Saturday, May 26, 2012

R3, G6: So That's That, I Guess

The Rangers finished off pissing away a perfectly good season on Friday night by losing their third straight game to the New Jersey Devils, failing 4-2 in the best-of-seven conference final. In those three of those losses combined, the Blueshirts spotted New Jersey a 7-0 lead in the first periods and - not-so-shockingly - couldn't rally to win a single one. Unlike Wednesday's late lapse, they forced an overtime in this one but simply blew it a minute into the extra period and lost 3-2.

Really not sure what else to say at this point, I'm more shell-shocked than anything. I stood in my spot unmoving from the second the puck went in until the security started pushing people out of the arena and I'm still dazed. It is hard to accept that the season is over. And it ended like that. To them. Soul crushing.

The Devils weren't the better team, they were the better coached team. Their OHL bench boss set steady lines that played the same way shift in and shift out and period in and period out and that consistency carried them past the erratic and exhausted Rangers. Mmmaaarrtttyyyy was handed his redemption for '94, he hardly earned it - especially in this series-ender. Half the Blueshirts blueliners were exhausted, the other half incompetent. And the NYR high-priced help was no help at all while both Kovy and Parise played a part in their victory. But no matter the rambling reasoning, the simple fact is that the Devils won and the Rangers lost.

Go Kings Go.

No Late Hits tonight.

*PHW Three Stars
3-Martin Brodeur - 33 saves.
2-Ryan Callahan - one goal.
1-Adam Henrique - one goal.

Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Kovy - The Russian was a factor, the Slovak was not.
2-Cally - Really hard to imagine that this was his first season as captain.
1-Henrique - As a friend joked, Henrique said he would give his left nut for a chance to play in the Cup Final and he nearly did.

Programming Note: The annual report card should be done in the next week. There may also be a retrospective on the season as I experienced it at some point, as it started in Europe and (hopefully) will end in L.A. I'm not sure if I will bring back the Facts of Life series again, I may just do a longer, more detailed report card. Right now it is hard writing about this team.


Unknown said...

Post showing up as Unknown, but I've posted as Dave W previously.

I would have had no problem with a conference finals bounce if it weren't to the Devils. Between my friends and I, I called conference finals and sure enough, they did. Expectations met, whatever happens is gravy and we improve from there if we don't win it all.

But not to the Devils.

You see, this is all Boston's fault. A ripe chance to take out Washington would have led towards us getting NJ in the second round where we would have stood a better chance without Hank, Girardi and McD being wiped out.

Then, if we got bounced by Boston (because, let's face it, anyone could have beaten the Flyers this year), I'd be ok with it. Last year's winners, solid team, respectable, and in Boston, everything doesn't 'suck'.

So thanks Boston for choking in game 7.

I couldn't watch this game. There were two outcomes:

1. We take the lead and I have a stroke every 30 seconds as we potentially lose that lead.
2. The Devils take a lead (like they did) and I have to endure an army of neckbeards and fat chicks taunting my team.

Both I'd rather not have to deal with and could enjoy my Friday night.

Scotty, I really don't know how you went. I wouldn't have. If we were up 3-2, yeah, that's cool. But not on the brink. Props to your dedication.

Our only solace is the Kings will take a gigantic shit on the Devils. The Devils are no better than any team the Kings have played so far. I really don't see baby Gionta and pals pulling off the same shit on a rested, Conn Smythe winning Quick.

In all fairness, the Rangers would last just as long. But if that was the case, then we wouldn't have lost to NJ and that would have made the season worth it.

Scotty, people give you shit for being too negative but it was really all justified when we lost to the Devils last night. If the things you were negative about were addressed, we'd be gearing up for a battle with the Kings that we could actually go all the way with.

Let's hope Slats pulls the trigger on someone who can overshadow MDZ and improve our power play. We have $16 million to play with. I'm not saying Weber or Suter would be a good fit just yet, but they have much more potential than MDZ. We have solid defensive defenseman (*crosses fingers that Sauer comes back next season*) so an offensive defenseman who is responsible in his own end would be the key. Come on Slats, no Rupp-style signings this year! PLEASE!

Vincent said...

@VinnieLorenzo here ...

Dave W hit perfectly on all the points I wanted to make ...

-- expected Conf Finals and made it there.

-- Could have played another team that wasnt NJ had other teams performed differently

-- I had the chance to go to last nights game and would have if the Rangers were up 3-2, I didn't have it in me to go to their building with the chance of being eliminated

-- Kings better DEMOLISH NJ

Scotty takes a lot of heat on the comments of this blog and way more on twitter, but he is still a die hard fan. He doesn't let the numbers fool him and points out the faults in the team when everyone else is blinded by the few good points.

Scotty you said its difficult to write about the team right now. But hey, its gotta be easiest it has been since you started the blog, right? Certainly better writing report cards May 27 than doing it April 8th.

With Hank in MVP form, Mac/Girardi/Staal dominant defensively, and young guys like Kreider further developing, next season should be even better than this one.

The cliche is "we'll get em next year", but this is the first time I've ever said it where I truly believe that.

Mike said...

Can't believe you went. I have next friday off, lemme know if you want a beer at the puck.

Anonymous said...

Oh Rangers.

Sure as Hell didn't feel like a #1 seed trying to win the Cup these playoffs. Ottawa had no business taking the Rangers to 7, and the same with the Capitals.

However, the Devils simply outplayed the Rangers in this series. The Rangers were lucky this went to six, and even then they were a bounce away from taking the Devils to a Game 7.

The Rangers went 14-11-2 ( in the 27 games leading up to the playoffs which puts them at essentially 24-23 in the last 54 games they played this year. That's not gonna cut it in any context.

I guess I can take solace in the fact that outside of Game 4 of the conference finals, the Rangers didn't get blown out as Torts' style and how the defense plays isn't usually prone to huge blow-ups (and Hank is mostly meltdown-proof) but this offense is brutal to watch.

The most galling thing is that I don't think the Devils are that good. Their even strength goal differential during the regular season (including 4 on 4 situations) was a -10. Then again, small sample sizes can wreak havoc on everything you know about stats.

So Henrik Lundqvist went 10-10 these playoffs with a 1.82 GAA and a .931 SV%. He really is, as Scotty has put it in end of year reviews, Atlas holding up the Rangers' world on his shoulder. He was why they were a #1 seed and why their playoff run went so much than it should have.

C'est la vie.