It was a lifeless, gutless, pathetic performance that belied the fact that it was Game 3 of the second round of the playoffs. It was as if the Rangers felt that just stepping onto home ice would have been enough to win. That may have worked against Washington but Boston is a far different side - one that has depth, intelligence, confidence, resolve, leadership and ability.
The Blueshirts are clearly lacking many of those qualities as well as they have fallen behind the B's 0-3 in the best-of-seven series. The lone time this year the Rangers won four in a row was end of February, early March when they defeated Tampa, Buffalo, Philly and the Islanders - three non-playoff teams and a team that shouldn't have made the playoffs.
There will be plenty of time to analyze the inherent flaws in the Rangers and speculate over the future in a few days time. For now, a few Late Hits on tonight's awfulness:
*For long stretches it seemed like it was Hank against the Bruins and he was back to his old outstanding self. If only he could quarterback the power play too.
*Hank definitely deserves his share of blame for his idiotic backhanded pass to the Bruins to set up the equalizer but my Tw-enemy Asham had a chance to break up the play and he went for a half-hearted, one-handed jab at the puck that, of course, failed.
*Speaking of failures ... Brian Boyle. Brad Richard$. Del Zaster. Nash. Dorsett. Zuke. The power play. Torts. Take your pick ...
*Anyone else like totally shocked that it was Del Zaster's man who scored the eventual game-winning goal?
*Boyle getting nearly 20 minutes of ice time shows just how delusional Torts is. Hagelin "stinks" but Boyle's soft, clueless, skill-less play is rewarded with more minutes.
*Hags did get some power play time but he is hardly the solution. When you have utterly inept men quarterbacking, you have no chance. DZ gets just over two minutes while Moore and Stralman ride the bench during the man advantage.
*Thought Dan Girardi had a nice bounce-back game. Amazing what getting away from DZ will do for someone.
*Now, the guys on the ice didn't give us much to cheer for but even when they did the building was incredibly quiet. Insanely high ticket prices have forced many of the real fans out and replaced them with pastel-shirt-wearing stiffs.
*Another playoff game without John Amirante doing the anthem; truly hope he is alright.
*Moment of silence for the people in Oklahoma, the state that refused to help post-Hurricane Sandy. And it was a few seconds more respect than the Rangers showed Derek Boogaard, one of their own.
*PHW Three Stars:
3-Henrik Lundqvist - 32 saves.
2-Tuukka Rask - 23 saves.
1-Daniel Paille - one goal and one assist.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars:
3-Patrice Bergeron - No points and yet seemed dynamic, controlling play.
2-Shawn Thornton - A pair of assists thanks to solid grinding and great positioning. A veteran tough guy who is utterly invaluable to his team. Basically, everything Asham is not.
1-Paille - Never stopped skating and his hustle paid off.