Monday, May 13, 2013

Thanks Hank!

Sure Derick Brassard scored the winning goal, a lucky carom shot off of Cap D-man Steve Oleksy, and sure the Rangers played disagreeable hockey, blocking a ton of shots, but when it's all said and done, the Rangers live and die by one man and one man alone, Henrik Lundqvist, aka Hank. Thanks Hank!

You ever think that of all the positions on the ice, the goalie is the one position that the coach has no control over. Oh yeah, he can change goalies but he can't control or affect their play. Lundqvist was great, that word again, in stopping 27 shots for his second series shutout and seventh of his career. Two of his three losses in this series have been in OT. Now he is asked to do the impossible, the unthinkable. He is asked to become the first Ranger goalie to win a playoff game seven on the road. He is asked to do something that the great Eddie Giacomin failed to do on two occasions.

Can he do it? Of course he can. The question is can the mediocrity that surrounds him rise to the occasion. Let's face it. The Caps are there to be taken. I was disappointed that we blew game five. Game six should have been the clincher for us not the tying game. The Rangers were a woeful 0-5 on the power play. The refs saw no evil in the Ranger game and the Caps had nary a power play.

While Cap goalie Braden Holtby has been brilliant in DC, two goals against in three games, the Ranger perimeter style and ever changing lines make life easier for the goalie. Remember, the Rangers have lost two OT games in Washington. The Rangers without Lundqvist are a bottom feeder in the NHL East. So it is asking too much for this team to rise to the occasion and win one for the King? Can they do it? Hank has on many occasions. We are asking the team to show up once and do it.

Thanks Hank! Long live the King!

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  • WayneGs said...

    Pundit- you are too negative for me to bother reading any longer- At times I have agreed with some of your comments but your constant bitching about Tortarella and his system have just become an old man's crying game. Either add something positive and give some credit where it's due or watch your readership drop to nothing but your 2 girlfriends.

  • jb said...

    I think Mike is right in giving the majority of the credit to Hank. Every bit of success this team is having is due to Lundqvist. And that fact is echoed by many others.

    Torts has nothing to do with Hanks play, which is good, because he can't screw that up. Everything Tortorella meddles with turns to crap. Every single idea or lineup he runs out there for the powerplay has been a loser for years. His over reliance on Girardi and McDonagh during the regular season has left a lot of wear on tear on them that makes them vulnerable here in the playoffs. His rope-a-dope defensive philosophy punishes the team by putting them in a defensive phalanx around Hank and taking body shots. I also think they make it harder for Hank by screening him, but whatever, it's brutal to watch.

    What gets me is that Lundqvist is having arguably one of his best years (Vezina quality again) and it's being wasted by Tortorella's offensive ineptness. The team always struggles on the powerplay, if they could just get up to the league average, that would throw a few bones (goals) for Hank. But nadda. Yes, it gets old and tired to see nothing change with this team. It's a .500 team with the greatest goal tender in Rangers history. Truly a waste.

    Torts would get fired very quickly if Lundqvist, heaven forbid, ever got injured and Marty or whoever gave us just average net minding. Tortorella is allowed to promulgate his BS simply because Hank is backstopping the Rangers.

    So "credit is due" primarily to one person and that is Lundqvist. Whenever the camera pans around MSG and you see what jersey the majority of the fans are wearing, it confirms that fact.

  • Jen9400 said...

    WayneGs - I suppose I am one of the "2 girlfriends" you are referring to. It is so frustrating to read a comment like that. Being a female always automatically discredits a person. At one time I had a really good friend who was in a band and I went to all of his shows and I enjoyed myself. What annoyed me was the other guitar player used to introduce my sister and I as the band's "groupies' and we were so the opposite of what that word implies. I find your "girlfriend" comment to be just as condescending as that jerk in my friends band and if that is your way of thinking then it doesn't surprise me at all that you would defend the coach since condescending is is specialty.

  • Jen9400 said...

    Pundit is certainly not wrong in giving the due credit to Hank. he is our savior most nights and my biggest complaint is I don't think it has to be this way. The inability of the coach to properly use players, including his overuse of players, his inability to simply form lines, to rectify the power play, to get the best out of the players, to "trust players" -rookies in particular- is exactly what makes him average. Yes average is all he is and he refuses to change a thing so he will never grow as a coach or a person and average he will remain. I tweeted between games 4 and 5 that he is clueless on offense and one of his defenders said to me -so 8 goals in two games isn't grabbing you, huh? Or something to that effect. The truth is sometimes players are going to score. What did Tortorella do to provoke that offense? Nothing- not one thing- in the game plan changed. As Callahan said when asked what they did different "nothing we just stuck with it" - in other words sometimes it goes in and sometimes it doesn't- because you can't predict offense- and THAT is the basic attitude of the team taught to them by this coach as if it's a crap shoot and that's just not true. I see a lot of speed and skill that is not being used on most occasions because they have to play it safe. Don't make a mistake or take a penalty because that is the kiss of death from the coach. Honestly, I thought the Rangers played a pretty good game yesterday especially in the second. We had the puck. We had some control over the game. I don't see that the Caps are so much more talented as another Ranger fan blogger (no one here) tried to tell me when we were down 2-0. I think our offense is actually deeper the Caps, our defense is better and obviously no one is better than Henrik. Yes I believe our offense is better than its output. If we had great coaching, as the Red Wings do, this team would be the team with home ice. It would be in large part due to the PP because this team would have a power play to speak of- and this series would already be over. What Mike Babcock has done with this year's version of the Red Wings is really great. One of the biggest stories is how his rookies are developing and the all rookie/1st year players line he has formed is playing really well. Have they made mistakes? Yeah, a lot of them, but as Babcock said of them, "that's how you learn." Where are our rookies? JT Miller is just gone and Kreider is being ruined by the coaches inability to "trust" him. Well grow a set Torts. Don't dress the kid for one game to try to get some offense and play him for 4 minutes with zero ice time in the 3rd. Jeanine said why not give the kid some time on the PP? Yeah why not? Can our PP get any worse? We had 5 of them yesterday including more 5 on 3 time and nothing. So why can't we give the kid a little ice time by putting him out there on the PP? How risky is it really? It's so ridiculous. There is just no other word for it. In every game of the series the team who scored on their PP won the game with the exception of game 6. Good thing the Caps didn't get any PP time because ours is just ridiculous. Can't help it. It's just the right word. So in Game 7- If Henrik is perfect and he's in the zone so he just might be- then we make history. If not, then maybe not but I'm going with my original pick of Rangers in 7.

  • jeanine1994 said...

    There are not enough positive adjectives in the world to describe our King, King Henrik. He just continues to amaze on a nightly basis, you think you've seen the best of him and then he takes it to a level we haven't seen. He has the strongest mindset I've ever seen, he wants that cup so badly. If our team and coach had his determination, his guts, his passion we would be unbeatable. I pray he gets the Stanley cup he deserves as a Ranger, I pray he gets more than one, unfortunately we have to wait until this so called coach is gone.
    Without Henrik we wouldn't have even made the playoffs so all hail the king, and if you don't know that than I feel sorry for you.
    Just a few adjectives to describe Henrik... Unbelievable, outstanding, awesome, outrageous, superb, savior, perfect.
    Thank Henrik, thank you, you are worshipped and adored.

  • Luke said...

    Keep up the good work Pundit!! Hopefully Hank can put on yet another outstanding performance and the team can find some scoring on the road.