Sunday, December 16, 2007

Rangers Watch: PHX 5, NYR 1

How many times and how many different ways can you write the Rangers need to find a way to win? Unlike their recent losses, they weren't outworked on both ends of the rink, but the result was the same. I don't know if coach Tom Renney is unable to find a system that will benefit his olio of players or if they simply can't execute his system. Certainly, he can't allow his players to continue to be "creative" if this is the result. And if that ultimately means benching New York's mercurial captain, so be it.

And in what world does Brandon Dubinsky (8 pts) continue to be your first line center with multi-million, multi-year centers Scott Gomez (24 pts) and Chris Drury (20 pts with no help at even strength) behind him in the depth chart? With all due respect to the kid, he's playing too many minutes and shouldering too much responsibility. He certainly deserves to be up with the big club, but as a third line center, not muffing set-ups from Jarmoir Jagr.

Nice coaches finish last, and Renney's decision to stick with Dubinsky may be his undoing. As will his decision to only pair the struggling Marek Malik with countryman Michal Rosival. Renney's job will be safe so long as the Eastern conference remains tightly packed, but it's beginning to look the the Rangers are starting to tune their coach out.

Let's give some credit to the Coyotes, who have played well during their Atlantic swing. Their aggressive forecheck earned most of their goals and Ilya Bryzgalov stoned the Rangers when the puck turned the other way. For Wayne Gretzky, this was a much better result than his last game at MSG, when Jagr (then with the Penguins) spoiled his last NHL game by scoring in overtime. Nice to have #99 back. I wish it was under different circumstances.

Recaps: Y!/AP, TSN Broadband



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