Just going to jump right into the Late Hits:
*It is just incredible to watch Step and Cally kill penalties, but it is just awful that they have to do it so often. The Rangers were the least penalized team in the NHL because of the lack of egregious infractions, not because they are any kind of disciplined. And it hurt them on this night. Frankly, we should consider ourselves lucky that Washington only had one man advantage goal, given the half dozen opportunities that were given to them. Or perhaps we are just lucky to have Lundqvist. Yeah, probably that.
*There's no blaming the refs for this one, as every call was justifiable. The Asham call was a clear infraction - he came in late, he came in high. It's a shame since he had an utterly fantastic, clean hit on Oleksy earlier the same shift. Guess you really can't fix stupid.
*Even though the King gave up one, if not two goals on the softer side, he kept his team in a game they had no right being in. Par for the course this season; no matter where you go, there you are. Call it the regular season or call it the playoffs, these guys are the same and they needed to be better.
*For all of the pushing and shoving, the Caps continually crowded Hank, Nash and Cally and yet Washington's top players had all the room in the world. Hitting Jay Beagle won't achieve much, running Ribeiro might.
*Brad Richard$ is abominable. He had luck on his side over the last week but the leprechaun went away and he was left with two tired legs and a crippling indecisiveness. That he is still on the power play is one of the many failings of the Ranger bench boss. Maybe if Richard$ waits longer with the puck his ridiculous contract will be over and we will be rid of him. I'm still holding out a tiny iota of hope a regular summer and training camp can revive him next season but this one has been written off.
*He was a huge reason why the power play failed time and time again with his slow decision making, soft shots and predictable passes. But he isn't the only reason, coaching is another factor. How they can think that standing in one spot is wise positioning is astounding - that five on three was just pathetic. Move, cycle, get the goalie going side to side, get the defensemen sliding back and forth ... make holes and drill the puck through. It's not rocket science, other teams do it to them all the time.
*Chris Kreider - zero seconds of power play time. At least he got more than five (8:23 to be precise) but there is still something very wrong there. Pyatt wasted two minutes of man advantage time.
*It was bad enough Anton Stralman waited too long with the puck and was taken down by Perreault with five minutes left in the second period. But then he got lost and confused with Zuke low helping him out. Stralman ended up watching the puck as Perreault rushed the crease and screened Hank, allowing Chimera's shot by. The Swede is a capable sixth defenseman, it is just sad he is running as the team's number four.
*Love John Moore. Put him with Staal, if Staal ever returns, and the Rangers finally have a solid second pairing. Moore scored that goal in the third period, sad that the NHL couldn't see it.
*And that was the best save Holtby made all game. The rest of the shots he had time and space to square and let hit him. It is simply astounding that only the two smallest guys on the roster - Zuke and Cally - are willing to spend any amount of time standing at the top of the blue paint.
*There's probably more but it's 6:30am and I need sleep so whatever. If you don't already, follow me on Twitter @scottyhockey for more ranting ...
3-Carl Hagelin - one goal.
2-Jason Chimera - one goal.
1-Braden Holtby - 35 saves.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars:
3-Holtby - No softies, an achievement.
2-Callahan - If only his teammates followed his example ...
1-Ovechkin - Maybe someone should cover him on a power play. Just a thought.