5 Oct 2001:  Brian Leetch #2 of the New York Rangers controls the puck during the game against the Carolina Hurricanes at the Entertainment & Sports Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Hurricanes defeated the Rangers 3-1.Mandatory Credit: Kent Smith  /Allsport
5 Oct 2001: Brian Leetch #2 of the New York Rangers controls the puck during the game against the Carolina Hurricanes at the Entertainment & Sports Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Hurricanes defeated the Rangers 3-1.Mandatory Credit: Kent Smith /Allsport

Rangers v Sharks

Extreme Views by RangerExtreme

The Rangers played poorly from start to finish against the San Jose Sharks Monday night in a game the Rangers would like to forget ever happened. New York playing at home in Madison Square Garden got trounced by a score of 5-1. Vincent Damphousse scored two goals for San Jose including a shorthanded tally with 3 minutes left in the game. The Rangers never mustered any sustained momentum whatsoever during the game. New York once again got off to an unacceptable and predictable slow start.

The Rangers gave up the first goal yet again, this time a bit earlier then usual when Scott Thornton scored just about four minutes into the game. By the end of the first period things were already beginning to look bleak. Ranger Defenseman David Karpa left the game with a shoulder injury and didn’t return and the Ranger team found itself was trailing 2-0 after one period of play.

However, the Rangers did have a chance to make a dent in the Shark lead when they were granted a 5 on 3 powerplay advantage early in the second period. That powerplay alone summed up the Rangers night. It was inept and useless and it quickly went by the wayside as they could only get one shot on goal on Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov. Both teams traded goals in the Second period as Brian Leetch scored his fourth goal of the season for the Rangers which would turn out to be the only puck the would get past Nabokov in the entire game.

The Third Period was a special team’s disaster as the Rangers blew another 5 on 3 powerplay. This time they not only didn’t score but also gave up a shorthanded goal by Vincent Damphousse to boot. The Rangers got outscored and outplayed in the third and wound up losing 5-1.

The Positives:

This is going to be a tough task to find anything positive to say about the Rangers in this game. Other then Brian Leetch getting his 4th goal in 9 games I can’t think of any. Oh yes they did get 32 shots on net. Not too shabby for a team that got beaten like a bad dog.

The Negatives:

The powerplay is horrific. 0-6 and a shorthanded goal against. Two 5-3 advantages botched up beyond belief. The shorthanded squad didn’t look much better as San Jose scored two PP goals against them. This teams lack of preparation and proper mindset coming into a game is mind boggling. Especially when you come into a game at home on MSG ice on Adam Graves night.

I don’t know if it’s the coaches or the Players, or both. But it’s absolutely horrendous. Adding insult to injury Defenseman David Karpa separated his shoulder after a hit by Brad Stuart in the first period and Karpa will most likely will miss some significant time. Brian Berard’s defense continues to struggle at even strength play and when he is killing penalties he was a virtual poison in this game. Blackburn didn’t play all that well. Giving up five goals on 32 shots.

Player Summaries:

Lindros – Unremarkable game for Eric. Todd Harvey badgered him all night. Harvey even tried to lineup Lindros for a crunching bodycheck but Lindros had the good sense to get this arm up to protect himself.

Fleury- Actually played a relatively feisty game physically. He had four hits in the game and was involves but he showed no real offense especially on the PP and that’s what he is paid to do. He was disappointing.

York- Killed Penalties. But was taken off first powerplay unit in favor of Messier. Maybe that explains why they went 0-6 with the man advantage. He really didn’t contribute much even strength and since he played on both specialty teams he had a very unproductive night.

Nedved- Was the Rangers best forward of the night. Made some nice plays. He made a terrific backhand pass to set up Dvorak in second period. Saw some penalty kill action Surprisingly drew three powerplays that unfortunately were of no consequence.

Ciger- Nobody home.

Dvorak- Had some real good scoring chances. He and Nedved showed up to play. Too bad about 15 other Rangers didn’t.

Messier – Suffering from Flu bug. Managed an assist on Leetch’s second period goal. Move to first powerplay unit by Coach Ron Low in which his linemates were Fleury and Lindros. Nothing of any worth to report on his play.

McCarthy – Threw his body around more, which was a good sign. Even drew a powerplay when Adam Graves got whistled off for slashing him. His only mistake was that he didn’t drop the gloves at some point in this game to possibly wake the Rangers and the MSG crowd out of their catatonic hockey slumber.

Johansson – Played some uninspired hockey for the first time this year. Took a penalty in the 3rd period. Not much contribution from Andreas this evening.

Heisten – Suffering from two afflictions. One was the flu. The other was being unable to make one decent play during this game. His terrible coverage in the 1st period handed the Sharks their first goal of the game. He had a rough night covering men in his own zone and on the when the few chances arose for offense he missed the net badly. He was a -2 in game the Sharks scored 3 out 5 goals from specialty teams. Enuff said.

Malhotra- Manny played with the touch of the Flu also. Nada. Empty Performance.

Fata – No shots on net. I have no clue why the Rangers claimed him. He has been invisible in his tenure with the Rangers.

Leetch – Scored the only Ranger goal on the night. His fourth of the season. Even Leetch contributed to the defensive lapses, which is rare thing. Shark defenseman Jeff Jillson skated right by him and Karpa on a penalty kill early in the first period. He made a bad pass in the second period that led to San Jose’s fourth goal by Patrick Marleau.

Malakhov – His play was upgraded to erratic in this game. He logged a lot of ice time in this game and by some miracle wound up a +1. A first period play summed up his overall game perfectly. He was involved in one of the Rangers most hardworking shifts New York had Monday night, which Vladdy played a key role in. He then quickly sabotaged the tenacious shift by taking an asinine slashing penalty.

Berard – His anticipation is good. His coverage man to man is some of the worst I have ever seen. He got beat and got beat often. Berard’s awful play resulted in Scott Thornton scoring a goal. Brian has been playing so bad on defense that Coach Ron Low decided to use him on the PK in the first period. A move which had me shaking me my head. Berard didn’t disappoint he looked god-awful. Made a terrible play that led to Scott Thornton’s goal. Frustrating to watch and that frustration of his poor play is even getting to him. At one point Berard missed the net on a shot and then took a stupid penalty. A pretty good indication of how frustrated he is right now.

Smrek- His game took a giant leap backwards against San Jose. He had a handful of giveaways and bad passes. Can’t play physical and teams like the Sharks eat him up. He wound up being a -2 in the game.

Kloucek – Picked up four minutes in Penalties. Logged a significant amount of ice time after David Karpa injury.

Karpa – Before separating his shoulder late in the first period he played on the penalty kill with Leetch which in theory makes a lot of sense. My theory was quickly shot to hell when Sharks forward Jillson made both Karpa and Leetch look foolish.

Blackburn – Got his 3rd start of the season. Even though he was thrown to the wolves for the most part and abandoned by his defense most of the night. He also didn’t make any giant stops that might have ignited the team. Bottom line it wasn’t his fault. There was way too much traffic in front of his net and at one point he even got knocked over by San Jose’s resident cheeseball Owen Nolan.

Sam and J.D Propaganda Report:

Sam Rosen and J.D didn’t actually get too goofy or make any outlandish statements to report in this game. I suspect Sam was a bit weary of doing the play by play in the NFL game on Sunday. But after such a Ranger game where it was obvious there should have been some harsh critique they came up empty again. But can you blame them? They know full well who butters their bread. Both the Rangers and they themselves are in essence owned by MSG.

Game Summary

There was nothing positive about this game from the Rangers standpoint. This game outcome was clearly defined by special teams. The Sharks powerplay and penalty killing units were both special. The Rangers Specialty teams were especially abominable. Two botched 5 on 3’s, a shorthanded goal against and they looked bad on every one of their six powerplay chances.

The Perimeter shot powerplay simply doesn’t work. The coaches are too blame. The just throw the skill players out there and hope things take care of themselves. They don’t work hard enough on the boards and move to open spots when they have the man advantage. It’s nothing new and now people who are paid to coach have to be held accountable. Ron Low just can’t simply mix up lines and hope for the best. You have to revamp your PP concept or at least tinker with it. This powerplay has enough talent to be good. But it’s not.

The penalty killing is another problem. New York’s inability to clear the net in it’s own zone is enough to have had Dan Blackburn wishing he was back in juniors. During even strength play the Rangers never stood a chance in this game .San Jose came into this game ready to play and had a very admirable work ethic. That’s why it was and is imperative for the NYR to have capitalized on Powerplays. But New York failed miserably at it on Monday night and as a result the Rangers got pummeled by San Jose 5-1 at home.

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