The New York Rangers (0-1-0) lost to the Phoenix Coyotes (1-0-0) by the score of 4-1, tonight. For a box score, go to Yahoo! Sports.
...hey, at least Richards wasn't as terrible as we expected. Listen, I've been saying it all preseason, this team is going to struggle early. New coach, new system, key players out during training camp. My one criticism of AV during camp is that he might have allowed the evaluation process to linger a little too long, leaving zero time to prepare the opening night roster for the beginning of the season.
...seriously, did that eye injury improve Staal's vision? He's been unbelievable on offense. Looked damn good on defense as well.
...at least someone did. Lots of running around, too much puck watching and zero aggressiveness.
...unfortunately, Brassard played like he was still in Columbus and Nash didn't.
...speaking of Nash, I give him all the credit in the world for sticking up for Stepan, but this is what happens when you don't have a true enforcer on the team. Sorry Dorsett, but Voros could take you in a fight.
...ONE blocked shot for Girardi tonight. ONE! Was strange not seeing Rangers players launching themselves at every shot. Especially on the penalty kill. Maybe they should have.
...it's a power play goal!!!!! Sorry, didn't get to say that very often last year.
...Mike Smith didn't have to make a lot of saves, but he had some huge ones early that definitely shifted the momentum of the game. His puck handling had a big role in the game as well.
...so is the excuse we're going with that Lundqvist is still getting used to the smaller pads?
...new coach, same old Del Zotto.
...Pyatt should barely be on the team, what the hell is he doing on the penalty kill?
...Stepan looked like a guy who held out of training camp. Missed the net on a few open shots early in the game.
...tough to evaluate Fast who didn't get a ton of minutes tonight, but wasn't overwhelmed.
...can someone check to see if John Moore was training with Del Zotto this summer. Brutal night for him.
...pretty much a tough night for all the ex-Blue Jackets. Can you say "Arniel Effect?"
...the one positive I can take out of tonight is that it can only get better. Right?
...three days to digest this loss before visiting the Kings in La La Land.
Post game quotes (via Blueshirts United)...
“Overall our game wasn't sharp. But we were hurt with little details, which we can control. We have to play a lot better.”
“We had some good chances, Zucc hits the post, Richie absolutely labels one and Smith makes a great save on it, and that could have been a turning point, as well. It's a funny game. They capitalized on their opportunities tonight and we didn't.”
“We had a couple breakdown that cost us a little bit. They're a good team that came with a lot of speed..but we had our chances and (Mike Smith) played well on the other side.”
Staal, and Zucc were the only 2 who stood out for me. Get Zucc on that first line and dump Richards to the second line.
I don't understand... when I see Boston and Chicago pass, its night and day compared to the Rangers. Chicago and Bostons is so quick that teams hardly have time to react to them. Everything seems so much slower and inaccurate with the Rangers.
Hank also seems to be getting disgusted quicker than normal. I don't know if its with the guys or himself.....
So, the next 4 games are against teams that have a chance at the cup this year. Okay, maybe not Anaheim, but you never know. Phoenix was by far the worst of the first 5 teams we will see. It is not out of the question for the Rangers to start 0-5, or 1-4, or 0-4-1.
There is going to be a press riot after these 5 games. This board will be engulfed in flames. There will be overturned cars and zombies. The Rolling Stones will bring back Mick Taylor. The lamb will lie with the lion. I will sleep with 25-year-old twins....
For the good of the universe, let us pray for a 2-3 start. That would be something!
The Rangers are skating and getting off "one and done plays." There is a zero forecheck. The value of a good forecheck as Torts will tell you, is that it wears down the opponents defense short term and long term and leads to close-in chances (high probability of scoring chances) AND KEEPS YOUR DEFENSE AND YOUR GOALIE AWAY FROM YOUR OPPONENTS' TIRING FORECHECK.
see what it takes to get the wilson kid out of washington, he's a monster and will keep opponents honest. if they can't be more physical they're dead in the water.
I'm reading some of the comment stream here and obviously we didn't have a great game but come on guys. It was 1st game under new coach new system. Look between the lines and think outside the box. I saw some good things out there and there were positive signs. I expected a sloppy disorganized effort and though I hate losing ( under the circumstances) I like what I saw. Stop being such negative Nancys. Now if we lose on Mon. I say we fire AV :)
One line with chemistry, Richards some nice plays but still can't skate. Definitely not worth the cap space. Bottom six no talent outside the kids or toughness. Call Hartford?
On another note it looks like Nash had all summer to think about how soft he was in the playoffs. Tough guy not a role he looks comfortable in, maybe focus on offense ..... I mean hopefully he will stick up for himself but they need scoring.
Was it just me or was Brian Boyle out there for 55 min last night??? Wayyyy too much ice time for a useless penalty killer...
Fire AV! Everyone but Staal looked slow and off kilter last night. To be expected since they haven't been home in a while. Give Phoenix credit, their goalie played great and the swarmed at the right times. The Rangers came out really well but Phoenix withstood it, as a home team needs to do. They just need some time to iron out the kinks and they'll be fine. I was really encouraged to see defenseman making plays in their zone instead of chipping out to the other team. This team will be fun to watch once the cobwebs are gone.
Excellent commentary, and superb comments by jmacwilli on your main board. I agree 100 percent, especially the comments about Lundqvist and how the differential in the money should be spent. I was looking for a way to express the same sentiment without being told I was crazy, etc., but jmacwilli nailed it.
I think these are the facts, and this isn;t based on one game, but the team on the whole over the last two years...:
1. The Rangers will certainly "improve", but they are not going anywhere without getting some toughness - and that means toughness that is not a liability on the ice. Sorry, but Sather has dropped the ball here. Yes, it is hard to find those players, but to not have ONE is fucking incompetence. Yes, I am sure all of the NYR are "competitors"....blah,blah,blah. I'm talking about those "you can't fuck with me, or my team" guys. You know....guys that would've had the stones to actually call Torts out when necessary. Rangers?.....don't have it.
2. Don't sign Hank to a HUGE multi-year deal. He is overrated. YES....he is great. But he is still somehow overrated and you are not going to get value. Plus....he has a tremendous hole in his game in his inability to handle the puck. That is not a minor issue. That is effing HUGE. Ignoring it and saying he is a great shot stopper is as stupid as saying that a catcher who doesn't throw anyone out "calls a great game". Yeah...all well and good, but Hank is not THAT much better at stopping shots (maybe even not at all) to warrant being paid as much as those other goalies who don't have a glaring hole in their game. Go from an A to a B+ in net and maybe use the MILLIONS of extra dollars to get some hard-nosed but still skilled players in front of him.
Stayed up to watch that crap....unreal... (I did like to see them skate though. Good sign)
@TheNYRBlog Big positive is they looked faster and PP had chances . Smith stoned us in 1st
It is painful to watch Pyatt on the ice. For someone who supposedly wins battles down low and along the boards, didn't do any of that last night. Probably b/c he's too slow to get in on the forecheck. During the 3rd period I saw the whole Phoenix team, I repeat the whole Phoenix team that was on the ice, skate right past Boyle and Pyatt and they could not catch up. I don't mind Boyle as long as he's playing on the 4th line. I think it's a waste to have Miller playing with Moore and Dorsett. Would rather see Miller on the line with Fast. While I'm on this rant, it's also a waste to play to Fast with Boyle and Pyatt. Don't think "muscle" was an issue last night but it eventually will be. Mashinter? Trade? Thought Richards' game last night was better than any game he played last year. I may be in the minority here but I did like the style they played and think it will only get better as the season progresses. Thinking maybe 20 games is when we'll get a true read on this team. The defensive aspect of this system will be the one that will them the longest to get used to. I think a .500 record after the first 20 games would be good and then take off from there. Of course ... they have to put the puck in the net ... THEY meaning the forwards!!!
I am not panicking yet. It takes time to learn a whole new system. But for those saying it is too early to worry, you have to look at our preseason. It was atrocious. The last time we had the extended road trip we had a preseason record of 4-2-1 and the road trip record was 3-2-2. And then the rest of the season was amazing!! Our division is going to be very competitive this year, so we cannot take too long to get going.
The only positive I got out of the game that the Rangers lost. I turned off the TV after Phoenix scored their 3rd goal. I knew that the Rangers were not going to come back from a 2 goal deficit. I just hope that they can get their sh-t together before it is to late. Otherwise it's the same old crap. Too much expectation for so little performance.
@TheNYRBlog my biggest concern is Brassard, history is full of guys who responded to a change of scenery at first only to revert soon after
Too much panic in here. It's the FIRST GAME. We'll be fine. The comments are out of hand. It's hockey. That second goal was a missed goalie interference call. Zucc scores that and we have a tie game. Would have been whole different game people. Calm down and take a deep breath. Smith was ridiculous tonight.
I only watched the3rd period tonight but not discouraged. I saw some good things in between the ugly goals against. MDZ made less then a dozen turnovers. Richards was more decisive with the puck then I'd seen all last year. Nice response by Nash on that legal but dangerous and unnecessary hit on Step when the outcome of the game was not in doubt. Good to have 3 says off now. The boys played with passion but sloppy.
1 game or not they looked like shit. Will they be better? I'm sure they will but that shit was not encouraging.
@TheNYRBlog the sked set up due to this renovation will be a dagger to this season
@TheNYRBlog we are in a heap of trouble! By the time the defense learns this new system we will be so far behind in the division
I am getting nervous that Hank could be a system goalie. it can only help a goalie if the D and Offense collapse and block 50% of the shots coming in. Now he is seeing better scoring chances as AV wants Dmen to jump into the play.
It is early and we will see, but preseason and game 1 making me a little nervous with Hank.
Seriously Boyle.....two broken sticks on what seemed to back to back shifts? Hate to be critical but the broken sticks indirectly had a lot to do with two goals.
Bottom line is we looked very unorganized throughout the game. Lundqvist at times looked uneasy in and out of position. It will get better. Was amazed to see all the cross ice passes.
The game summary: Out of step, out of speed, out of strength. I imagine it will get worse before it gets better.
Del Zotto -2 ...as long as he has no defensive responsibility, nothing is going to change. Constantly out of position.
So apparently that whole puck possession concept went out the window - the dump and chase was in full effect. The times they did try and carry it in the puck carrier got little or no support or were smply bumped off the puck... Brutal game - lets hope it is an eye opener for the guys! Let's hope they can build a little fire in their bellies and start playing with a little desire. Maybe someone needs to remind them that preseason is over.
Everyone talks about Krieders lack of hockey IQ should look at pylon in that game - completely LOST and USELESS!
Nash, paging Mr. Nash until the "fight" was he just napping? Ritchie was more if a threat.
PS good call holding out Step it clearly paid off...dubi 2.0?!?
Still can't understand how people are killing hank for last night 3 of those
Goals were directly from a rangers player's mistake... And 2 of them were unsaveable (deflection and the one were he got interfered with). Don't think hank was the problem
@TheNYRBlog Thank u! Everyone is killing AV already! Gona take some time to gel! Everybody needs to just relax!
@TheNYRBlog Can a Dman hit somebody in front of the net. Slot coverage horrid
@TheNYRBlog As much as he sucked last year, thought he played WELL last night. Clean slate, remember? :)
I would say the Rangers looked a little quicker then last year. They had a pretty good start. Richards looked better, he'll be fine. They need some grit. They don't need a tough player they need to play tough as a team. If Lundqvist countinues to play like this it's back to shot blocking.
@josh930 You know Richey looked pretty good out there and he was more decisive with the puck than I saw all of last season, but still I agree with bringing Zucc up on the line with Nash and Step, atleast until hags comes back. At times the Rangers looked like they had quickness and precision last night. It was not at all consistent but something maybe we could build upon..
@Hotfreak Nice to see a bit of humor rather than doom and gloom here. Maybe the Rangers will win the next 4 games. Maybe the Stones will bring back Brian Jones and The Lamb really will lie down on Broadway...
@EHBIGAPPLE Right - Torts says... and that's why their forecheck was so awesome last year. Nice job Torts! And I suppose that AV told the boys before they went out last night "no matter what you do don't forecheck" - did you ever stop to think that maybe it's not the coach so much as it is the players execution??? BTW the game I watched included some forecheck pressure - ZERO forecheck? exaggeration, though I will agree that it's not enough.
@Betweentheworlds No, it was not just ONE game: there were 5 preseason games, all of which were miserable, even the one early on with a win. I despair of the Rangers. As I said before, it won't be long before everyone will start missing Tortorella.
agree 100%. Heard Boyle gets his sticks from Mikasa.
Seriously though, I'm starting to question this coaching staff already. Who puts their 2 slowest guys (Boyle and Pyatt) out together to kill a penalty. Between Boyle's glass stick and Pyatt fanning on clearng attempts, not to mention being a scond late to each puck, there's got to be a better answer.
@Free Lindberg Agreed.
@11AV31 @TheNYRBlog we put him in Hartford
@genetics73 @Betweentheworlds I will never miss Torts - even if AV proves to be the worst coach in the world. I don't care how good a caoch you are on paper, how long you've been in the league, how smart you are etc. etc. if you lose the respect of your players you are NOT a good coach. end of story!!! After all who wins or loses games for you (shout out to all the Torts guys here who are ready to jump all over the Rangers and AV after their first loss). Yes genetics. ONE game. Tey are 0-1-0. You're not wrong about what you are saying - I just don't give a rats ass about preseason when half your players are minor leaguers. They are going to be a good club this year. It takes time to adapt to a new coach and system. If I turn out to be wrong I will be the first to admit it but I predict a winning campaign this year and a decent playoff run. If certain holes can be filled by the deadline maybe even a Stanley Cup run.
Take a listen to the speeches of the inductees to any of The Halls Of Fame. They are thanking all the people (parents,coaches,lovers/partners) who inspired them to achieve elite levels of success. Do you hear platitudes in their speeches? or whom do you inspire?...... or who ever inspired you?
@jmacwilli @EHBIGAPPLE @Betweentheworlds Keenan ended up in the sports desk for those very reasons you mentioned and would have lost the '94 Rangers if Mess didn't clean up his mess.. I remember that year well. In a way he was a great coach but he needed an extraordinary captain to avoid a mutiny. Scotty was tough for sure but he was FAIR, not inconsistent due to uncontrolled frustration and he was such a great coach that you respected him no matter what. Players would often talk about a "love-hate" relationship. Good points
@EHBIGAPPLE @Betweentheworlds @genetics73 Those are just simple platitudes. Scotty Bowman certainly pissed off almost every team he coached - to the point where his players often said..."you hate him 364 days each year, and then you pick up your ring". Keenan was notoriously hard on his players AND played mind games.
@EHBIGAPPLE @Betweentheworlds @genetics73 I agree with you totally EH - though I'm not understanding your implications, are you saying torts is angry? I'm angry? I would say that I am not, and torts gets frustrated, which undermines his coaching - without that he could be a pretty inspiring guy and arguably up there on your scale. Passion is a double edge sword though, if properly governed it is a great and inspiring thing, so I'm thinking if he can figure out how to drop the anger he could be pretty darn good. I'm looking for a bit more passion now from AV which I've yet to see - hoping that doesn't prove to be missing. The boys in spite of their failings looked inspired out there last night.
I would say the reasons I admire your wisdom with your above statements is that I relate to it. My son adores me, my employees go the extra yard to help my business and do anything I ask of them, and when I coached my kids played their little hearts out for me and even my ex-wife and I are still friends and enjoy a mutually respectful relationship. I've always sought to be a source of inspiration in everything I do. Nice comments EH
Here is a little life lesson "in performance in any area of life:"
"Coaches at all Levels of Performance"
The Mediocre Coach tells players
The Good Coach explains to players
The Superior Coach demonstratesto players
The Exceptional Coach inspires players
Drop some of your anger that, by the way has nothing to do with Torts and then place Torts on the above chart. Anger doen't inspire!
This above rings very true to the kind of Parent we are to our kids.......the kind of Lover we are to our partners......the kind of Teacher we are to our students......the kind of manager we are to our emplyees......does it not?