by Patrick Hoffman on 10/20/09 at 05:57 PM ET
Come on folks - we all knew the New York Rangers would blow up in a game sooner or later and that’s exactly what happened last night in a 7-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks.
What led to the team’s demise last night? For starters, Steve Valiquette did not get the job done in goal. He was way too deep in the crease on the first goal he allowed and throughout the two periods he played, he gave up some juicy rebounds, something you cannot do against a hungry Sharks team.
John Tortorella told the following to Jim Cerny after the game regarding Valiquette’s play between the pipes:
“I thought Vally fought it,” said Tortorella. “I was hoping he’d work through it. I don’t think he was sharp.”
Secondly, the team got too complacent after jumping out to a 2-0 lead off goals by Chris Drury and Michael Del Zotto. The Blueshirts came out with a lot of energy, threw lots of pucks at Sharks’ netminder Evgeni Nabokov and cashed in on their opportunities. After that, however, they did not have too much to show for their efforts.
Lastly, the team took way too many penalties, an issue that has plagued them thus far early in the season. You cannot take a lot of penalties against a team like the Sharks, who have the offensive fire power to cash in on all their chances.
The Rangers have until Thursday night’s game at the Garden against the New Jersey Devils to fix their mistakes. You can count on Tortorella having his team ready to go come Thursday night.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.