Thursday, June 05, 2014

Rangers Give It Away

It was not a good night and a worse later night. First, the Rangers gave the LA Kings the opening game and then the computer was giving me fits. But computers get fixed and hopefully so do the Rangers. After all you only have seven games, now six, to win four games and the elusive Cup.

The Rangers started out like a house on fire scoring two goals in 1:43 on breakaways by Pouliot and Hagelin, Hagelin a shorthanded. Then they flamed out and did mostly nothing else. Oh, there was Boyle alone in front, but no cigar and it was all downhill from then. St. Louis was stopped on a breakaway and so was Hagelin. It seemed the only way the Rangers would score was on breakaways.

The Rangers were out shot 43-27 and out hit 45-33. So how come it was so close and I am saying we gave it away. Simple. Lundqvist. Henrik Lundqvist made 40 saves. In the third period the Rangers were out shot 20-3. Yes, no typo, 20-3. And there were the idiots on NBC extolling the great saves of Jonathan Quick, who made all of 25 saves. Lundqvist didn't even get an honorable mention in the stars of the game.

It was Dan Girardi who made the final gaffe that led to the winning goal. Maybe too much ice time, 27:25, maybe. Maybe it was Derek Stepan who insisted on not shooting the puck, one shot, no matter how close to the net he was. Maybe it was Rick Nash, again, who in big games continues to come up small. Maybe it was the power play with another 0-3 blanking.

Whatever it was it has to be fixed and fixed now. We can't go home down 2-0 with the hopes of rallying. The Kings are too good a team. They are good, big, tough and tonight lucky. So back to the drawing board, back to basics. Let's get that forecheck going and let's use our speed to our advantage.

ICINGS: Saddened by the death of a great sports person, Don Zimmer. Many years part of the Yankee success. Don was 83. Condolences and prayers to the Zimmer family.

Related Articles by Categories


  • Jen9400 said...

    Before I begin I would also like to send out condolences and prayers to the Zimmer family. I am saddened to hear of his passing. Zim was a good guy and a fun guy to have around the Yankees. He will be missed by many.

    Also, before I start about last night's game I want to express how proud I am of this special group of players the Rangers have. They have come so far already and have so many positives to take away from this experience which is far from over. If we have learned anything about this team, its how resilient they are. I know its hard to keep the come back Kings down but the same can be said of the come back Rangers. This is going to be an intense series even though the so called experts are trying to make it sound as though the Kings are facing their farm team to play for the Cup and they should breeze through the series. Regardless of their ignorance, the Rangers are very defensively responsible who are always thinking about pushing the pace offensively. Add Henrik Lundqvist to that mix and you have a well rounded and highly underestimated team if you ask me. They have earned every bit as much of their road to the Finals and will be a tough opponent who has a really good chance at winning this thing.

    Having said that, its a bummer we lost game 1. Jumping out to a two goal lead in that speedy first period was exactly what we wanted to do. Then it turned more in the Kings favor as they made adjustments to their game. I felt like the loss was mostly in the Rangers hands and it was more our inability to play 60 minutes than anything. No doubt the Kings played a good game but in no way did I feel overwhelmed by greatness as the experts would want us to believe. Our King, Henrik, was the best player on the ice and Hagelin was right up there with him. I thought Quick was good when he needed to be but the Rangers didn't push the pace for long enough to really give him any kind of run for his money. Truth be told, we can be better and the Kings can be better so we are in for a hell of a game 2. Our power play obviously needs improvement but as far as the power play goes it is still far better than it was a year ago. No doubt about that one and the longer you go in the playoffs, the harder it is to score not the tougher teams. I have said all season that Hagelin should get a shot on the PP and I would like to see that now. Change things up. What balances the PP out is our amazing penalty killing. It was really good under the extreme defense of the previous coach but now its lethal. Boyle is unreal on the PK and Hags is so dangerous. Love to see offensive players on the PK who are responsible with their D but are able to break out if the opportunity arises, a risk our players were not allowed to take before AV. I'm glad to see Rick Nash doing some good things in his role in defensive situations and I am truly trying to give him credit but that is not supposed to be his job. He was supposed to be the game breaker. The guy who scores the big goals in the big games so I agree that once again he comes up small and its a major disappointment which hasn't held us back... yet. Lets hope guys like Brassard, Hagelin, Zuccarello, Pouliot, Kreider , etc. keep outperforming him on the scoreboard because to this point this team wins by committee and Nash is just an extremely expensive defensive forward.

    So as Mike said, get back to the forecheck and use our speed to our advantage, tie this thing up and take it to the Garden. Win Game 2! Lets Go Rangers!

  • jb said...

    This team has played above its level to get the far. By all rights they should have been eliminated by Pittsburgh. So everything since then has been found money. But it just stinks the Nash can't contribute anything meaningful on offensive to this team. You look at how Gaborik has turned it on for these playoffs and all you can do is just scratch your head about Nash's smallness. I wonder if his pride will kick in at some point and force him to put the puck in the net.

    I didn't want to see Gaborik and LA, I thought we'd do better against the Blackhawks. I think Crawford has more holes than Quick. I think Gaborik has told LA that you have to beat Hank on the top shelf. So here we are and I have to fear that Gaborik will have the last laugh in this one.

    A do share your hope about Brassard, Hagelin, Zuccarello, Pouliot, Kreider making up for Nash, Richards and Stephan. That is all I have right now to give me any hope in this series. I don't think that Hank can carry them to the Cup with 4, 2-1 victories.