Black Friday: Shopping For A Powerplay. Rangers Vs. Panthers

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Why Jim Hulton is still employed is beyond me, but for some reason he is, and Pete the Bore better get this thing fixed, as I’m not so sure how long Dale Tallon puts up with this.  We work hard, too hard for the goals we get as it, but this is ridiculous.  No traffic in front of the net, three guys behind the net, or in the corner, attempts to carry the puck across a stacked blue line, and the entire NHL knows that we are trying to set up Wideman and McCabe for slapshots.  Block those and we’re pretty much done.  Oh and did I mention alot of standing around waiting?

Here’s the TSN gameday preview for tonight.   Notice, no players for Florida are in the Hot column!

In any event, the New York Rangers and all of their fans will be in town tonight.  Yea another game where we are out numberd.  Two colleagues from my office who I have never heard speak of hockey are going tonight to root for the Rangers!  So be it.  The Rangers are fresh from a 5-3 loss at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning Wednesday night, where they trailed 5-0 late in the second.  They played a pretty abysmal 40 minutes before waking up too late.  Sound familiar?  Here’s a quote from Ranger coach John Tortorella about his team’s play.

“We just looked brain dead through the first part of the game,” said Rangers coach John Tortorella, whose team had won two straight and five of seven. “Why? I don’t know.”

Compare that to how Pete the Bore responded earlier this week:

“As a staff you have to remind ourselves the mistakes we’re making, the faults we have in our game aren’t from lack of effort or for not showing up prepared to play,’’ he said. “These guys have a lot of pride in their work ethic. That reflects in a lot of parts of our game, other than the power play”.

Blah, blah, blah.  Pretty tame no? Anyone see a slight difference in the approach.  Torts has a Stanley Cup, Pete has a Memorial Cup.  One’s behaving like a pro, the other like a junior.  That’s the problem.  It’s time for Pete to show some balls emotion behind the bench and make some truthful and harsh statements.

Chris Higgins had this to say:

“It seems that it’s a mental approach. I’m new here, but the team hasn’t made the playoffs in a long time and one way to do that is to win the games you lead going into the third,” winger Chris Higgins said. “You have to have that mental toughness, the commitment to defense the entire game. We’re done with the whole staying positive thing. At some point we have to go into action. We have to make sure the commitment to the team shows in your play.”
My annual “This Team doesn’t have the Mental Capacity” post isn’t to far behind.  We can’t score because our approach is flawed.  We work hard for each and every goal we get, which is something that can’t be kept up for 82 games, let alone 40.  Tomas Vokoun who was accused on some forum as the cause for our woes in games we lose is getting zilch for support.  If anyone expects him to give up two goals or less every night, you’re in a dreamworld.  We have a bunch of left-handed shots on both offence and defence, which causes some of our shots coming from the “wrong” position.  David Booth is snake bitten lately.  He’s taking long predictable shots and not driving to the net with the puck.  He’s not going in the traffic areas for his goals.  Speaking of traffic, Little Stevie is playing softer with the headgear than without it.
The Panthers after having some momentum have now dropped two in a row, and four of six with a total of five goals in the six losses.  That’s not a problem?  Finishers, creative plays, and an aggressive forecheck to go along with some physicality is needed to get this team pointed in the right direction.
It doesn’t get any easier as the Tampa Bay Lightning come into town Saturday night.  So get your excuses ready members of the Pete the Bore Kool-Aid Club.  Back to back games, three games in four nights, four games in six days.  Oh, yea and Thanksgivng dinner too!
I’ll be at this one tonight.  Hope you will be too.

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