Everyone needs to relax. Girardi was horrible tonight and has been horrible for a couple of weeks. But this team isn't "going nowhere" as bad as they've been recently. I'm not happy that they're playing like crap and getting points though, we have to be better.
Staal has rounded into form and was arguably our best player tonight .
Benching Stralman was a mistake his play with MDZ has been under rated . He made a few gaffs lately but scored the other night and on the offensive side of the puck provides skill we needed tonight .
Say what you will about the amount of points this team has gained in the last few games, but the actual effort on the ice has been completely ****** (the defense especially).
It's one thing to be happy that they're holding onto first place, but you're blind if you think that this team hasn't been playing as well as they usually do these last 3 games. Careless turnovers, stupid penalties and losing easy battles on the board is going to end up hurting this team come playoff time if it isn't fixed.
This team is in a good position to make a deep run into the playoffs, these last games of the season should be momentum gainers and an opportunity to work on the weaker parts of their game. If they continue putting up efforts like they have in these last three games, many of us are going to be disappointed come playoff time.
I have confidence that Torts will rip this team a new one for their lack of quality play, I just hope they can get everything sorted out before the playoffs start.
Well this was an interesting one, largely because you get to see from a very close perspective the kind of impact that fatigue can have on mental errors.
Really nothing majorly wrong with the team that can't be handles, but you're looking at a defensive tandem in McDonagh and Girardi that are past their second wind and into the dreaded tired phase.
I've been monitoring their ice time all season and been trying to guess exactly when it was going to kick in, and it appears that that time is here. Tortorella needs to find a way to limit their time and get them back to full strength whilst not completely crippling the team.
Other things... well obviously we were a man short tonight with Dubinsky going off with what will probably be a broken hand on an idiotic fight. Why he feels the need to drop the mitts when we have an entire line full of fighters on top of Bickel is nothing short of baffling, and he may not be back now until the first round at the earliest.
Callahan was obviously only at about 50-60%. Had difficulty with sharp turns, was not as physical, and didn't even look as enthusiastic about blocking shots. He played 20:20 in a game, where, frankly, he should not have played.
Staal was the best player on the ice for the Rangers tonight, though Stepan and Hagelin had some good moments.
Key turnover machines were Girardi, McDonagh, Gaborik, Richards, and Pruster. Too many icings and our defensive zone coverage was even suspect at times.
All in all you're looking at a situatio n where the Rangers have a ton of upcoming games with not much rest in between, most of them are against playoff caliber opposition. Biron is going to have another 3 starts this month, and the Rangers are going to need to try to find a way to play their game in order to stay in first place. Oh, and Brad Richards is going to have to show up.
"I don't remember the law of physics being in the rule book"
This team has been dumb and mistake-prone lately, especially on D. It's becoming a bit of a legitimate concern because the D has been far from stellar for over a month now, and it doesn't seem like it is going to get any better. Lundqvist can't bail them out every night.
At least Staal gets better each game. I fear that McD and Girardi are mentally and physically exhausted and I'm unsure if they can return to form at this juncture.
Hope all the "it's just one game" crowd enjoyed that game. That's what we're gonna see the rest of the year if we don't learn how to get sustained offensive pressure or a PP quick. Teams are learning where our D passes and that's why there's so many turnovers. Torts is too stubborn to change anything so get used to this.