking gun who hides better than Osama?
It's hard to put into words what I was feeling after Lundqvist's night ended with still 34:43 left and his team down one stinking goal. Even if you want to argue that they responded better by sustaining pressure after Hecht's marker with Ryan Miller flat out robbing Marian Gaborik with an amazing reflect stick save off a perfect set up, under no circumstances can you ever take out your best player in such a pivotal game. It's without a doubt the dumbest, most assinine move we've seen. Without Henrik, this is the worst team in hockey.
Unfortunately, their true colors showed in Game 79 against a quality club that is a threat in its first postseason in three years. The last one we're all too familiar with with Chris Drury rescuing the Sabres in a superb Eastern Conference Semifinal that was the Rangers' best shot in the Jagr/Renney Era. As this frustrating season slips away and that final sequence is replayed in our heads becoming part of Ranger lore like a rear view mirror of '94, it becomes more evident that what we said at that time rings true. You just don't get many cracks at it. Especially under the gross mismanagement of Jazzy Jim with Savior having more lives than a black cat.
This is what being a Ranger fan is. Where household names like Toni Lydman fire the final nail in the coffin as our franchise netminder sits helplessly on the bench with his mind wandering aimlessly at how clueless Tortorella really is. When the 2009-10 grave is put to rest, it should read:
RIP 2009-10 New York Rangers
"A team which teased fans whose fate was sealed by a mindless coach who chose a journeyman goalie over his best player."