Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Would you believe?

The coverage offered up by Comcast/NBC for Game 3 between the New York Rangers and the Ottawa Senators made me think of the old Mel Brooks sitcom "Get Smart" which starred the late Don Adams. Nothing was more hysterically funny than watching Keith Jones and Jeremy Roenick stumbling over each other trying to trash John Tortorella when they saw the first line up sheet.

In case you didn't know, the Rangers trying to play some gamesmanship with the Senators dressed John Scott and Chris Kreider during the pregame warm-ups. The Rangers even submitted a lineup that had Scott's name on it and not Kreider's.

So there's good old "JR" and Jones just having one giant fit because they are so sure that John Scott is in the Ranger lineup. Rangers need offense, Tortorella is asking for trouble, and they rant and rave questioning John Tortorella's decisions.

But it's also sadly typical of the kind of TV commentators Comcast/NBC thinks are the right people to build the NHL audience with. Maybe it's me but when I look up and see a game that I want to watch; it is the game that I wanna watch not the announcers.

If anything nowadays, I would rather turn the audio on the TV off and listen to the call of the game using the radio announcers even if it means that the video is about a minute faster than the audio. There are some good announcers out there but very few of them work for Comcast/NBC.

It amazes me that when Comcast/NBC increased their hockey coverage that they didn't go after a Linda Cohn who loves the game and to me is the perfect person as the studio host. You got Steve Levy and John Buccigross wasting away at ESPN but there's also a former Islander announcer Billy Jaffe, former Ranger Aaron Ward and if the NHL really wanted to build their US audience then Kevin Weekes is your number one commentator.

Yes the diehard hockey fan will always tune in and you might get an increase in playoff watching but you will not keep that audience when the announcers think they are more important than the game. That is the biggest problem Comcast/NBC and the NHL just can't see.

And we have no way to describe what happened to our picture during the second half of the third period. Or if you want to talk about a really bad time to have a technical glitch then this was the wrong time in a 1 goal game.

What it did show was that Comcast/NBC was piggybacking the CBC feed of this game as all of a sudden was the "Hockey Night in Canada" logo on the screen. It's kind of funny that the first thing they fixed was the little logo saying CNBC.

Would you believe that winning increases Tortorella's willingness to talk to the media by a whole 34 seconds? Postgame after game two lasted all of 2:20, while game three was 2:54 so give Tortorella credit for being so candid and open.

Sarcasm oh yes but it's really doing the game a disservice by not talking about the game. While it might be understandable after game 2, but coach you won the game so why not give us at least 5 minutes?

For the game:

Chris Kreider- 11 minutes is a reasonable amount for somebody being thrust into a situation like Kreider was. It also sadly shows that there is a bigger gap in the prospect pipeline being readied by the CT Whale.

It is one of the reasons why we say that the best of the Ranger's future still has not arrived or entered into the system. Can anyone honestly say there was somebody on the CT Whale roster who could be called up for more than fourth line duty or to replace Hagelin?

Sure Kreider was nervous, sure Kreider struggled at both ends and sure, we still think this was a bad idea by the Rangers. Still John Tortorella for all his strengths as a coach still fails when it comes at developing younger players.

The "smart" coach knows how best to get the most out of a prospect's strengths while hiding as much of his weaknesses as possible.

Putting Kreider with Richards and Gaborik was a head scratcher for us as Derek Stepan knows Kreider's game better than anyone else on the Rangers and we never saw the two of them together. Would someone please send Tortorella a copy of Team USA's game against Canada in the World Under-20's so he can see the give and go that Kreider and Stepan ran?

Stu Bickel earned his salary for this season blocking what should have been a sure goal that would have changed the entire game. He's not a Norris trophy candidate, but when it comes to making the surprise play give Bickel, a huge standing ovation.

But I really wish I could find a way to insert drawings here because I would love to be able to diagram what is the key reason why this Ranger powerplay remains so inept. Five guys standing around playing two-man games is not going to get you power-play goals.

The Rangers are not forcing Ottawa to move out of the box formation so Ottawa can do the same thing that the Rangers do on their penalty kill, which is pack everything inside cutting off shooting and passing lanes.

Now if you're cycling, in motion then you're forcing the defense to keep moving themselves and it's going to open a gap to where a shooter can find that lane. The only player we ever see consistently cycling is Callahan and again a head scratcher given the skill level that several Rangers have.

Put it this way if Brian Boyle is your best goal scorer you have a serious problem.


Tuesday you will have to forgive us because we will be in heaven as there will be a total of 5 game 7's going on. Both the Rangers and the Islanders have a prospect each playing tomorrow in a critical game.

For the Rangers, JT Miller and his Plymouth Whalers will be looking to avoid being eliminated by the underdog Kitchener Rangers. Miller has struggled during the series with no goals and just two assists.

With this team already missing their leading scorer than our eyes will be on Miller to see how he rises or falls, when his team needs him the most.

Over in the QMJHL, Islander prospect, Kirill Kabanov and his Shawinigan Cataractes are trying to avoid becoming the first Memorial Cup host since 2003 not to make their league's third round.

The Cataractes will be hosting the Chicoutimi Sagueneens as part of the three QMJHL playoff series going seven games. How interesting that the first round in the QMJHL had seven of the eight series played wind up in four-game sweeps, but the second round, different story.

1 comment:

Jess Rubenstein said...

Never can understand how people are so afraid to use a real name when posting a comment?

Disagree with me all you wish because I freely admit I have been wrong in the past and will be wrong about things in the future.

Personal attacks via the web sorry to inform you don't have an affect.