Did you know that this was Game 6 of a playoff series? With a chance to close out the series at home, New York fell right on their faces and made yet another national embarrassment, a 5-3 loss to Washington that wasn't even remotely as close as the score indicates. The Ranger "performance" today was eerily reminiscent of the passionless, pathetic, limp displays that saw the team tumble down the standings in February. It was a disgraceful exhibition in failure.
One moment, one domino falling can spell the end of a team in a playoff game. Just as the Max Talbot/Dan Carcillo fight in Philadelphia turned that game around for the Pens, the massively illegal elbow to Blair Betts by Donald Brashear turned this one. And, as is typical nowadays, the four officials seemed to miss the massive hockey player race across the ice and throw his elbow directly at Betts' head 10 minutes into the game. The Rangers had some semblance of life prior to that and it disappeared. Paul Mara came over to push and shove at the goon and that was the only retribution. The Blueshirts didn't up their offensive attack and they cowered physically. They didn't even flinch the next period when Henrik Lundqvist was ran on the fifth goal - one he shouldn't have been in the net for.
To the best of my knowledge - and please correct me if I am wrong - Colton Orr was not scratched due to an injury sustained in Game 5 so he was purely scratched upon the stupidity of management. Aaron Voros' contribution was nil and Washington was allowed to hammer the Rangers up and down the lineup. Even Sean Avery was timid as his major target the first few games - Tom Poti - turned into an offensive star. Seeing Poti skate off the ice after the game with his hand to his ear was another horrifying, infuriating moment in a string of them and seemingly a perfect cap to a terrible afternoon.
Originally I was planning to head to Washington for a Game 7 but the Blueshirts have shown no signs whatsoever that they would be capable of winning. Why deal with the obnoxious bandwagon fans in the Phone Booth? Speaking of obnoxious fans, as the Ranger performance got worse and worse, a portion of the Garden faithful devolved into savages screaming streams of obscenities and racial slurs. It was disgusting.
Perhaps later I will break this down further but right now I don't think so. Perhaps Glen Sather shouldn't be writing letters to defend his hypocrite of a coach and instead should be trying to fix this abomination of a team. Actually, upon second thought, he should be writing a letter of resignation instead.
PHW Three Stars (which weren't announced in the building)
3-Alexander Ovechkin - one goal.
2-Simeon Varlamov - 29 saves.
1-Tom Poti - one goal and three assists.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Cally - As it has been through all of the ups and downs this season, Callahan gave maximum effort and played every shift hard. It is criminal that his teammates can not learn from him.
2-Poti - What better place and time to turn into the player he was supposed to 10 years ago? By slapping the Rangers in the face so, I think my hatred has lessened. perhaps it is because my loathing for Wade Redden has increased. Either way, four points in a playoff game for Poti. Good job, jerk.
1-Brashear - He gives goons a bad name but he got away with it and his physical play put the Rangers on their heels. He got started hitting, Ovechkin followed and then the Blueshirts fell apart and started playing like the overpriced individuals they are rather than the collective consciousness that emerged victorious from that thrilling Game 4.