Tuesday, May 7, 2013

R1, G3: It Ain't Over Yet

Sadly a rough schedule demands this recap be quick - the Rangers defeated the Capitals 4-3 in Game 3 to cut their series deficit to 2-1.

There, gotta go.

More? Ok, a few Late Hits:

*This team can't do anything easy, can they?

*Funny how all of the Caps fans who responded to my trolling of Holtby earlier today were deathly silent after he gave up goals to Brian Boyle and Arron Asham. The truth hurts, their goaltender's success was due to the Rangers' ineptness - not by any showing of skill on his part.

*So the power play went 1-6. Brassard's goal aside, it was the same as it ever was - unimaginative, predictable and easy to stop. And, of course, after blowing the prime chance they were given with the man advantage in the opening minutes, the Rangers allowed Washington to score soonafter.

*Richard$ buyout seems all the more likely now that Derek Stepan, who is making more than $11 million less this season, has taken his top-line center spot. I believe that Richard$ is the lone player in this series with a Cup ring and he needs to show it. He has to play smarter and harder - even if his legs got washed out into the Atlantic with Sandy.

*Welcome back Staalsie. As a friend mentioned, the Ranger defense was actually used economically and, without overloading anyone's icetime, they were able to withstand the incredible pressure late in the third. Amazing how that works.

*Said it before but John Moore is terrific. He is playing like McD was last season, and is a massive help considering Del Zaster's inconsistency and Stralman's ... Stralman-ness.

*Also said that Rick Nash wasn't likely to perform in the playoffs and he has yet to prove me wrong. He looks disinterested half the time, often out of position and withering from the physical play the Caps are throwing his way. He deserves an attaboy for throwing the puck into the middle so Step could tip it home but it is hard to say if he did it intentionally or was just dumping the puck away as the defense closed on him.

*Boyle giveth, Boyle taketh away. He scored a goal that reminded everyone of why he was a first round draft pick way back when, then he blew a defensive zone faceoff cleanly, resulting in Jay Beagle's goal. (So glad they changed the credit to Beagle from Hillen, the ex-Islander ...)

*My Tw-enemy Asham potted a gimme thanks to Brassard's silky feed. Nice to see him do something aside from taking a bad penalty for once.

*There were plenty of bad penalties to be had, including the Richard$ slash on Ovie. Did Ovie sell it? Hell yeah. Was it a penalty? Absolutely.

*We may be in a bit of trouble if Ribeiro ever decides to start playing for Washington. He nearly keyed the game-tying goal in the final minutes, QBing the Caps power play.

*Loved the return of the 'Ovie Sucks' chant. Loved that he actually sucked even more.

*Hope Powe is ok but, if not, hope Miller can enter the lineup and do what Kreider did last spring.

*Hope John Amirante is ok. Important Ranger games just don't feel as important without him doing the anthem.

*PHW Three Stars:
3-Ryan McDonagh - no points.
2-Brian Boyle - one goal and one assist.
1-Derick Brassard - one goal and two assists.

Scotty Hockey Three Stars:
3-Nick Backstrom - The Swede's two-way play is incredibly underrated.
2-Girardi/Staal/McD - Can't pick just one when it was a group effort to completely render Ovie harmless.
1-Brassard - The change in scenery has certainly helped, that's for certain.


Paul said...

Hey Scotty,
I was at the game last night. I sat about 10 rows behind Holtby for 2 periods and he seemed rattled by the fans in my area. Not the mark of a great goalie. Del Zaster was atrocious last night but I thought Stralman was serviceable. He actually threw a really good hit in the first period. I used to defend MDZ on this blog but last night I was starting to think that I would've rather had Eminger playing last night instead of him, Ugh! Why the hell was Pyatt being double shifted in the 2nd half of the game? I know Powe left with an injury but couldn't someone with more talent be double shifted instead? Torts needs to go.

Steve N. said...

Also feel like Stralman has at least stepped up from his average level of play during these playoffs. A few good defensive plays, a solid hip check on Ovie to get the fans into it, nearly ripped one home on game 1... Just noticing him a bit more than I did during regular season.