Elster's World

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

This One's For Joe

The Rangers have now lost 2 games in a row; both by the score of 2-1. Both were big games. ONe was New Jersey (the hated Devils and divisional foes to boot) and the second lose came at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes, the team currently leading the Eastern Conference.

Interesting observations from these games:

1 - Teams are no longer going to let Jaromir Jagr skate around and creat havoc. Teams are going to start going after him every chance they get. The Rangers will have to make adjustments like keeping Jagr moving and, more importantly, making sure there are physical presences in the lineup each night to make sure other teams know what goes around will come around. Ryan Hollweg and perhaps Colton Orr both fit this bill to varying degrees, but Orr brings nothing else to the table. So it's Hollweg by default, unless the Rangers make a move fir a Donald Brashear type enforcer before the deadline.

2 - The Rangers defense is much better than people have been giving it credit for. Sure, there are no bangers in the top 6 and no great puck carrying offensive guy, but still. They play together well and feed off each other. They clear the puck and don't turn the puck over too often. Fedor Tyutin has really picked up his play as of late and Tom Poti isn't killing anyone either. Malik and Roszeval are my favorite pairing since Leetch and Book-A-Boom. Their play is subtle, but they are a fantastic team.

3 - You need to score to win games. When the Jagr line is silent, another line will have to pick it up (this means you Martin Rucinsky and friends). Hopefully Rob Lowe, er, I mean Petr Prucha will be back soon and can finish strong.

So while these 2 loses were upsetting, it's certainly not end end of the world territory here. The Rangers are looking pretty good going into the stretch run. Coach Tom Renny might need to do some tinkering, but the key work for management is tinkering, not wholesale changes or stupid trades.

Jet update to hopefully follow later today....

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