Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ryan Whitney Continues His Onslaught Against the Penguins

After a disappointing first period that sent the Penguins into the dressing room trailing 2-0, Pittsburgh was able to quickly come back and tie the game on goals from Ruutu and Staal to start the second. Pittsburgh had all of the momentum, the Rangers had burned their timeout and Ryan Whitney managed to rip it all away from them. The Rangers were in deep on what appeared to be a 1-2-2 forecheck and were applying pressure to both Ryan Whitney and Darryl Sydor. Whitney and Sydor were lined up on opposite sides of their own net and exchanged the puck multiple times around behind the goal in an attempt to relieve the pressure and setup an breakout play. Sydor threw the puck back to Whitney and the Ranger left wing immediately moved in to throw a hit. Instead of eating the puck and taking the hit, turning his body to protect the puck or throwing the puck up the boards, Whitney one timed the puck up the middle of the zone in a panic and sent it perfectly to Fredrik Sjostrom. Sjostrom was in text book forechecking position where the forward, usually the center, hovers around in front of the net to force the opposing team to go up the boards. He was able to collect the puck and score his 12th of the season on a breakaway that started between the face-off circles. I wonder how long we're going to have to suffer through Whitney's blunders in his own zone. That kind of play is inexcusable. It's not only a stupid play but it's a soft one. He wanted to avoid getting hit so he gave the other team a goal. He should be benched for the rest of the game and his minutes need to be reduced.

However, then there'd be little to no chance of him getting injured and missing the playoffs. Perhaps he should be kept in after all.

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