Thursday, October 27, 2011

Royal Suckage: Nothing to celebrate in listless MSG debut

It was supposed to be a huge celebration. Thunderous applause like we heard when MSG didn't drown them out for King Henrik and new captain Ryan Callahan. They were going to dominate no matter what. Nothing could tarnish the moment at a renovated arena that already has inconvenienced paying customers. More on that later.

Sure. The Rangers came out flying against the Leafs, even jumping in front 1-0 when Jonas Gustavsson looked haunted by a harmless Dan Girardi unscreened shot, set up by the best Blueshirt Marian Gaborik. Perhaps it was the ugly memory of last year when our team blitzed the Swedish Monster, who's been anything but since entering the NHL. To say he and Toronto caught a break would be an understatement. Not once, but twice Captain Cally nullified Ranger goals when t\ref tandem Dennis LaRue and Ian Walsh correctly ruled "incidental contact."

Predictably, it drew the ire of a revved up MSG crowd hoping to pile it on with knowledge that this team already is the gang that can't shoot straight- let alone establish a consistent attack. The latter part falls on the so-called genius who is in his third full year on the job. Yes. John Tortorella's rotating circus lines already have to be questioned along with the team's realistic chances minus Marc Staal. Sometimes, it really is a game of bounces. For the Leafs, the turning point really were the two calls in their favor, allowing Gustavsson to tighten the screws and Ron Wilson to regroup after a lopsided first.

For some unknown reason only known to the 18 skaters and two goalies wearing Broadway Blue colors, they disappeared after 20 minutes. Gone was the relentless aggression with Callahan driving the net hard without any breaks. So, too was any form of offense. Yet again, the offense fizzled. At one point, the Rangers were stuck on seven shots while a more inspired Toronto turned it up by firing 16 shots on Henrik Lundqvist, including one off the stick of Matt Lombardi that squeaked by in the first 80 seconds, which demoralized everyone. It was the first softie he'd allowed. But King Henrik would more than atone, flat out robbing Phil Kessel twice on clean breakaways to keep his team afloat. He was spectacular after the Lombardi tally that knotted it, making all sorts of big saves.

The trouble was Lundqvist's teammates bailed on him again. Considering that Brad Richards was brought in to bolster the offense, this wasn't supposed to happen. For the sixth time in their first eight games, the Blueshirts failed to score three. Discounting a four-goal third period explosion in Vancouver and an unbelievable last second OT winner from Ryan McDonagh to stun Calgary, they've totaled 11 goals in the other 25 periods. Simply inexcusable. That can be attributed to Tort's mindless line combos that are starting to emulate former coach Tom Renney. Remember him? I have no love for Renney and the boring style he coached while exiling Petr Prucha in much the same fashion as Tortorella has with Sean Avery. Only difference is the current coach ran his mouth.

Frankly, I'm fed up with it. Especially if Glen Sather handed him the team he wanted, including the addition of Mike Rupp, who already has been so misused that permanent Christmas ornament Erik Christensen started over the enforcer, whose goal helped us to our first win. Considering how dead the Rangers looked, resembling closet skeletons in time for Halloween, wouldn't it have made sense to keep Rupp in for say a scrap that could energize the building. Or is that a thing of the past due to the luxuries rich folks have on the concourse? It also kinda goes against the coach's word of wanting to be tough. What they got was a vanilla effort from a team that looked lost. Even Kris Newbury took a beating from Mike Brown and Brandon Dubinsky got knocked on his kisser courtesy of a clean takeout from Long Island native Mike Komisarek.

You'd think they would've responded with a better third. But it was more of the same with Tortorella finally breaking up the confusing lines that had no semblance of chemistry. Instead of going back to roots, he watched in horror as Joffrey Lupul banged home a rebound of a Jake Gardiner shot Lundqvist couldn't control. It only got worse when Artem Anisimov turned the puck over thanks to a stellar defensive play from Komisarek, who celebrated teammate Clarke MacArthur's left wing blast that eluded Henrik. The first boos rained down in much the same fashion as the old place minus all the fancy food and everything else MSG has built up. Did they really need a blue carpet for tonight's festivities? At least John Amirante was in fine form during the Canadian and American national anthems.

There's plenty to be said about a state of the art updated MSG that won't be completed until 2013. By then, your bank accounts will be running on empty. So, if you still get to go watch the boys a few times the next couple of years, savor it while you can. If we learned anything by the lack of acknowledgment of Derek Boogaard prior to the opening faceoff, it's that the same greedy owner only cares about one thing. Just in case you had your blinders on, it ain't about championships. As long as money's pouring through Dolan's new toy, he won't care. That definitely was the rude message a loyal Section 411 got for still having to watch the game with obstructed views while being charged double what Sec's 412-416 are. This is what you get. Even when complaints are filed and heard, it only results in a $10 food reimbursement for each game. As if that atones for such a foul up. Oh well.

Maybe it's a good thing I wasn't up to it tonight. The team just couldn't summon the energy required to win in this league. Meaning 20 minute efforts gets you very little. Especially at home where they expect you to triumph and build something called a "home ice advantage." Only the Garden Faithful aren't familiar with that since the past couple of years under Tort. Can they really get by on the road when five more are part of this big homestand, including the odd 3 PM Saturday matinee versus Ottawa in two days? Even the Sens have woken up. They're scoring more than us.

By the time Del Zotto got one to count, the same Brown who pounded Newbury into submission, had added insult to injury for 4-1- resulting in a familiar chant that had to turn the coach beet red. Oh. They may have tried to drown it out and dismiss it like an arrogant Sam Rosen did as they went to break. But there it was to be heard from the few diehards that remain in the World's Most Renovated Arena.

"We Want Avery! We Want Avery! We Want Avery! Ave---ry! Ave---ry! Ave---ry!"

Newsflash to Coach Clueless. You can't fool us. Neither can no shows like the last two periods.

BONY 3 Stars: 

3rd Star-Mike Komisarek, Tor (assist, +2 rating, 2 blocked shots, 2 takeaways, big hit on Dubinsky)
2nd Star-Mike Brown, Tor (1st of season, TKO of Newbury)
1st Star-Joffrey Lupul, Tor (GWG, 5th of season, 4 SOG)

1 comment:

Hasan said...

Wow, I can't believe they didn't acknowledge Boogard. He played for them last year. Hell, we acknowledged every player that passed away in the offseason on our Opening Night.

It is comical that it costs twice as much to sit one section over. But from what I understand the renovations up top are the 'third stage', so hopefully they'll fix the obstructed views then, when we've all got grey hair.

I laughed when I heard about the Avery chant.

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