Rangers Watch: NYR 3, ATL 5
So you're 2-3 to start the season. You've been beat soundly twice by Ottawa, but had good shows against teams with lesser rosters. Your opponent is 0-6 and just fired it's head coach. You've scratched error-prone Marek Malik. If your players don't underestimate a pride-battered Thrashers team, this should be a confidence building win.
So, Coach Renney, what's your plan for tonight's game?
Juggle the lines!
Perhaps not the best timing. The big guns were already slow to gel and this set them back to opening night. New York's night was marked by a bunch of talented players making cute passes to unsuspecting teammates. Things improved when Atlanta got more interested in hitting players than protecting their lead.
The game became much more physical after the refs neglected to call Garret Exelby for running Peter Prucha at center ice. I have as much respect for Exelby as I do for Brendan Witt, which is less than zero. If you want to take a shot at a guy, that's fine, but don't turtle when you get called out for it.
Renney is feeling the pressure for his team to perform and appears to be grasping at straws. He'd be better served to ride out the slump. Bear the media brunt for your players while they find their chemistry. If the Rangers weren't getting chances, I'd be a bit more concerned. The dam will eventually break, but not if Renney keeps fiddling with a team that isn't broken...yet.
Recaps: TSN/CP, TSN Broadband