Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Stop the Suicide Watch - Higgins Scores!

Let's start with the good news. On a powerplay in the third period - that resulted from a wild melee in front of the Ranger bench – Christopher Higgins shot a 14 foot wrister that found the back of the net and ended the season-long goal-less nightmare.

Chris Higgins comment on the event was "I'd rather score when we win." But I'm sure he'll take it.

The rash of penalties came at 4:21 of the 3rd period – there were 52 minutes of penalties from the single incident – including game misconducts for rookie Dane Byers and Dan Girardi. The power play goal tied the game at 1 all, but the Rangers could get no further as the Canucks rose up again and beat us 4-1 (the last an empty netter).

Ay 18:50 Dane Byers managed to collect 4 separate penalties all at once to bring his game total to 29 minutes – so many that Dane needed his teammates to serve some of the time for him.
The game was close until the Canucks broke it open late – and the Rangers can't seem to beat these guys.

You know - I had predicted a 4-1 game and Higgins first goal – but I thought the Rangers had turned a corner on Sunday and that they would win last night. My bad – there are no corners in the NHL – the boards are rounded.
Suddenly we're not scoring - even with Gabs in the lineup. Our defenders are not adding offense. And our powerplay is down to about 20%.
Anyway – here's how it happened
The Goalies: Raycroft played well stopping 22 of the 23 shots he faced for a .957 GAA. Hard to beat that. Hank played pretty well – stopping 26 of 29 for a .897 GAA. His goals came on (1) a uncontested 9 footer resulting from Wade Redden's giveaway, (2) a 17 foot wrist shot, and (3) a 7 foot wrist shot on a powerplay.

Special Teams: We were 0 for 5 on the powerplay – and lost the game right there. On the penalty kill we let in one goal on 6 tries.

The New Veteran Rangers: Chris Higgins scored a goal! And beyond that? Nothing! Gaborik had one shot on goal. Kotalik shot 5 times, but all in vain.

Higgins Watch: finally over!

The Kid Rangers were pointless again. NHL's October Rookie of the month Michael Del Zotto had no shots and was -2 on the night. Dane Byers amassed 29 penalty minutes – which is not easy to do.

The Returning Rangers gave us 2 assists (Drury and Dubinsky). Drury did get 4 shots off – but no goals. Redden had that terrible turnover that led to the first goal.

Defense on Offense: Nothing. This part of our game has suddenly shut down.

In Conclusion: It was 1-1 in the third, but we fell apart at the end. The loss puts us at 9-6-1. Just 2-5-1 in our last 8.
But 2 goals in two games - with Gaborik in the line up - is not the team we thought we had.
It looks like the league has adjusted to our fore-checking style and - our attempt to re-adjust our focus to defense has resulted in a loss of offense and losses in general. I thought Torts had a master plan. Maybe he needs a new one.
Next Up: A day off then on to Edmonton for a Thursday 9:30pm start

No comments:

Post a Comment