The only thing worse than watching my Rangers lose to a team on their home ice, is to do so while ailing a hurt ankle. After coming home from my game last night where my ankle got destroyed by a guy twice my size (trust me, thats saying something…I’m a big boy) I got to watch the Rangers sleep walk through their final game in this 7-11 stretch. I was very upset that Rangers fans booed Sean Avery out there, because that made no sense whatsoever to me. Here is a guy who bled Rangers blue, who said repeatedly how much he wanted to stay a Ranger, who had a love affair with the fans, and would go and chat it up with the people in the 400’s, and you boo him?! For what? For being unceremoniously kicked out by a Rangers team who would fit his style of play perfectly? For saying a few off color remarks about the team? THIS IS SEAN AVERY FOR CHRISTS SAKE! If you were expecting him to be all lovey dovey after being kicked off the team, you were sadly mistaken. If I were there at MSG, you would be seeing one Ranger fan give Sean Avery a standing ovation, and a guy who would cheer him every time he touched the puck. I loved what Avery brought to this team, and loved the way he played the game. I don’t give a crap about how he was off the ice, but on the ice he was a joy to watch.
Besides the Avery stuff, this game saw a tired Rangers team not show up for an entire game. A team who lost to a reeling Dallas club on a day when it wouldn’t have taken much to pick up 2 points, like for example getting shots on net instead of shooting them 10 feet wide everytime. On Friday this excuse of being tired no longer holds water (though the rusty excuse might be used for all we know) so I will give them a grudging pass on this. But the team just didn’t skate out there. They are a faster team than the Stars by a country mile, and yet they looked slow and uninterested for long stretches of this game.
One thing that continues to bug me is how Drury Naslund and Gomez have still not been reunited. You can directly point to Gomez falling ill as the turning point for that line, now that Gomez is healthy again, you have to see what they have in them, that trio would really help bring some more offense to this club, which it is sorely lacking. Another thing that really bugged me last night was that Patrick Rissmiller was playing. Why exactly? I have no idea, but this guy is absolutely worthless, thank god the Rangers finally waived him off this club. He isn’t fast, he isn’t strong, he isn’t a defensive stalwart, he has no offensive game. He is a 13th forward playing as a 3rd liner in an important game (Every game is important in the NHL nowadays). In my personal opinion even using him once is one time too many, let alone the 2 or 3 games he has been in. Now the question is, what to do with Fritsche, Prucha and Korpikoski? The simple answer would be to put Korpedo down, and use Prucha and Fritsche in an even rotation. If you play well, you keep playing, if not, the next guy goes in, and so on and so forth. But that really isn’t the best answer, since in my personal opinion Korpedo is the better player of the three. I think the Rangers need to make a trade, and do so now. Probably for a reserve defenseman. The team would be far better off trading Prucha or Fritsche for a capable #7 defenseman, and then playing Korpedo and using the player left over as a reserve forward. That to me would be the proper way to run the team. I don’t know of many teams who have zero reserve defenseman. Defense is a position that you should have some depth in because of injuries.
Well, the team is off till Friday, they better be ready to play, because these past few games have made me a little worried on the direction of this team. Things seem to be moving further apart rather than tightening up. That is not a good sign.