Sunday, May 5, 2013

R1, G2: Disappointment in DC

Oh, what a difference an inch makes. Anton Stralman's shot four minutes into Game 2 is an inch lower and Saturday may have been quite different. While I am not about to go all Al Pacino over that inch, it proved to be quite important as it was the Blueshirts' closest scoring attempt in what was to be a 1-0 overtime loss to the Capitals.

But as old Al details in that classic speech from "Any Given Sunday", you've got to fight for that inch and the Rangers have yet to put that effort in. For all of his blustering and hysterics, Torts has never been able to get his team ready to play at puck drop so perhaps, perhaps - two games in - they will finally wake up for Game 3.

Perhaps getting out of that cesspool city they were in for the first two games will help. But, given how quiet the Garden has been this year, home ice may not be so much of an advantage. Plus, I saw that there are over two thousand tickets available between Stubhub and TicketsNow for Monday's match. Thanks to the insane prices set by Dolan's minions, plenty of True Blue are selling and it is impossible to blame them for it.

Either way, the games are won on the ice and not in the crowd. The saying goes that a playoff series isn't over until a team loses at home. So, at least we have that. For now.

Enough about Game 3, some Late Hits about 2:

*Three power plays, nothing. Guys standing around, taking bad shots that were easily blocked ... Ranger typical. Were they hosed on Alzner's puck into the crowd? Absolutely. But do you really think another power play really would have mattered?

*Braden Holtby - a goaltender who wouldn't even start on 28 other teams (figure he'd be an upgrade in Edmonton, maybe) - has barely been challenged, barely been disturbed. It's one thing to give the goalie wide berth if you are playing against a l33t tender, but Holtby has been given an easy ride by the lackluster Ranger attack.

*Here's a wild thought for the Rangers: don't shoot the puck at Holtby's chest.

*Wouldn't it be nice for the team to forecheck, to hold their own blue line, to carry the puck across the opposition's instead of dumping ... what wonderful team that would be to watch.

*The scorekeeper counted an insane 58 hits for the Rangers. Fifty-eight hits that resulted in just five takeaways. That's a problem. Hit for possession, hit for intimidation, don't hit just to hit.

*That was a big issue for DZ over the last few years (and still is) but the kid is putting together some of the best defensive shifts of his career. It is a shame that they are largely wasted as his partners are horrible and the two guys above him are so exhausted that they're making amateur mistakes.

*Speaking of amateur, John Tortorella. What kind of coach is so clueless, so incapable of motivating his players, so lacking in ideas that he has to juggle his lines in the second game of the playoffs? (Yes, I know he has done it all season long, it was rhetorical.)

*As for his decision to put Brian Boyle and Derek Dorsett in ... ridiculousness. Boyle, who's mere presence is a black hole in the lineup that makes the lines uneven, and a guy who is coming off an injury, has never played in the playoffs and never played for the organization before. And neither of them have any real hope of scoring goals, the prime problem of Game 1.

*It is a real shame that Torts has no faith in Chris Kreider. No idea why the bench boss has so much faith in Taylor Pyatt.

*That being said, no judgement on Dorsett's first game. He shouldn't have been inserted in the lineup cold turkey but he appeared to skate hard and was certainly willing to throw his recently-healed body around. We'll see what happens once Torts drains the life out of him.

*Previously made the comparison of Brian Boyle to Willie Huber before but now I want to issue an apology. Willie, wherever you are (he passed away in '10), I'm sorry. You were not nearly as useless.

*Zuccarello was all over the ice in the first period, then pretty much disappeared as Torts started his juggling act. Using him as the physical winger with a completely covered Nash and a legless Richard$ is pointless.

*John Carlson had seven shots on goal in 10 attempts for Washington. The entire Ranger defense had four shots on goal on 11 attempts. The Caps are capably clogging the middle, but the Blueshirts are taking far too long in their decision making.

*Best part of the series coming back to MSG? No stupid horn or morons incessantly banging on the glass. Man, are DC fans annoying or what?

*PHW Three Stars:
3-Braden Holtby - 24 saves.
2-Mike Green - one goal.
1-Henrik Lundqvist - 37 saves.

Scotty Hockey Three Stars:
3-Cally - The only Ranger skater who looked interested throughout the entire game, the only one who looked like he got angry. Woulda loved to hear what Hendricks said to him in that scrum.
2-Green - Saw his goal coming a mile away and it still beat Hank.
1-Hank - No King, no chance. This one woulda been five or six-zip, easily.


Unknown said...

LOL on Caps fans....omg with the glass banging,screaming the O in the Anthem, the yelling for penalties for clean hits....and no jerseys in the crowd from pre Ovi days..The fan base minus a few are jokes. Hate the horn guy too. I have never seen them get one trivia question right and I have been to tons of games there.

Incongruent said...

Sorry Debbie, but you obviously don't go to the games and I know because I'm a 13 year STH and the trivia's called 90+% right, all the time. Yeah there are some fool fans, but judging from some of the Rags fans (or Pens, or whatever) who sometimes get a seat behind me, believe me you should not overestimate the intelligence of your adherents.

We do have our habits. I wouldn't expect an out of towner to like 'em.

Good luck at MSG.

Unknown said...

Awwww Debbie, I'm so sorry the DC fans couldn't live up to the expectations of the great NY hockey fans! Keep complaining, it's about the only thing your team has going for you right now.

And I love that Braden Holtby is still an awful goalie. A 23 year old with a career 2.39 GAA and .923 Save % in the regular season and a career 1.77 GAA and .940 save % in the playoffs is a guy I'll take on my team any day. Talk about being a sore loser.

Unknown said...

Not a Rangers fan, nor am I complaining about Hotlby or defending behavior of NY fans...just commenting about what I observed at Caps games and I stand by what I said. Uneducated bandwagon post Ovi fans. Learn what ICING is for starters.

BGGB said...


Not sure you know who Braden Holtby is.

I'll chalk up your ignorance to frustration that your team lost.


Scotty Hockey said...

Know exactly who Holtby is, having watched roughly half of his NHL games to date - likely more than most of the people at the Phone Booth.

Steve N. said...

For Rangers and Caps fans alike, let's make this damn series interesting by getting a W at the Garden tomorrow night.

Chevis Ryder said...

Cally, third star? When is someone going to call him out for leaving a WIDE open lane when he went out to contest #9 (who was already covered by Stralman) for Caps who then passed it to Green for the GWOTG?

It left Stephan having to cover three people options on his own. Pretty dumb ass play if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

Debbie, why would you stand by your comments when you are clearly lying?

Scotty - you sit around watching Caps games? Ya, right.

Mark Bonatucci said...

Fellow Caps fans, expecting Scotty to fairly judge any NHL goaltender fairly other than King Henrik is just unfair. I mean if you read this blog regularly you know that "Marrrrrttttyyyy" is fat, over-rated and slow as well, despite likely being a future first ballot HHOF'er.

That said, Debbie give it a break the phone booth has been sold out every game the last four years, and unlike MSG, we Caps STH's actually usually buy and sit in our own seats since because of the way the DC Metro Economy is, we don't have that many "corporate" seats in the regular bowls. Not complaining just saying, if having a Red vice Black Caps Sweater makes you think we are "Bandwagon fans" then so be it. As noted, right now the only Rangers Sweaters that any Rangers fan should be wearing is eithr #30 or #24.

Finally at least we have a coach with class, an owner with class, and a set of stars who are all finally playing great, hard working games so I don't personally mind staying on their bandwagon ... and this in a season after the third lockout in the league's history that ought to have mad all of us question at least for a few minutes why we support the entire NHL. I know it made me do so.


Anonymous said...

Bottom line - Rangers are overrated and under-performing all year and nothing has changed now. The Caps played in the weakest division in the NHL. Either team is getting lit up next round.

The only thing I will say about the phone booth is turn the freaking music down in there. It is obnoxiously loud. It even jumps through when you are watching on TV!

Scotty always gives a fair perspective. Marty is a whale. That does not mean he has not accomplished great things in his career. He is just a whale. And let's not forget married his sister-in-law. Hence the chants - Uncle Daddy!

Holtby was totally lost in the beginning of the game and remember, he is playing against our anemic Rangers.

I think Adam Oates has done a tremendous job with this team and brought Ovi back to life. Not an easy task at all. I think I would rather play for Oates than Torts. Although, whomever gave Oates that chemical peel and facelift should have their license suspended.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised there are enough Caps fans who read this blog to gang up on Debbie lol. I was born and raised in DC, and have been a Caps season ticket-holder in the past, although I have been a life long Ranger fan. I do think Caps fans have become increasingly obnoxious in the arena as the popularity of the team has grown, but it is what it is. And of course Ovechkin has been a huge factor in spreading, or intensifying, the fan base, so I agree with Debbie there. But that is pretty normal. Now living close to Sharks territory, I can tell you all about bandwagon hockey fans; nothing wrong with that. People become fans in all kinds of ways. What I can say for certain is that the Caps have made the Rangers look ridiculous the last 2 games (or maybe the Rangers are doing that to themselves?). I agree with Scotty that the Rangers haven't exactly tested Holtby the way the Caps have tested Lundqvist. I really hope the Rangers come out to play tomorrow.

Scotty Hockey said...

Actually, I do sit around watching Caps games. I watch two-four NHL games a night during the regular season.

I stand by Cally as a star - harping on his positioning during that PK is ridiculous.

Brodeur is the most overrated player in NHL history.

One of the most ridiculous statements of alltime: "the only Rangers Sweaters that any Rangers fan should be wearing is eithr #30 or #24."

And, while there are exceptions to every rule, most Caps fans suck. I've walked around the Phone Booth in recent seasons and found many who have no idea who Peter Bondra is. Seriously.

Dave W said...


Holtby let up goals to Boyle and Asham.

I'll chalk your comment up to blind homerism.