At least the effort was there… And Higgins finally netted his first goal of the season. But that was about it in terms of positives.
The Rangers continue to suffer from the same downfalls. This game it was bad line changes (on the first two goals) and letting in late period goals (the first goal). Plus, let’s hope that the way the Canucks boxed in Gaborik does not provide a gameplan for other teams to defend him, much like teams in the NFL copycat success.
The bad line changes are caused by both the team not executing them efficiently and the coaching staff picking poor times to do them. After the first period assistant coach Mike Sullivan said that when the defenseman has the puck in his own zone and sees the team in the middle of a change sometimes the best course of action is to do nothing. In other words, to keep the puck in his skates and wait for help. While this may be true, isn’t a better course of action for the team to wait to change once the puck has left the zone and is heading toward the opponent’s net? Of course, throughout a season there will be bad line changes that need to be managed, but this is becoming an epidemic with the Rangers.
Random Other Notes: Prospal was named the second alternate captain. (My girlfriend actually predicted this two weeks ago. I was hoping Dubinsky would rise to the occasion.)…Del Zotto was named the NHL Rookie of the Month for October. He had a sensational long pass last night that almost resulted in a goal by Kotalik…The roster for the U.S. Men’s Olympic Team will be announced during the Winter Classic on January 1, 2010. Drury, Callahan, and Dubinsky are being considered…The Rangers have scored only 5 goals in the last 4 games. They are 1-3 over that stretch. Seems a lot like it was last year under Renney, who the team will see Thursday in Edmonton.