Thursday, January 24, 2013

New York Rangers: Getting Pushed Off The Puck

From the desk of:   RAISE GRESCH WITH THE GREATS


NEW YORK RANGERS - ...And Getting Pushed Around.


IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE THE BIG PHYSICAL EASTERN CONFERENCE STARTS TAKING RUNS AT HENRIK.
 

With less than a minute left of regulation time in Wednesday's game, the Rangers and Bruins were tied at three apiece.  While he didn't convert, Rick Nash showed the Garden crowd just how good he is.  He broke someones ankles on a rush up the right side and fed Marian Gaborik.  But Gabby couldn't convert, and so they went into overtime.  At 4:33 into the extra session, Marian Gaborik ended the game when he picked off a pass in the defensive zone, then steamed up ice on a break away straight up the slot.  Marian Gaborik completed his 14th career hot trick.  But more importantly, he gave the Rangers their first two points of the season in front of raucous home crowd.  Nice.


But as I sit here watching the Rangers/Flyers game, my ongoing rant unfortunately continues.

Not Signing Colton Orr Still A Mistake
Bruins Expose A Fist Full Of Problems
Who Will Fight Our Battles Now That Brandon Prust Is Gone?


Brian Boyle got into a fight with Boston's Adam McQuaid and couldn't handle himself.  We know Boyle is not generally considered a fighter, where Adam McQuaid is.  McQuaid was reacting to a late shot taken by Boyle after a whistle to stop play.  Fine.  But I am still a little dismayed about watching Mike Rupp lumbering around and getting this much ice time.  There he was Wednesday night gathering an instigator penalty while trying to pick a fight.  Fine.


So for Thursday night's game, Coach dressed Jeff Halpern instead of Rupp, and also called up Kris Newbury to replace Chris Kreider.  Kreider's healthy scratch may have been because he might already be in Coach's doghouse, or out of necessity because, hell, the Rangers were headed into Philadelphia.  It was nice to see Stu Bickel go after Philly's Tom Sestito.  Bickel did the right thing.  He protected his teammate.  Fine.  Then Newbury and Tye McGinn wound up dropping gloves.  Unfortunately, McGinn got the better of the Rangers fill-in center.  Newbury also wound up earning the two extra minutes for instigating/roughing.  Fine.


On one hand, physicality is a case by case basis.  Fine.  But as an overall condition, the Rangers have a big problem they will not easily overcome.  The situation is convoluted.  I can see where Coach wants his team to remain being the aggressors.  But the Rangers are being moved off the puck way too easily.  Here's the rub.  Fighting and physical hockey go hand in hand and can compliment each other handsomely.  But fighting can not compensate for lack of in-game physicality, or lack of players skilled enough to drop gloves and at least contribute something....like Bickel.


I know I'm missing something.  I can't quite put my finger on it.  I do know however, more and more teams of the Eastern Conference will be taking runs at Henrik Lundqvist and several other Rangers.


Meanwhile, Colton Orr was busy doing THIS..!


As far as the game I just watched, it all goes back to the same 'ol power play.  But I'm getting to that.





Mike.BTB

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