Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pens Blitz The Prince

Henrik Lundqvist after giving up goal in 3rd period
For those never say die Ranger fans there is history on their side. Only two teams in NHL history have come back from 3-0 deficits. In 1942 it was the Toronto Maple Leafs and 33 years later, in 1975, it was the Islanders. The good news for the Rangers? It's been 33 years since 1975 and that's the thread of life that the Rangers have. Some thread. Some life.

To perform that miracle the Rangers must upgrade their game and again it has to be the defense and the power play. In all honesty looking at this defense and the power play, the 33-year-old streak is safe. After the game coach clueless was remarking how the power play didn't play that bad and showed some progress. Huh? The power play was 0-5 and got a total of 8 shots on goal. They had two five-on-three opportunities, one for about 30 seconds and one for about 40 seconds. They are 1-14 on the power play in this series. The power play has been a killer all year and the clueless one has no clue how to correct it and now there is one game left in the season. The Penguins were 2-3 on the power play. So the bottom line: our special teams suck and the Pens special teams were great.

The Penguins got 17 shots on goal and scored 5 goals. The Rangers got 39 shots and got three goals. Three plays turned the game in the Pens favor. Rozsival's bad pass led to a Pens lead. Ryan Callahan's double minor led to Malkin's goal that gave the Pens a 3-1 lead and finally the disastrous penalty by Ryan Hollweg. The Rangers had just tied the game at three and had momentum going and for some reason Hollweg saw fit to board Sykora into the boards. No reason for it, maybe, if he had boarded Ruutu I could see it, but Sykora? He's a good guy.

Lundqvist was all class after the game. Between screens and deflections there was probably a couple of goals he should have stopped. But unlike other goalies that play in this area he took the blame for the goals and the loss. Jagr played an outstanding game and if this season is his final one he is giving New York and the NHL one heck of a show. I'm not going to miss Thursday night's game. I'll be there. Coach clueless promised changes for last night's game and the best he could come up with was putting Fredrik Sjostrom on the second line and Shanahan on the fourth line. I leaned over to son #1 and asked him, "What the hell is Sjostrom doing on the second line?" He replied, "What's he doing on the ice?"

Looking at the two teams there doesn't seem to be that big a difference between them. However, quickly, you notice the special teams and especially our inept power play that has been zero all year and has never been fixed because the clueless coaching staff doesn't know how to fix it. Then look at the defense. Their defense is pretty well rock solid and the Rangers have been a sieve and are soft. This has been a three year problem that has never been fixed. A glaring example of management's poor decision making were the recent deadline trades where the Penguins picked up Hal Gill, a bruiser, and the Rangers got Christian Backman, a wuss. That tells it all. But go back a couple of years ago when instead of going after Brendan Witt, the Stealth GM settled on Aaron Ward. It's the mentality that picks stick men over the body takers.

So it's Thursday night at the Garden for game four. Will it be Jaromir Jagr's swan song? I hope not. I would hope it would be coach clueless's swan song. But there is about as much chance of that happening as there is of Backman throwing his body at somebody. After all, this magnificent coach has gotten us into the playoffs for the last three years. Stupid me. I though it was guys like Jagr, Lundqvist and Avery and Gomez and Drury. But what the heck do I know.
Jagr pushed into net on Martin Straka goalICINGS:
Larry Brooks / NY Post:

Greenburg / NY Post:
Jagr: Series Still Not Over

Steve Zipay / Newsday:
Rangers lose third straight, face elimination

Arthur Staple / Newsday:
Malkin is earning title Most Valuable Penguin

Mark Hermann / Newsday:
Rangers have a little too much experience

John Dellapina / NY Daily News:
Pens push Rangers to brink

Filip Bonde / NY Daily News:

Bondy: Clock ticking on Jaromir & Blueshirts

Christie Ackert / NY Daily News:

Malkin's showing lotta Hart

Blueshirt Bulletin:

Penalties and Power Plays Kill Rangers

The Dark Ranger:

Crushed! NYR 3, Penguins 5

Scotty Hockey:

There Is Always Tomorrow, Right??????

Evgeni Malkin scoresHockeyRodent:

Sam Weinman / Journal-News:

Rangers, down 3-0, vow to keep fighting

Sam Weinman / Rangers Report:
From the postgame

NJ Star-Ledger
Rangers keep faith in face of a sweep
Drury's status in doubt
Malkin flashing MVP skills

NY Times:
March of the Penguins Sends the Rangers to the Precipice

Penguin Scat

Pittsburg Post-Gazette:
Malkin's 2 goals trigger seventh consecutive playoff victory
Malkin breaks out for a Garden party
Penguins Q&A with Dave Molinari
Penguins Notebook: Roberts healthy but still sitting
In the minors: Team captain suspended for 'streaking'
Photo gallery: Game 3, Penguins win 5-3

Game 3: Pens push Rangers to brink
'Baby' Penguin Smith caught streaking
Pens' Malkin named Hart finalist

The Pensblog:
This House...Is Clean. PENS WIN.

The Sidney Crosby Show:

Game 3: Pens v Rangers (W 5-3)

Confluence of Three Rivers:

Penguins 5, Rangers 3: What’s the excuse this time??


Tough Therrien proving to be right balance for young Pens

Seth Rorabaugh / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Empty Netter:
Ned Braden not impressed -As hard as it might be to believe, Sean Avery used to get beat up by his teammates in junior hockey...

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  • jfl1066 said...

    yep, no whining about this one-two horrific penalties, Fleury was great and a coach we are stuck with...if he was so big on making changes, why wasn't Avery camped out in front of the net on the power plays? Has Avery even played this series? He knows that the playoffs continued after the Devils' series, right?

  • The Dark Ranger said...

    Well Slats has a little more leverage on Avery after this second round performance, eh?

    I agree, Pundit -- the power play was the greatest issue this season. It is brutal.


  • I am a PO'd Ranger said...

    I want to beat Renney with a stick. The power play has been sad all season and he never tried anything creative.

  • blueknight5754 said...


    avery is done...lacerated spleen..done for the season..and the rangers for that matter..once again 2nd round blues for the blueshirts!

  • mike said...

    jfl1066-Avery never made the power play. Avery averaged about twelve minutes a game, Straka about twenty. Coach clueless averaged 60 minutes of incompetence.

  • mike said...

    the dark ranger-This may be the excuse the Stealth GM needs to get rid of the Detriment.

    Power play and coach suck.

  • mike said...

    po'd ranger-You have a lot of company. How can you be creative when you are clueless?

  • mike said...

    blueknight5754-What a record in the playoffs for coach clueless. Ten wins and twelve losses, but the drive by media make him a genius.