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Archive for January, 2013

High Price – Flyers @ Rangers Post Game Thoughts…

Posted by inferno272 on January 30th, 2013

Amidst a pretty impressive Rangers victory, the blueshirts suffered a devastating loss. Ryan Callahan almost assuredly has a separated shoulder, and we can expect him to be out weeks, if not months. In a condensed season, this is horrendous news. Not just because the Rangers lack any depth whatsoever in the minors that can help, but more importantly, the line of Stepan, Callahan and Hagelin had a spectacular game till the injury. The trio generated tons of scoring chances and were finally showing signs of being the second line we hope and pray can come behind a very top heavy team with the trio of Gaborik Nash and Richards all loaded on one line.

Make no mistake folks, this one hurts. Big time. More than any game loss, losing our captain is awful. A team that is having trouble killing penalties just lost it’s best PKer. A team that has shown signs of laziness and lack of desire early in the season just lost their motor that keeps them running.

This, is huge.

It’s not all doom and gloom of course. The Rangers have more than enough leaders to take over for Cally, but you can’t underestimate the value that man brings to this team. Let’s all pray he’s out weeks rather than months.

On the plus side though, the Rangers played their 3 great game out of the last 4 they’ve played. Putting on a clinic at times, and if not for a near heroic effort by Ilya Bryzgalov, who for reasons unbeknown to me was not one of the 3 stars, they would have crushed the Flyers.

Despite Tortorellas inexplicable “dumbness” comment, I for one thought Carl Hagelin was our best player tonight. What a frikkin game by the kid. He had an awful start to the season, but tonight he was all over the place. Skating his ass off, setting up plays, but just unable to finish. Phenomenal game. I don’t usually say this, but screw Torts, the kid deserves a pat on the back.

Don’t Believe It – Maple Leafs @ Rangers Post Game Thoughts…

Posted by inferno272 on January 27th, 2013

If you’re like me and had the NHL Network feed, then you got to hear some pretty stupid commentary where guys were saying that “if you only look at the box score, you wouldn’t realize just how close of a game this was”

No.

Idiots.

This was not a close game. This was complete and utter domination by 1 team over the other. The only reason Toronto was “in” this game at all was because of 2 bad reads where both defenseman went to the same man. It happened twice, twice it went in the back of the net and we were down 2-0. But if you actually watched this game, like I did, you saw 1 team control the play. You saw one team keep the puck. You saw one team completely dominate the other in nearly all facets of the game.

What the hell did those guys at Hockey Night in Canada or the NHL Network see?

5-2? This should have been an 8-0 hammering.

With that said I do have a few things I wanted to comment about. First and foremost I wanted to say, despite going 0-fer, the Rangers power play actually looked pretty damn good. They hit what, 1 post? They moved the puck well, had numerous high quality chances. They couldn’t finish though, but that happens to all teams. I’m more happy about how the puck moved and how many chances they generated. Why did it work? They split up all the stars. 2 more balanced units with 2 different approaches. I like it. Plus, I love the idea of having 2 defenseman on the ice during the PP. Just my opinion but it’s a safe way to go, and when you’re giving up goals the way we are, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Also, on the tying goal where Staal scored…that was a horrendous play from a positioning and fundamentals standpoint. 1 defenseman behind the other teams net, 1 right in front of the net, and 2 forwards below the circles. Thank God we scored, or that could have easily ended up as a 4-1 heading back our way with only Brad Richards back. Yikes.

It was nice to see Henrik not be under seige. You like to see the King get an “easy” win.

Thankfully my blood pressure will stay at a reasonable rate.

-Inferno

My Head Hurts…

Posted by inferno272 on January 24th, 2013

Watching that game gave me a migraine. Not showing up for 2 periods, unable to score on a 5 on 3 to save their lives, horrendous effort level.

So much to be angry about.

I just….can’t

I’m sorry.

I’ll try to write more tomorrow, but right now my blood pressure level is way too high.

The Great Ga(ts)bby!

Posted by inferno272 on January 24th, 2013

I’ve made it no secret, I’m a HUGE Marian Gaborik fan. I wanted him on this team for years, and I was thrilled when we signed him. I want us to bring him back when his contract is over next season, and I want him to retire as a Ranger. The guy brings such a dangerous dimension to this team. The ability to get lost on the ice. It sounds counter-intuitive, but Gabbys ability to disappear on the ice and then reappear right in the perfect spot to score is something so few guys have. Danny Heatley is another guy who can do that really well. You never notice them till they score…and they score a lot.

Gaborik had a great game, but our other big gun, Henrik Lundqvist did not. That Nathan Horton goal has to be stopped, it gave away a point to a team we will be fighting with, after all is said and done, for a playoff spot. You gotta be better Henrik. Time to turn on the awesome.

The biggest difference between tonight and the first game? The Rangers didn’t force everything up the boards. They took a second, found the open guy, and skated the puck out. They stretched out the D and were able to connect on some long passes. The first night everything was up the boards and everything there was just smothered by the Brooins forecheck. Rangers did an excellent job adapting to this. They had some long stretches where they were pinned in their own zone, but again, this is Rangers hockey, EXPECT them to have stretches where they are pinned in their own zone. When everything collapses to the net it’s really hard to get the puck out of your zone.

Rick Nash has been just a monster thus far. It’s ridiculous how much he stands out on a nightly basis. Not just the skill, but the board play, his ability to control the puck with guys all over him is ridiculous. His board play puts Brandon Dubinsky to shame, and Dubi is an excellent board player. Once Brad Richards gets doing (and make no mistake, his game has been borderline awful…thank you flu) Nash will be all the more dangerous.

Although I am usually in favor of splitting up the big guns, I think right now we’re going to have to ride these 3 on one line to some wins. Get everyone else going, and then split em up. The rest of the team, Callahan, Stepan, Kreider, Hagelin, Boyle…pretty much everyone not named Nash, Gaborik, Pyatt, McDonagh, Staal, or Girardi has had some serious struggles….actually Staal has been up and down, so he probably should be in that category as well. Rangers still have a LONG way to go…isn’t that promising? They still haven’t really played a good team game yet, and at least have 1 win under their belt.

It’s coming…..slowly, but it’s coming.

Apparently I Was Wrong…

Posted by inferno272 on January 21st, 2013

I was under the impression that the game against Boston was about as bad as I would see the Rangers this season. Boy oh boy was I wrong. This was just a complete and utter dismantling by the Penguins. Even the score at 6-3 feels like it was too forgiving for us. Though technically we were in this game for a while, it just felt like the Pens actually came to play, whereas the Rangers figured they could just show up and win.

Like Torts, I am extremely troubled by a lot of what I’m seeing. Lots of it can be attributed to rust, but the blind passes, the horrendous defense by Stu Bickel, the inability to get to the front of the net and get those goalmouth scrums you want to see…there was a lot to be pissed off about.

I’m right there with you Ranger fans, despite the fact that I know these 2 games were going to be losses no matter what, it was extremely troubling to watch the Rangers simply not show up for huge stretches of this game. They didn’t play with the puck at all. They scored a few goals, but by then the game was definitely over.

Henrik Lundqvist hasn’t been himself either. These are both games he would have won for us last year by sheer inhuman determination. He’s played well enough to not be at blame, but I’m so used to seeing Henrik put on the red cape and bail us out of games where it’s a shitshow on ice that seeing him look merely mortal (except for that save against the Brooins) was a little disturbing. His game can almost assuredly be attributed to rust, as can most of the rest of the team. But boy, they have a long way to go before they become the juggernaut that they should be.

The Rick Nash guy is pretty good though.

Fighting The Establishment.

Posted by inferno272 on January 19th, 2013

I said it on the message boards heading into this game. The Boston Bruins were about the single worst possible draw for the Rangers heading into this opening game.

Why? It’s pretty simple. They’ve iced basically the same exact team for the past 3 seasons. They know how to play together. They know where to be, where to go, how to play as a unit, and how their system works. You could see it all night long. Boards were taken away, rotations were flawless. The Bruins put on a systems clinic. And yet, they looked wholly beatable out there. We generated some excellent chances. What happens if Gaborik buries the empty netter? What happens if that shot goes in instead of hitting the crossbar? Of course you could say the same thing for the Bruins, but my point stands. The Rangers, despite how horribly rusty they looked, despite how god awful Carl Hagelin looking out there, despite how horrendous our rotations were all night long, despite how frequently we got caught on changes, despite how many terrible penalties we took…were still very much in this game. This was a winnable game.

Take solace in that guys and gals. We looked horrendous, and still could have easily beaten one of the 3 best teams in our division. The Rangers could easily have played their worst game of the season against one of the best teams in hockey, who were playing about as great as they can, and still could have won.

I know the knee-jerk reaction is to freak out. OMG Gabby didn’t score! NOOO Nash didn’t put the puck in?! Chill. The first 5 games of this season, just ignore them. We could lose all of them and I wouldn’t freak out. This season, for the Rangers, will be 43 games long. Not 48. If we got about .500 in the first 5 games, I’ll be thrilled.

Why? Because integrating a player like Nash, and icing 4 lines that have not played a single minute of game action hockey EVER together, can be a daunting task. If there was a preseason and a full camp, I’d be a lot more pissed, as it is, I “understand” what happened tonight. Quite frankly I saw it coming a mile away.

Don’t worry, it’s our preseason. If we’re still playing like crap 10 games into the season, then start to worry.

I Can No Longer Support Rick Nash

Posted by inferno272 on January 18th, 2013

The guy is a Tortonto Blue Jays fan. Screw that guy, I’m done.

http://espn.go.com/new-york/radio/show?showId=TMKS#
(look for the Rick Nash link, middle of the site on the right hand side)

He also thinks Chris Kreider is going to be a superstar….we can only hope!

Let’s Do This.

Posted by inferno272 on January 6th, 2013

I’m getting my cable package upgraded so I can watch NHL hockey.

Hagelin – Richards – Nash
Kreider – Stepan – Gaborik
Pyatt – Boyle – Callahan
Rupp – Halpern – Asham

McDonagh – Girardi
Staal – DelZotto
Eminger/Bickel – Stralman

Lundqvist
Biron

How could you not be psyched about the Rangers this season?!?! Young, fast, talented, size, experience, grit. This team should be a juggernaut.