Thursday, May 10, 2012

N.Y. Rangers ~ Game Six Filibuster in Washington


Rangers   1
Capitals   2
Score Corrected from 2-0 final on 5/10/12  9:43 a.m.
Just goes to show I didn't watch the last minute of play and tuned out!


NEW YORK RANGERS:  The Blueshirts Will Either Wilt
or Shine Under the Bright Lights Off-Broadway.

Game Seven ~ Saturday Night


It is what it is.  Like I said in my last post - He who scores on the power play, wins.  On Alex Ovechkin's power play goal at just 1:28 of the first period, the Russian sniper simply meandered into the slot when two Ranger defenders inexplicably vacated the space.  Ovechkin was left wide open for a one-timer and the eventual game winner.  I know Coach Torts is going to freak in the film room over that one.  Meanwhile, the Rangers had a four minute opportunity and came up empty.  On the night, they were 0 for 5 with the man advantage.  The rest of the game is all about hockey drills and fundamentals.  Simple.

The Capitals have won three games by a decisive power play goal.  If not for the Rangers scoring with seven seconds left in Game Five, it could have been four.  It IS simple as that.  There's much to pick-on about Game Six for sure.  But the bottom line is, Washington has scored three game winning power play goals.  I'll say it again and again.  They only have four PP goals all series.  Almost everyone has mattered.

The Rangers pretty much got shut-out by Braden Holtby in a 2-1 Game Six in Washington.  The Rangers took thirty one shots on goal.  Holtby stopped all but one shot inside the final minute of regulation.  Henrik Lundqvist made twenty twenty-one saves.   ...all academic - It's now back to Seventh Avenue for the Rangers' second consecutive Game Seven at the Garden in these playoffs.

And so, a second call to arms is in order - the King's Horsemen must come through.  All of them.

Brian Boyle must reestablish his presence.  Ruslan Fedotenko and his experience must find a way to contribute again as well.  Artem Anisimov needs to stop being so up and down.  Chris Kreider and Carl Hagelin need to turn their speed into a weapon again.  Include Derek Stepan, and here in lies a group of players the team can really use a goal from.  In Game Seven against Ottawa, those winning goals came from our defensemen; Girardi and Staal.  That's risky business heading into Saturday night.  The Rangers preferably need to score a little more conventionally with their forwards this time around.

Brad Richards has pretty much carried the Rangers through the playoffs to this point.  There can be no issue with him, even should he not factor this Saturday - much.  But it is incumbent upon Marian Gaborik, of course, and our Captain, Ryan Callahan, to help deliver the Rangers into the next round in some way shape or manner.

I just can't see hanging this on Henrik Lundqvist, although, yes, everything hinges on him.  Jason Chimera drifting into the crease unmolested and left to clean up a rebound is Henrik's fault?  That was goal number two in a virtual white-wash, but that needed to be asked.  Speaking of Jason Chimera, the man was a beast all night, up and down the ice.

It is incumbent upon the forwards of this team to stop making Braden Holtby look like Tony Esposito, Ken Dryden, and Patrick Roy all rolled into one.

That's my first pass.  More to come.


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