Sunday, April 8, 2012

51-24-7: Well That's Over

Perhaps resting some of their 'stars' would have been too obvious. Perhaps the Rangers felt afraid of facing Washington in the playoffs. Perhaps the Rangers believed that the President's Trophy is indeed an albatross. Whatever it was, the team rolled over and played dead on Saturday night, falling 4-1 to Washington.

The Rangers regular season ended not with a bang but with a whimper as the Blueshirts lost three of their final four games. But that little losing streak - as well as the rest of their results - is utterly meaningless as the real season starts up next week. There will be a big preview piece in this space in the next few days but for now, just a few Late Hits on this one:

*No one got injured. Yay.

*We got free tee shirts. Double yay.

*Hank did his best Marty Biron impression, choking up two inexcusable goals in the first 10 minutes. Not sure why Biron himself didn't start this one if the King wasn't even going to try.

*The power play went 0-4 but, let's face it, the man advantage unit has been incompetent more often than not this season so their ineptness was no shock.

*The Rangers did play a good five minutes in the third period but after getting back-to-back breakaways stopped by a minor league netminder they went right back to waiting for the final buzzer.

*Holtby followed in a long tradition of mediocre goaltenders that marched into MSG and left looking good after the Rangers inflated the shot total with attempt after attempt from the outside.

*Don't look now but Carl Hagelin ended the season without a goal in his final 12 games. Former college kids hit the wall after the while, it is just a sad fact. Stepan had just one goal in his last 11 last year. Keep that in mind while pleading for Chris Kreider to come after a full university campaign.

*Who says hockey players have no respect for each other anymore? Ryan Callahan had a perfect chance to put Nicklas Backstrom back on the IR with one firm punch to the face and he restrained himself. Our captain, all class.

*Boyle had the lone goal for the Blueshirts, a Frolov-ian wrap-around. It was his 10th goal of the season. Basically the Rangers paid him three times as much as he made last year to score half the amount of goals - $1.7m v. $525k, 10g v. 21g.

*Dubi got the secondary assist - his third straight game with a point. So that's a plus. He also finished the season with 10 goals, and he was paid $4.2m for it ...

*Nice giveaways Del Zaster.

*Yet another year and I didn't get Blueshirts off our Backs but, as my buddy said, "I don't want the Blueshirts off their back tonight. Whatever they have might be contagious."

*Didn't see Mike Sauer out there for the 'ceremony.' Pray the Rangers aren't ostracizing him the way they did Boogaard ...

*Priceless moment: the Rangers showed Pat Lafontaine during a tv break, a wonderful slap in the face to the Islanders in the wake of the WSJ article. Love, love, love when the Isles look awful - and they make it so easy too!

*PHW Three Stars
3-Roman Hamrlik - two assists.
2-Nicklas Backstrom - one goal and one assist.
1-Braden Holtby - 35 saves.

Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-None tonight, not when one team played and the other did not.


SideByEach said...

Ottawa in 5 or 6?

F Angelos said...

Mediocre goalie? 14-3-3 2.05 in his young career. Arguably the second best goalie prospect in the league behind Schneider.

Unknown said...

I have to disagree with you that Holtby is a mediocre goalie. He's a young prospect that has some pretty impressive stats in his very brief NHL career. In 21 games he is 14-4-3 with a GAA of 2.02 and Save Percentage of .929. Tack on 3 shutouts to go with all that, and he's pretty damn good. The reason he's in Hershey is due to the CBA in that he's young enough that he can go back and forth without waivers. Neuvirth and Vokoun don't have that ability. Now that both of those goalies have Czeched out (Ha! A pun!) Holtby will get the chance to show if those numbers are indicative of his ability. He sure looked like a real NHL goalie last night.

Scotty Hockey said...

SBE - you sure it won't be a sweep?

FA - Arguably, and I can argue that he stinks.

Unknown - A shooter tutor could have made most of the stops he did last night. But I laughed at the pun.

Dani G. said...

Someone shared this link with me:

So it looks like we'll be seeing him in Rangers blue this post season!