Kukla's Korner

Goal Line Report

Where’s the Spark?

Things certainly started right last night at Madison Square Garden when the New York Rangers raised Adam Graves’s No.9 to the rafters. It was a night filled with Ranger stars such as Mark Messier, Mike Richter, Brian Leetch, Rod Gilbert, Eddie Giacomin, Mike Gartner, as well as guys like Glenn Healy, Sergei Nemchinov, Tie Domi, Darren Langdon and Jeff Beukeboom, all there to give praise to one of their greatest mates, Adam Graves.

It was unfortunate that the current Ranger squad had to play afterwards because they put on a dismal performance against the lowly Atlanta Thrashers and lost 2-1 in a shootout. Yes, the team peppered Thrashers’ netminder Kari Lehtonen. Yes, Nikolai Zherdev played a tremendous game by generating many scoring chances. The team also got a good look at Artem Anisimov, who played well but needs more playing time to be effective. And yes, the team got a solid performance, with the exception of the shootout, from their goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

However, it still wasn’t enough to be the second worst team in the NHL while also being a game in which they could have gained some ground on the New Jersey Devils as they lost to the Washington Capitals 5-2 last night.

What is wrong with this team? Why is it that in their last three games, they have scored just three goals (barely)? Why do they make every goalie look like the second coming of Patrick Roy?

The effort is there and some of the discipline is there but the team still lacks a lot of finish, which is surprising given that they have guys like Scott Gomez, Chris Drury, Markus Naslund and Zherdev.

So, who should the team go after? Would you consider going after a guy like Ilya Kovalchuk at the trade deadline and if so, who would you be willing to give up?

Head coach Tom Renney has mixed and matched lines all season long and has yet to really find a line that can be consistent. Something needs to be done to spark the team’s offense and it’s time to figure out what that is.

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: adam+graves, artem+anisimov, atlanta+thrashers, brian+leetch, chris+drury, darren+langdon, eddie+giacomin, glenn+healy, henrik+lundqvist, ilya+kovalchuk, jeff+beukeboom, mark+messier, markus+naslund, mike+gartner, mike+richter, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, nikolai+zherdev, patrick+roy, rod+gilbert, scott+gomez, sergei+nemchinov, tie+domi, tom+renney, washington+capitals

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About Goal Line Report

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 patrickhoffman3530@gmail.com.