Rangers Season is Over, Lose 2-1

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The New York Rangers did everything that they could to ruin Gary Bettman’s dream of a possible Crosby/Ovechkin match-up (That is now happening). Unfortunately for the Rangers, Sergei Federov ended the Rangers chances when he fired a high wrister from the off-wing past a dejected Henrik Lundqvist to give the Caps the first and last lead that they would need. The shot itself may or may not have been helped by a Wade Redden screen. But really, it’s a moot point now.

The Rangers could not muster any offense at all in the most crucial period of the year. 1 shot on goal in the 3rd period? That’s not what you would expect, but those are the numbers folks. Washington can thank their lucky stars and the NHL for escaping this Game 7 alive. The Rangers came out flying and controlled the 1st period with early scoring chances by Sean Avery and Nik Antropov. Antropov had a breakaway but I think he outthought himself a little bit, he should of shot the puck from what I saw. Anyhow, the line of Avery, Dubinsky, and Antropov was the best line the Rangers had all night and they finally got one by Varlamov. The Rangers goal was a result of Nik Antropov slamming home a rebound to give the Rangers the much needed 1-0 lead. Late in the 1st period, the Capitals evened the score on a fluke goal by Alexander Semin that went off of Girardi’s stick and Callahan’s shoulder to beat Lundqvist. Very lucky, you bet! Sometimes though it’s better to be lucky than good, in this case the Caps will definitely take it.

In the 2nd period I thought was a tale of 2 halves. The Caps seemed to dominate the first 10 minutes with Lundqvist making a highlight film save off of Viktor Kozlov who thought he had an empty netter. It definitely kept the Rangers in this game. The next 10 minutes of the 2nd period was owned by the Rangers. The Rangers controlled the puck in the Caps zone, but could never get a clean shot on Varlamov. I thought the Rangers had momentum heading into the 3rd, but that was not to be. It looked like they were waiting for the one single mistake by the Caps, unfortunately that never happened and the Rangers offense was stuck in neutral.

Folks, this sums up the season for the Rangers. The lack of offense was a problem all year and it surfaced even more throughout this tough 7 game series. With the New Jersey Devils choking away a 1 goal lead with a minute to go in the 3rd to the Carolina Hurricanes, I know one person who’s jumping for joy. Gary Bettman’s dream lies in the Ovechkin Vs. Crosby series coming up. The Rangers found out the hard way just how tough it was to beat the Capitals and the NHL at the same time. Anyone who disagrees with that knows nothing about hockey. So, Gary who gets to play the Sean Avery character now? Even better, which side will you guys be choosing? Just thought I’d ask. Over and out!

Oh, one last thing. Memo to Alex Ovechkin: Lundqvist may not be a Tretiak, but you're no Gretzky either.


Rangers Can't Hold Serve, Lose 5-3

Sunday, April 26, 2009

For the second time in this series, the New York Rangers failed to hold serve at home. Much like in Game 3, the Washington Capitals totally outplayed the hometown Rangers. The Caps proved that they are a bigger, faster, skilful, and physical force to be reckoned with.

With a little, or a lot of help from the NHL, how do you beat this team when all their cylinders are firing? Today’s matinee at the Garden had a lot of pre-game buzz. Sean Avery was back in the lineup and John Tortorella was sitting out with a 1 game suspension over the infamous "Water Bottle Gate" incident. Ah! The NHL at its best. I'll get into that later.

Milan Jurcina started off the scoring for the Caps by pounding a high shot over Lundqvist. The goal took place after not one - but two horrible giveaways by the Rangers inside their own blueline. Just over a minute later the Rangers tied it up on a nice deflection by Scott Gomez on a shot by Wade Redden on a PP! That's right, "It's a Powerplay goal"! I really thought that at the time it was a very nice response by the Rangers and things looked good. That is, of course, until Washington had it's 1st PP of the game and Mike Green roofed one past Henrik Lundqvist (High, glove side again much like Jurcina). Later in the 1st period, Tom Poti (Remember him? He's having a career series against his former club) put one in off of a 3 on 1 shortly after a Caps penalty had expired.

The 2nd period was all Caps as Viktor Kozlov and Alex Bettman, er, I mean Ovechkin. Sorry, I thought they were related for a minute. Anyways, they basically finished off the Rangers with one period to go. The 3rd period was what I expected from the Rangers trying to establish something, anything, in order to gain some momentum going into Game 7. Ryan Callahan scored on a PP and Marc Staal scored very late in the 3rd to make the score look reasonable at 5-3.

What do I think about Game 7? Hey, the Rangers coughed up a glorious opportunity to finish off the more talented Caps squad and now they have to venture back to Washington for a do-or-die game in a playoff series. Lundqvist needs to be much better than he has been the last two outings. Today was one that he definitely wants to forget. The Rangers will definitely need to score first in Game 7 to get the momentum on their side. The blueshirts are not very good at coming from behind and that's a fact. Finally, the NHL has got to come down from the love affair with Ovechkin. He's a great player, you can't deny that. But he gets away with more than any player in the "New Age" NHL. I saw him run over, from behind, Chris Drury today early on in the game. This incident happened in front of all 18,200 and the 4 blind mice officials... and no call. It's an insult to the fans and their intelligence. Oh, and how did 4 officials on the ice happen to not be looking when Donald Brashear clearly cold-cocked Blair Betts with a vicious elbow cheap shot? Are you effing kidding me? The officials on the ice circled, talked, and came up with - drum roll please... nothing? So instead of the Rangers getting a 5 minute PP and Brashear getting ejected from the game, we now have to wait for the clowns at the NHL offices to review the play and make a thoughtful decision about what to do. It certainly won't help the Rangers one bit. The right call was to be made in real time, during the game, you idiots. The Rangers don't need your charity now and suspending Brashear won't hurt the Caps in the slightest bit. As my good buddy Mark Rosenman said, "The King still gives us a punchers chance". We Rangers fans have to hope so. Over and out!


Caps Wallop Rangers, Part Deux

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Washington Capitals, possibly lifted by the fact that Sean Avery was not in the lineup for the New York Rangers, basically mauled and toyed with a hapless Rangers squad in Game 5. It sure looked to me like Game 6 was a foregone conclusion in the eyes of the Rangers players.

Other than Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, Lauri Korpikoski, and Dan Griardi - who showed up for the Rangers tonight? Lundqvist deserved better. On a night where he needed a little help to get a victory, the veteran leadership could not be found. I think we all know who they are. It was just a plain old butt kicking by the Caps. Matt Bradley scored twice in this contest, one on a shorthanded attempt and the other was on a soft goal from a bad angle that Lundqvist should of had. The 1st Bradley goal was like an old Keystone Cops movie with Michal Rozsival falling down and Chris Drury doing a poor job of disguising himself as a defenseman. All this happened on the PP for the Rangers, or should I say... on the Sour Play. You know, because it leaves a nasty taste in the mouths of Rangers fans.

Alexander Semin later rifled a high shot off of a faceoff to make it 3-0 in the 2nd period. After that goal, folks, this game was done. Alexander Ovechkin, towards the end of the 2nd period, also scored a nice goal on a great individual effort to finish the night for Lundqvist making it 4-0. The 3rd period was what you would expect out of a team trying to get something out of the game heading back to MSG for the critical Game 6.

The Rangers are still up 3-2 and are now going home. Everything is still in their favor, but the veterans of this team need to step up and solidify their legacy as New York Rangers. This is what you get paid the big bucks for. The fans will be ready, the city will be ready, but the question is will the players? Lastly, Sean Avery had better be in the lineup on Sunday. He paid the price of humiliation tonight but I think that the Rangers sure could of used him, don't you think? Over and out.


It's Good To Be The King

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Henrik Lundqvist should pass the collection hat around the dressing room today at practice and each player should give up most of their paycheck to "The King". Lundqvist was outstanding once again and like games before, he sure needed to be.

The Rangers prevailed 2-1 over the Washington Capitals at MSG last night, but not without making the fans, themselves, and the coaching staff sweat out almost 2 full periods of hockey. The Rangers actually started out this game with a little more "Giddy Up and Go" compared to Monday's 4-0 loss. As I had stated in my previous blog entry, I expected the Rangers to be ready and they certainly were. In the 1st period, the Rangers hit, hustled, and skated their way to a 1-0 lead on a goal by defenseman Paul Mara's slapshot that deflected off of a Caps player. Lucky goal? Maybe. But, as you all know, when you shoot the puck - good things happen. The 2nd period started out in a positive way for the Blueshirts when Chris Drury flipped an innocent shot on goal that Simeon Varlamov bobbled and with a little help from Lauri Korpikoski crashing the net, Drury found the biscuit and roofed it into the net. Very big goal. After that goal, being up 2-0 I thought things were looking good. However, for some reason, the Rangers good play came to a dramatic and screeching halt.

The Caps poured it on with a 19-5 shot advantage in the 2nd period and the Rangers D was giving up the Blueline far too easily. As a result of the Rangers passiveness, the Caps took control. If not for Lundqvist, who knows what the score would have been heading into the 3rd. The Rangers were very fortunate to be ahead 2-0.

In the 3rd period, it finally happened. Alexander Ovechkin, who fires the puck from just about everywhere, beat Henrik Lundqvist on a high wristshot that caromed in off the post to cut the Rangers lead to 2-1. The rest of the 3rd period was all Caps as the Rangers played back on their heels, seemingly content with the 2-1 lead. The King had to make several big time saves to keep the Rangers ahead. Late in the period, the Caps got just what they wanted - a couple of Powerplays in a dreadful 6 minute span. Sean Avery had committed 2 stupid penalties which could of cost his team the game and maybe the series. Hey, I love this guys game, but not tonight. Sean, you have to understand the moment and the time of the game. What you did last night was wrong, plain and simple. You have to learn from it or you might find yourself riding the pine in Game 5.

Anyways, in the end, the Rangers win and Lundqvist was the story yet again (Oh yeah, he also got some help from his two friends the Crossbar and the Goalpost). The Rangers managed to get the much needed victory to take a commanding 3-1 series lead, but it's not going to be easy. Washington is a very skilled and talented team who will not go down without a fight. The Rangers, on the other hand, have shown the tenacity and grit that you need to win all year. Oh, and lest we forget that they have Henrik Lundqvist. It's good to be the King! Over and out!

*Special note, this is the 100th post in the history of Kotsy's Korner.


Caps Wallop Rangers 4-0

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Madison Square Garden was ready to Rock'n'roll last night as the Rangers faithful welcomed home their beloved Rangers, who had won 2 games at the Verizon Center and had firm control of the best of 7 series. You would think that the Rangers would have been stoked and ready to play in front of their home crowd, but unfortunately for them and the Rangers fans, the Capitals put a show on last night with a 4-0 victory.

Nobody thought it would be easy for the Rangers in this series and the Caps proved why they are one of the top physically gifted and skilled teams in the NHL. 2 goals in the 1st period by one man, Alexander Semin, helped silence the MSG crowd. The Rangers never really got into the game other than Ryan Callahan's clanging of the goalpost midway through the 1st period. Washington totally outplayed the Rangers in the 1st, no if, ands, or buts about it. The 2nd period was much like the 1st, the Rangers simply looked out of wack and a good reason for it was the Caps were just taking it to them. The only goal of the period was a PP goal by Brooks Laich that gave the Caps a 3-0 heading into the 3rd. Unfortunately, for the offensively challenged Rangers, that was enough. Former Ranger, Tom Poti, even rubbed it in at the end of the game with Washington's 4th and final goal. This game was not close in any way.

The Caps were far superior in all facets of the game. Varlamov, the young Caps goaltender, pitched a shutout while turning away 33 shots. He really only had to make a handful of difficult stops however. Lundqvist, while not being as good as games 1 and 2, turned away 36 of 40 shot attempts. He alone kept the game from being a 6, 7, or even 8 goal drubbing. One other thing that's bothering me and the Rangers fans... 0-6 on the PP. It's getting ridiculous now. No excuses, shoot the damn puck! You're supposed to be professionals. Stop thinking about it and just fire away.

In the end, we can all make excuses... bad penalties, lousy officiating, forgetting to set the alarm for the wake-up call, etc... the Rangers and their followers left the ice clearly beaten and totally dejected by their performance. I know it's only one game and the Rangers are still in control at 2-1 in the series, but they must and I mean must get off to a better start on Wednesday if they want to win this series. Wednesday's game is the make or break game for both teams. I believe the Rangers will be ready, but so will the Capitals. I'm looking forward to it. Over and out!


Hail to the King, Baby

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The old adage "bend but don't break" is a saying that is always thrown around in sports. Truer words have never been spoken - especially when related to today's 1-0 shutout victory over the Washington Capitals.

What a performance by the one and only, Henrik Lundqvist. He turned back 35 shots to silence the majority of the 18,277 in attendance at the Verizon Center. The Caps tried to throw everything but the kitchen sink at the Rangers and once again the Blueshirts met the challenge head on. The Rangers capitalized on a quick 2 on 1 turn around off of a Washington 4 on 2. Markus Naslund showed great patience and held the puck just long enough to feed a beautiful pass to a wide open Ryan Callahan, who in turn roofed a shot where the peanut butter is - top shelf. I really did not think that 1 goal would be enough as there was still 42 minutes plus left to play. I got to give the players for the Rangers big time props today, they met the physical challenge much better than they did in Game 1.

The defense allowed very few rebound tries by the Caps. Offensively, the Rangers PP was back to its regular season form and was totally ineffective. Trust me, I'm not complaining, the Rangers have walked into Washington and taken a major step in the direction towards winning this first round series.

Some other observations... Bruce Boudreau took a huge chance by starting the 20-year-old Simeon Varlamov, who's played in only 5 games this season. Most people thought "Three or More" would be back in the nets, but Varlamov was and ended up playing well. If you want to place blame for the loss today, blame it on Lundqvist and the Rangers effort. 2 down, 2 to go! Now back to MSG for 2 more games. Let's go Rangers! Over and out. 


1 Down, 3 To Go! Rangers Win, 4-3

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The playoffs have begun and the New York Rangers walked into the nations capital and defeated the Washington Capitals by a score of 4-3. In a game that was heavily tilted in the Caps favor, the Rangers held strong, weathered the storm and persevered in the end.

The Caps came out flying in the 1st period and outshot the Rangers by a 14-4 margin. Fortunately for the Rangers, the period ended at 0-0. One bullet dodged. In the 2nd period the Caps struck first on a PP when Tomas Fleischman deflected a quick shot from Alexander Ovechkin. But, the Rangers responded quickly when Scott Gomez answered with a 5-hole shot past Jose "Three or More"... er, Theodore (sorry, it sounded funny). In the last 5 minutes of the 2nd period, the Rangers struck twice on the PP... that's right, the PP actually worked! Nik Antropov made a nice fake and then fired a beauty from his offside past Theodore that was in and out of the net faster than a bullet.  A little later, while again on the PP, Scott Gomez made a nice drop pass to Markus Naslund who snapped the puck past a stunned Jose Theodore - giving the Rangers the 3-1 lead late in the period.

You would think that the Rangers were in a great position with so little time left in the period up by 2. But when do the Rangers ever make anything easy? Someone fell asleep late in the period and it was Marc Staal. Staal allowed big Victor Kozlov to crash the net and one time a perfect pass from Nicklas Backstrom, cutting the lead to one. Sorry, just a bad goal to give up that late in the period... it definitely gave the Caps some life heading into the 3rd period. When the 3rd period started, I just had that uneasy feeling that Washington was going to tie the game up and it was just a matter of how and when. Alexander Semin banked in a rebound on the PP with Dan Girardi serving a tripping penalty - the game was now on.

The play was tight for both teams until after a PP attempt by Washington failed, Nik Antropov fed Markus Naslund with a nice pass who in turn fed a flying Brandon Dubinsky. Dubinsky, who made a nice outside-inside move on Jeff Schultz then fired a shot that beat Jose Theodore to the short-side to get the Rangers the 4-3 lead. Big goal by Dubinsky. The Caps then had one more crack at the Rangers on the PP, but to no avail. Huge win by the Blueshirts.

It's huge in a 7 game series to win the first game. Even more so on the road and the Rangers accomplished that tonight. Big time players play big when it counts - Gomez, Antropov, and Lundqvist would fit in that category tonight. Sean Avery was his usual self and kept the Caps off balance. Ryan Callahan may not have shown up on the scoresheet, but he was outstanding with his hitting, hustling, and he even hit 2 goal posts. The big thing is that the Rangers have Lundqvist and the Caps have Theodore - the biggest plus for the Rangers in this series. One more thing... nice call on Girardi 18 seconds into the game, gotta love the NHL and its officiating. It's a comedy act!

Game 2 on Saturday. Enough time to rest up and do it again and we will see if Chris Drury returns from his mysterious injury or not. The only problem for the Rangers is the national TV coverage hasn't been good to them this season. Although under Tortorella things have been decent, let's keep that trend going. Over and out!


Rangers Roll Into Playoffs, Beat Flyers 4-3

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The New York Rangers finished the regular season off in style with a 4-3 win on the road over the rival Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers, who could have clinched the 4th seed and home ice advantage over the Pittsburgh Penguins, had a big fork stuck in that dream by the Blueshirts on Sunday.

The Rangers played a strong and determined style of hockey that could bode well for them in the playoffs. Two goals by Brandon Dubinsky: one on the PP and the other a nice shorthanded effort (which was the first shorthanded goal given up by the Flyers all season long), helped even the score out at 2 after the 1st period. The Flyers' Claude Giroux and Jeff Carter tallied in favor of the home team in the 1st period respectively for Philadelphia’s two goals. In the 2nd period, the only goal was scored by Danny Briere (who's been on fire lately), who deflected a shot past Henrik Lundqvist to give the hometown crowd thoughts of home ice advantage. Unfortunately for Flyers fans, Sean Avery tied the game early in the 3rd period off of a nice pass from Scott Gomez and blasted a slapper past Marty Biron to even out the score at 3 a piece. Then, just before the halfway mark of the 3rd period, Blair Betts put in his own rebound past Biron to give the Rangers the 4-3 advantage that they would never relinquish.

I'm pretty sure that most Rangers fans enjoyed sticking it to the Flyers in such a crucial game for home ice. It must have been especially satisfying since many doomsayers in the media were saying, “Wouldn’t Philly just love to end the Rangers season”? We all know how tough it is to win in Pittsburgh, don't we? Wink! Wink! It’ll definitely be a tough go around for Philly to advance in the playoffs.

Anyhow, the Rangers are definitely on a roll now heading into the first round of the playoffs against the Washington Ovechkins. Avery's on his game, Gomez and Drury have picked up their games big-time, and "The King" is still in net for the Rangers. They are definitely in a good place in their minds right now. Oh yeah, speaking of Avery... Do you think Lupul will get a good look from the league for the hit from behind late in the game on Avery? I won't hold my breath. Just a thought. Over and out! 


Lundqvist Seals the Deal, Rangers in Playoffs

Friday, April 10, 2009

The New York Rangers are in the playoffs by way of a 2-1 win over the much despised Philadelphia Flyers at MSG last night. If not for the King Henrik Lundqvist, Rangers faithful would still be... how do I say this nicely? "Crapping their pants". Lundqvist was outstanding last night. It was a vintage performance that we as Rangers fans have come to expect and enjoy. His performance couldn't have come at a better time as well. His teammates struggled mightily throughout the night.

I was in attendance to witness the game up close and I really have to say it as I saw it, the Flyers took it to the Rangers for most of the 60 minutes. If not for two early goals by the Rangers, the Rangers played on their heels for most of the night. The goals were scored by Markus Naslund, who's goal had to be reviewed and the other goal was by my personal choice for team MVP, Ryan Callahan, who deflected a Derek Morris shot. Where the Rangers nervous? Did they feel the pressure? Probably. As for the Flyers, they would have liked nothing better than to be the ones to stick a fork in the Rangers playoff hopes. Fortunately for the Rangers, the King was on his game.

The only goal that Lundqvist gave up was an empty netter on the PP that Danny Briere finished off from a nice set of passes by the Flyers. From that point on the Flyers really dominated the real estate on the ice and it seemed like the puck was forever in the Rangers zone. Lundqvist came up with save after save including a beauty off a one timer by Daniel Carcillo in which Lundqvist showed cat like quickness to snag it with his catching hand. I thought that it was a goal for sure. Even the King was fortunate when a Claude Giroux shot rang off the crossbar that echoed throughout MSG with 4 minutes to play. The Rangers crowd were doing everything that they could to support the Rangers as the Flyers desperately tried to tie this game. The combination of Lundqvist and the Rangers fans would not allow it to happen.

The Rangers are in the playoffs, who they will face is still an unknown (Boston or Washington). That line that you constantly hear in sports, "Anything can happen" reigns true to a point. With great goaltending which the Rangers have in Lundqvist, you can go a long way. NHL playoffs are a different animal as opposed to the regular season. But even a super goaltender like Henrik Lundqvist is gonna need help and that's up to the skaters in front of him. Congratulations goes out to the Rangers for persevering in tough times. Its been a long and tough regular season... the new season cometh. Over and out! 


Just What the Doctor Ordered

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The New York Rangers moved one step closer to the playoffs with a solid 3-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens. With 2 major players out on the blueline for Montreal (Schneider and Markov) and the Rangers getting Nik Antropov back, it was like an old Ted Nugent song... "Just What the Doctor Ordered" for the Blueshirts.

The game started out as if both teams looked a little passive and
quite nervous. When Chris Drury snapped a short side beauty past Carey Price, it looked like the Rangers were on their way to a victory. However after a sloppy series of events for the Rangers in their own zone, an innocent backhand shot by Mathieu Dandenault crossed the goalline past a surprised Henrik Lundqvist. It was a lousy goal to give up - the Rangers were standing around and watching instead of taking the man. That's the way the period ended: a stalemate at 1. Then, it happened. The Rangers had one of the best periods of hockey in a long time. They, simply put, outskated, outhustled, and severely outplayed the Canadiens and it resulted in 2 goals for the Blueshirts. First, Nik Antropov showed some great hustle to dive and poke a puck into an empty net. The play was set up by... guess who? Sean Avery. He busted his behind to deflect a clearing attempt by goalie Carey Price. This is the kind of effort the fans want to see and anything less should be unacceptable. The second goal was a beauty with Chris Drury finishing off a nice feed from Markus Naslund that gave the Rangers a 3-1 lead that they would not relinquish. The goal itself was a wonderful 3 way effort starting with Ryan Callahan kicking the puck to Drury, who in turn passed it to Markus Naslund, who returned the favor by a picture perfect pass right on the tape in which Drury had no problem with. Very nice play.

Overall it was as dominate a period that I have seen by the Rangers all year and it came at the right time. Going into the 3rd period it was just a matter of finishing the game off. Although there were a few tense moments and a few crossbars hit by the Canadiens, the Rangers maintained their composure and got the win that was sorely needed. I was at the game and I've got to give credit to Chris Drury for stepping up and playing large - nice job. Ryan Callahan winning the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award was well deserved (I think he's the team MVP as well). 2 games to go, 2 points up on Florida (who lost to the Flyers). The Rangers can take care of business on their own Thursday against the Flyers. Playoffs anyone? Over and out!


Déjà vu in Beantown, Rangers Lose 1-0

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Rangers have been here before. Shutout for the second straight time in two appearances in Boston by the same score, 1-0. Blake Wheeler's 1st period goal turned out to be the game winner as the Rangers came up firing blanks.

If you don't score, you can't win and that's the reality of it as I compared this loss with the previous shutout in Boston. It was eerily similar. First, the score was 1-0... that's obvious. Both games the Rangers outshot Boston. There were not many penalties called. Matinee starting times... strange, but true. Here's the facts: with everything on the line, getting a break with Atlanta beating Florida last night, the Rangers best players couldn't come up with the goods today. As coach John Tortorella is often quoted, "Your best players have to be the best players night in and night out". That didn't happen today, plain and simple.

The Rangers had, in my estimation, about 3 or maybe 4 good chances to score. The best of these scoring chances was by Lauri Korpikoski who's wristshot beat Tim Thomas cleanly but rang off of the post. Close, but no cigar, folks. Another great opportunity occurred when Sean Avery hit Tim Thomas in the back of the head lightly with his stick (a cheap, but effective move). This allowed the Rangers to go to a 4-4 situation, which later turned into a 4-3 after Marc Savard checked Gomez from behind leading a Rangers PP. The ensuing result: no serious chances to score. A message to the players on the PP... stop thinking and shoot. If you don't score, find the puck again and shoot the puck again. It's not that difficult. You make it difficult when you over-think and try to make the perfect play. By the way, I'd really like to know if Avery received the penalty because of the instant replay? Also, how does Tim Thomas only get 2 minutes for roughing? He clearly delivered a shot to Freddie Sjostrom's face with his blocker glove. That could of done some serious damage.

Overall, the end was result was a critical loss for the Rangers. Not only did this loss bring the Florida Panthers back into the picture, but it also left the Buffalo Sabres breathing as well. Give Boston credit, they shut down the Rangers offense. They never gave the Rangers much hope in today's game. Well, now there are 3 games left for the Blueshirts... things are definitely getting tight. Can the Rangers nail down a playoff spot? Only time will tell. Over and out!


Rangers Fall Flat in Third, Lose 4-2

Thursday, April 2, 2009

When the New York Rangers needed to dig down and win a 3rd period, they blew a tire and basically went flat. The Carolina Hurricanes were the team who came out and outplayed, and eventually outscored the Rangers with 2 goals in 28 seconds during the 3rd period. Right from the drop of the puck in the 3rd, the Canes hemmed the Rangers in the Rangers in their own end for the first half of the period. Then after Nik Antropov's failed connection on a pass to Chris Drury, Carolina struck with a nice passing play that was finished off by Chad Larose - while the Rangers stood around reaching instead of hitting somebody.

You can't play the game of hockey by stickchecking and watching. It just doesn't work that way. From there Rod Brind'Amour was allowed, and I mean allowed, to take this time inside of the Rangers blueline. While it seemed like every Ranger had peeled off of him, he fired what looked to be a harmless shot toward the goal that hit Paul Mara and found the back of the net behind Lundqvist. Again, stickchecking and watching instead of hitting somebody. No excuses here.

My observations from the game... the PP continues to haunt the Rangers. In a time where you needed it the most, the best it could do was 0-4 in the 1st period. I believe that was the game in a nutshell. There were plenty of opportunities, lots of shots (they outshot Carolina 38-23), but there were not enough goals. Boy, have we seen this before? I also thought at times the Rangers looked like the better team, but in the end the scoreboard is what counts. 4 games left now and this is going to go down to the wire. I can't really complain about the officiating tonight as the Rangers were given many PP chances. However, there was one peculiar non-call... Antropov gets punched by Tim Gleason and then he drops his gloves, looking like he's going to fight. Break to commercial, come back, no penalties. Are you serious? Didn't Avery drop one glove and receive a roughing call while being thrown around by David Clarkson? Let me know what you think. On to Boston, over and out!


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