The Capitals 2-1 overtime win in Washington puts the Rangers on the cusp of summer vacation. The Verizon Center is lobbying to become our new house of horrors, looking to wrest that honor from Montreal's Bell Centre. What do the phone companies have against the New York Rangers? The Rangers have a grand total of two goals in three first round losses (2 in OT) in DC.
The Rangers are bringing a rusty Swiss Army knife to a gun fight. When Brian Boyle is playing 21:44 the Rangers are doomed. They do not have a chance with BB as their go to. Who took a grand total of 1 shot on goal in his 21+ minutes and got lucky? Who hands the other team a PP goal with a stupid slashing penalty six minutes after scoring? Who, of course, was on the ice when Mike Ribeiro scored the game winner? Who must have nasty photos of Torts in a compromising situation to get run out on the ice for 28 shifts, 27 of which were worthless? Brian Boyle plays like Peter Boyle's Frankenstein. Useless.
Welcome to playoff hockey Mr. Nash. Playoff hockey is faster and tighter. So Rick Nash looks slower and weaker. Nash had a total of 2 shots on goal, both in OT, in 20:05 of ice time. Contrast that to Ovechkin who recorded 9 shots on goal. Ovechkin is always a threat even with Girardi and McDonagh draped all over him. Drape a Washington d-man on Nash and he disappears.
Even without Nash's troubles there is plenty of ineptness to go around. The aptly named Del Zaster and Richard$ need to be removed from the PP (0-4). It's a big positive to see Del Zaster's (15:29) minutes decreasing and Moore's (25:05) increasing. Same with Richard$ (18:23) and Brassard (23:55) going in opposite directions. Out with the old in with the new. Richard$ is quietly punching his bus ticket to Hartford.
A Caps blogger notes:
Ward and Mathieu Perreault, in fact—two bottom-six forwards—are now tied for the most points out of all Capitals forwards this postseason, with four each. Another third liner, Jason Chimera, is not far behind, and that’s after he struggled offensively for much of the season. What does the third line seem to have figured out?Yes, the Caps have a blueprint for victory -- a third line with bite. The Rangers with injuries to Clowe (suspected concussion), Powe (concussion) and Staal (eye) don't have a blueprint, but they do have Brian Boyle. Lord help us.