Saturday, June 07, 2014

N.Y. Rangers: Gotta Deal With The Bounces Boys


Kings Lead Stanley Cup Series 1-0
I - LAK 3; NYR 2*

New York Rangers
Los Angeles Kings
LaLa Land

NEW YORK RANGERS: Los Angeles Kings Enforce Murphy's Law Against Visitors.

The 64:36 mark of Game One produced one of those unfortunate moments players dread - when bad luck descends upon them.  Despite all the physical and mental preparations they put into their craft, there are no preventative measures athletes can take to ward off bad luck.

Just as the puck hopscotched Girardi's stick, two Blueshirts were turning up ice along the near and far boards.  That left three fore-checking Kings in the Rangers zone against Girardi.

Why dwell?  If the Rangers come away empty in Los Angeles, then we can revisit Game One, and I do mean all of it. There were too many inconsistencies from one period to the next that warrant more attention than Dan Girardi's 4th period misplay of an uncooperative puck.

Certainly no one can blame Dan Girardi for the Rangers getting woefully out-shot in the 3rd period by a 20-3 margin.  And Derek Stepan's turnover was no less costly.

Otherwise, there were no surprises in Game One.  The Kings did to the Rangers what they've been doing throughout the playoffs - coming back from being down.  When they need game tying goals, they get them.   When they need game winning goals, they get them.  When they've needed victories, they've gotten them.   No lead, game or series, has been safe.  Game One was no different.

Nevertheless, Jonathan Quick demonstrated he will allow goals.  But two Rangers goals in regulation time is insufficient against the Kings.

They simply need to score more.  It's unlikely Henrik Lundqvist will be pitching any shutouts against the Kings.  Therefore, the players on this team paid to score goals, must score goals.  That means Rick Nash.   He was not brought in at such a high cost to be inconsequential.  Defending him for doing all the little things is falling on deaf ears.

The power play must also reemerge.  The Rangers are operating with a much lower margin for error, and therefore must maximize any and every opportunity they receive.

Despite being careless with the puck, the Rangers still demonstrated they can compete with the Kings.  As Brad Richards said, they need to clean that up.  So let's just drop the puck on Game Two, and see where that gets us.


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