Monday, February 6, 2012

A lesson learned

Boy, if you are a fan of both the New York Rangers and the New York Giants then Sunday was doubly special for you. Beating the Philadelphia Flyers in the early afternoon and then turning around to watch New York Giants defeat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl.

And in so many ways when you look at the New York Rangers and the New York Giants; you can see in many ways how both teams are mirrors of each other.

You start with how willing everybody on that Giant team bought into the system that the team wanted to use. The team comes first and the individual accomplishments can wait or just not show up at all.

The Rangers as anyone can see, have clearly bought into what John Tortorella is wanting to do. Just like the Giants, the Rangers may not win the pretty games but right now they're winning the games that they have to win.

You take two very dominant personalities that you have in Giants coach Tom Coughlin and the Rangers John Tortorella and they're more like than people realize. Demanding of everybody with a "I will get in your face if you don't do things my way" attitude when the coach does not think you're giving 100%.

The point of all this is that sometimes when you get an entire team buying into a system that you can actually win. On Christmas Eve, the New York Giants started play with a 7-7 record coming off a demoralizing loss that had just about everybody in the media writing the team's obituary, as well as calling for the firing of Tom Coughlin.

Six weeks later look who was holding up the Vince Lombardi trophy after defeating the New England Patriots in Super Bowl. Tom Coughlin has gone from being walked to the execution chamber to seeing his name being discussed as possible Hall of Fame possibilities.

Call it the New York Rangers 2011-2012 season in the express lane (sorry not guaranteeing a Stanley Cup for the Rangers), but rather showing that sometimes patience is actually a much more dangerous weapon than going out and going after players.

It was not gobbling up the current trade rumor, but rather players believing in each other; believing in their coaches and not caring what the outsiders are saying about their chances.

The Giants had just enough offense to defeat the Patriots, but they had more than enough defense to stop the Patriots. When you look at the Rangers you can see the seeds being planted for a championship run.

Whether it's this year or next, the most important ingredient has to be patience. Patience from the fans, the media, and even the front office has to be shown in order to get this team the chance to grow and develop chemistry.

No it does not mean don't go out and get anybody but rather if you are going to get somebody, then make sure that the person you are getting can address the needs, not the desires of the team.

If the team has a to a three-game losing streak, don't hit the panic button. The one thing that was the most notable item no matter which Giant player was being interviewed was how they all talked about believing in each other when nobody else did.

Remember that as one day the Rangers will require that kind of faith in them from their fans.

Game action

The only action involving New York Ranger and New York Islander prospects was a matchup against each other. it was Andrey Pedan (NYR 2011, third) leading his Guelph Storm into Oshawa to face Christian Thomas (NYR 2010 second) and his Oshawa Generals.

Both teams are fighting for their playoff lives, which means every single point matters. The Generals were entering the game in ninth place in the OHL's Eastern Conference while the Storm were in eighth place of the OHL's Western Conference.

Guelph struck first with the goal barely 3 minutes into the game and carried that 1-0 lead into the second. In the second period, the Generals responded with two goals of their own to grab the lead at 2-1.

In the third, Guelph tied the score with a power-play goal at 3:42 but Christian Thomas answered 42 seconds later with what proved to be the game-winning goal.  Thomas's 23rd goal of the season at 4:24 gave the Generals a 3-2 lead for good as they added an insurance goal 10 minutes later for a 4-2 win.

For Thomas, he improves his season to 23-25-48 on his third game-winning goal of the season.  The win also allowed the Generals to jump from ninth in the standings to seventh.

As for the Storm, Andrey Pedan had a rough go of it scoreless and a -3 for the game. The Storm remain an eighth place in the OHL's Western Conference but now trail 7th place, Windsor by four points (Storm hold three games in hand)

(Thomas - courtesy of Aaron Bell of OHL Images)

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