Tuesday, February 10, 2009

They Have Been There and They Have Done That

Trying to cover Ranger prospects during these insane times is one of the hardest things to do. The reality is that with the Rangers screwing up and the clock ticking on the return of the Avery hardly anyone cares what is going on with the prospects.

Truth be told given how screwed up the Rangers are right now, even we are curious about this train wreck called the Rangers. It is bad enough to have a 0-4-1 streak going on; the Rangers are about to play 5 games over 8 days including a Sunday afternoon game on every Ranger fan's favorite NBC.

Life could get that much worse as when you are facing 2 teams in Washington and Philadelphia that you are chasing, one that is chasing you (Florida) and then 2 teams who have nothing to lose. For the Rangers no longer is the thought about being one of the top 3 teams in the Eastern Conference, it is about surviving.

The thing that bugs us and it seems that very few are realizing it; is that this is an annual event for the Rangers. The Rangers over the last 3 seasons put themselves into situations where the race for a playoff spot is made harder by their own play.

In 2005-06, the Rangers gave away first place in the Atlantic with a late season slump that allowed the Devils and Flyers to push past the Rangers. By finishing off the season 4-6 in their last 10 games the Rangers went from Atlantic Division Champs to 6th.

In 2006-07, the Rangers needed a 7-2-1 finish just to hold off the Lightning and Islanders to finish in 6th place. During that season it was losing streaks during December and February that led to the desperate fight for the playoffs.

In 2007-08, the Rangers using a 5-1-4 finish was able to improve to 5th place in a season that gave a glimpse to the problems scoring and on the power play that are very clear this season. In this season it was a 5-7-2 January that set the stage for another fight to make the playoffs.

If Tom Renney gets the credit for guiding the Rangers to 3 straight playoff appearances then shouldn't we blame him for these situations too? Yes the Rangers made the playoffs but too many people are forgetting the circumstances that told the story about how they made the playoffs.

When we see this then it is hard to point a finger at a flawed roster because every roster has holes in it. No this is not going to give Sather an out but it also should make a case to strip away a layer of protection that Tom Renney seems to enjoy.

No franchise is going to become a cup contender if they consistently exhibit this kind of play/record. Sooner or later when you play with fire like Tom Renney teams have been doing that you get burnt.

This we believe is that year mainly because when we project out the schedule then you will see that the Rangers once again shot themselves in the butt by not taking advantage of the weak teams in the NHL.

From March 5th until the end of the season the Rangers have 18 games, of those games 12 are against teams currently holding a playoff spot. The Rangers also have 2 games against Carolina who are just 4 points behind the Rangers in the standings so make it 14 tough games.

It is hard to believe that the Rangers who can not figure out how to give a 60 minute effort will figure out a way to beat the teams that want it more than they do.


Only one Ranger prospect in action on Tuesday evening and Tomas Kundratek's (2008 3rd) Medicine Hat Tigers got shut out on the road by the Saskatoon Blades 3-0. Not much to say when you are shut out except that Kundratek got a 10 minute misconduct-visor in the 3rd period.

We believe that call is if you get involved with a fight or scrum while wearing your visor. Kundratek apparently was in the middle of some shoving during a fight involving teammate Matt McCue.

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