GDT: 1/16 - New York Rangers @ New Jersey Devils - 7:30PM
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01-16-2007, 01:39 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Snow Belt, USA
Originally Posted by
You seem to make a habit out of taking a kernel of truth and then running with it in all sorts of odd directions.
Has our goaltending been worse than last year? Undoubtadely, you can easily gather as much from their inferior SV%. However, a large part of Henrik's struggles comes from the much higher quality of shots surrendered this year. Some of it has to do with a declining attention to defense on the part of the forwards. The other part is a sharp decline in play by our defensive D's. Kaspar is a shadow of the player he was last year. Malik was our best defender last year. This season he's lucky to be in the line-up some nights. While Tjutin has improved his physical play, positionally he either regressed or at best stayed at last year's level. Ward is an upgrade on Strudwick, but Rachunek has been a defensive downgrade from Poti's play in the latter part of last year. At best, the two are a slight improvement. What's crucial though, is the fall-off in play by Malik and Kasper. They were a source of defensive stability, especially on the PK. Fix Malik, and you fix a lot of Rangers' own zone woes along with the faltering PK.
Prucha has to take responsibility for a lot of his struggles. However, his handling has ranged from indifferent to disastrous. To be squeezed out of the top 9 by waiver wire trash like Krog is preposterous. He hasn't been THAT bad. Playing him with stone-hands Hollweg and Orr is sheer lunacy. How well would Straka do with those two?
The only part I don't have a problem with is Hossa flanking Shanny. However, Betts in the middle makes the task an uphill struggle for both. I realize there aren't a lot of options. To me though, either the banished Immonen or the suddenly out-of-favor Ward would been a better choice in the middle. Hell, you could even try Prucha as a 2nd line center. That wouldn't put him anymore out of position than he is now.
I agree with most of it (well written, BTW), but it is doesn't defeat my point. Any goalie could have a bad night or allow one or even two here and there. The problem starts when the team confidence is effected. I do not know how anyone could be calm against Isles (Henrik) and against Sens (Kevin). It is going on all season long more or less.
Hockey is an entertainment, FYI. Regardless of the results it is little or no entertainment value to watch the struggling goaltenders night after night. I'd rather watch Colorado loosing than us. Their goalie has no defense in front of him, but Budaj is true fun, while Lundqvist varies from terrible to disgraceful.
I predicted Prucha will be loose piece back in August after Shanahan's signing. I wish I was wrong.
Okay, let's forget about it for tonight at least. Let's go Rangers!! Let's go Heneke!!
Last edited by 94now: 01-16-2007 at
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