Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/20/06 at 10:43 AM ET
The Rangers finished the regular season with a team meeting Tuesday night and started postseason preparations with another meeting Wednesday. Playoff veterans took the floor and shared success stories with playoff rookies. The Rangers, who in one night fell from first to third place in the division, and from third to sixth place in the Eastern Conference, are trying to convince themselves that they fit best in this position. "We were underdogs from the beginning and we are again," forward Jed Ortmeyer said. "Everyone is writing us off already."more added 8:56am, from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
An even bigger concern, however, is the shrinkage in penalty calls away from the puck the last couple of weeks. Hooking the puck-carrier remains forbidden, but interference, grabbing and the pounding of players without the puck has returned to the landscape. The Rangers were built for the new-age NHL and, as revealed in the latter stages of the season, need unobstructed lanes in which to weave magic in their puck-possession game. They are not a team that does well without the puck or battling for it. They are not a team that does well playing a traditional north-south, go-to-the-net game. Unfortunately for Broadway's team, teams that cannot emerge from the trenches tend to suffer painful (albeit quick) deaths in the tournament. It is too late for the Rangers to reinvent themselves. They must dance with who brought them.more (reg. req.)
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