Sunday, December 13, 2009

Rangers lose lead, hope, and direction – fall to Sabres 3-2

Not good, people, not good at all.

Our Rangers lost a 2-1 lead and fell 3-2 to the Buffalo Sabres. Their mojo is gone, their scoring has left them, and their season is in jeopardy.

Not a lot of positives here. 2 first periods goals – then lots of nothing – and against a Sabre team that had played the night before while we rested.

I can't keep writing “tough loss” and “rock bottom” but they both apply. Again.

And here are the details:

The Goalies: Hank faced 32 shots – quite a lot – and that's 74 shots in two games. Hank's save percentage was .906. But Buffalo”s Miller saved 36 of 38 for a .947 save percentage. So, we were outplayed at the goalie position – which really can't happen if we're going to win. On Friday I offered some free advice on how to get better play from Henrik Lundqvist – but the Rangers don't seem to be paying attention

Special Teams: We won on Specials but lost anyway – which is not supposed to happen. We killed off all 4 Penalties. And we scored on 2 of 6 PowerPlay opportunities against a pretty good PK team. We did give up a Short-handed goal, however, which proved to be the game winner.

The New Veteran Rangers: Who else? Marian Gaborik added a goal to his league leading total and put a perfect pass on Ryan Callahan's stick for an assist. Kotalik had an assist, as did Prospal. Prospal also had 4 hits and won 58% of his face offs.

The Kid Rangers An assist for Teen Ranger. But Del Zotto was also -2 on the night, moving him to -10 on the season – the 2nd worst of all Rangers.

The Returning Rangers Callahan had a goal, but managed to be on the ice for all three Sabre goals. Drury won 65% of his faceoffs and had 5 shots on net, but was -2 himself on the night.

Defense on Offense: One assist.

In Conclusion: I don't know what to say anymore. This is as bad as it's been in a long while. In our last eight games we have scored: 2 goals, 1 goal, 3 goals, 2 goals, 2 goals, 1 goal, 1 goal and 2 goals. We're not going to beat anybody that way.

If you're looking for a positive – our phantom Goalie: Mr. M. T. Nett, was perfect, letting up no goals in 1 minute and 1 second of ice time.

Next Up: Monday night – at home – to Atlanta.
Where We Stand: Are we still standing? The Rangers fall to 12th place in the Eastern Conference. We'll have to pass three teams just to be in 9th.


  1. I'm starting to think Lundqvist is not an elite goalie anymore. That was 2 soft goals and a breakaway goal for Kaleta. He is making these goons with no hands real good shooters, which isn't a hallmark of a good goalie.

    Also time to switch out Del Zotto off the PP. He is becoming a liability on the puck, which he has been off the puck the whole season. Not good, not good at all.

  2. Anon - you're absolutely right. It seems like Henrik is not what he once was - and it breaks my heart. I'm thinking if we rest him more - he might find his way back there. But maybe we just burned the guy out. Anyway - thanks for your comment and keep them coming.

  3. I think it's a matter of burn out, he's been far more exposed this year in terms of huge defensive breakdowns plus they aren't scoring. On a related note, I was at the Wolfpack game last night and Vally looked pretty good, hopefully he's getting his confidence back. Gilroy and and Sangs looked good too and Grach had a really nice goal.....Maybe switch Del Zotto and Gilroy for a couple games?

  4. Hi Mike. I agree with you that Gilroy should probably be up here and Del Zotto down there. It's good to hear that Valiguette is looking better. The thing is - I think he's have to pass through waivers to get back to the Rangers - so we may never see his spiderman mask on the Rangers ever again. Thanks for the comment and keep them coming.