The Rangers played poorly from start to
finish against the San Jose Sharks Monday night in a game the Rangers
would like to forget ever happened. New York playing at home in Madison
Square Garden got trounced by a score of 5-1. Vincent Damphousse scored
two goals for San Jose including a shorthanded tally with 3 minutes left
in the game. The Rangers never mustered any sustained momentum whatsoever
during the game. New York once again got off to an unacceptable and
predictable slow start.
The Rangers gave up the first goal yet
again, this time a bit earlier then usual when Scott Thornton scored just
about four minutes into the game. By the end of the first period things
were already beginning to look bleak. Ranger Defenseman David Karpa left
the game with a shoulder injury and didn't return and the Ranger team
found itself was trailing 2-0 after one period of play.
However, the Rangers did have a chance to
make a dent in the Shark lead when they were granted a 5 on 3 powerplay
advantage early in the second period. That powerplay alone summed up the
Rangers night. It was inept and useless and it quickly went by the wayside
as they could only get one shot on goal on Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov.
Both teams traded goals in the Second period as Brian Leetch scored his
fourth goal of the season for the Rangers which would turn out to be the
only puck the would get past Nabokov in the entire game.
The Third Period was a special team's
disaster as the Rangers blew another 5 on 3 powerplay. This time they not
only didn't score but also gave up a shorthanded goal by Vincent
Damphousse to boot. The Rangers got outscored and outplayed in the third
and wound up losing 5-1.
This is going to be a tough task to find
anything positive to say about the Rangers in this game. Other then Brian
Leetch getting his 4th goal in 9 games I can't think of any. Oh yes they
did get 32 shots on net. Not too shabby for a team that got beaten like a
The powerplay is horrific. 0-6 and a
shorthanded goal against. Two 5-3 advantages botched up beyond belief. The
shorthanded squad didn't look much better as San Jose scored two PP goals
against them. This teams lack of preparation and proper mindset coming
into a game is mind boggling. Especially when you come into a game at home
on MSG ice on Adam Graves night.
I don't know if it's the coaches or the
Players, or both. But it's absolutely horrendous. Adding insult to injury
Defenseman David Karpa separated his shoulder after a hit by Brad Stuart
in the first period and Karpa will most likely will miss some significant
time. Brian Berard's defense continues to struggle at even strength play
and when he is killing penalties he was a virtual poison in this game.
Blackburn didn't play all that well. Giving up five goals on 32 shots.
Lindros - Unremarkable game for Eric. Todd
Harvey badgered him all night. Harvey even tried to lineup Lindros for a
crunching bodycheck but Lindros had the good sense to get this arm up to
Fleury- Actually played a relatively feisty
game physically. He had four hits in the game and was involves but he
showed no real offense especially on the PP and that's what he is paid to
do. He was disappointing.
York- Killed Penalties. But was taken off
first powerplay unit in favor of Messier. Maybe that explains why they
went 0-6 with the man advantage. He really didn't contribute much even
strength and since he played on both specialty teams he had a very
Nedved- Was the Rangers best forward of the
night. Made some nice plays. He made a terrific backhand pass to set up
Dvorak in second period. Saw some penalty kill action Surprisingly drew
three powerplays that unfortunately were of no consequence.
Ciger- Nobody home.
Dvorak- Had some real good scoring chances.
He and Nedved showed up to play. Too bad about 15 other Rangers didn't.
Messier - Suffering from Flu bug. Managed
an assist on Leetch's second period goal. Move to first powerplay unit by
Coach Ron Low in which his linemates were Fleury and Lindros. Nothing of
any worth to report on his play.
McCarthy - Threw his body around more,
which was a good sign. Even drew a powerplay when Adam Graves got whistled
off for slashing him. His only mistake was that he didn't drop the gloves
at some point in this game to possibly wake the Rangers and the MSG crowd
out of their catatonic hockey slumber.
Johansson - Played some uninspired hockey
for the first time this year. Took a penalty in the 3rd period. Not much
contribution from Andreas this evening.
Heisten - Suffering from two afflictions.
One was the flu. The other was being unable to make one decent play during
this game. His terrible coverage in the 1st period handed the Sharks their
first goal of the game. He had a rough night covering men in his own zone
and on the when the few chances arose for offense he missed the net badly.
He was a -2 in game the Sharks scored 3 out 5 goals from specialty teams.
Malhotra- Manny played with the touch of
the Flu also. Nada. Empty Performance.
Fata - No shots on net. I have no clue why
the Rangers claimed him. He has been invisible in his tenure with the
Leetch - Scored the only Ranger goal on the
night. His fourth of the season. Even Leetch contributed to the defensive
lapses, which is rare thing. Shark defenseman Jeff Jillson skated right by
him and Karpa on a penalty kill early in the first period. He made a bad
pass in the second period that led to San Jose's fourth goal by Patrick
Malakhov - His play was upgraded to erratic
in this game. He logged a lot of ice time in this game and by some miracle
wound up a +1. A first period play summed up his overall game perfectly.
He was involved in one of the Rangers most hardworking shifts New York had
Monday night, which Vladdy played a key role in. He then quickly sabotaged
the tenacious shift by taking an asinine slashing penalty.
Berard - His anticipation is good. His
coverage man to man is some of the worst I have ever seen. He got beat and
got beat often. Berard's awful play resulted in Scott Thornton scoring a
goal. Brian has been playing so bad on defense that Coach Ron Low decided
to use him on the PK in the first period. A move which had me shaking me
my head. Berard didn't disappoint he looked god-awful. Made a terrible
play that led to Scott Thornton's goal. Frustrating to watch and that
frustration of his poor play is even getting to him. At one point Berard
missed the net on a shot and then took a stupid penalty. A pretty good
indication of how frustrated he is right now.
Smrek- His game took a giant leap backwards
against San Jose. He had a handful of giveaways and bad passes. Can't play
physical and teams like the Sharks eat him up. He wound up being a -2 in
Kloucek - Picked up four minutes in
Penalties. Logged a significant amount of ice time after David Karpa
Karpa - Before separating his shoulder late
in the first period he played on the penalty kill with Leetch which in
theory makes a lot of sense. My theory was quickly shot to hell when
Sharks forward Jillson made both Karpa and Leetch look foolish.
Blackburn - Got his 3rd start of the
season. Even though he was thrown to the wolves for the most part and
abandoned by his defense most of the night. He also didn't make any giant
stops that might have ignited the team. Bottom line it wasn't his fault.
There was way too much traffic in front of his net and at one point he
even got knocked over by San Jose's resident cheeseball Owen Nolan.
Sam and J.D Propaganda Report:
Sam Rosen and J.D didn't actually get too
goofy or make any outlandish statements to report in this game. I suspect
Sam was a bit weary of doing the play by play in the NFL game on Sunday.
But after such a Ranger game where it was obvious there should have been
some harsh critique they came up empty again. But can you blame them? They
know full well who butters their bread. Both the Rangers and they
themselves are in essence owned by MSG.
There was nothing positive about this game
from the Rangers standpoint. This game outcome was clearly defined by
special teams. The Sharks powerplay and penalty killing units were both
special. The Rangers Specialty teams were especially abominable. Two
botched 5 on 3's, a shorthanded goal against and they looked bad on every
one of their six powerplay chances.
The Perimeter shot powerplay simply doesn't
work. The coaches are too blame. The just throw the skill players out
there and hope things take care of themselves. They don't work hard enough
on the boards and move to open spots when they have the man advantage.
It's nothing new and now people who are paid to coach have to be held
accountable. Ron Low just can't simply mix up lines and hope for the best.
You have to revamp your PP concept or at least tinker with it. This
powerplay has enough talent to be good. But it's not.
The penalty killing is another problem. New
York's inability to clear the net in it's own zone is enough to have had
Dan Blackburn wishing he was back in juniors. During even strength play
the Rangers never stood a chance in this game .San Jose came into this
game ready to play and had a very admirable work ethic. That's why it was
and is imperative for the NYR to have capitalized on Powerplays. But New
York failed miserably at it on Monday night and as a result the Rangers
got pummeled by San Jose 5-1 at home.
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