Pittsburgh Too Good, Defeat Rangers 5-3

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

First off, I'd just like to thank Dubi over at the Blueshirt Bulletin for writing a nice blog entry about me and my thoughts of the game 2 loss to the Penguins. Now, on with the game...

The Pittsburgh Penguins are making it look easy so far in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They added to their 7 game win streak with a 5-3 victory over the New York Rangers on Tuesday night. The Rangers threw everything they had at Marc Andre Fleury and essentially outplayed Pittsburgh for most of the game (they outshot the Pens 39 to 15). Marc Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh's PP, and the Pens depth of skill players came through for Pittsburgh in the end.

First, Fleury outplayed Henrik Lundqvist by making save after save, while on the flip side - Lundqvist could never make the big save when it was really needed. I personally thought this was a big edge at the beginning of the series, but Fleury has outplayed Lundqvist - like it or not! The Pens PP looked so good it's almost not fair! They move the puck with ease and find lanes to get their shots on goal without being blocked or deflected. The Penguins depth of skill players is outstanding with Crosby, Malkin, Hossa, Malone, Sykora, and Gonchar - they are pretty stacked!

The game started off bad, with a terrible cross-ice pass through the neutral zone by Rozsival which in turn led to a goal by Hossa. From there, the Rangers tied it on a Marty Straka goal - thanks in part to a crashing of the net by Jaromir Jagr (who by the way was the best player on the ice tonight, he played with a burr up his butt tonight!). Georges Laraque then made it 2-1 when Fedor Tyutin missed a hit on Laraque along the boards and then was real weak with his clearing attempt - putting it right on Laraque's stick. Malkin then made it 3-1 with a blast from the point, while Ryan Callahan was serving a double-minor for high sticking. The Rangers had plenty of chances to get back in the game when not once, but twice they had a two-man advantage PP. However, their attempts to score looked rather amateurish and they could not capitalize on their great opportunities on the two-man advantages. I will give the Rangers high marks for continuing to play hard and they eventually evened the score at 3 a piece due to goals by Callahan and Jagr. All of the momentum was on the Rangers side when Scott Gomez rang one off the pipe, but Ryan Hollweg took that all away with a DUMB penalty for boarding Petr Sykora.

Now, I understand what Hollweg brings to the team - energy, physical play, and a little excitement to get the crowd going. In fact, he was part of the great shift that led to Gomez's shot off the post - but he's got to be aware of the moment of the game and be able to stay under control. Unfortunately, he did not and it cost the Rangers dearly when Malkin blasted another one by Lundqvist on the ensuing PP. In the end the Rangers could not beat Fleury enough, their PP was non-existent, and when they needed a big save - it never came. It's disappointing to outshoot, outplay, and really outchance the Penguins for so long... and lose. It makes no sense, but enough squaking about it. That's hockey! The Rangers now face the brink of elimination.


Bleedsblue1959 said...

Hi Chris
Great read on the game.I know this might seem like old hat BUT its time to shake up the coaching staff.Although Renny and company might be good at the analitical end who do you blame for not fixing a power play that was never there and a defense that could never be. Maybe Vancouver knew something along time ago.You just cant play the Pens as if they were Jersey.Defense surely but when ya keep Backman and Hollyweg in the mix it just isnt happening.OH WELL on to next season

Positano said...


Enjoyed your review. I have been a Ranger fan since 1970. Turned on to this site by Gresch and Pete. When you live in FL you can't get anyone to talk about the Rangers. When Hollweg took the penalty I turned to my wife (THAT'S HOW BAD IT IS HERE IN FL - I HAVE TO WATCH A PLAYOFF GAME WITH MY WIFE) "How stupid was that penalty?"
The PP needs more shots with people in front and less trying to make the perfect pass. Things certainly look dismal, but looking forward to Thursday.

ChivasRegal said...


I'm glad to have found your blog on Blueshirt Bulletin. Its great to hear from an actual NHL player who speaks honestly without having to worry about angering the network he works for or the NHL. I'll be enjoying your site with my regular ranger reads. LGR!


Kotsy's Korner said...

bleedsblue1959: I personally don't believe it's a coaching problem (you would of heard some backdoor remarks from players by now). As for the PP, hey it looks great when you pass it around back and forth - however it's a simple game... you have to shoot to score (too 'European' for my taste).
positano: Thanks for the comments, Pete's a great man and Gresch is the best. As for Hollweg's penalty, he's paying the price for it with the fans and analysts reactions. It was stupid, but I feel for the guy!
chivasregal: Glad to have you aboard! Sometimes you just have to call it like it you see it! We all have our opinions, right or wrong.

cmy999 said...

Hi I agree with your analysis completely regarding Lundquist, never mind Fleury he has been OK but not great, just look at Biron in Philly
he is facing the same type of pp as
Pittsburgh and has come up big on
the saves when needed. During the playoffs you need your goalkeeper to be the difference unfortunately Lundquist has not stepped up. I am not blaming him completely but he has been a big part of why we are 3-0 down.

Kotsy's Korner said...

cmy999: You're right on! Although it's not Lundqvist's fault alone... sloppy D, lousy PP, and just the overall lack of "O" are killing the Rangers right now.

Crock said...

Love reading your reports man. You tell it how it is and that is what the fan really wants to hear.

The truth ...........

Rangers are just getting to many tough breaks during all the games thus far. It is not that they are playing badly it's just that they are not getting some of the bounces you need to win games sometimes.

We'll see what happens tomorrow.

Keep up the great commentation man.


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