Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Madison Square Garden was ready to Rock'n'roll last night as the Rangers faithful welcomed home their beloved Rangers, who had won 2 games at the Verizon Center and had firm control of the best of 7 series. You would think that the Rangers would have been stoked and ready to play in front of their home crowd, but unfortunately for them and the Rangers fans, the Capitals put a show on last night with a 4-0 victory.
Nobody thought it would be easy for the Rangers in this series and the Caps proved why they are one of the top physically gifted and skilled teams in the NHL. 2 goals in the 1st period by one man, Alexander Semin, helped silence the MSG crowd. The Rangers never really got into the game other than Ryan Callahan's clanging of the goalpost midway through the 1st period. Washington totally outplayed the Rangers in the 1st, no if, ands, or buts about it. The 2nd period was much like the 1st, the Rangers simply looked out of wack and a good reason for it was the Caps were just taking it to them. The only goal of the period was a PP goal by Brooks Laich that gave the Caps a 3-0 heading into the 3rd. Unfortunately, for the offensively challenged Rangers, that was enough. Former Ranger, Tom Poti, even rubbed it in at the end of the game with Washington's 4th and final goal. This game was not close in any way.
The Caps were far superior in all facets of the game. Varlamov, the young Caps goaltender, pitched a shutout while turning away 33 shots. He really only had to make a handful of difficult stops however. Lundqvist, while not being as good as games 1 and 2, turned away 36 of 40 shot attempts. He alone kept the game from being a 6, 7, or even 8 goal drubbing. One other thing that's bothering me and the Rangers fans... 0-6 on the PP. It's getting ridiculous now. No excuses, shoot the damn puck! You're supposed to be professionals. Stop thinking about it and just fire away.
In the end, we can all make excuses... bad penalties, lousy officiating, forgetting to set the alarm for the wake-up call, etc... the Rangers and their followers left the ice clearly beaten and totally dejected by their performance. I know it's only one game and the Rangers are still in control at 2-1 in the series, but they must and I mean must get off to a better start on Wednesday if they want to win this series. Wednesday's game is the make or break game for both teams. I believe the Rangers will be ready, but so will the Capitals. I'm looking forward to it. Over and out!