Friday, August 3, 2012



I have been pouring over old Hockeybird posts all morning. I think I can begin to put together part two soon. However, I always gave credit where it was due and it's well known that Hockeybird became a "MUST READ" only after Pete Rocha began publishing his famous report cards. I can't replicate the formatting but here is one of the best cards I can remember, Classic Rocha!


Pete Rocha's Report Card

Thursday October 17, 2002

Report Card: NYR 4 @ BUF 4





New York Rangers




Buffalo Sabres





Player Ice Time Grade Comments
Dan Blackburn 64:45 C- First against was a breakdown in defense leaving a Sabre with a wide open net Blackburn had no chance on. However, the second goal, very nice top corner wrister by Gratton but Blackburn was down on the shot when there was no need to be. Third one slipped right through his legs from a blue line shot and certainly didn't look pretty. Fourth one Beelzebub skated out front and opened the 5-hole while Blackburn looked like he had concrete blocks tied to his ankles. Slipping and sliding,flopping and flying, almost every shot on Dan tonight was an adventure. He raised his "D" to a "C-" with some clutch 3rd period and OT saves.
Brian Leetch 31:42 B Good game for Brian. Lead the team with a whopping 7 shots on goal, a lot for a defenseman.

Tom Poti 29:21 B+ I thought he was great in both zones. Real solid defensively and keeps racking up points. Really, I looked, and looked hard, and Poti rarely made a mistake, also used his too-long stick for some nice poke checks.

Vladimir Malakhov 20:53 D- A few big hits in the 1st. Bad 2nd, though. Him and Kaspar were out of position on the Sabres first, then their second he could've made a MUCHHHH better effort in catching up to Gratton, who was able to get off a free shot. Fourth goal Satan is skating to the net and Malakhov is BACKING AWAY! BACKING AWAY! WHY? Covering the pass? Take the guy with the puck since no one else had him, idiot! Man alive! I almost ate my coffee table when I saw that. On the ice for all four goals against.

Darius Kasparaitis 17:25 D Crushed Rob Ray against the center ice boards then took a tackle for the team in drawing the penalty. Sabres first goal(PP) was out of position on Malakhov's side of the ice, creating all sorts of confusion. On the ice for all four goals against.

Dale Purinton 15:15 B Great job drawing a minor on Ray late in the 1st! Turned into a very crucial PP with the Rangers scoring two on
it, too. Ice time was up and he deserved it.

Sylvain Lefevbre 15:19 B- Was having a fine game as usual... until he took a penalty with 3:20 left in a tied game! Solid, strong game otherwise, but that major boner obviously brings him down a grade, would've been much worse if Buffalo actually scored on it.

Eric Lindros 25:32 A- After a few articles recently on "when is Lindros going to show up?", he did in a huge way in the 1st with two goals and drove to the net and made moves with the confidence of a Lindros of 5 seasons ago. Kept working the next two periods, and I was VERY impressed with 5 seconds left in OT where Lindros kicked the puck away then blocked a shot in a very determined effort.

Petr Nedved 25:05 B+ I gotta give Nedved credit. He did take a bad penalty in the 2nd and only had an assist, but he is really trying hard. 3rd period PP takes a puck SQUARE in the face and STAYS OUT THERE! It didn't clip him, caught him dead on and Nedved's jersey was full of blood, yet he winced for a few seconds and stayed out. He drives me nuts sometimes, too, but you can't say he's not tough or he doesn't care. Most players would make a beeline right to the bench.

Pavel Bure 25:55 B+ Pavel Bure, I love you every bit as much as a heterosexual man possibly can. 15 goals in 14 games as a Ranger, including the crucial game-tying one tonight. He could score goals by accident. He'll probably score one this season when he's not even in the lineup, you watch.

Bobby Holik 16:35 B Circled back to cover for a defenseman in the offensive zone but shot the puck straight into Gratton at the blueline with no one behind Holik, who took it down for a goal. Bad play. Made up for it very quickly by winning a face off in the offensive zone later in the period, driving to the net and tipping it through for his first as a Ranger.

Rem Murray 14:19 B Continues his strong play, thought I'm hard pressed to tell you anything Murray did tonight that really stood out. Him, Holik and Sammy make up a very strong checking line.
M. Samuelsson 11:53 B Got off a few nice shots and went to the net, Godblessim.
Mark messier 17:08 C He's not playing outright bad, but he's definitely coasting. Or maybe he's not coasting and just doesn't have the juice. Whatever,but he's been playing like an unnoticable 4th liner lately.

Matthew Barnaby 10:15 B- A few huge hits, especially one early in the game. Certainly not as noticable as last game, though.

Radek Dvorak 13:24 B- Good shifts, and, uh... good shifts. Seriously,
what do you have? He was there. Pretty good game.

Jamie Lundmark 6:21 C Outside of some strong shifts earlier you'd be hard pressed to know he even played tonight.

Dixon Ward 7:21 C+ I had a chicken sandwich for dinner. It was good.

Sandy McCarthy 6:03 C He played?!? Box score says he got 6:03. I think the box score is lying to me.

COACHING STAFF: B Funny, while I'm writing my scathing diatribe against Darius and Vladimir, the coaching staff finally disbands the Duo of Doom for the 3rd period! Halleujah! GREAT MOVE, COACHES! They also called a very smart time out in the 1st period with the Rangers going on a 5-on-3
and the 1st line having just finished a shift. The ice times were pretty good tonight, too. Nice to see Messier's down, even if it should still go down another 5-7 minutes.
1st PERIOD: A Couldn't ask for a better period. Pressure was almost 100% in the Sabre end. Rangers hit often but were very disciplined,which gave them a 5-1 edge in power plays. It was... perfect. Only reason they get an "A" instead of an "A+" is they choked on about 2 to 4 very good scoring chances.

2nd PERIOD: F A to F. Yep. Brilliant 1st period, atrocious 2nd. Rangers weren't so much outplayed as they just made crucial mistakes. Blackburn, Kasparaitis and Malakhov. Those three. Holik made a bad play,too, but it was mostly those three. Look below for my boiling hot oil treatment.

3rd PERIOD: B Rangers settled down again in the 3rd, but like I said above it really wasn't the team who was at fault, it was Blackburn, Kaspar and Malakhov, and all three played a better period. The flow of the period was about 50/50 but King Sir Lord President Pavel Bure got the crucial goal.
OVERALL: C This is all about Kasparaitis, Malakhov and Blackburn tonight. They sucked. Kaspar and Malakhov have sucked all season minus a decent shift here and there. Those two have just been an ABSOLUTE MESS so far! Sure, they often log the hard minutes going against top lines and being the main PK pair, but you can't use it as an excuse when they've failed completely at it. Here's some stats to back me up: DK/VM were on the ice for all 4 Buffalo goals tonight. DK/VM were on the ice for 3 of 4 Toronto goals Tuesday. DK/VM were on the ice for 5 of 6 Pittsburgh goals saturday. DK/VM were on the ice for 2 of 4 Montreal goals Friday.Grand Total: Kasparaitis and Malakhov have been on the ice for 14 of the Rangers 17 goals against so far.That has been the primary problem with your New York Rangers this season, sports fans. Kasparaitis and Malakhov. 14 of 17!

I'm not saying they're the only problem, but most certainly the PRIMARY problem. Problem no. 1A. Don't tell me Leetch and Poti, I thought that would be a problem, too, but they've been more or less great together so far. It's Darius. And Vladimir. I shall call them Vladius, and I shall proclaim they have sucked!

Okay, the game. Like I said, the team played pretty well overall except for a few people. The first line was flying,
the Holik line grinding and the Leetch/Poti and Dale/Sly pairs were very good. And thank you Pavel Bure! Were it not for that goal this game would've been considered a disaster, but as it is we can be pleased with getting out with a road point in that funeral home of an arena. How many people do you think were there tonight, 5,000?

Scratches: V. Chebaturkin (healthy), Dave Karpa (IR
- elbow), Richard Lintner (IR - knee sprain), K. Oliwa (healthy), Robert Petrovicky (healthy)
created by: Pete Rocha, © 2002.

Posted by pete at 10:08 PM

No comments: