Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Rangers 'Staal' Caps

What a game! No, it wasn't flawless, Del Zotto and Boyle were playing, but it was exciting. Years from now MSG will have it on Classics and we will marvel at the many heroics and even some of the blunders. Braden Holtby returned to earth and let in a couple of softies that has to have coach Adam Oates worried about the upcoming games. The shots were almost even, 31-30 Caps, but it was the last goal scored by Stepan that provided the clincher in the 4-3 win.

Marc Staal made an emotional return and played a solid 17:17. The Rangers got goals from guys named Boyle, Brassard and Asham. Not your everyday snipers. John Moore continued to be a revelation especially on the PP as he continues to get more ice time and Del Zotto (17:02) gets less. For once the Rangers won the special teams fight. The Caps were 0-3 on the PP and the Rangers were 1-6. Actually the Rangers first goal by Boyle was scored one second after the PP expired.

For the Caps, the Big O was kept off the scoresheet, but Backstrom and Green continued their fine play and both scored goals. To me the Caps seemed to own the five on five play and their six penalties broke up their rhythm and was their down fall. The game ended with the Caps on a 1:54 power play and they spent too much time passing it around and not letting Green shoot from the point. Our advantage.

As I predicted the East is up for grabs. All four series sit at 2-1 and the odds are good that come Wednesday night all four series will be tied at two apiece

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  • Jen9400 said...

    That game was an emotional roller coaster and fitting for the season we had. Holy heart attack. Could have gone either way. I'm just glad it went our way because I don't think my heart could take it if we were facing a sweep today. Thought for sure we were headed to OT but Chihuahua Face Mike Ribeiro was too afraid to shoot the puck with the empty net and time ran out on the Caps. That's what Jeanine calls him. She says he looks like a chihuahua so I threw it in there for kicks ha ha ha.
    Henrik was talking about the special teams after the game as he has been a lot lately. He couldn't be any clearer about the fact that the power play is important and his patience are running out. I don't think you see the Caps taking 6 penalties in game 4. If this were the caps of last year and prior recent years then I would say they are coming unglued but clearly they are not those Caps. I loved Adam Oates as a player. He was a great 2 way forward and a really smart guy. Caps have really changed a lot starting with their attitude. They seem serious instead of cocky. They seem focused and much like the Islanders, they never stop coming. They are aggressive and strong on the puck and they put pressure on their opponents. They take risks and they also play smart D. Its a great mix and their PP is so strong. the Rangers counter it with great PK. The PK has been the strongest part of our game. It is the only time the Rangers look confident and strong to me. I'm glad 3rd and 4th line guys came through last night. And Stepan too. Who else? The guy has been brilliant and I am happy to see him score in the playoffs. He works so hard and he has been the backbone of the offense. The contributions from the 3rd and 4th line guys are so important in the playoffs especially when Nash is looking like he is. He has to lift his game to playoff level if you ask me. He is playing like its game 25. I don't think he's lazy or not showing up like some people are saying. I just think that he's too complacent. He's played his NHL career for a club that never competes for anything, until now that is. Sometimes it takes experience to learn what it takes to make it in the NHL playoffs. He doesn't seem scared or like someone who can't handle pressure, he's just not raising his game. I remember Mark Messier said when the Oilers lost in the cup finals in 1983 to the Islanders he walked by the Islanders dressing room expecting to hear the players partying- but he didn't. It was quiet. So he looked into their room and guys were in there with ice bags nursing cracked ribs and injuries and Mark thought, there's the difference. Our guys don't look like that. That's why they won and we lost. That's the lesson Nash needs to learn and it only comes with experience. Hopefully he'll get some experience but with this coach... well you know.
    Game 4 will be interesting. Interesting to see if the Rangers can play "desperate" two games in a row. I put that in quotes because even though the Rangers were "desperate" last night, the Caps still controlled large portions of the game. they didn't want to give us anything. The Rangers were good enough to win but in the playoffs you have to be better than good enough. Getting by doesn't cut it. So let's see if they respond by stepping up their game a level as they need to or if they respond the same way they did throughout the regular season by following up a big win with a mediocre performance. Let's hope they step it up because this Caps team will take advantage of an opportunity to close out the series on home ice. I cringe at the thought. Lets Go Rangers.

  • jb said...

    Jen, A very nice wrap-up of where things stand. Nash is definitely a key piece to winning this series, but he's not going to get fans to swap out their Lundqvist jerseys for a Nash, with his shrinking man imitation here in the playoffs. Torts mixing up his linemates doesn't help things either. I worry about fatigue late in the games for Girardi and McDonagh. Their over use this year by Tortorella puts them in a tough spot late in games. McDonagh's delay of game penalty last game, might be a tell. At least it will make the 3rd quarter, if game 4 is close, a test of how long Rangers fans can hold their breath.