Sunday, January 3, 2010

Home Ice Yes – Advantage No

You know, the Carolina Hurricane is the worst team in the NHL. They're a full 7 points below the next lowest team. And their road record is 3-13-4. And that third road win came Saturday afternoon against our own New York Rangers.

Let me put this another way. The Rangers are 11-7-2 on the road this year. But our home record is the same as last place Carolina at 8-10-3.

Why can't we win at home? Why can't the Rangers, with the home ice privilege of the last line change, find a way to score two goals against a Hurricane them that has let up a league leading 146 goals this year?

This was a game where we outshot Carolina 28 to 19. But the Hurricane out hit us and won more faceoffs. There were many shots clanging off the post and crossbar for both side. But in the end we lost – in OT – 2-1, in a game we should have won. Shoot – we should have won this easily.

And here are the grim details:

The Goalies: We keep saying it. Chad Johnson needs to start some hockey games. We're wearing out Henrik Lundqvist to the point that he can't outplay Cam Ward. Cam Ward!
The Cam-man made 27 saves last night for a .964 save percentage. Hank couldn't stop 90% of the shots he faced, making just 17 saves for a .895%.

And, as we've been saying – if we're outplayed at goalie – we're going to lose.

Special Teams: Both teams were 0-4 on the PowerPlay. One goal would have won this for us.

The New Veteran Rangers: Who else? Gaborik scored out lone goal – and Christensen, from the scrap heap to our top line – had the assist.

The Kid Rangers: Another pointless night for these guys. Delzy and Golly has no shots. One shot for Anisimov

The Returning Rangers: Dubinsky had one assist. Drury's career is in a free fall – no goals – 4 shots – minus one – and he losty 14 of 24 face offs.

Defense on Offense: Nada.

In Conclusion: Normally, you'd be happy with 3 points on a home-and-home series. But this was the league's worst team we were playing – with the worst defense and the worst road record – and still we couldn't gte the 2nd goal needed to win the game. Heartbreaking way to start a new year.
Next Up: Monday night we get the Boss-Town Bruins, hot off their 2-1 OT win in the Winter Classic at Fenway.
Where We Stand: The point limps us into 8th place – above the playoff line-o-death. But three teams trail us by one point, a 4th team by 2 points and a 5th by 3. So it's just short tumble to 12 or worse.

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