Monday, October 20, 2008

This Truth Will Hurt

Final Score Dallas Stars 2 New York Rangers 1

Now would anyone care to show me where it was Sean Avery taking on the Rangers by himself at Madison Square Garden Monday night?

Exactly the point and the number one reason why the Rangers should be mad at themselves for why they let the Stars walk out of the Garden with 2 points.

You would think that the Rangers having been Avery's teammate for the last couple of seasons would have been prepared for the Avery show. You would have thought that the Ranger coaching staff would have gotten the Rangers focused on beating the Dallas Stars and not Sean Avery.

Even those who cover the Rangers were so focused on the Sean Avery Show that they too are guilty of tunnel vision. Everything was on Avery and in doing so they fell right into the same trap that the Rangers did.

I have to give serious marks to Andrew Gross of the Record who in his Ranger Rants wrote: " And, in reviewing what I've written tonight, I'm probably as guilty as anyone on focusing on something that was, at best, tangential to the real story tonight." No wonder I consider Gross to be the very best Ranger reporter in the NYC area.

Everyone else was so wound up about Avery pregame, during the game and postgame that about now one has to wonder if Sean Avery has stopped laughing at them for what he pulled. It was the ultimate in mind games played by one of the very best at mind games Sean Avery.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have never been a Sean Avery fan as I consider him to be the best self promoter in the NHL today. Nobody does a better job at drawing attention to himself than Avery does and tonight Avery got so far under the Ranger's skin that they forgot about being the New York Rangers.

The Rangers were so busy trying to hit Avery every chance they forgot who really leads the Dallas Stars and that is why the Rangers lost are Mike Modano and Marty Turco at the top. Bravo for life's ironys that Mike Modano and Marty Turco wound up being the game's first two stars.

When the Rangers look at the tape of this game they should realize that they were more focused on Sean Avery that they forgot to play to their own strengths. Where was the pressure attack that led to the 5-0 start?

The Rangers never pressed their attack and did not draw the power plays that they had been. Instead Brandon Dubinsky showed poor judgement by trying to be a headhunter and took 2 minor penalties which is not his game.

I bet the Stars were very happy to see Dubinsky sitting in the penalty box rather than on the ice doing damage. This I have to hope is a lesson that Dubinsky really needs to learn because if he wants to be an on-ice leader of the Rangers then he needs to realize that he helps the Rangers more by staying on the ice and leaving the headhunting to others.

Dubinsky has no reason to complain about the first call as that was a blatant elbow on Modano which if not for B. J. Crombeen reacting would have given the Stars a deserved power play. After the first period the blame starts to shift towards the Ranger coaching staff for failing to get the team's focus on beating the Star team.

Instead the Rangers got their biggest cheers when they hit Avery and that is where they really should be kicking themselves in the rear. The very same Sean Avery act that drives Marty Broduer insane worked on the Rangers.

To watch the postgame stuff was a sad comedy, the reporters knocking on Avery, Avery being the focus of just about everyone's report instead of why the Ranger played so poorly.

Steve Zipay wrote in his pregame post from Tom Renney: “We have to be professional and really understand this is about two points and nothing else, and do whatever it is we have to do to secure them,” Renney said. “I would suggest strongly against us retaliating or getting caught up in this whole circus, which is pretty much what it’s about outside of our dressing room. We’re a pretty focused team.”

Nobody got on Renney in the post game about the team's failure to do exactly that. Instead it was the rush to get the story on Sean Avery. Never mind that the Rangers let a team that had been giving up goals left and right limit them to just one goal.

Then there is Sam Weinman who wrote at his blog: "But what’s his excuse for taking on a broadcaster who has no impact on the game?"

Hey Sam why not ask what has been the Ranger's excuse for repeatedly trashing Avery since July 1? Dave Maloney during the first intermission talking about how Avery had to go because he always jabbed too far with his mouth saying Avery made comments personal.

Stan Fischler who is the worse offender trashing Avery and Jagr as if they were the reasons why the Rangers did not win in the playoffs. How it was best to get rid of Avery now while they could.

John Giannone (the broadcaster who reportedly got involved in an argument with Avery last night) who also repeated the Ranger party line about Avery wearing out his welcome in the Ranger locker room.

Yet here is the one question none of those three and none of the NYC media have bothered to answer: If Sean Avery was such a problem then how come the Rangers made Avery a 4 year 12 million contract offer in an attempt to keep him?

Nobody in the NYC media wants to ask that question why?

In the meantime the Rangers should be looking in the mirror asking themselves how come they lost a game they had no business losing. These are supposed to be the NEW Rangers but last night they played like the old ones.

I for one think losing 3 out of the last 4 games is something more important to be talking about than Sean Avery.

Or maybe talking about Sean Avery is the excuse not to be talking about what is wrong with the Rangers who have gone 1-2-1 since starting 5-0.

In either case, the Sean Avery show is over on Broadway so it is time to start looking at why this team is actually struggling now

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