Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Game 7: Lesser Lights Shine Bright, Rangers Crush Caps 5-0

The first war of Lord Stanley's Cup 2013 is over.  The NY Rangers led by their resolute rock, their king of the crease, their royal protector of the net, Henrik Lundqvist, routed the Capitals of DC, 5-0, in an epic game seven battle to win the series 4-3. The King stopped an intense Caps barrage of 13 shots in the first period, which then gave his loyal foot soldiers a chance to launch the counterattack and commence the sacking and pillaging of the net of squire Brandon of Holtby.

The Rangers' yeomen, grinders and gofers had their day of glory. Arron Asham started the assault with a beautiful screened slapshot off a Chris Keider back pass. Next, at 3:24 of the second period Taylor Pyatt notched his first goal of the playoffs, with assists from Derek Dorsett and Steve Eminger. That was also Dorsett and Eminger's first points of the playoffs. Del Zotto scored his first goal of the playoffs just over two minutes later, with a lucky deflected pass, to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead. The lowly foot soldiers had risen, the lesser lights were shining bright and the rout was on.

You could hear and sense the Washington team and their building deflate after Del Zotto's 3rd goal. Coming back and scoring three goals against the royal rock, Lundqvist, just to tie it up, in a game seven was not going to happen. The Captain, Ryan Callahan, led the mopping up operation with his nifty steal and the Rangers 4th goal just 13 seconds into the third. The villagers started fleeing the building after Cally's torching of the net. Lastly, this tale of victory concludes with the wee Hobbit of Oslo scoring his first playoff goal, 6:39 into the third, off a beautiful setup from Sir Derick of Brassard.

Musings and Mutterings:

Yes, Derick Brassard has been knighted. He is now Sir Brass in the Royal Court of King Henrik Lundqvist. Seven assists, two goals, in the last five playoff games, and +4, earns that honor. Ironically, it was surprising to see that Sir Brass was not credited with any shots during game 7. He will also be allowed to keep the number 16 without further comment.

Since he was not going to score against the King, Alexander Ovechkin became a beast. Henceforth he will be know as "The Ovechkin." The Ovechkin had a shift where he hit everything in sight. (See: The Russian Machine Never Breaks, hit GIFs, including the boarding of McDonagh). Ovechkin had only one shot on goal in 20 shifts (19:08 of ice time), but was not on the ice for any of the Rangers goals. The Ovechkin's final line in the seven-game series reads one goal in Game 1, an assist in Game 2 and then five straight games without a point.

It was a bloody victory. The Ovechkin's brutal boarding of Ryan McDonagh left a nasty mark, but the beast was finally slain.

The Ovechkin's boarding of Ryan McDonagh resulted in a cut

The Rangers play best when the Earl of Angry, the Lord of Pout, John Tortorella, says and coaches the least. He unshackled them in the first period and by all accounts simply told them to be aggressive and go after the Caps. What, no rope-a-dope in game seven? What a novel coaching concept: let's go out and win the game, instead of clustering around Lundqvist and playing for the tie and shootout.

The power play (0-3) is still wickedly cursed. Someone or something will need to be sacrificed in order to break the evil spell that lingers over it. Looks like it needs to be Richard$.

While a banishment to Hartford is now in the cards for Richard$, he can still salvage something from this year, if he can muster some points against Boston. Brad gave us some great moments last year. Please, Brad, if you have any gas left in the tank, now is the time to use it. #RedemptionAwaitsThee

Brian Boyle, -1, in six games; Brad Richards, -1, in 7 games; and Ryane Clowe, -1, in two games are the only Rangers forwards with a minus rating after the first round.

Please, Lord Pout sir, may we see some more of the line combination of Brassard, Zuccarello, and Nash before they get stale?

If Taylor Pyatt (16:16 of ice time) and Derek Dorsett (15:32) can keep it going and continue to earn this increase in playing time, then the Rangers may have a blueprint for victory against Boston.

So much for those other pundit wannabes saying that it had to be one of the big name players (like Nash, Richards, Backstrom or Ovechkin) stepping up in order to win the game. #CheersForTheLittlePeople

Ryan Callahan's steal and score off John Erskine was sweet justice.

Of the eight teams remaining alive in the playoffs, four are original six teams: Blackhawks and Red Wings in the west, Rangers and Bruins in the east. This was the first season since 1996 when all of the Original Six Teams were in the playoffs.

King and squire shake hands:

Brandon Holtby and Henrik Lundqvist shake hands after game 7
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Scoring Summary
G Per Time Str Team Goal Scorer Assist Assist
1 1 13:19 EV NYR Asham(2) Kreider(1)
2 2 03:24 EV NYR Pyatt(1) Dorsett(4) Eminger(1)
3 2 05:34 EV NYR Del Zotto(1) Brassard(6) Nash(2)
4 3 00:13 EV NYR Callahan(1) unassisted
5 3 06:39 EV NYR Zuccarello(1) Brassard(7) Eminger(2)
 
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11 comments:

  • Luke said...
     

    Excellent write up, Pundit. A fantastic game and one I'm glad I made the effort to stay up for. It was especially sweet when the Caps body language and shoulders slumped, despite having bruised the Rangers all evening.

    While I was cursing the lack of retaliation on Ovie's charging/boarding/roughing (take your pick) at the time, NYR made the right choice in resisting. 5-0 is a more effective way of imposing your will on the opposition.

    Finally, I completely agree on the new kid wearing number 16.

    Luke

  • jb said...
     

    Yes, it was a great game. The poor Caps after this comeback on top of last year, their fans will be having royal nightmares about Lundqvist.

  • jeanine1994 said...
     

    It was a great game and so nice to dominate for a change. We didn't have to sweat it out and henrik didn't have to be the decision maker, for once he had some breathing room. But it sure was sweet that he had back to back shut outs....outstanding!!!! Cally getting the back breaker was awesome and Zuc with one is always nice. Del Zottos goal was a beauty too! And who doesn't enjoy seeing the Caps lose, again? haha
    I felt bad for the Leaf fans, man what a heart break. That's rough. So the Bruins it is. This will be a very tough series, both teams have strong D, strong goaltending and decent offense that is sometimes inept, and a pp that will most likely not score. Boston is extremely physical which will be exhausting especially on our guys who play extra mins. I'm picking Rangers in 7 but truly it will be close, very, very close.
    My picks:
    Rangers in 7 Pens in 7
    Chicago in 6 San Jose in 6

  • Jen9400 said...
     

    The game ended up really great but started off really scary! I thought the Caps and especially Ovechkin came to play and they were killing us until Asham scored. I was really hoping we would score first because Henrik was very much in their heads and that really hurt them and allowed the Rangers to turn the game around. I find it funny Pundit should say there was no rope-a-dope in game 7 when Filip Bondy wrote this in The Daily News today: "All the Rangers needed to do in this Game 7 was to survive the surge of energy from the Caps after the opening faceoff. They did this, played rope-a-dope with the home team and completed an epic comeback series against what had been the hottest team in the league." Seems like everyone is reading pundit and using his phrase lol! But once the first period was done there was no more rope-a-dope as the Rangers took control. I never ever do this but when they scored the second goal I yelled out GAME OVER! Because there was not a soul who believed the Caps would score a goal on Henrik, including the Caps themselves. Reporters kept asking Oates after games about Henrik and in an attempt to shrug it off he kept saying that he was telling his players every day to expect Henrik to be great- they got what they expected. Maybe Oates was too honest. Said it too many times I don't know. But it was in their heads from the beginning and as soon as good Henrik started playing like awesome Henrik he shut the door and you could sense how intimidated the Caps offense was by him. There is no doubt that Henrik is the best goalie in the NHL. When highly skilled offensive players start to over think then you know that must be one hell of a goalie. He amazes me constantly. The best part of Bondy's article was this: "The turnaround play was an instant reminder that Holtby is not Lundqvist. That nobody is Lundqvist right now. The Caps were frustrated and flustered by the Swedish star throughout this series. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, they came to understand this was a hopeless cause. Alex Ovechkin skated with great purpose for a while on Monday, forechecking with fury, hammering seven Rangers with body checks in the first period alone. He couldn’t beat Lundqvist, though." Great stuff!
    OK jeanine gave her second round prediction so I will give mine: Rangers in 7 (hoping for 6) Pitt in 6. Chicago in 7 and San Jose in 6. Just a little different in number of games from Jeanine's picks. First round I got all of the West teams right so I was proud of that and my East teams I was 2 and 2. I picked the canadians and the Leafs! Leafs blew it for my bracket! Funny how I got the West but not the East when I watch way more East games. The East is really very close. Bruins series is going to be tough. Really tough. Going in they weren't playing good hockey so I thought they were going to lose in round 1 no matter who they played. Now I don't know what to expect besides bruises ha ha ha!
    Mike- my dad always told us how much he hated the Bruins. He remembers that 1973 series and still curses about it. He said the hate is reborn!

  • Andy said...
     

    Yes, the new kid wearing #16. So peachy in ranger land, isn't it? Derrick brassard is God now, isn't he? That locker room is so much more fun now, right Henrik?Fuck Gaborik we got this kid, right? Makes me sick.

    Like i said a week ago, flip a coin and hope it says new york. Only problem is the more it comes new york side up the more respect john tortorella gets. So pick your poison kids

  • Andy said...
     

    By the way, to Jen and Jeanine-

    I missed the comment made the other day by the gentlemen who referred to you as the pundits 'girlfriends'.

    To that man I'd like to say: Maybe they are pundits 'girlfriends', but those girlfriends have an adopted brother named Andy, so that makes 3. Constructive criticism is one thing, but don't talk about pundit losing readers because you don't like his style. He speaks the truth as he sees it which is our god given right. Just like me saying i hope we crush boston, you know?

  • jeanine1994 said...
     

    HAHA Andy you're awesome.

  • Mike said...
     

    I usually leave the retorts to jb but a couple comments interested me.

    Wayne G-My 'two girlfriends" have a lot of company. The last week our visits have skyrocketed. There are plenty of 'homer' blogs and 'lap dogs' that you can visit. Go and take your disagreeable autographed photos with you.

    Luke-I guess all good things end and number 16 goes to a so far worthy young man. As far as No-vechkin goes, he doesn't go quietly. He just goes.

    Jen 9400-Your Dad is hating over 1973. Hell, 1950 and the Red Wings and the crossbar drive me nuts.

    Andy-Remember the old saying. "The truth shall set you free", unless you are one of those that refuse to believe what they see.

    To all my friends, including the girls, we are in for some exciting times the next couple of weeks. Unleashed, the Rangers can be dangerous. We have the best goalie in the hockey world. Lets hope the rest of the team rises to the occasion.

  • Jen9400 said...
     

    Andy- Nice of you to have our backs and pundit's too! Thank you.

    Mike- I don't mean this bad -it just is what it is- my dad is too young to remember 1950 but if he were old enough he'd be right there with you! My mom loves to tell people her famous story about how Jeanine and I became so hockey nuts (she's very personable and talks to all who will listen). It goes like this: When my parents first got married my mom asked my dad to pick one sport to watch with regularity because it drove her nuts growing up that her father and brothers always had a football or baseball game on. Dad picked hockey and mom was happy because he introduced her to hockey and she really liked it. They lived in a small apartment and my mom recalls holding Jeanine in her arms as a little baby as my dad was on his knees in front of the Ranger-Bruins game screaming "I hope you die Esposito" -Later my dad grew to like Espo once he became a Ranger ha ha ha! Still to this day mom often wonders what the neighbors must have thought. So when people ask us how long we have been Ranger fans we say we were born into it and we were. I can't recall a time where they have not been part of my life. I also tell people that our choice of hockey team wasn't any more of a choice than our religion was. We were baptized as Ranger fans!

    I agree 100% that unleashed, the Rangers can be dangerous. I've been saying this for some time and that is primarily why I have such a big gripe with the coach. I want The Rangers to be all they can be. They underachieve on most nights and to win you have to overachieve. That's why coaching is so very important.

    Oh yeah and there really are many "homer" blogs out there. A lot of bloggers like to think of themselves as experts who must present both sides of everything for their so called "public." There are beat writers for that kind of reporting. That's why I like the pundit so much. He's a fan with an opinion and a blog which is exactly the purpose of having a blog. To express one's viewpoint. That is also why I comment here. Opinions are welcome and we sure have those, don't we?

  • jb said...
     

    Jen,

    Yeah, Mike's been feeling the pain of being a Rangers fan a lot longer than most folks. He'll have to update his blog tag line to say "over 76 or 77 years of frequent frustration." We might have lost a year or two, but who's counting. They keep adding up and Mike has more Rangers wear and tear than most people.

    I was telling Mike that some blogs are saying that Torts is the second coming (just to stir him up). Torts took us to the Eastern Conf. finals last year, and won the first round this year, blah, blah, blah...

    Anyway, if you take last year's playoff record 10-10 plus this year's 4-3, you have a 14-13 combined 2 year record so far, which is a .518 winning percentage. Point being that Tortorella is at his very best a .500 coach. That underscores your point that "they underachieve on most nights" even in the playoffs, and consequently lose about half the time. Even though they have the greatest goalie in the world, according to Barry Melrose. Who, then turned around and picked Boston to win, primarily because of Chara and their defense. Give any half respectable NHL coach Lundqvist and they do as well or probably better than Tortorella.

    What made Game 7 so refreshing was that they overachieved in a big game, causing many of us to fall off the couch.

  • Jen9400 said...
     

    jb- yeah I know all about the Torts defenders and it really makes me sick. Love the stat you came up with. All of his stats are right there at .500 and it is such a shame to waste talent and Henrik on average coaching. I am already resigned to the fact that we are stuck with this idiot for a long, long time so I hope this team scratches claws its way to a Cup for the King's sake. He knows he has to be perfect or near perfect to win and he is determined to win. If he does the coach will get the glory but we can all see that his coaching is sub-par and some of the decisions he makes are just brutal. His style is brutal to play and brutal to watch. It really doesn't have to be this way but it is what it is at this point. Let the King lift the Cup already! Of course its way to early to be talking about it and our King has been playing a lot of Hockey as the coach failed to give Biron a start or two during our stretch run of non playoff teams. As long as he doesn't tire, the Rangers have as good a chance as any. But again, one step at a time. I have a good feeling for tonight's game so I am hoping that the Rangers win a game 1 for once. Another staple of this coach- lose game one- go all the way to game 7- as brutal as possible. that should be his motto.

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