NEW YORK, NY – The New York Rangers go from looking like playoff contenders one night to cellar dwellers the next. To wit, they followed up a solid OT win against the Penguins Tuesday night with a 9-3 drubbing at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Last night’s game was over before some fans were even in their seats.
Alexander Georgiev gave up four goals before the 7-minute mark. He continued to play into the 2nd period, but after the Lightning scored their fifth, Georgiev was pulled for Henrik Lundqvist who didn’t fare much better. The Rangers only have one day to lick their wounds before they take on the Florida Panthers tomorrow. We’ll see which version of the team shows up. Will it be the team that took down the perennial playoff powerhouse Pittsburgh Penguins? Or will it be last night’s team that gave up nine goals in Tampa vs Rangers South?
We’ll see who starts in goal Saturday. Neither netminder looked good last night. Lundqvist and Georgiev have split time in net evenly. Both goalies have had their highs and lows in net. They haven’t been helped by a porous defense that hasn’t done much to block or limit shots. And the team in general seems to stop playing once they’ve scored a goal. This may be down to a young team learning. It could be bad coaching. It could be a bit of both. I’ve never been impressed with David Quinn, but I think he’s good with the young players. He’s probably not a long-term solution for the Rangers once the rebuild ends. But we’ve got another couple of years of that so it’ll be Quinn for now.
The other big news in the hockey world this week was the firing of Don Cherry, the long-time Hockey Night in Canada commentator whose colorful commentary were as well known as his colorful outfits. Anyone who has paid attention to HNIC for awhile and has watched the odd Coach’s Corner will know full well that Cherry has never been fond of foreigners. But he typically limited his tinged rhetoric to European hockey players.
His xenophobic remarks about Canadian immigrants are somewhat out of character but they could be chalked up to the mumblings of a grumpy old man (Cherry is 85-years old). His run had to end sometime. And based on his age, it was probably going to end sometime soon. The controversy over his rant last week gave Sportsnet an easy out. So, they let Coach go in the wake of the controversy. A lot of people are upset by Sportsnet’s move, but this wasn’t the first time Cherry has made controversial statements. It probably wouldn’t be the last time either if he kept his job. While it’s always a shame to see an icon’s run end, it had to happen some time. And for Sportsnet, now is that time.
And the the time now for me to end as well today. Comment below and come back tomorrow for a man who has no concept of time, or days of the week for that matter, Buffalo Big Shot, Junoir Blaber.