Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Run Is Over

It's a tradition that has been going on for years. I get home, or am home, after the last game of the season, usually a loss, and the messages and the phone calls are there. Samo, samo. Sorry. Awful. Disappointment. How come? Why? The answer is always the same. We ran out of gas. One more goal. One more save. Blah, blah, blah.

Tonight was kind of different because I actually thought we should of won this series, but the 7.7 second goal and the Malik gaffe were too much to overcome because they cost us two games in the series in Buffalo. Then tonight Renney decides it is time to implement the youth movement and we get a great young prospect who we have been clamoring for all year, Nigel Dawes, and he has the misfortune of having Buffalo's first goal deflect off him and past Lundqvist. He is on a line with Avery and Shanahan and that line gets burned for three Buffalo goals, one without Dawes, with Straka.

Lundqvist played like a human tonight and not the superman we have been accustomed to. He was great in the first period when he made saves on all eleven shots the Sabres put on him. With a 1-0 lead starting the second the Rangers decided to get into a run and gun with the Sabres and that proved fatal. Another deflection off of Rachunek, getting caught on odd man rushes and before you knew it, it was 4-2 Buffalo going into the third. Jagr got one early to make it 4-3 but the Sabres came back with a little over five minutes to play on a deflection by Jochen Hecht, as the Rangers were running around. Nylander started the comeback and a furious rally with a goal with about three minutes to play that fell short.

The Rangers put thirteen shots on goal in the third period, at least three in the final seconds, to no avail. The Rangers were buzzing the Sabres and Miller with about 90 seconds left and guess what? Lundqvist was still in his goal. It was at the one minute mark that Renney summoned him to the bench and there were exactly 55 seconds left before the extra Ranger got on the ice. Twenty five precious seconds lost while Renney dawdled.

This was a series that was lost in Buffalo, in games two and game five. Renney's curious lineup at the end of game five and his more than curious decisions prior and during this game cost the Rangers. The main stream drive by sports media will extol his virtues and say he is the reason for the Ranger turnaround. Nonsense. It was Lundqvist and Jagr and they just couldn't pull it off at the end. Renney was right about one thing though. The Sabres are not an elite team.

The Ranger fans showed their class and love for the team at the end with a standing ovation and a chant of "Let's Go Rangers" and Hen-rik, Hen-rik! Too bad Renney had to spoil it by holding his hands over his head like a boxing champ.


May 7, 2007
Finding Their Way
Shanahan Ponders Return
Can't Overcome Buffalo's Blitz
Playoff Run Was A Big Step In Right Direction
Daily News
Rangers Foiled And Finished
Getting No Younger, Blueshirts Still Far From Ultimate Goal
Tough Loss, & Decision, For Shanny
NY Post
Leading Man
A Long Way To Go
Shanahan Not Sure He'll Return Next Season
Journal News
Rangers Season Ends In 5-4 Playoff Loss To Buffalo
Rangers Focus On Free Agents

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