Saturday, May 05, 2012

Capital Demise

Two old bugaboos killed the Rangers today and allowed the Caps to tie the series at two games each. Instead of having a stranglehold 3-1 lead the Rangers now have to fight for their playoff lives. All the pregame talk from the disagreeable coach was that the word tired was not to be muttered. Well if the Rangers weren't tired, what was it? The first period was played like it was a Ranger defensive drill with the Caps skating at ease through a tired Ranger team. The Rangers were out shot 14-3 and Lundqvist was brilliant making 13 saves.

And what happens when you are tired? You make mistakes, that's what happens. Unfortunately, rookie phenom Chris Kreider made the boo boo, clearing a lazy pass onto the stick of Alex Ovechkin, who launched a laser past Lundqvist and the Caps took the lead, which they would take two more times. Kreider would pay for this with only 7:34 of ice time. Three other Rangers had less ice time than Kreider. The Caps low man was Mike Knuble with 8:57 of ice time And you wonder why we get tired.

The much maligned Artem Anisimov played his best game of the playoffs, tying the game, 1-1, with a goal from in close on a beautiful deke and assisting on Gaboriks tying 2-2 goal by racing down the ice to negate an icing. However, after battling back twice the Rangers were doomed when Hagelin took a questionable slashing penalty and Mike Green scored the game winner. The Caps were 1-2 on the PP and the Rangers were 0-2. The other bugaboo.

The Rangers had a great chance when Ovechkin was whistled off for charging into Girardi. Ovie was given two minutes. He should be given more, because he definitely left his feet and hopefully it will be reviewed by the NHL. Don't hold your breath on anything happening. So it's on to NY for game five and there will be no discussion about being tired. After all, tired is a frame of mind, and if the  Rangers have the same mind set for game five as they had for the start of game four this series might well be over.


Scoring Summary: 
G Per Time Str Team Goal Scorer Assist Assist
1 1 12:43 EV WSH Ovechkin(4) unassisted
2 2 01:10 EV NYR Anisimov(2) Girardi(5) Boyle(1)
3 2 11:54 EV WSH Backstrom(2) Chimera(2) Ward(4)
4 2 16:43 EV NYR Gaborik(3) Anisimov(4) Staal(2)
5 3 14:12 PP WSH Green(2) Wideman(2)
Artem Anisimov prepares to shoot the puck past the right pad of Bradon Holtby

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  • Jen9400 said...

    The reaction from some Ranger fans I follow on twitter about this game was largely "they weren't ready" or "they didn't show up up" and the referees were terrible to top it off blah blah blah. None of what happened in Game 4 surprised me at all and I am certain you agree Pundit. First off if you asked the players to a man if they were ready or if they gave a good enough effort they would say yes and I would actually agree with them. The reason? These guys do the same thing every game. They do what they are told. They don't open their mouths or dare change a thing because they "just go about their business." Sometimes this "every game is the same" theory works, mainly because of Henrik, and sometimes it doesn't. It's really just that simple. The first period of defending and surviving the oppositions start is absolutely nothing new. During the regular season it was practically nightly conversation for Jeanine and I to discuss how the Rangers usually have three or less shots at the 10 minute mark of virtually every first period and then we miraculously end the period with something like 8 or 9 shots. We come out of the period ok because we either survive by blocking the oppositions shots or Henrik saves us and a lot of times its both. So were they not ready to play Game 4 when they approached the game as instructed like any other? Did this team built of character guys who play for each other every night and who want to win it all just decide that they weren't going to show up? I don't think so. We have a coach who makes comments like "we're not going to blow anyone out here" and guess what? We don't blow anyone out. He said Game 3 was just another win. "Nothing special" so we don't carry the emotion of winning an epic playoff game into Game 4 and we start the game the way we always do. Waiting. Waiting for the oppositions onslaught to end. Hoping they make a mistake so we can try to score a goal. We don't go for it and we don't have the 3-1 stranglehold on the series because the team doesn't have the right kind of confidence. Anyone who doesn't agree should look at some of the post game player interviews and read the looks on their faces. Just as they looked after game 5 of the first round they seem like players who are on the verge of elimination to me. If the Caps can do what the Rangers are not allowed to do and carry the emotional lift of winning the game into game 5 than we could be on the verge of elimination. But who knows with either of these coaches what to expect. Dales Hunter seems to have a lot of the same bone head philosophies as disagreeable so maybe we get lucky. Maybe he tells his team that winning Game 4 and tying the series after the Rangers had a huge emotional victory is nothing special. We find out tomorrow. The thing that kills me is the Rangers should win. They could win. We have a better team than Washington. They are just held back. They are so afraid of making a mistake because one mistake sends them from hero to zero. Just look at our super kid Chris Kreider's ice time after he made is mistake that he must stew in for hours and hours and hours. And Anisimov was just seconds away from being nailed to the bench but he scored so it worked out for him. A lot of people credit the coach because he reamed him on the bench but if you go back to regular season you will see that is not Arties typical response to the slamming from the coach. Usually that is the step before Artie disappears for weeks at time and finds himself in a limited role on the 4th line. Credit the coach if you want to but I don't buy it and I am happy for Anisimov that it worked out for him for once. Poor kid...

  • Jen9400 said...

    The other excuse was the terrible officiating. Was it terrible? Yes. Was that a shock to the system and totally unexpected? No. Did the 4 total penalties 2 on each side dictate the outcome of the game? No. So people can blame the officials all they want for calls or non calls but I don't buy that. Honestly, everyone is saying that the game winner came on a questionable call. OK. So what? Aren't 95% of the calls questionable while the real penalties are let go? And everyone crying about the non call on the Callahan "trip" should do what I did and watch the reverse angle replay in slow motion. It didn't look like the stick that was reaching for the puck actually took Ryan down. Look at the non reaction from the Rangers bench in the background. Why was Callahan's argument so calm? He usually gets much more upset. I don't know what caused Ryan to go down on the play. I just don't think it was a trip. So I won't blame the officials for that one.

  • Jen9400 said...

    Sorry I'm so long winded lol!

  • mike said...

    Jen9400-If long winded were a crime I would have been locked up a long time ago.

  • mbernold said...

    jen --all your points are valid--as i've said before it is painful to watch this team play..this is not hockey....i'm just about at the point i don't care whether they win or hell with tortorella..he disgusts me

  • jb said...

    Many good points by Jen. All is clearly not right in Tortorella land, he seems bent on making each series a 7 game grindfest. This team plays down to the level of its competition and consequently puts a lot of pressure on Hank to keep in close so they can scratch out a victory. That formula feels like its going to wear this team out before they cross the finish line. Hopeful that we win this series, but not will to put money on them.

  • blow-me-down said...

    It's just so sad having incompetent/and or biased refs effing games up. They probably do not even realize what a bunch of tools they are.

    These guys should be sent to remedial referreing school.

    Let's Go Rangers!! Put it all behind and come out and dictate your kind of game. Do that, and you win.