Senators lead series 1-0
I - OTT 2; NYR 1
NEW YORK RANGERS: I can just hear all the media (radio) know-nothings already prepping to blame Henrik.
I'm okay with Erik Karlsson's third period goal ... better known as the game-winner.
No, really. It's a crappy way to lose, but stuff like that happens. It's just one of those fluky plays.
If anything, there's a lesson (among many) to be learned: just put the puck on net!
I'm certainly not going to blame Henrik who has been nothing short of brilliant through the first seven games of these Stanley Cup playoffs.
It's not his fault the Rangers needed to kill three penalties, and allowed 21 shots on goal during the first period. It's also not his fault the Rangers couldn't clear the defensive zone late in the second period and were therefore fatigued into allowing Ottawa the game tying goal on their fourth power play of the game. And lastly, it's not his fault Rangers forwards decided not to play inspired hockey until well after the midway point of the final period.
Thursday evening, I watched all four Rangers forward lines just meandering around, and playing on their heels. I saw no grit, and even less determination. In a word, they were flat.
It's ponderous to me how they amped up the physicality against Montreal, but then play down to Ottawa. Worse yet, Ottawa played the exact type of game Alain Vigneault prefers, and they still failed miserably.
I'm upset because the Rangers put forth a piss poor effort in Game One, when there was absolutely no excuse for such a performance. None.
This is exactly how Vigneault gave away Game Seven against Tampa. He called off the dogs.
They tried reverting right back to the finesse game and it cost them Game One.
Sure they had scoring chances ... like Derek Stephan's wtf failed breakaway attempt.
That, and Alain Vigneault's decision to go soft gain - pure folly.
Know what else disturbs me?
Ryan McDonagh led all Rangers with almost thirty minutes of ice time; most even strength minutes and four PK's.
Keep that up and see what happens, Coach.
And another thing, this team's forwards are welcome to join the playoffs at any time.
Now that I've gotten that off my chest, the mission statement remains the same: steal one game in Ottawa.
Get this done!