After giving up 13 goals in two nights to the Lightning and Penguins, the Rangers are long on questions and short on answers. Very little is working for this team right now, and their coach, for all his tough talk and arrogance seems to have absolutely no clue what to do about it.
The Good Ship Tortorella is sinking Ranger fans, and the Skipper seems powerless and/or unable to stop it. The water is coming up over the bow, and most of the team is bailing with Dixie cups.
They still aren't playing hard for 60 minutes, they still aren't getting scoring from forwards not named Gaborik or Prospal, and they are still making far too many defensive mistakes to be considered even a mediocre hockey team.
Plenty of excuses, no answers.
On to the recap, although I can't fathom how anyone would even want to read this, because I didn't even want to write it.
Recap after the jump.......
The Rangers drew first blood on a beautiful backhand goal by Marc Staal, but after that the Penguins came roaring back, with three goals in a span of less than four minutes, and by the end of the night, Sidney Crosby had a hat trick, and the Pens had a 8-3 victory at the Igloo in Pittsburgh. Evgeni Malkin, Maxim Talbot, Tyler Kennedy, and former Ranger Pascal Dupuis also scored for the Pens.
The Rangers flirted with attempts to make a game out of it, but the Penguins had an answer every time. After Matt Gilroy made it 3-2 with a goal with five minutes left in the second, Mark Eaton scored a goal as time expired in the second period. A review of the goal showed that it crossed the goal line with 0.4 seconds remaining in the second.
The Rangers answered quickly in the third, with Michael Rozsival scoring his first goal of the season just thirty three seconds into the period. It ended a long scoring drought for Rozsival, who hadn't scored in 42 games. But again, the Penguins came back fast, came back harder, and put the game away for good.
The luckiest Ranger of the night? Enver Lisin, who was dressed and on the bench, but didn't get on the ice once. MSG announcers talked about Lisin "being taught a lesson" by head coach John Tortorella. Yeah, you sure showed him Torts.
- Michael Del Zotto had an especially tough night, finishing -5 for the evening. Can't say I can ever recall a defensemen having a +/- that bad.
- Defensive breakdowns notwithstanding, Stephen Valiquette was awful in this game, just flat out awful. He is making it harder and harder for the Rangers to give Henrik Lundqvist nights off.
- I almost feel bad for Christopher Higgins, I really do. He's doing all the little things, and getting plenty of chances, the puck just refuses to go in the net for him.
- Donald Brashear had a power play shift in this game.......I'll just let that sink in.
- Chris Drury had a terrible night as well: -2, a woeful 1 for 6 on defensive zone face-offs, and 6 for 14 on face-offs overall. Boys and girls, if he isn't winning face-offs, he is of no use to the Rangers.
- I think Artem Anisimov has earned more playing time. Put him on the first line, and see what happens. What is the worst that could happen, the Rangers lose?
- Towards the end of the MSG telecast, John Giannone said the Rangers would be an "angry team" on Monday night for the rematch with the Penguins. I want John to tell me what Ranger team he is watching, because the one I'm watching doesn't get angry.