Thursday, January 14, 2010

It is Still Lame After All This Time

Ryan Callahan quoted in the New York Ranger's Postgame notes after losing to the Ottawa Senators 2-0:

“No excuses. I don’t understand why we’re not ready, but we have to start getting prepared to play games. We wanted to make sure there was no let down after the (New) Jersey game, after being such an emotional game, and I thought we did that and tonight we come out and we have a start like that. I don’t know what the explanation is but it definitely has to change.”

Now I am not going to sit here and trash Callahan for what he said but instead point the finger at the entire culture that makes up the New York Ranger's franchise.

Reason being if you close your eyes and just hear the words then you can think back to years past and realize that these words have been said way too many times by many a Ranger over the last 10 seasons. Close your eyes and you can see Holik, Messier, Leetch, Jagr, Shanny, Gomez and on and on all saying the same thing at one point or another.

How many times have we seen a Ranger team leader or player talk about how they have no idea why the team failed to show up? How many times have we seen a Ranger swear things need to change?

Yet here we are in 2010 and the same lame things keep happening over and over to the point when you can predict what is going to happen and when. The moment Sam and Joe said "here is 2 points that the Rangers should get" should have been your clue that this was going to be one of those horrible nights.

And along with the for sure loss you also knew that someone was going to do exactly as Callahan did and say exactly what he said. Now the only thing that is unpredictable is which Ranger will say those same words the next time the team loses a game like this one?

Cmon really you knew that the Rangers were not going to show up to play against a crippled Senator team. You just knew when they mentioned that a guy who was called up on an emergency basis that the Rangers were going to make him look like a Hall of Fame goalie.

How many times have we the Ranger fans seen the Rangers play an outstanding game like they did against New Jersey only to fail to show up for the very next game against a team they should defeat? If you have lost count then join the club because it has been going on for as long as the Dolans have owned this franchise.

The coaches knew this was going to be a dangerous game to play, the players all claim they knew it but yet they still failed to come out ready to play. Sam and Joe were calling for Tortorella to call a timeout with the game barely 7 minutes in and still 0-0.

How fast they went from "here is a sure 2 points" to "Tortorella needs to take a timeout to wake the team up". If it wasn't so disgusting I am sure we could find a way to laugh at it because it was a sad comedy.

Only Henrik Lundqvist kept this from being a first period blowout by standing on his head against a team playing an AHL goalie. A team missing it's entire first line and was badly whipped in it's last game yet they beat the Rangers.

Even worse was the Senators took the game to the Rangers and there were Sam and Joe calling for Tortorella to take a time out before the game was even 7 minutes old. By my own count Tortorella has had to call a first period timeout no less than 5 times this season because his team was not ready to play.

One has got to even wonder if John Tortorella knows how to put a stop to this nonsense as he has tried benching and it hardly has worked. He has tried cursing which led to an even lamer NHL memo on behavior and that has not worked.

Maybe it is me but has anyone noticed that as of late even Tortorella has started to develop that same "deer in the headlights" facial expression that Tom Renney used to get during games? You look at the coach when the team is playing like it has and he has gone from chewing out people to just looking like "here we go again".

Yet we can expect the same lame excuses over the next day or so along with the promises of change but they will not happen. Sure the team might even play hard on Saturday but by Tuesday when Tortorella faces his old team again does anyone want to wager that the Rangers will come out hard for their coach?

I sure don't as I expect that someone is going to say something like "This game means a lot to Torts" or "Here is 2 points they should get" and then we will be right back where we were tonight.

It is the only consistent thing the Rangers can be counted on doing; being inconsistent.

(Callahan courtesy of NHL Media)

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