Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Deja Vu!

Well, we are back to the spring of 2009. It's the Rangers vs. the Caps. It's Ovechkin vs. Lundqvist. It's Tortorella vs. the fans. It's coach disagreeable vs. Avery. Well, no Avery, since the coach has dispatched Avery to the upper deck in favor of Zuccy, who got less than 4 minutes of ice time the last game. You remember Rangers-Caps 2009, first round?

The Rangers were up 3-1 and lost the next three games thanks to coach disagreeable. Why bring this up now? Because the ingredients are there for a repeat. The Rangers were winning game four to go up three to one, when Avery was called for a high sticking penalty in the last minute of the game. Everyone went bonkers. Announcers, reporters and especially the coach. He caved and suspended Avery the next game. This must have been the worst penalty in the history of the NHL.

Well, the Rangers lost the next game and guess what? Coach disagreeable got suspended a game for fighting with fans. He put Avery back in game seven, but to no avail as Wade Redden was too much for Lundqvist to overcome. So thanks to our coach the Rangers blew a 3-1 series lead and were eliminated by a sorry Cap team.

Can we do it this time? Of course we can. First of all we have Henik Lundqvist. I don't care if Cap coach Bruce Boudreau puts both Michal Neuvirth and Semyon Varlamov in the nets at the same time, Lundqvist is our man, our Prince, our King. After that, it's our forechecking vs. the Caps high powered offense.

The question is can we keep up a relentless forecheck period after period. More important, shift after shift. Which begs the question? What will the shifts look like? Will we get the same lines shift after shift? In between shifts? Boudreau may not be the brightest bulb in the gallery, but coach disagreeable has been outcoached on more than one occasion. He is a tinkerer and the game is one big chess match to him, and he must be in complete control.

The game is won by players. It will come down to whether Staal and Giradi can stop the Great O and his linemates. It will come down to the relentless forecheckers. It will come down to a big goalie stop. It will not come down to the endless line changes or to mid game benchings. Over coaching has lost more than a game, it has lost a series. We can win this series, but our coach is a real roadblock.

Torts talks to the hand

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