Thursday, January 10, 2008

Rangers Look Old, Tired and Cranky in 6-2 Loss to Philly

The game started out well. There were a minimal number of Flyers fans in the crowd, minimizing the usually fetid air that symbolizes games between the two teams. And then boom, Ryan Hollweg, the 4th line winger, a man paid not to score goals but to punish players who foolishly play for the other team and not to score goals scored two. Boom, boom. And then, at the end of the first period the game fell apart.

After losing a goal in the beginning of the second period during a 5 on 3 power play, the Rangers proceeded to utterly fall apart. Unable to score, despite numerous shots, and with a sluggish defense, they gave up two more goals in the second. And then things got ugly, as the Flyers walked all over them in the third period like they were playing a Pee Wee hockey team from Manitoba. Lundqvist, who admittedly wasn't helped much, let in three more goals and let up a hat trick to Scott Hartnell. By the time the game actually ended, the garden was 3/4 empty.

The Rangers have been in a bad way recently: hopefully its just the injuries and they will recover. However, I am more worried that the older guys on the team, particularly Jagr, are exhausted and unable to keep up. The weakness in defense that was my fear earlier in the year is also materializing. Let us hope.

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