Sunday, April 15, 2012

No Luck, No Win!

There is a lot of talk this AM in the blame stream media how the Senators brought their tough guys and tough game to outplay and beat the Rangers. To a certain point that is true. The Sens coach did something the Ranger coach would never do. He put in two goons for the sole purpose of exacting revenge. You remember, the previous game the Rangers and specifically Brian Boyle used Ottawa D-man Erik Karlsson as his own private punching bag. No more, said Sens coach Paul MacLean.

He inserted tough guys Matt Carkner and Zenon Konopka into the lineup with the sole purpose of getting even. What a radical thought. You know the story. Carkner beats up Boyle, Dubinsky to the rescue and game misconducts to Carkner and Dubinsky. So Ottawa wins two ways. It gets payback on Boyle, not a hard thing to do, and the Rangers lose a skilled important player while the Senators lose a nothing.

MacLean sent a messsage. Our coach did nothing. This game, Karlssson was virtually untouched and skated around like he was Bobby Orr. He got a goal, took ten shots on goal, shot another six wide and had five hits. And all that was wasted was 39 seconds of ice time by Carkner. Meanwhile the so called Ranger tough guys, Mike Rupp and Stu Bickel got 2:38 and 3:40 of ice time with a combined total of one hit.

After the game Lundqvist complained, a rarity, of bad bounces. Actually it was bad locations. Del Zaster as Scotty Hockey calls him, was in the wrong spot, again, and smartly deflected Karlsson's harmless pass past Lundqvist. The tying goal was scored when a puck 'bounced' in front of a stickless Lundqvist and was put in by Nick Foligno. The winning goal was deposited by Chris Neil after somehow making its way through Marc Staal's legs. No wonder Lundqvist complained.

So there you have it. Toughness? Yeah, to a certain extent, but it was mistakes and bad luck that did the Rangers in. Also, the "rope-a-dope' philosophy of trying to hang on to a one goal lead against a fast skating, hard charging team will not work. I hope we learned our lesson after this game because if we haven't the Rangers will be hitting the links earlier than usual and the press conferences will become shorter.

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  • jb said...

    I also thought the Rangers, specifically Boyle, looked a gassed when they went into the overtime. They interviewed Boyle after regulation and he looked spent. How many games this year has Boyle been in, where he has two fights, one goal, 4 shots, 17:38 of ice time (3:47 of it short handed), 5 hits, and 23 faceoffs (winning 10). Plus being the target of Ottawa's retaliation.

    Boyle was therefore wiped out after 60, and who, of course, was on the ice when Ottawa scored the game winner, Brian Boyle. Tortorella put the whip hand to Boyle and he faded. Obviously Dubinsky going off forced all the 2-3 line guys to work harder.

    I'm not blaming Boyle, because I think he played a good game up until the end. But your point about the Rangers getting the worst of that early retaliation is true, it certainly impacted Boyle at the end.

    So, I think the series will now hinge on how Boyle plays. Tortorell is obviously going with him more and his response over the next couple of games will be a key.

  • Luke said...

    A fair assessment Pundit. My biggest concern last night was a continuation of our regular season woes. If our powerplay wasn't quite so ordinary we could have really made Ottawa pay for their smackdown on Boyle. Instead we barely got a shot on goal and they got rid of Dubi.

    Hopefully Dubi comes out in the next game and translates some of that Gatorade bucket frustration into a goal or two.

    While I hate to be the one to bring it up... It Ottawa want to turn the series into a constant stream of post whistle scrums and punches. It's exactly the situation you want Avery in, to mouth off and punch back.


  • Andy said...

    Don't hate to bring it up Luke. Avery would have made a HUGE difference in a game like this.

    You see, he actually protected teammates, unlike the useless Rupp and Bickel. Staged fights? Hell yeah their in, put the spotlight on em. But squaring up for a teammate? Nah, not their bag.

    I've said it a million times: the ghost of Sean Avery will haunt this team for a long while. Even if Sean didn't like the teammate he was defending, he defended them. Why is Rupp even dressing? Give kreider or Audy-Marchessault a chance to actually do something.

    Fix the power play, fix the coaching, fix the defense and fix your "fighters" or this one will be done quick

  • blow-me-down said...

    Rupp and Bickel cannot do much with icetime like that. I missed not seeing Bickel get out there for a decent amount.
    Getting bullied in your own barn is not a great thing to watch, especially when taking the high road is nullified due to an impotent powerplay, some bad luck, and the willigness to sit back and watch your win fade away. The reffing was awful all game long. Truly incompetent. The slew foot by Karlsson should have been called. WTF is with the NHL?

    Hopefully, Tortorella does not see John Scott as the solution. Because he cannot play any hockey, at all, he would make things worse.

    Regroup, get Dubinsky and the forecheck rolling and get after Karlsson. Make it a point, put it on the chalkboard. Is he so good that nobody can nail him? The answer is no. Rangers just have to do it.

    I completely agree that Avery would have been gold last night.

  • jb said...

    Yes, the same old problem with no powerplay, and a lack of scoring from guys like Stepan, Fedotenko, Mitchell, and Prust bit the Rangers.

    Agree about getting Karlsson contained.

    I like Girardi, but seeing the way the smaller (6' 180lb) Karlsson shreds a defense, just makes you realize how one dimensional Girardi is. Girardi's shot is a total non-factor. Everytime he shoots I think it's because he's been reminded by the coaches that he has to.

  • blow-me-down said...

    JB - that opportunity where Girardi banged his stick and got the puck all alone, great range and nobody bothering him, Anderson moving and, and, and, misses the net.

    Seems to be what we come to expect from the Rangers. I'm only half laughing when I wonder do these guys ever practice their shot.

    I sincerely hope to see the Rangers play a very workmanlike 60 minutes on Monday. That will provide the win the are looking for.

  • jb said...


    Exactly, if I had a nickel for every time Girardi missed the net I could buy a season ticket.

  • Andy said...

    Yikes...Scott in tonight instead of Kreider. Wrong move torts. In my opinion, that is.

  • jb said...

    Torts was giving head fakes on his lineup. The mini-Machiavelli went with Kreider. Maybe he can pull a Stepan.

  • Luke said...

    All Hail the King!

  • jb said...

    I like that.