In the Rangers' 3-2 loss to New Jersey tonight it would have been nice if Dan Girardi's shot hit the post and went in in the final second of the third period to force overtime.
It would have been nice if Henrik Lundqvist didn't give up three goals on 12 shots, one softie and two on his knees.
It would have been nice if Henrik Lundqvist didn't spend Wednesday night watching the Knicks and hanging out with Justin Bieber because some of the kid's suck was clearly absorbed by osmosis.
It would have been nice if Henrik Lundqvist's teammates bailed him out for once.
It would have been nice if John Tortorella didn't blame this loss (and the previous two) on Henrik Lundqvist, and placed it where it belonged - on himself. The coach has proven utterly incapable of getting the team to play three full periods or to score a timely goal and yet it was the goaltender's fault for getting pucks scored off of Arty Anisimov (Florida) or in a seven round shootout (Pittsburgh) or off of bad turnovers (tonight).
It would have been nice if Arty Anisimov had some ... fortitude ... so he could stand in front of the net and take advantage of the chances his teammates made for him. Three pucks came across towards him in the first period and yet he was sliding behind the net or curling away to avoid contact.
It would have been nice if the Rangers realized that they can't dump the puck into the zone of a puck moving goaltender like Mmmmaaarrrtttyyy because he will just send it right back out again.
It would have been nice if the Rangers actually challenged Mmmmaaarrrtttyyy with some shots and play down low instead of shooting it at his jelly belly or praying for a bad bounce down by his skates. Sure the goaltender likely hasn't seen said skates for years but he does have those pads to stop the puck.
It would have been nice if any of the Rangers could win an important faceoff.
It would have been nice if Chris Drury did the honourable thing and bequeathed the C to Callahan, where it rightfully belongs.
It would have been nice if Marian Gaborik knew how to score a goal that mattered. Or, at this point, knew how to score a goal at all.
It would have been nice if Michael Del Zotto had not played on Broadway last season and learned from Dale Hunter in the AHL. Or had not played in Broadway at the start of this season and spent the campaign in Connecticut. Or had not been called up when Dan Girardi went down. Or had been sent down when Girardi came back. Or been rightfully benched after the Pittsburgh game for wasting minute upon minute of important ice time. Steve Eminger had better be hurt because MDZ's continued presence in the lineup is inexcusable otherwise.
It would have been nice if MDZ wouldn't have taken a stupid penalty so the team could have had a chance at a second power play goal early in the third period.
It would have been nice if the Rangers would have gotten the boost they should have after killing the long 5-on-3 in the first period.
It would have been nice if Sean Avery didn't fall time after time. Avery tripped over the blueline. Avery swung at David Clarkson and missed, landing flat on his back. Somehow Avery kept falling and not once did his 'accidentally' fall on top of Fatso.
It would have been nice if - and this hurts to write - Brandon Prust was as smart as Clarkson. Prust took on Engy on Pittsburgh with the Rangers up 2-0 and the bout energized the Pens and set them on the road to victory. Prust tried to take on Clarkson with the Devils up 2-0 and Clarkson wanted nothing to do with him. Smart move by the minor leaguer.
But all of those ifs didn't happen so the Rangers lost at home. Again. Against the Devils.
Nothing nice about that.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Ilya Kovalchuk - one goal.
2-Vinny Prospal - one goal.
1-Dainius Zubrus - one goal and one assist.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Prospal - Nice of him to return to the Rangers, too bad he couldn't bring Gaborik's skill back with him.
2-Zubrus - Somehow this oversized former Flyer has the Rangers' number.
1-Jacques Lemaire - The Devils coach has turned things around for his team, instilling discipline and reinstating their defensive system. They were clearly trapping late in the third period and yet they did it cleanly and legally. Unlike the Ranger bench boss, Lemaire had his team ready to play at 7:05.