So I look up this morning at my NY Rangers wall calendar and I begin to think to myself … “Wow, there is only 3 red “X”s in October and there are 10 Blue Circles. (Red X’s are for Rangers Loses and Blue Circles are for wins … just so that we all know what I’m talking about haha.) I then noticed an alarming increase to 5 red X’s in November and a decrease to only 7 Blue Circles. Then I looked at December and I noticed that the Rangers have to beat the Islanders tonight just to stay at .500 for the month of December! What Happened??? Let’s examine …
So I think we can all agree, as much as this pains me, that Lundy has not been himself lately. Now I don’t know if that’s something that we are just going to have to deal with because it seems like every year he goes into a funk around this point in the season. It could also have to do with the fact that his Defense has let him down time and time again … but that doesn’t excuse the ones that he should stop.
And What happened to the defense? In October they were tight, they didn’t allow as many chances and they, along with Henrik’s stellar play, helped carry the team to the best start the club has had in Decades! Now it seems every time Kalinin is on the ice there is an odd man rush. And the rest of the Defense doesn’t get a pass either; they haven’t been playing the way they are capable of. Staal and Mara and maybe Girardi are the only defenders that haven’t caused me to go into a tirade of swears that would make George Carlin blush, god rest his soul.
Then I started to think about the offense … the source of many sleepless nights for me. How can a team with so many gifted goal scorers and playmakers be so bad at scoring goals? Then as I was playing some NHL 09 with a friend of mine something hit me. The opposing team scored a garbage goal … the goalie made the save and the puck was getting fought over in front and then one of their guys poked it in between the goalies legs and it went in. My friend then said something that made me think … “We never get garbage goals like that … we always score on a nice play or a nice pass and one timer or on the break away. We never get blue collar goals.” That’s the Rangers! They are always looking for the nice setup, the nice shot, or a sweet move. They never think about just throwing it on net and see what happens. And really I think that is what they are missing. Think about it, some of the most memorable goals for the Rangers have been Blue Collar goals. Matteau, Matteau, Matteau! Remember that? That’s what we need more of. Throw the puck on net, crash the net and pick up the trash.
Sure there are other arguments that you can throw out there. Like maybe they are a little worn out because they have played (arguably) the most tiring schedule so far. (in terms of amount of games and travel involved) But you know what, that’s coaching’s responsibility to make sure that his team is in good enough condition, and they are not. It’s gotten to the point where I never feel safe with a lead anymore. When the Rangers put up 4 unanswered against the Caps all I could think to myself was “God I hope they don’t blow this” …. And of course they did. And why? Because they were tired and they were not ready. They just though if they sat back they would be able to milk out the clock. That NEVER works. You either have to continue to stay aggressive on the forecheck or you play the Trap (god forbid) or the wing lock and you don’t let the other team through the neutral zone. But Renney in his infinite stupidity was allowing the Caps to gain the zone and set up shop …. They have Ovechkin! Are you on PCP? But that’s just one example.
Suggestions for change …
It’s obvious to me, at this point anyway, that THIS is what we should expect with everything the way it is now. I thought losing Jagr would help get us away from the “Fancy” hockey and get us back to what wins championships … Grit and good Defense … but it hasn’t. Things need to change … so let’s start with the top. Sather needs to go; he needed to be fired yesterday! After the whole Sundin nonsense it is PAINFULLY clear that he doesn’t have the foresight needed to work with a Salary Cap. Not only did he not get Sundin (which I really could care less about) but he has choked up our Cap so bad that we will most likely miss out on any kind of deal that could help us out for this year. Not to mention that we are going to be in Deep S this summer when Dubinsky and Zherdev are getting offers from other teams and we can’t even come close because of all the overpriced contracts we have. And the way that he front loads contracts just seems counterproductive. Sure the player will be making less money when they are less effective I guess … but the Salary cap goes UP every year … not down. (although this year might be different from the rumors out there, but I doubt it) Not to mention the cap hit stays the same so what’s the point? He’s only made 1 or two good moves as a GM with the Rangers but he has made way more bad ones. Mmmmm, should I resign Rosi right now for 3 mil a year for 4 years ? no I will wait until he becomes an unrestricted free agent and then I’ll give him 5 mil for 4 years … good job snithead! You just basically threw out 2 million dollars a year that you could have used to sign a role play that will hustle.
Renney should follow Slats out the door. “They need time to gel.” That’s been Tom’s Mantra his whole career in NY and it has never happened. Hey Tom, guys can’t gel if you keep putting them on different lines. Last year Jagr Duber and Avery were playing awesome together and then Jagr didn’t score for like 8 games so he switched up the line (Even though the line was scoring, just not Jagr) … At first I thought it was Jagr, until Renney did the same thing with Voros Duber and Zherdev this year. And how can the defense be this bad? We had a couple of new guys come in and right away they were looking good and then now they are garbage? It’s almost like Tom’s coaching is making them worse.
Finaly we need to unload some of this money. I don’t care if we have to take back prospects and/or picks in return. We can’t head into the off season with the money situation this screwed up. Potter looks solid on D so we can deal away Redden or Rosi or Kalinin if anyone will take them. Maybe we can talk Drury and Gomer into taking a pay cut and be compensated some other way (can they do that?) If not one of them needs to be traded. That is way too much money to have locked up into two players. Heck, Lundy isn’t even getting that much money (on average) and he is more valuable to the team than either one of them.
I know that was long as snit, but I had to vent a little. Bottom line, things need to change otherwise we will always be a team that hovers around 500 and we won’t see another cup for another 54 years. Maybe we need Messier to come back to show us how to win again haha.