Rangers Rumors & News
This entry was posted on Sunday, February 8th, 2009 at 11:44 am and is filed under Hockey, Rangers Rumors & News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Rangers Graves Jersey HockeyLet’s start with the quote of the week, by Chris Drury after Friday’s pounding: “There’s no way to sugarcoat it. It was embarrassing, it was humiliating, it was awful.” Good observation, Chris. The team just flat-out gave up. Has there ever been a team that can fall apart so quickly and so often? How can a defensive-minded team give up 10 goals? After drinking myself into a stupor in the third period (I invented a new drinking game – every time Dallas scores a goal, you chug a beer), I realized what the Rangers problem is: They’re not Adam Graves-like enough.

With the retirement of Graves’ #9 fresh in everybody’s mind, it’s not hard to compare this year’s version of the Blueshirts to the team of Gravy’s era. The 2008-09 Rangers are the anti-Adam Graves. Graves was tough, gritty, passionate, did whatever it took to win games and actually scored goals (Graves scored more goals in the 1993-94 season than the whole team will score this year). The present Rangers are none of those things. They don’t pay the price and sacrifice their bodies to win battles for the puck. They rarely hit anybody (the whole team can win the Lady Byng trophy this year). They’re way too easy to play against. Do you think any team says, “Uh-oh, we have to play the Rangers tonight, that’s gonna be a battle”? Doubtful. They play not to lose, instead of playing to win. They let the other team dictate how the game is going to go. They play without pride. They play without passion. They often just aimlessly skate around, occasionally poke-checking with their sticks. They’re often allergic to shooting – how many odd-man rushes have they had where they don’t even get a shot off? When they do shoot they miss the net half the time. They rarely get mad. They say all the right things after a loss, but then go out and make the same mistakes over and over again. When they score it’s almost by accident (Nikolai Zherdev‘s two goals vs. the Stars both came from behind the net). Should I go on?

This Rangers team just doesn’t know how to win. When they clamp down on defense, they can’t score. If they open up their game, they get creamed. They’re missing something – or maybe a lot of things. They’ve got way too much money tied up in Drury and Scott Gomez, who are both complementary players and not stars. Not to mention Wade Redden. There’s rampant speculation that Sean Avery may be coming back. They can sure use his grit and toughness, but did he burn too many bridges when he left? How is Brandon Dubinsky or Steve Valiquette going to feel if he strolls back into the locker room? The team needs something, though. So while Gomez contemplates the definition of rock bottom (he had plenty of time to think about it while sitting on the bench in the third period of Friday’s loss), let’s throw out this idea as a first step to turning around the Rangers: How about a new GM and coach? It’s time.

Second quote of the Week, Brian Leetch: “We always looked to Mark as our leader, and Mike was our most important player being the goalie, but [Adam Graves] was our foundation. He was our heart and soul.”

The 2008-09 Rangers don’t have any heart and soul. That’s for sure.

There are currently 2 responses to “This Week in Rangers Hockey (Rock Bottom Edition)”

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  1. 1 On February 8th, 2009, Rob Abruzzese said:

    This is the team the GM wanted. He wanted Drury and Gomez he got them. He wanted Naslund, he got him. He wanted Redden. Yeah. This is a disaster and they have almost no cap room to make moves. Even if they add Avery they will be better, but they won’t have anymore cap space to make other deals.

    This team is pointless until Sather is gone. Which isn’t going to happen because he isn’t accountable to anybody. Why would he fire himself?

  2. 2 On February 8th, 2009, gozer said:

    I am hoping (praying, maybe?) that in the offseason Sather takes one look at his cap situation, realizes he’s screwed, and steps down, handing the GM duties to Schoenfield or Renney (preferably Renney so we can get the guy out from behind the bench without losing him from an organizational standpoint). No, our cap won’t look any better with a new GM calling the shots, but new leadership is our best shot at nipping this thing in the bud before it spirals into something that handicaps the franchise for years to come (see: the new york knicks). Ultimately, the solution may be losing a guy like Redden on re-entry waivers and being on the hook for half his salary – but even so, that’s 3.25M worth of cap space you’ve bought yourself. Same goes for Roszival. To be honest, I didn’t think there was a chance we’d see him back this year because I knew he’d command 5-to-6M on the free agent market. Imagine my chagrin when Sather showed him the money. Anyone who’s read my columns knows I have no love for Slats, but it’s become increasingly difficult to destroy the guy in this post-lockout era. Thankfully, cream rises to the top – or bottom, in this case.

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