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Ok, I got a little bit of rest under me so I feel like I can make some coherent thoughts on tonights game. First and foremost, I was really happy with what I saw out there by and large. The Rangers pressed the attack, got more quality chances in 1 period than they have in the last 2-3 weeks combined, and looked like they were built for this kind of an attack game. However the 3rd period came along and the boys started to really suck wind. They looked exhausted. They probably skated more in that game than they have in the last 2 or 3 combined.

But it all comes down to 1 thing…territory. In Renneys system territory was ceded even before the game started. While you have the puck, that 1/2 of the ice is yours, once you get past center ice, we then try to stop you. In Torts’ system, every single square inch of ice is fought. You want to move an inch, you’re going to have to get past me. You want to move another inch? You’re going to have to get past my linemate…and so on.

There were times, all night long, where their inexperience in playing the system was hideously aware, as defenseman pinched, but the proper rotation didn’t come around to help. But by and large we looked amazing out there.

The goals will come, it’s the same “market effect” that I have been talking about for years now. When you play the right way, and you get chances, eventually they will go in, it’s just a law of probability. Right now they are snake bitten, are trying to learn a new system, and are having to deal with a new coach. These things can cause you to not score some goals. But if you keep playing like this, they will go in. The quality chances…for once. Were there. It’s one of the first times all season where I can truly say, the Rangers out-chanced the opposition…..wow.

2 players in particular looked quite bad to me. Markus Naslund looked ill prepared to play this up-tempo of a game. He was sucking wind big time after his first shift, and looked a step slow. Scott Gomez might have had his worse game as a Ranger…ever. He couldn’t skate 5 feet without making a terrible play. It was turnover, after turnover, after turnover….and these were unforced. He just looked utterly and completely lost. On the back end, Michal Rozsival was a complete disaster, often getting beat out wide after taking poor routes to the puck.

On the flip side I felt Marc Staal and Wade Redden was absolute beasts out there. Redden in particular looked built to play this style of hockey. They kept the puck in, they got the puck on net, and they were decisive with what they were doing.

There are way too many positives to look at in this one. Whereas in previous games we may have been winning, but the negatives made the wins seem like losses, tonights loss really feels like a win because of all the positives I saw out there.

With that said, I would still look to become sellers at the trade deadline. I think we need to gut the leadership of this team and start fresh. Im not happy with Gomez, Redden, and Drury, especially at their salaries. Sell if you can, and look to reload this summer with some youth…and Marian Hossa.


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