Sunday, April 27, 2008
The Pittsburgh Penguins put on a defensive clinic today that the Rangers know about all too well! The Pens took away the neutral zone and never gave the Rangers room, flow, or clear shots on Marc Andre Fleury. Let's not underestimate the Pittsburgh Penguins, they are growing into a team that's becoming a force to be reckoned with.
Jordan Staal beat Henrik Lundqvist with a nice move on a power play that gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead. The goal was scored on another questionable penalty call on Chris Drury (I think it was a weak call, it appeared Hossa was grabbing Drury's stick rather than Drury hooking him). The Rangers did appear to score a goal late in the 3rd period on a rebound in front of Marc Andre Fleury as Marty Straka whacked it across the goal line. However, referee Dan O'Halloran's quick, and I mean QUICK, whistle nullified the apparent goal and basically killed the Rangers will in the process.
My beef with the call is, when a referee is standing behind the net, of course he's gonna lose sight of the puck, DUH! He's BEHIND the net, not in the correct position to make the right call. NBC was quick to defend the call and both Mike Emrick & Eddy O claimed it was the right call. Basically, they were telling the (Ranger) fans watching - "You're dumb and we're smart". Just look at the video and you tell me if O'Halloran can call anything at all where he was positioned. Ridiculous.
Getting back to the game, high marks for Henrik Lundqvist and Marc Andre Fleury. But, in the end, Pittsburgh took a page out of the Rangers book and just flat out shut them down (where was the Ranger offense?). Down 2-0, the Rangers are in deep water as the Penguins are on a roll (6-0 in the playoffs). Sid the Kid and crew are going to be very tough to beat. Although, I have full confidence in the Rangers being able to respond back at MSG. But they better find some offense quickly or this series will be over!