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“Maybe I’ve got to be more vocal and try to get a call or two. It seems to work for other teams,” the coach said. “It’s not an easy game to officiate, but it’s disconcerting when others seem to be able to do that.”
-Tom Renney

To think, it only took him 409 games behind the bench as a head coach to figure this out. It’ll probably be another 400-500 games before he realizes that accountability is a good thing as well.

Look, I’m not going to put this one on Renney, in fact I think this might have been one of his better coached games of the season, but when a team is being anally raped by the referees, it’s probably a good time to say a word or two to them.

Tonight we played an absolutely superb game. Make no mistake about it, the Rangers deserved to win this one. They were better in almost every facet of the game. I say almost because there was 1 blindingly obvious guy who didn’t hold up his end of the bargain. That would be Henrik Lundqvist who had about as bad a game as I have ever seen from him. He had his expected idiotic stick handling turnover that leads to a goal (to be fair, he’s really cut those down this season), and he had a goal that was off of a horrendous rebound that he let up. 2 plays, 2 goals, and removing the empty netter, that would be the difference in the game. But that wasn’t the only problem here, the other glaringly obvious problem were the referees laughable job of handing the game to the Habs. I thought the calls on the Rangers were all fair (though Voros’ was….interesting), but the amount of crap they let the Habs get away with was unbelievable. Dimitri Kalinin tripped right in front of the ref, stick between his leg, everyone could see it…no call. Paul Mara, slashed once, he loses his glove in pain, then gets slashed AGAIN…no call. Scott Gomez, tripped not once, but twice on one shift…no call. Freddy Sjostrom, picked during the PP which led directly to Markov getting a full, uncontested slapper from the high slot…no call. And that is just what I could remember off the top of my head! For Tom Renney to not say a single thing about that is indefensible. You want to get your team the best chance to win? You need to call out the refs on stuff like that. You have a responsibility to your team, to your club, to your fans to get in the refs face when they are giving the screw job to you. Show some friggin emotion, get tossed out of the game, do anything to let your guys know that you have their back…trust me, they will gladly kill that penalty for you coach, and if anything it will give them something to rally around. Instead Tom terrific chews his gum and does his best impersonation of a parent at their child’s kindergarten production of the HMS Pinafore. Bored and disinterested.

Before we head out to the positives (and there were some believe it or not), let’s talk about one last negative. Aaron Voros…again, continues to hold the Dubinsky-Zherdev line back. What the hell does this guy have on Renney to be in the lineup? He gets in the way of his linemates, he plays the boards worse than Prucha or Dawes on their worst day, he gets knocked over more times than Matt Cullen did, and he gets his ass kicked like Godard did against Orr. He brings NOTHING to this team. He is a big waste of a roster space. Lauri Korpikoski deserves to play, he looked great out there, he does things, he plays with energy, he hits, he gets in passing lanes, he kills penalties. He should be in there coach, only an effing idiot doesn’t see that.

Ok, now that I got that off my chest, let’s talk about the positives. The Rangers got superb production from their entire lineup sans Henrik and Voros. Prucha, Dawes, everyone, they all played great games. I can’t think of a single player I wasnt happy with. Even Scott Gomez, who did not have a great game, didn’t play bad enough for me to want to murder him…though I dont understand why he shoots pucks into the chest of the goalie on odd man rushes…he has passing lanes, he has options, instead he shoots the puck from the blueline and the goalie freezes the play…seems like a rally killer to me. Anyway, the lineup looks like they are finally solidifying. Callahan keeps scoring, Dawes keeps producing, even Drury is finally starting to heat up a bit. Most importantly the Rangers finally……FINALLY started to play the way I envisioned them playing from the beginning of the season. 2, 3, sometimes 4 men pressuring the puck before the opposition hits the red line. All 5 men back to defend as a group. Transition not being stifled by always playing it safe, instead the defense were free to get involved knowing a forward would be there to back them up. How were the 3 goals scored? Redden in the crease on the first one off a rush. Kalinin driving the net, pulling the defenseman with him opening up Callahan for the 1-timer. And Michal Rozsival sneaking in far side for a tap in goal. Those are the kinds of plays a Tom Renney club would never have the balls to do. Today they actually started to do that. Playing off the rush, creating offensively, getting 3 men deep, getting pucks to the net with traffic in front OFF THE RUSH, rather than off a cycle. They played a damn near perfect game….except for their goalie, and the refs.

I can only pray Renney doesnt crawl back into the defensive trap he always clings to when the score gets out of hand, and realizes that this team played more than well enough to win. But with Renneys track record…

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