Friday, May 3, 2013

R1, G1: New Season, Same Rangers

The Blueshirts started the second season with a loss, falling in Game 1 against Washington 3-1 on Thursday night. They stumbled at the start, somehow came away with a 1-0 lead after one, then continued to underwhelm for another half hour or so before coming alive late. By then, it was too late and the Caps collected the victory.

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 ...

*PHW Three Stars
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.


Steve N. said...

I didn't see it quite as bad as you did.

We were about 1 inch from at least going to OT in that game... Ovie's goal was garbage collection, mostly. The 3rd goal... *very* soft.

Then, consider Hags missing two golden opportunities, one by a half inch, and that Moore's "goal" just couldn't take that fortunate bounce away from Holtby's clutches or at least into the view of the cameras...

I realize the bounces go both ways, but I thought that game was closer than it appeared.

Sincerely hope Boyle doesn't come back during the remainder of these playoffs...

Unknown said...

I'm really starting to wonder about the collective IQ of the Rangers fans. How in the world can each and every one of you say that Moore scored on that shot? Moore was literally the ONLY person who reacted that way, and he couldn't even see the puck after he shot it!

CSN Washington finally showed a conclusive replay that showed the puck hitting the post and bouncing back into Holtby's equipment OUTSIDE OF THE NET. Holtby even said the puck was in his blocker the whole time, hence his conversation with the ref saying "Why did that take so long? I had the puck".

There is not one objective person watching that game who can say the puck went in. Just flat out false.

Steve N. said...

Against my better judgement, I'll reply to that...

So your argument that Rangers fans are just seeing what they want to see is backed up by citing the Caps goaltender's opinion on the matter and the local Washington sports outlet-- oh, and the fact that Capitals fans behind the net didn't jump for joy? That's persuasive.

I've not seen anything conclusive, by the way. Please post a link if you have it. My guess is whatever you post will simply indicate that nobody can be sure where the puck actually was by visual confirmation, rather than proof that it was not over the line. Thus, the call on the ice must stand (which is how it should be).

My post above was a lament that there wasn't conclusive evidence either way, so all we can do is accept the default rule.

Anonymous said...

I had a boss once that said "you can say everything about could have, should have and almost, but at the end of the day the only thing that matters is results." The bottom line is this team needs to deliver results - meaning beat the Caps with a solid and consistent effort before this long time season ticket holder is willing to give them a pass on "almost went in". Almost went in equals the loss column. I keep hoping, cheering and pushing for these guys but something just is not right. And I put that squarely on the shoulders of the coach. It's obvious this team does not respond to his direction. How many times has he said we need to get off to a fast start and they don't? We need to get better looks on the power play and they don't? We need to be more physical and they still let guys last night skate in on Hank after the whistle was blown and they stand around and do nothing. I am getting very, very tired of the "almost", "should of", "could of". The only thing that matters is results and this team better not go out in the first round.

Anonymous said...

One other thing - stop with the dump and chase already! It's ridiculous and some of the dumbest hockey I have ever seen based on the puck handling talent of Nash, Step, Hags, Richards. Let them create offense and not dump it and chase after it time and time again. Tort's system sucks.