The Rangers Are Crunchy Killers

February 24, 2008

– I thought it was interesting that Lindy threw Crunchy and Vanek under the bus with Kotalik regarding the Rangers game-winning goal.

“The first part of the play is going down ice and [Vanek] not shooting the puck, which led to the turnover in offensive zone when we could have a great scoring chance,” Ruff said. “The second part was our goaltender could have froze the puck [when Brandon Dubinsky dumped it on net to enter the zone]. We didn’t have to throw it away against that line. And the third part was Al’s turnover.

Sure, it might’ve been a misguided attempt to make Kotalik feel better, since up until that point, he was having a great night. But on the replay of the goal, you can really see the entire play break down. As we say at work, when our double checks fail, they fail spectacularly. This goal was a multiple spectacular failure.

– Which leads into the key problem for both teams during last night’s game: turnovers. Both teams were incredibly lazy with the puck, looking to make the flashy pass instead of making the solid, dependable pass (or, more radically, shooting the puck). I almost felt like checking both teams for color blindness, it was getting that out of control.

– Props to Kaleta for finally dropping the gloves and fighting someone this season. He did reasonably well against Avery. And if Kaleta grows up into an Avery-esque player, I’ll be glad he’s on our team and not on another.

– What was with Roby calling Rob Ray “Robby” all night? Is it the latest round of the Ray/Roby battle? However, I do like Roby in the booth with RJ. He brings a different perspective and great hockey knowledge to the analyst position. Not to mention, he doesn’t mix up Pommerdoodle and Goose on a regular basis. I also think its pretty funny that the cameraman in the little ice level box with Ray wears a helmet, while Ray’s coconut goes unprotected.

– I’m not even going to mention Bucky’s bj of Drury, because it’s a total been there, read that column. However, Bucky did do a really nice write up about Lou Lamoriello in New Jersey. Lou’s done a pretty good job keeping his team afloat and responding to the changes in the new NHL (despite trying to kill hockey by running the trap). And, unlike other teams, Lou has no player hitting UFA status this year. So he can just sit back and watch the craziness ensue in July.

– I’m a little worried about Monday’s game with Philly. They’re currently working on a 10-game losing streak. They’ll be more keyed up than usual, and Buffalo / Philly games are usually pretty intense to begin with. Philly’s also reeling from the losses of Lupul, Hatcher, Mike Richards and Simon Gagne. They’re a desperate team, and so are the Sabres. Look here tomorrow night for a live and in person report once I get home from the game.

– Speaking of Gagne, I was saddened to read that one of the reasons he’s out for the season is that his first concussion earlier this year never fully healed. He took the ice despite having symptoms. Where does the fault lie in that situation: Gagne (rushing to get back) or the Philly medical staff (clearing him to play)?


  1. You’d think players would be more careful about their own health but I’m willing to put a bulk of the blame on management. They should value Gagne enough as a player and person to not let him play with a concussion. He’s gonna be friend if this keeps up.

    Along those lines, maybe Rob figures, what’s another blow to his coconut at this point? 😀

    I pointed this out in my reaction to Bucky’s Drury bj (I was not big enough to ignore it but it was my breaking point) but Pando is a UFA at the end of the season and currently unsigned so Bucky and his fact-checkers fell asleep on that one. (Still, Lou is awesome.)

    It is technically correct that the whole series doesn’t happen if Vanek doesn’t turnover the puck in the offensive zone but I still can’t believe Kotalik thought it was a good idea to make a blind pass right in front of his goalie ever much less in the last five minutes of a tied game. Oy.

  2. Lindy was right to point out Vanek and Miller though even if it was just to take some heat off of Al.

    I’m a little worried about the Philly game too. I can’t wait for your live and in person review!

  3. On the subject of Gagne, I think that at this point Philly really needs to bear some–a lot of–of the blame for the way they deal with concussions. Not only the medical staff but their management as well. It’s hardly as though Gagne is an isolated case and it’s shameful.

  4. I’m with Meg about Philly — they have a long and shameful history of mismanaging and willfully ignoring concussions. I am constantly amazed that the NHLPA hasn’t made any noise about this, and that free agents are eager to sign there.

    And as for Bucky’s article about Lou, I’m still bristling that Bucky doesn’t think Pando is significant enough an impending UFA to be mentioned as a pending UFA. Just because he’s only making $850K this year doesn’t mean he’s worthless! 😛

  5. I wouldn’t have known that Pando was a UFA at the end of the year until you guys mentioned it. Maybe its because I’m naive and think that Bucky is smart enough to fact check something (and I can’t believe I just used Bucky and smart int he same sentence).

    Besides, if anyone can use NHLSCAP to figure out contract status, why can’t Bucky?

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