Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"A Pretty Sick Goal"

That is what Ovechkin called Matt Bradley's goal with 5 minutes remaining in the third: "a pretty sick goal".

What Ovie meant by "sick" is that the goal was "pretty". (And what he meant by "pretty" is "extremely".) But from a Ranger's fan point of view (from my 11-year-old son on up to each of you) the goal made us sick.

It broke up a 2-2 tie in which the Rangers had worked hard and struggled mightily to stay close. It wasted a gallant effort by Henrik where he kept us in a hockey game where we went more than 19 minutes of ice time without a shot on goal. And it wasted another super-human 2 goal night by Marian Gaborik - who has contributed nearly 25 percent of our scoring this season.

All that work was wasted. Tough loss. Bad loss.

The Goalies: Our nemesis - Varlamov. 18 saves on 20 shots. At least it appear Gabby is not intimidated or confused by the young Russian - but he seems to own the rest of this hockey team.

Hank faced 25 shots and saved 22. You can't blame him for not being perfect - and the Rangers are letting up more chances this year. But one more big save and we'd have sent this to OT.

Special Teams: The hockey game was lost right here. Our usually impressive PK let us down - allowing 2 goals on 4 chances. Our PP scored on 1 of 4. And that was the difference.

New Veteran Rangers: Gaborik. Again. Both goals.

Returning Rangers? No goals - but assists for Avery, Girardi and Staal. Of course passing to a goal-machine like Gaborik is always good for a few assists.

The Kid Rangers - P.A. got an assist, (even though none of his "Parentaeus" were in attendance).

Defense on Offense - 2 assists for this unit.

In Conclusion. Wade Redden and his bizarre contract is a lead weight around the neck of this hockey club. And it was the heinous play with 5 minutes left in a 2-2 hockey game by Wade - the give-away to Bradley - that sunk this team last night. I think if we just cut Redden we can reclaim half of his salary verses the cap. It may be time to start weighing that option

We didn't get that 3rd goal for Henrik and of course it cost us. We've got to get the 2nd line going. But without Dubs and Dru we're not at our best. But since the season's 8th game we have been unable to string 2 wins back to back. Our high number of games played masks it - but we're slipping out of the playoffs right now and will need to figure out how to right this ship. Considering our 7-1 start, trying to figure out how to hang on to an 8th place seed and make the playoffs is a pretty sick goal of our own these days.
By the way - thanks for reading my 11-year-old's posts last night. Below this post are Pucks Junior's final thoughts on the evening.

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