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.