Thursday, April 23, 2009
Henrik Lundqvist should pass the collection hat around the dressing room today at practice and each player should give up most of their paycheck to "The King". Lundqvist was outstanding once again and like games before, he sure needed to be.
The Rangers prevailed 2-1 over the Washington Capitals at MSG last night, but not without making the fans, themselves, and the coaching staff sweat out almost 2 full periods of hockey. The Rangers actually started out this game with a little more "Giddy Up and Go" compared to Monday's 4-0 loss. As I had stated in my previous blog entry, I expected the Rangers to be ready and they certainly were. In the 1st period, the Rangers hit, hustled, and skated their way to a 1-0 lead on a goal by defenseman Paul Mara's slapshot that deflected off of a Caps player. Lucky goal? Maybe. But, as you all know, when you shoot the puck - good things happen. The 2nd period started out in a positive way for the Blueshirts when Chris Drury flipped an innocent shot on goal that Simeon Varlamov bobbled and with a little help from Lauri Korpikoski crashing the net, Drury found the biscuit and roofed it into the net. Very big goal. After that goal, being up 2-0 I thought things were looking good. However, for some reason, the Rangers good play came to a dramatic and screeching halt.
The Caps poured it on with a 19-5 shot advantage in the 2nd period and the Rangers D was giving up the Blueline far too easily. As a result of the Rangers passiveness, the Caps took control. If not for Lundqvist, who knows what the score would have been heading into the 3rd. The Rangers were very fortunate to be ahead 2-0.
In the 3rd period, it finally happened. Alexander Ovechkin, who fires the puck from just about everywhere, beat Henrik Lundqvist on a high wristshot that caromed in off the post to cut the Rangers lead to 2-1. The rest of the 3rd period was all Caps as the Rangers played back on their heels, seemingly content with the 2-1 lead. The King had to make several big time saves to keep the Rangers ahead. Late in the period, the Caps got just what they wanted - a couple of Powerplays in a dreadful 6 minute span. Sean Avery had committed 2 stupid penalties which could of cost his team the game and maybe the series. Hey, I love this guys game, but not tonight. Sean, you have to understand the moment and the time of the game. What you did last night was wrong, plain and simple. You have to learn from it or you might find yourself riding the pine in Game 5.
Anyways, in the end, the Rangers win and Lundqvist was the story yet again (Oh yeah, he also got some help from his two friends the Crossbar and the Goalpost). The Rangers managed to get the much needed victory to take a commanding 3-1 series lead, but it's not going to be easy. Washington is a very skilled and talented team who will not go down without a fight. The Rangers, on the other hand, have shown the tenacity and grit that you need to win all year. Oh, and lest we forget that they have Henrik Lundqvist. It's good to be the King! Over and out!
*Special note, this is the 100th post in the history of Kotsy's Korner.