Saturday, April 28, 2012
R1, G7: Sayonara Senators
The Rangers advanced to the second round of the playoffs by defeating the Senators on Thursday 2-1 in Game 7 of their series.
The Blueshirts blueliners jumped into the attack to capitalize for a pair of second period goals and the team then spent the rest of night clinging to their advantage. The third period was an expected stress-filled, one-sided atrocity but the King kept the Rangers ahead and they collected the victory.
What ever happened to that "safe is death" nonsense that Tortorella spouted once upon a time? The coach has his team playing a game 180 degrees away - a dull, Devils-esque, counter-attacking defensive style. As those few Jersey fans formerly said, in defending their franchise, 'it is not entertaining but it is effective, and that is all that matters.'
I used to meet that claim with a disagreeing shrug but now it is one that is more resigned than anything else. These are the players we have, this is the style our coach is preaching. If there is a Cup at the end of the rainbow, well, then it is all worth it. But the Rangers had better be careful. With the Washington series slated to start on Saturday, we won't be watching a one-line wonder anchored by a senior citizen like Daniel Alfredsson out there killing the clock until social security kicks in. The Caps have far more depth and are far more dangerous than the north-of-the-border boys so the Blueshirts had better expand their repertoire.
Just a few Late Hits:
*Brandon Dubinsky was finally able to contribute. His hit in the corner forced a turnover and knocked Jason Spezza out of the play. The Blueshirts transitioned up the ice, Spezza lollygagged back and Dubi was able to turn Pruster's feed across to an uncovered Dan Girardi. Sexy, simple play.
*The power play went 0-3, New York typical.
*Enjoyed the "Alfie Sucks" countdown, inarticulate yet entertaining trolling.
*Chris Kreider contributed by losing an edge. He took out Foligno to force the turnover that led to the Staalsie goal. Smart move by the defender to jump up and Step found him with a sweet feed through Gonchar. It has been a long, slow recovery for Staal but he is getting back to the player that he once was. Maybe another round of Semin's bongos will bring him back even closer.
*Why can't Step win a faceoff?
*Rangers went up 2-0, and Del Zaster opened the door for Ottawa by taking a stupid penalty. DZ had been jousting with Neil all shift and Neil won, that simple. The kid was outmuscled and outwitted and lost his temper. His incompetence in his own end continues to be infuriating.
*The Sens capitalized on that power play thanks to Alfie, who sent a shot past the flamingo defense of Anton Stralman. How Stralman can play alongside Girardi all season and try to block a shot in that manner (or not) is beyond me.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Marc Staal - one goal.
2-Dan Girardi - one goal.
1-Henrik Lundqvist - 26 saves.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Cally - Did he want to win or what?
2-Staal - Maybe a full training camp this fall can help him reclaim his position as Best Staal of them All.
1-Hank - Been tweeting #HankForHart for months for a reason ...