Friday, May 02, 2008

That's One

New York Rangers vs. Pittsburg Penguins - Round 2
Jagr played like a man on a mission in game 4 vs. the PensThe report of the Rangers demise was grossly premature as the Rangers stayed alive with a gutsy win, 3-0, in an old fashioned, hard nose, penalty filled game at the Garden tonight. The Pens took eleven penalties for 38 minutes and the Rangers 6 for 20 minutes. The Pens were 0-4 on the power play and the Rangers were 2-7 on the power play. Special teams: Advantage Rangers.

The game had everything that makes hockey such a great sport. Jagr and Lundqvist rose to the occasion, Crosby and Malkin plunged to the depths. Besides talking to the refs after each whistle, it seems to be a team sport, Crosby, playing policeman, went after Girardi, with his stick still in his hand. Girardi had laid a perfectly legal hit on Malkin which Crosby objected to. Malkin, for his part, at the end of the game tried to kick the skates of Mara, a sort of slew foot, and for his effort Malkin received a ten minute misconduct at the end of the game. Mara recived a like penalty for going after Malkin. Mara called it classless and said it will be remembered. The Penguins seem to have a penchant for gabbing with the refs after each whistle, complaing about the calls against them and also about the non calls against them.

I thought it strange that a scrum broke out each time Jagr scored. The first time was when Brooks Orpik hit Jagr high as Jagr was scoring the first goal and the second scrum was after Jagr's empty netter. What was also strange was that there was no replay of Jagr's first goal on the big MSG screen and then it dawned on us that this was a Versus game and they didn't want the fans to see that the refs blew a call. This was the first time in memory that a goal, scored by any team, had not been shown on the Garden Vision. Jagr's two goals gave him five for the playoffs and three against the Pens. If this was Jagr last game at the Garden he went out in style. Right now, Jagr is playing like there is no last game, like there is no tomorrow.

Henrik Lundqvist was outstanding tonight and was the Prince again. He made 29 saves, mostly spectacular, some on breakaways and the key save on Malkin's penalty shot. You couldn't ask for more drama. The Rangers were leading 1-0 when Malkin came in on a breakaway and was pushed into Lundqvist puck and all. The goal was reviewed and it was judged that the net came off before the puck went in. On the penalty shot, Malkin came in on Lundqvist in slow motion waiting for the Prince to make the first move. Lundqvist did not budge and made a glove save on Malkin's shot. This was the second penalty shot that Lundqvist has stopped in this years playoffs. The other was the stop on John Madden and was also a game saver as that game was 4-3 Rangers when Madden skated in for the tying goal. Dan Giradi was the culprit in both instances committing the penalties.

Coach clueless made one key change in the lineup, a change that should have been made earlier in the playoffs. He put Jason Strudwick in place of Christian Backman and starting with his first shift you could see the difference. Strudwick was cool, solid, steady and tough. He logged 10:15 of ice time and dished out four hits, which is a whole month of hits for Backman. The Rangers out hit the Pens 40-35. Besides Avery, whose spirit was on the ice, the Rangers played without Betts, who had suffered facial injuries. Chris Drury, played hurt with bruised ribs, and logged 20:40, the second highest of all the forwards.

So the Rangers are alive, but Everest is one treacherous climb and they can't afford one misstep. Lundqvist must be the Prince again and if he is, along with the revitalized Jagr, who knows where this team can go. One eerie thought. Jagr's last goal was scored at 19:42 of the third period. 1942 was the year the Toronto Maple Leafs became the first team to come back from a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Red Wings to win the Cup. Thirty-three years later in 1975 the Islanders came back from a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins. Thirty-three years later in 2008 ..............!


Malkin slew-foot: another penguin free-be? -- If you saw Malkin's actions last night, a slew-foot, not once but twice get uncalled (major + game misconduct), what was your reaction? what do you think should happen? ...

NHL Rule Book: Rule 91 Tripping:
"Slew-Footing" is the act of a player using his leg or foot to knock or kick an opponent's feet from under him, or pushes an opponent's upper body backward with an arm or elbow, and at the same time with a forward motion of his leg, knocks or kicks the opponent's feet from under him.
Malkin slew-foots Mara, Jagr scores; End Roughings in Game 4

More Youtube: Evgeni Malkin showing us how to cheapshot with a slewfoot May 1 2008 - via NHL Fight Club

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
Rangers' Mara rips 'classless' Malkin -- “That’s a classless act by a superstar. And there’s no need for that in our game. We’re up, 2-0, and it’s not like it’s a little slew-foot – it’s a full kick if you watch the replay.”

-- Rangers defenseman Paul Mara, on a late slew-foot foul by Penguins center Evgeni Malkin, who was assessed a 10-minute misconduct penalty ...

Hockey Rabbi:
To Suspend Or Not To Suspend? -- First, Malkin should be suspended. There is absolutely no place in the NHL for a play like that...
Blueshirt Bulletin:
Recipe For Success -- You take one part power play, two parts Jagr, and three parts Lundqvist. Mix them in a very large bowl shaped like a perfect circle, sprinkle in a healthy does of timely penalty killing, a pinch of gutty play by injured players and players replacing injured players, and a dash of frustration on the other side, and you have a recipe for winning that keeps the Rangers alive for one more game in their second round series...

Steve Zipay / Newsday:
Rangers beat Penguins to avoid being swept -- "They played Game 4, we played Game 7," said Jagr, who heard thunderous "Ja-gr, Ja-gr" chants in what might have been his last game as a Ranger at the Garden. "The next game is Game 7 again for us. Hopefully, they're going to be a little bit nervous." ...

Steve Zipay / Blue Notes:
Back to Pittsburgh... where the Sunday matinee at the Igloo won't be a cakewalk. But the door is ajar. If Lundqvist stays hot, this might be interesting after all ...

Larry Brooks / NY Post:
Staying Power -- Jagr Surge May be more than final fling -- I asked Jaromir Jagr to tell me that I was wrong, and boy did he ever. I think. I asked No. 68 if it is wrong to interpret the fire, passion and anger he's demonstrated the last two games - as exemplified by the way he twice shouted down Sidney Crosby on Sunday, then scolded Marian Hossa for diving in Game 3 before once again raging at Crosby during a third-period review - as evidence that he has made the decision to retire as an NHL player and thus sees this as a last opportunity that is irretrievably slipping away...

John Dellapina / NY Daily News:
Rangers avoid sweep, stay alive -- Jaromir Jagr said his goal for the evening wasn't to extend his Rangers career. It was merely to earn the right to play one more playoff game this season. Henrik Lundqvist's mission was similarly about simple self-preservation: Atone for a rare off night that had helped nudge his team to the brink of playoff extinction...

John Dellapina / Blueshirts blog:
Avery update: Doctors stop the bleeding

Hockey Nite Live: Game 4 Analysis
Video: Rangers React
Game 4 Recap
Blogging Game 4

Scotty Hockey:
What A Pleasant Surprise! -- I won't step out and make a prediction for the next game, if only because it is hard to imagine the Penguins showing as little heart and devotion two games in a row and at home. However, i will go so far as to say that if the Rangers can carry their momentum over, they will be a hard team to beat. Tonight they did many of the things they weren't doing in Game 3: they fought for position, played physical, made good shot decisions and followed them up ...

Doug Fisher / Blueshirts on Broadway:
The Comeback Begins… -- tempers and frustration set in for a Pittsburh team that had yet to lose in the Playoffs. Malkin took a pair of cheap shots on Paul Mara while play was going on, which boiled over into a whistle, where everyone in Blue seemed to be going after everyone in White and vice versa. Mara and Malkin each got 10-minute misconducts and Mara got an additional 2 for Roughing. It appeared that Sergei Gonchar and Michal Rozsival should have gotten booked as well- Gonchar looked like he threw a punch at Rozie, after which they both dropped the gloves, no penalties called. Jarkko Ruutu was given a 2 minute roughing call and a 10-minute misconduct after the final horn sounded for roughing Chris Drury, who played great despite being injured in game 3 ...

Mike /
Yeah yeah, we know, still down 3-1, long way to go, yada yada yada… -- Big props to Prucha tonight. Definitely the kind of game that endeared him to Ranger fans in his first two seasons. Minus the whole goal-scoring thing, of course. He was really aggressive on the forecheck, mixed it up in the zone, and drew a penalty or two with his hustle...

Sam Weinman / Journal News:
Jagr, Lundqvist keep Rangers going -- But for a team to defy the odds in its attempt to come back against the Penguins, it needed to start somewhere. And so it began in front of an inspired home crowd, with Jaromir Jagr again placing his team on his shoulders, and with Henrik Lundqvist turning aside everything that came his way...

We are not worth O' Lun-KanThe Dark Ranger:
King Lunkan Steals It, NYR 3, Penguins 0 -- It just so happens fellow blogger BlueNationLeafs joined me for the game and we were sitting in front of a couple of Swedes who flew in just for the game. The Dark Ranger proudly wore his Lundqvist jersey and during one of the many "HEN-RIK" chants during the night, he informed us that Henrik in Sweden, during similar chants, is affectionately referred to as "LUN-KAN", which means spectacular one...

Rick Carpiniello / Rangers Report:
Riding the 68 Train to Pittsburgh

McCreary For President -- But if you are looking for any encouragement whatsoever, then review the game after JJ's goal. Watch how the Penguin's dominate territorially less and less - almost as if they were running out of petrol. Yes. I could have written "gas". But then, I'd be no better than John Dellapina or any of those other meat-and-potatoes columnists polluting Al Gore's internet ...

Lynn Zinser / NY Times Slap Shot:
Rangers Postgame: Two Heroes, One Victory -- At one point this season, the Madison Square Garden fans were busy chanting for the team to re-sign forward Sean Avery. But now, with Avery out for the season with a lacerated spleen and the Rangers’ playoff lives seemingly resting on the shoulders of captain Jaromir Jagr and goalie Henrik Lundqvist, the free agent the Garden fans are showering with attention is Jagr...

Lynn Zinser / NY Times:
With Backs to Wall, Rangers Fight Back

Rich Chere / NJ Star Ledger:
Lundqvist, Jagr keep Rangers' season going -- Jaromir Jagr was right. It's too early to write the Rangers' obituary...

Colin Stephenson / NJ Star Ledger:
Lundqvist is superb -- Going into what might have been their last game of the season, it was pretty clear that for the Rangers to stave off elimination for another few days, goalie Henrik Lundqvist was going to have to come up big...

Rich Chere & Colin Stephenson / NJ Star Ledger:
Malkin's kicks getting noticed -- Add slew-footing to Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin's arsenal of weapons. At least that's how the Rangers feel after Malkin kicked at Paul Mara twice and Chris Drury once late in Game 4...
Hockey GirlsNew Young Stars of the NHL
Little Penguin bedroom accessory
Penguin Scat

The Pensblog:
You Can Tell By The Way They Use Their Walk. PENS LOSE.
GameDay (2.4) -- Ice Chickens @ Bullsh**s

Penguins fail to get sweep
Collier: Jagr's play keeps Rangers afloat

Empty Netter / Post Gazette:
Put your brooms away

Igloo Dreams
Rangers 3, Penguins 0

Confluence of the Three Rivers:
Rangers extend series with 3-0 win over Penguins

The Sidney Crosby Show:
Game 4: Pens v Rangers (L 0-3)
Was Malkin's non-goal a goal?Pens point-of-view: "Was Malkin's non-goal a goal?"

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  • blueknight5754 said...


    is it just my imagination that the folks at both versus and NBC are on the crosby bandwagon? every one of talking heads have either a penguin player or are talking about crosby and how the pens are taking it to the rangers...i havent seen it this one sided since...well since never!

    great game last night..but i wont believe till they win on the road!



  • Section 335 said...

    First, Mike, great summary.

    Second, NHL, NBC and Versus are all seeking higher ratings and want to create a super star that people will turn on the TV to watch.

    Third, if the Refs called an honest first game, and Straka was not called for a "penalty" at the very end of regulation when he had no effect on the play and the Kid dived, we would be 2-2.

    I think it is no coincidence that Bill McCreary was the Ref for tonight and Kerry Fraser was told by the NHL to sit for this round. Fraser was the Ref for the Rangers win 5-2 on March 18th and gave Pittsburgh just two power plays, giving us three.

  • Anonymous said...

    A couple thing. First I thought the Rangers played a great game and did what they had to do. Great to watch and a big lift especially with all the injuries that the Rangers have. Second is my addition to the problem with the telecasts. If anyone recalls, in game 2 when Crosby dove when Tyutin pushed him the NBC announcers spent a solid 3 minutes defending it and explaining how it wasn't a dive. Then what really pissed me off was on Versus last night that after the game they discussed whether or not the penalty at the end of the Phili-Canadiens game was the right call but never even touched on whether Straka did a thing to Crosby in game one. I guess thats the price we have to pay for playing the NHL's team.

    Lets go Rangers!

  • jb said...

    Penalties called and not called. Goals missed and made. The Refs have a big say in these playoff games.

    The fact that calling NHL playoff games varies so much from official to official makes it hard on the fans.

    Let's go Rangers. Make them sweat.

  • jfl1066 said...

    Versus is killing me. I don't think I would dislike Crosby as much as I do if it wasn't for them.
    Great win though.
    Maybe it is the Versus effect, but would it be blasphemy to say that Butch Goring was actually a relief on the MSG post game?

  • mike said...

    blueknight5754-You must know that NBC stands for Nothing But Crosby? Sunday will prove whether it was a one game wonder or will we really make a run.

  • mike said...

    section335-Kerry Fraser can be annoying at times but he is usually consistent.

    Its strange, this Crosby boomlet. I never remember the NHL going way out of its way to promote Gretzky this much. It may have happened but I don't remember it.

  • mike said...

    anonymous-Richards trip, knee, of Kovalev was more of a penalty than the phantom call on Straka. Crosby was quiet in the New York games. Expect him to go for the high diving board in Pittsburgh.

  • mike said...

    jb-The two referee system is making it worse as the refs try to outdo themselves.

  • mike said...

    jfl1066-Versus is the symbol of the minor league status of the NHL.

    Butch is actually a fairly decent analyst. Surrounded by loyal Ranger analysts he sometimes does get to the core of the Ranger problems. As an example; Fischler many times has praised the Ranger defense and Marek Malik. Goring usually disagrees and of course he is correct. The Ranger D is soft and unreliable and Malik sucks.

  • Section 335 said...

    Five down. Eleven to go. One at a time.