A Game That Showed Me Some Things

Watching the Penguins vs. Rangers game yesterday, a few things about each team and a little something about the league became apparent to me. Something about the game just made certain things quite clear.

1) The Rangers have a total attitude problem. Although to some this may not be a new assessment, and for those people I should say the Rangers STILL have a total attitude problem, it was so strikingly clear to me for the first time in this game. The cockiness and attitude I saw on so many players faces was mirrored similarly on Slats’ face a couple times. There is a difference between a team being confident and a team being cocky, this team is cocky! One reason that this could have been so apparent in this game was the fact that the Rangers played the Penguins, and went in thinking badly of the Pens and, thus, looked cocky, and if this was the case, the Rangers should have a total attitude adjustment any time they play any team after today.

Examples abound. At the end of the second period, Eric Meloche was forchecking, digging in the corner banging with Kasparaitis, as the horn sounded Kasper skated over toward the nearby gate laughing, he looked at Brian Leetch and Leetch shared in his smile, both kind of saying did you see his puny little attempt against me. The look on Glen Sather’s face after two seperate penalty calls on the Rangers was one of, “oh come on, give me a break!”–yes, this is seen all the time, but it just looked exactly like the faces of all the other players. The Rangers played a horribly undisciplined game today, and were still lucky to get the powerplay chances they did, and lucky the Penguins didnt get more oppurtunities. In the second period, Mark Messier blatantly tripped Sebastian Caron as he headed back to the net, the puck was no where around, it was not a big deal, but Messier was not called, and he clearly looked like, HaHa I am Mark Messier, they aren’t gunna call me for this. To see Messier and Leetch seem to have this attitude problem amazed me. Matthew Barnaby made a terrible pass that resulted in a great shift in the Rangers zone for the Pens, and showed no care of making up for the play during his shift, and skated off the ice with a smug smile on his face after the whistle blew. Chris Simon crashed to the net and gave Caron a knock on the pads after the puck was gone and then gave him another stick shot after Caron responded with a glove on Simon, luckily, he didn’t get called, though it would have likely been coincidental minors, but then brushed off a teammate’s attempt to say “dude, we’ve already been shorthanded enough”… Slats’ mouthing of “What the F—?!” about the goal that was waved off, clearly for a valid reason …. and it just became clear to me how much a team of individuals the Rangers are. Just when I thought (I don’t watch the Rangers, so just from seeing game scores) that the team was coming together, I saw them disgrace themselves.

The Rangers got their asses handed to them 5 on 5 in this game, and were lucky that Jussi Markkanen stood on his head for most of the game, and that Bill Mcreary evened some of the calls up with some iffy calls on the Pens.

2) The Penguins played their best game of the year today for sure 5 on 5, and possibly overall. This will not be apparent on the scoreboard, but they recorded 41 shots, and as I said, absolutely dominated the game 5 on 5. Forchecking was as good as I have ever seen from the Pens, Chemistry was there, for the most part they were well disciplined, the penalty killing was outstanding, but the powerplay was not as good as it has been (Tarnstrom was missed). What became clear through this is that Eddie Olczyk is a good hockey coach. His desired systems showed through today, and he is right on for what he wants the Pens to do. Forecheck like crazy, get the puck to the night, make the simple play in their own zone, use their speed for oppurtunites, and don’t be afraid to be aggressive on the PK. If the Pens had been getting any bounces, and faced a goalie playing average, they would have owned this game, nearly from start to finish, minus about the first 3 minutes. If this continues, the Pens will not be in that top lottery spot for Ovechkin.

3. The NHL is definitely looking for more Penalty Shots. It was noted by Mike Lange that the average this season is something like 1 every 24 games, as opposed to 1 every 43 in previous seaons, and the call Mcreary made was very iffy. Meloche broke in shorthanded, driving to the net with the puck on his backhand (R handed shot) and as he was shooting toward the top corner near side, a Ranger player slid in cutting his legs out. Meloches swipe for a shot succeeded and his shot went into Markkanen’s chest. As Meloche fell and slide into Markkanen, the puck crossed the goal line, but the net came off the moorings. Mcreary signaled for a penalty, and quite delayed it seemed to me, then signaled for a penalty shot. The play was reviewed to determine if the puck crossed the line before the net came off, and then Meloche took his Penalty shot. By the books, this should not have been a Penalty shot, unless the Rangers player (who I can’t remember) let go of his stick, which I didn’t see at all. So it would seem that the NHL is trying to up Penalty shots to me!

31 Responses to A Game That Showed Me Some Things

  1. mikster says:

    Drank bitter beer yesterday? Hehe.

    That was the worst Rangesr win i have ever seen, the worst. PP looked like a high school team. They looked lazy and took the game WAY too easily.

    Some teams take certain teams way too easily though, not just the Rangers.

    As for the smiling and stuff……..what’s wrong with that? I mean, i respect your interpretation, but the way i see it…..yeah i would have laughed too if i was Kaspar. Come on, the guy tried to friggin hit me and he gets the worse of it.

    Like a year ago in pre-season…..this youngster from Boston hit Messier twice. He actually knocked Messier down twice, and at his third attempt Messier just gave him the elbow and the youngster went down. I laughed at that……the kid learned a lesson, don’t mess with Mess.

    Hockey is a fun sport and even if i were to be playing a friendly neighborhood game out on the road and someone i didn’t know bounced off me with an attempt to hit me, i’d go to my friend and laugh about it.

    It’s good to see players laugh on the ice….and smiling. Just like when one of your fighters wins a fight signle handedly, then goes to the bench and laughs with his teammates “ha ha, i kicked his ass”.

    It’s fun, teammates communicate better that way and it’s a good way to see how the game of hockey if a fun sport.

    The penalty shot was complete bullshit.

    Markkanen has been Slats’ best summer acquisition, though de Vries has been great too.

    I liked what Slats said of Dunham though. That it won’t hurt him watching some more games.

    Rangers luckily won, but the Pens made SO many mistakes too. If the Rangers kept playing as they did in the first 6 minutes, the Pens would have gotten killed and embarrassed.

  2. Sands says:

    I learned many things as well from this game…..

    1. Your an Islander fan

    2. That was a penalty shot, When you take down a player who has a step on ya by diving and hitting skate first with your stick it’s a penalty shot. Thats what happened!

    3. Rangers have shown how individual they are. If you ask me I think the team got a lot closer after the 4 game trip. After both OT wins, You could see them all laughing hitting each other as they skate off the ice like a bunch of kids … that was nice to see. Ortimyer shows so much heart that’s nice to see. That kid is the heart of the team.

    4. Markkenin Marking should be Number 1 goalie for a while, cause I’ll put money on it that when he goes into a slump, Duhnam will step right in rested and ready to prove something.

    5. Rangers need to work as hard as they can the next 500 Practices for PK and PP… where are they

    6. By the way Halavc is done … his days are numbered.

  3. mikster says:

    He is actually a Pens fan, a good fan too!

    I disagree that it was a penalty shot. I didn’t get MSG, i had to watch it from the Pens FOXSports station, but Mironov’s stick barely even touched Meloche, if anything the kid dove.

    Rangers are becoming more like a team as each game goes by.

    Hlavac days numbered? Only to be sent down in the minor league, or used in a trade for Jagr? Carter’s days also numbered.

    Poti…..hmm, not sure yet.

  4. GeniushockeyKID says:

    were the hell do you pull this $#*% out of? you sound like some crazy conspiricy theorist. to say that the penguins played there best even strength game of the year when they lost 4-1 is ridiculous.

  5. laserman says:

    I’m just glad that Dunham wasn’t in net cause it would have been an embarrassing Penguin blowout. The Rangers special teams are a horror show although they did kill off the 5 on 3 for a full 2 minutes. The only way they will make the playoffs is IF they tighten up on defense…

  6. Sundinfan says:

    And to think that people wonder why the Rangers dont get to the playoffs.

  7. GretzNYR99 says:

    Thank you, Mik. I could say a lot of things here, but I’ll save them for the report. As for that, I’ve got work tonight, and I should be able to get it done either tonight after work, or tomorrow night.

  8. GretzNYR99 says:

    I didn’t even get to watch the game.

  9. Kashin says:

    Horrible Ranger game

    Great game by juicy markennen. He is all but the starter. He had to make 40, 50 saves against an ECHL team. Bad defense. Yes they were missing Poti but they have the talent to make up for it. Sather has to do a better job with his d-men Kasperitus is the only one playing good and he is the 5th guy

    If i was mike milbury 1st i would quit but if not i would look at one of the ranger players like kovalev, or even carter. They have to make a trade and i dont think they will command a lot.

  10. Kashin says:

    I dont think the ranger fans care about the playoffs now. They are still wrapped up in 93-94.

  11. MAniac29 says:

    Did you watch the game?? I remember when I was 15 and my soccer team played our best game EVER and we lost 8-1. As I said in the article, you wouldn’t get it if you didn’t watch the game!! I’m interested to know if you did??

  12. MAniac29 says:

    Please drop the ECHL BULLSHIT!

  13. Kashin says:

    Sorry didnt know you were a pens fan thought you were a rangers fan. Bottom line is in the past 2 years the worst ownership in the leauge has ripped a solid team apart and dug it into the ground. They are almost bankrupt and by next year they might not be in Pittsburgh if there is hockey.

  14. MAniac29 says:

    I can understand such a perspective if someone does not get to watch Pens games often, but honestly, being completely objective, they really do have some great young talent. But if I am going to be fully objective, management has been bad the past two years, and even further back, which is why they are why they are right now at all, why they had to suffer through something like this to hopefully get back…


  15. MAniac29 says:

    Haha, I am sure that I am bitter, and that I would have loved the cockiness and smiling on my own team, but honestly, some things just really made NY not seem like a team to me yesterday more so than ever before.

    Was Poti’s scratch a “rest” scratch, or the you get to watch a game “healthy” scratch. I was thinking after those couple OT winners he’d by high on Sather’s list? no? He did have a couple recently right?

  16. MAniac29 says:

    The key to why it was not a Penalty shot was that he was able to get a shot off. The call should have just been tripping in my mind.

  17. RangerSteve says:

    Box of tissues for you my friend? The Pens most definatly dominated the game 5 on 5, can’t deny that. They ran into a hot goaltender and 3 of the 4goals were pretty shitty(Ortmeyer’s “Empty Netter”, Holik’s empty netter, and Nedved coming ou of the box breaking straight up the middle.) It’s sad to see the team the way it has traded starts(Straka being the latest). Olczyk’s a great coach if you ask me, and hopefully soon Pittsburgh can rebuild to get into playoff contention. You don’t like seeing them being cocky? What about when you saw your very own Darius Kasparaitis knock Lindros(on Philly at the time) out and go down the Pens bench high fiving everyone? I’m sure you were jumping for joy. The Rangers have nothing to be cocky about, obvously if you read any NJ/NY Papers you’d see that thru what the players said.

    About Messier having an attitude problem and you crying about the way he gives these cheap shots, that is VINTAGE MARK MESSIER. Surovy came in and kept jamming at Markkanen so Messier gives him a shot. “OH NO! THATS A PENALTY!!”….Anybody who has played this sport at a mite/squirt level from taht point on knows to protect your goaltender, and that’s what Mess did.

    Stop using a ton of “IFs”…your starting to sound like us Rangerfans 😀

  18. laserman says:

    Now if the Rangers D-Men would only do the same thing then Mess wouldn’t have to…

  19. kidhenry1 says:

    First of all, If I was a ranger$ fan, I would kill to have anybody, even Mike Milbury, instead of Slats. As if the ranger$ weren’t awful enough with Neil Smith, he’s somehow managed to drive them higher in payroll and deeper into the ground.

    And also, considering that the ranger$ and the isles are in a heated playoff race, and horrible rivals, what do you think are the odds of them making a trade?

  20. wheresthesoda says:

    poti had a hip flexor

  21. kidhenry1 says:

    What can I say? The Penguins work hard for the money. If Mike Dunham were in goal yesterday, Cujo would be in net by today.

    I hope that this game teaches the ranger$ a lesson. If they don’t work hard, they will lose games. It’s a lesson that Glen Sather hasn’t been able to hammer into his team’s mind yet. For the first time in the Slats regime, I can see the Ranger$ in the playoffs. But if they play like they did yesterday against just about any team but Pittsburgh, then they will lose.

  22. wheresthesoda says:

    i wonder if the islander fans remember 93-94

    1st round the rangers swept the islanders…1st 2 games of the series 6-0, 6-0

  23. wheresthesoda says:

    1st off….devries and leetch are both playing great also…malakhov and mirinov thats maybe another story but they dont take shit from no1.

    that might not win games..but the rangers won yesterday’s game, thats all that matters. there next focus is monday night against the flames.

  24. wheresthesoda says:

    i would like to start off with this…sather might be a bad coach but he is a damn good general manager.

    the kovalev trade was great.. kovi isnt playing well but lacouture is doing his best..scoring yesterday.

    the lindros trade..that can go both ways but right now, i think it was great. lindros’ 1st year he had 38 goals. this year he’s playing better. hlavac is back with the rangers. kim johnson..rangers have plenty of defenseman.

    bringing in bure was amazing..they got rid of ulanov..that says enough. and pavels’ name is enough. he played great in his 1st 12 games(1st year)

    the dunham trade almost brought the rangers back to the playoffs last season. dont have anything else to say about last year.

    Glen Sather has made some damn good trades. Right about now, i think all islander fans want radek bonk. glen sather could easily get him for just about nothing..doesnt need him.

    sather is one of the best gm’s in the nhl when stealing all starts from other teams.

    Yesterday’s game wasnt that great for the rangers, but it helped them out alot in the standings. penguins outplayed them the majority of the game. thats the only way the penguins will even be given a chance to win a game.

    the move that put kovi with mess was real smart..i liked it almost as much of jussi playing. ortmeyer plays his hardest night in and night out. he’s earned his stay in the nhl.

    markkanen has played amazing this season. but respectively dunham is still the number 1 man.

    i dont like it much, i think the rangers should have a rotation having dunham play 2 straight then jussi play 2 straight for the rest of the way. whoever plays better plays in the playoffs. which if markkanen plays much better than dunham, than have him play #1 at the start of march and the rest of the way.

    other than that..LETS GO RANGERS

  25. GeniushockeyKID says:

    well maybe they were acting like that cuz they knew what a soft team they were beating on. not that they’ve one enough games this season to justify being cocky, but i just didnt see it as much as maybe you did.

  26. wheresthesoda says:

    the islanders wouldnt be able to get kovalev or carter.

    the islander faggets cant afford them..if they got them they wouldnt be able to have any fans go to games because the ticket prices would go up

  27. GretzNYR99 says:

    Stick to the Isles, kid. You know jack shit about the Rangers. Maybe you’d know that Leetch has been great defensively, but having an offensive defenseman like Tom Poti, who knows shit about his own zone as his defense partner doesn’t help his game. DeVries, Kasparaitis’ defense partner has been great. They’ve been our best pairing. Malakhov and Mironov were great for a large part of this season, but as of late, Malakhov has been horrible. Jussi Markkanen is all but the starter? Oh, and Mike Dunham who couldn’t stop a shot for his life as of late is? Good logic there, kid.

    Do yourself the favor and stop posting about the Rangers.

  28. GretzNYR99 says:


    I’ve said this all year about the defense. Brewer, Smith, anyone?!?!?

    When Slatshole fucking get it?

  29. GretzNYR99 says:

    Wait… who’s still wrapped up in 94? You’re the one mentioning it. I’d say that you’re still dwelling on it and still mad about it, but you weren’t around then.

    8 years in the closet… and 8 more to come!

  30. GretzNYR99 says:

    I’d love to have Mike Milbury too… the same guy that passed up on Tony Amonte at $4 million bucks.

    You’re real smart.

  31. guinsfan4life says:

    I watched the same game that you were and I don’t agree with your assessment of the way the penguins played. I think they played sloppy in the neutral zone. To say that a team as young as the penguins played well 5 on 5 and to single out one facet of the game in which they might have played well, even though the score indicates otherwise, would be very unfortunate. While the team does need to know when they do things well, pointing out that they played well in a 4-1 loss doesn’t seem to me to be what you’d do. My ice hockey team lost 7-0 last night; however we dominate play for 3 minutes of the second period when the score was 2-0 and the other team had to ice the puck three straight times–but who cares, we lost, eh?

    I do agree with you, I think that Olzyck is doing a wonderful job with what he has to work with. This team will struggle to win 20 games, but they shouldn’t even have won the games they have. They have alot of young talent in the wjr. championships, so hopefully in a few years if they are still around we can find out how good they can be.

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