Thursday, January 3, 2008

Post Game Thoughts And Lafleur wins 3rd Straight

When people argue about what kind of role that the Betts line should be having then they should take the tape of this game and watch it carefully. All season long I have watched people belittling Betts and his linemates unfairly.

Against the Canucks it was the Betts line that was had the jump in their step, who took the play to the Canucks and yes it was frustrating to see that they did not finish their chances but they also had the Rangers best chances.

When I looked back at what I was writing during the game, it was crazy that the Rangers repeatedly made life so easy for Luongo for most of the game because he had clear vision on the shots he was facing.

The QMJHL has a stat that I really wish the NHL would adopt called "Dangerous shots" where the goalie had to actually work to make the save instead just letting the puck hit him. Had they had that stat in the Canuck game then instead of seeing that Luongo made 28 saves that he only had 6 "dangerous saves".

Stephen Valiquotte could be blamed on the first Canuck goal as he left his side door wide open, but the other 2 goal were the results of smart plays by the Canucks. In the 3rd period where my seat was (up by the moon by the way) was above the Ranger defensive end.

On the second goal, Daniel Sedin put Drury right between him and Valiquotte and Valiquotte never had a chance. It was a textbook use of a screen and nobody really deserved blame for Sedin making a great play.

On the 3rd goal, it was even better as Jason Jaffray had 2 Rangers and 2 Canucks screening Valiquote who was handcuffed totally. Tom Renney should take the tape of HOW the Canucks scored those 2 goals and tell the Rangers "that is what traffic does"

Of course having Bill McCleary as the senior ref also means you have to expect some very suspect calls going against the Rangers and tonight was no exception. All game long even the calls against the Canucks were being showed on the video screens but neither Hossa 3rd period calls nor the Orr interference were.

They showed the Malik trip though which made things all that worse when it comes to the officiating. Shame on the NHL for allowing this kind of "effort" to go unpunished as it will.

Other thoughts

Since I do not attend the Ranger games at the Garden I do not know if the Rangers give away "goodies" at every stoppage of play. When Canada cries about losing teams to the US then please explain to me how the first time the Rangers appear there that they could not sell out?

Please explain to me how at best the place was just 2/3 rds full but Canadians want more teams? Support the ones you have first and stop complaining about American cities stealing from you.

As for those who did show up, guess when you are ahead 3-0 with 2 minutes to play that you have the courage to start a "Rangers Suck" chant more power to you. One must think that the pain of 1994 still lives on for them.

Prospect Report

We can now say that Antoine Lafleur is hot as the 2007 2nd round draft pick won his 3rd straight game on Thursday evening leading his Prince Edward Island Rocket to a 5-4 win over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.

Lafleur had 33 saves while facing 10 "dangerous shots" in the game. It was not a pretty effort but for Lafleur it now has him inching his record closer to 500 as Lafleur with the win now is 9-13 on the season.

Lafleur is starting to show the form that gave the Rangers the reason to take him in the 2007 draft as the Rocket are starting to make some noise in the QMJHL and Ranger fans know what a difference a hot goalie can make.

Tomorrow the Rocket are going up against Ryan Hillier and his Halifax Mooseheads so we will see if Lafleur is still hot.

We fly to Edmonton tomorrow but will have reports on the USA/Canada plus the rest of the prospect action so stay with us

1 comment:

The Dark Ranger said...

Jess, I couldn't agree more on your analysis of 'dangerous shots' -- there haven't been any mainstream media stories on qualifying this particular Luongo shutout, as opposed to their blatant lazy labeling of 'Luongo the Great' Defeats The Rangers.

It should have read more like "The Rangers Defeat Themselves", but so I digress.

Keep up the good work on prospects, as I am a Betts fan, Cally, Girardi, and a very anticipating Bobby S., cherapanov, etc to the franchise. Lafleur sounds like he might have a crossover into the big leagues sooner than later. Your site is providing hope for the many confused Ranger fans/bloggers (myself included)...