Rangers Recap: Thrashers 5 Rangers 4 (SO)
"I thought we sucked right on through the game, I think we're fortunate to get a point, very fortunate to get that." -John Tortorella
I couldn't have said it better myself Torts. The Rangers sucked last night in Atlanta. There's really no better way to put it. They once again played down to their competitions level and allowed them to crawl their way back into the game. The Blueshirts allowed one player, Ilya Kovalchuk, determine the outcome. Even when the Rangers still had the 4-1 lead, they still were playing sloppy hockey. They need to erase this game from their memory banks, because if they play like that against the Penguins tomorrow it's going to be embarrassing.
- One more reason to hate the Gary Bettman NHL is the handling of Sean Avery. Apparently the same set of rules does not apply to him. I can understand the referees not giving him a lot of leeway, that's expected. But their bias towards him is blatant and ridiculous. His goaltender inference call was a perfect example. He never even touched Lehtonen. What a joke.
- There are some Ranger fans out there that are righteously pissed that Torts didn't use Zherdev in the shootout. Yeah, he should have used Nikky instead of Freddy Sjostrom or Scott Gomez. But in the end, it didn't cost them the game. The Rangers taking their foot off the gas in the third period despite only having a 2 goal lead is what lost the game. It was over before the skills competition even started.
- The Larry Brooks column today is a perfect example of why I borderline hate sports journalists. Uncle Larry is up in a fit because Torts didn't give the reporters a real explanation for why the Rangers lost. "Instead, the head coach delivered a bush-league, obscenity-filled rant before turning his back on reporters and walking away into the night." Brooksy did you ever play any hockey in your life? Do you honestly expect Torts to be happy and graciously answer your oh so important questions after he witnessed his team blow up against the 27th ranked team in the league in the midst of a playoff race? Grow up Brooksy. Stop whining because Torts made your job a little difficult last night.
- Michael Sauer played another steady game, which is exactly what the Rangers need out of him. Keep those fingers crossed that he plays well enough to dump Redden out of the lineup.. sigh..
- There are certain things I do not like about Ilya Kovalchuk. But last night he really showed something. Despite the fact his team was eliminated from the playoffs in October, he played his heart out and acted like the game actually mattered. Good for him./
The fact of the matter is, I can sit here and bitch and rant about what the Rangers did wrong all I want. But I'm going to do like the Rangers should and throw this game out. As unacceptable as their performance was, the Rangers have a now even bigger game against the Penguins tomorrow night.
Btw, Jim is out of town so I'm going to be taking over for the next few days.