Thursday, April 19, 2012

Rangers 2, Ottawa 3 (OT) – Loss-apalooza

The Rangers took one big step towards elimination by losing a heartbreaking overtime game, 3-2, to the Ottawa Senators last night. Once again the Rangers could not hold a lead. Ottawa threw everything they could at Lunqvist as they worked to make the comeback from two early goals down. They took 30 shots. They had 30 shots blocked by the Rangers, and they missed 24 shots. That is a total of 84 times the Senators launched the puck towards The King with evil intent. In comparison the Rangers took 33 shots, had 8 shots blocked, and 8 misses, for a total of 49 puck launches. So, Ottawa was able to throw 71% more rubber than our heroes. You just had a feeling the Rangers doing their BS (blocked shot) rope-a-dope were going to take one on the chin. And they finally did when Hank let one in by Turris in OT.

Brian Boyle can not carry the Rangers to victory. For every game winner he scores he gives up two in overtime. Once again, Boyle was on the ice in OT when the Senators scored the game winner, just like game two. His linemates were Prust and Fedotenko. The big man, Boyle, fades late in games.

The Rangers power play was 2 for 7. Ottawa knuckle dragger, Nick Foligno, gave the Rangers two golden opportunities in the 3rd period to salt the game away with a PP. Not going to happen. Getting two PP's in the first period was found money, so they decided to take the rest of the night off.

If these teams switched goalies, and Lundqvist played for Ottawa, the series would now be over, 4-0. The quality and frequency of Lundqvist's saves have been higher than Anderson's. However, the Turris OT game winner will haunt The King should the Rangers end up losing the series.

Player GP SA Saves Save% GA GAA W L SO
Lundqvist 4 134 126 0.940 8 1.97 2 2 1
Anderson 4 116 107 0.922 9 2.24 2 2 0

All this praise by Tortorella and the Rangers about Kreider after game 3 was just blowing smoke. Chris Kreider is lost in the sauce out there, and Torts rewarded that with a grand total of 6 shifts and 3:29 of ice time. That was low for the team, Bickel (3:33), Mitchell (3:59) and Rupp (4:12) all got more time. Experiment over.

Speaking of sauce, it looks like the secret sauce for Richards and Gaborik is Hagelin. Without the speedy forechecking of Hagelin, Richards and Gaborik have become non-factors. 

The minuscule ice time that Kreider, Bickel, Mitchell and Rupp had just demonstrates now Torts has shortened his bench for this series. And that tactic is not working. Ottawa is proving that they are a better and deeper team. Jesse Winchester (5:44) had low ice time, but that was due to injury. The next lowest TOI for Ottawa was Jim O'Brien with 11:19. The Senators bench is longer and more talented. Torts doesn't look like he has any way to counter Ottawa's depth.

So maybe if the Rangers can regroup and find some scoring from the silent majority (Dubinsky, Fedotenko, Stepan, Prust, and Anisimov), and any help from the bench warmers (Kreider, Bickel, Mitchell and Rupp), they might be able to take it to game seven. I'm not holding my breath.
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7 comments:

  • blow-me-down said...
     

    The Rangers looked pooped by the end of the game. Similar to the last overtime, they came out slow and the Senators came out fast.
    A quick death once again.

    The Rangers sometimes look like they forget that passing is not an end unto itself, it's just a great method to advance the puck so a shot can be taken. All the hesitations and slow deliberate ponderings, multitudes of them, just let Ottawa adjust as the puck went over to this guy, then around to that guy, then over to another guy, followed quite often by the quota of successful passes being all used up and it became Ottawa's turn with the puck. Nice passing, guys.

    The collapsing and falling back in the defensive zone is getting a bit outrageous. It has been carried to a dangerous extreme. Gonchar, Karlsson, et al just roam free and comfortable at the point looking for options. Rangers quite often looked like they were playing tag, unsuccessfully.

    It is important not to cloak these failings under the umbrella of "the Senators are a good team, don't underestimate them...blah blah blah". That's a dangerous mindset to get into. Respecting your opponent does not require passivity and doing nothing about your own shortcomings.
    That was a hard game to watch.

    Tortorella says that the Rangers watch themselves on game tape, not the opposition. Hopefully they can all see what needs to change.

  • mbernold said...
     

    as i warned before the playoofs began..the ranger collapse that made ottawa the opponent would undo them,,ottawa is to fast for the rangers,and the rangers are exhausted by the third period..now looks like ottawa will defeat the rangers,,when can we fire tortorella and his rope adope crap!!!!

  • Andy said...
     

    So torts praises the team when they absolutely do not deserve it (last night) and says "there's work to do" when we play well and win. Is he saving face for his own shortcomings or what?

    Either way I can't help but wonder if his lack of consistency on the teams play reflects the inconsistency of our rangers.

    Sean's ghost is chuckling at all this..

  • Luke said...
     

    I'm not sold that all is lost, but there is clearly a lot of work to do. It's not rocket science though, it's hockey fundamentals. We got 2 PP goals because we put a body around the net and then shot the puck. After that we seemed to completely relapse to pointlessly passing the puck around, and around, around on the PP.

    This might work in soccer, but I wouldn't know because I don't watch the game. Let me ask Kent Brockman of The Simpsons

    "Kent Brockman: Halfback passes to the center. Back to the wing. Back to the center. Center holds it. Holds it.
    [sighs] Holds it."

    Well, it sounds like it's just as frustrating to watch in soccer as it is on The Rangers power play. Hopefully we learn to try what worked on the first two power plays more often.

    Secondly, NYR had 4 players with under 5 minutes of ice time. Ottawa had 1 player with under 10 minutes of ice time. It wil always be a team sport, if your whole team is not playing than you'll not have the energy to compete in OT. Simple.

    /rant

    Luke

  • jb said...
     

    Wow, many excellent points being made. All correct...

    1. Absolutely yes, "the collapsing and falling back in the defensive zone is getting outrageous." The Rangers are running the hockey version of the prevent defense. I don't like it in football, and it puts them on their heels. This one is all on Tortorella. While, the Ottawa d-man are aggressive and pinching. The Rangers are passive and going backward. Not good. One good reason, why I think they are now the underdog.

    2. "Ottawa is too fast for the Rangers and the Rangers are exhausted by the 3rd period." Totally agree, the Sens look a step faster, probably due to the fact they have a better rotation and in general they are fresher than the Rangers at the end of these hard hitting games. Again, Torts has shortened the bench, he doesn't trust half the team on the ice. Not good.

    3. "Torts praises the team when they absolutely don on deserve it (last night". Couldn't agree more, he's playing some stupid mind game by sugar coating the fact his guys are losing all the battles (faceoffs), shots, and fights for puck control. Saying something doesn't make it so.

    4. "I'm not sold that all is lost." Right again. I was very upset by the loss and depressed by what I saw on the ice, but there's always a chance they could turn it around. But, I think it goes 7 now. I don't think it goes 6, and bad bounces and luck become a bigger factor. I don't think the Rangers can always count on being lucky.

  • jeanine1994 said...
     

    John Tortorella is NOT a playoff coach. He is an average coach is every area of his career. Yes he won a cup is what so many people tell me in defense of him but truly he is not anything more than an average coach who happened to win a cup one year. Some people are just better at teaching the fundamentals rather than how to win championships. And by fundamentals I mean of defense not offense because personally I don't think he knows the first thing about offense. When talking about the pp over the past couple of seasons he has said things such as "it's a crap shoot", "it's like a roulette wheel", straight up "I don't know", "you throw your best guys out there and hope for the best" and just recently ""you put your creative guys out there and let them create, you can't map out a plan for a pp". Ok then.
    When an offensive guy comes up or joins our team he teaches them his D system, if they make mistakes on D, they lose ice time. He's nit concerned with us scoring, "that'll come, I'm not worried about that" is a famous answer of his. But hey I'm getting off subject. Want to keep it simple. (another coach reference) Tortorella started his head coaching career in the year 2000 when he was promoted to interim coach of our Rangers but just for the last 4 games so that is NOT factored into these results. In his coaching career he has advanced past the 2nd round only once, ONCE when he won the cup. Oh well it's hard to get to the 3rd round you say? He has gotten past the 1st round once, only ONCE. He has 4 first round exits, 4 and has missed the playoffs 4 times, 4. The lockout season is not a factor in these stats. So with all the teams he's coached he cannot get his teams out of the first round basically.
    And the pp of all these teams? Well they average out to a 16th overall finish with a 16.8%, I don't know, sounds pretty average to me. Also makes me think Torts is a tad over-rated, no? So in my eyes coaching is a big problem and leaves me with not alot of hope for future success.

  • jb said...
     

    Tortorella was struck by 'lightning' when he won the cup with Tampa. A low probability event that can happen to any fool who stands under a thunder storm.

    Three games to see what kind of coach Tortorella is. He's got the top ranked team in the East and he was the favorite. Torts now has to prove if he's a winner and not a whiner.

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