Sunday, April 26, 2009
For the second time in this series, the New York Rangers failed to hold serve at home. Much like in Game 3, the Washington Capitals totally outplayed the hometown Rangers. The Caps proved that they are a bigger, faster, skilful, and physical force to be reckoned with.
With a little, or a lot of help from the NHL, how do you beat this team when all their cylinders are firing? Today’s matinee at the Garden had a lot of pre-game buzz. Sean Avery was back in the lineup and John Tortorella was sitting out with a 1 game suspension over the infamous "Water Bottle Gate" incident. Ah! The NHL at its best. I'll get into that later.
Milan Jurcina started off the scoring for the Caps by pounding a high shot over Lundqvist. The goal took place after not one - but two horrible giveaways by the Rangers inside their own blueline. Just over a minute later the Rangers tied it up on a nice deflection by Scott Gomez on a shot by Wade Redden on a PP! That's right, "It's a Powerplay goal"! I really thought that at the time it was a very nice response by the Rangers and things looked good. That is, of course, until Washington had it's 1st PP of the game and Mike Green roofed one past Henrik Lundqvist (High, glove side again much like Jurcina). Later in the 1st period, Tom Poti (Remember him? He's having a career series against his former club) put one in off of a 3 on 1 shortly after a Caps penalty had expired.
The 2nd period was all Caps as Viktor Kozlov and Alex Bettman, er, I mean Ovechkin. Sorry, I thought they were related for a minute. Anyways, they basically finished off the Rangers with one period to go. The 3rd period was what I expected from the Rangers trying to establish something, anything, in order to gain some momentum going into Game 7. Ryan Callahan scored on a PP and Marc Staal scored very late in the 3rd to make the score look reasonable at 5-3.
What do I think about Game 7? Hey, the Rangers coughed up a glorious opportunity to finish off the more talented Caps squad and now they have to venture back to Washington for a do-or-die game in a playoff series. Lundqvist needs to be much better than he has been the last two outings. Today was one that he definitely wants to forget. The Rangers will definitely need to score first in Game 7 to get the momentum on their side. The blueshirts are not very good at coming from behind and that's a fact. Finally, the NHL has got to come down from the love affair with Ovechkin. He's a great player, you can't deny that. But he gets away with more than any player in the "New Age" NHL. I saw him run over, from behind, Chris Drury today early on in the game. This incident happened in front of all 18,200 and the 4 blind mice officials... and no call. It's an insult to the fans and their intelligence. Oh, and how did 4 officials on the ice happen to not be looking when Donald Brashear clearly cold-cocked Blair Betts with a vicious elbow cheap shot? Are you effing kidding me? The officials on the ice circled, talked, and came up with - drum roll please... nothing? So instead of the Rangers getting a 5 minute PP and Brashear getting ejected from the game, we now have to wait for the clowns at the NHL offices to review the play and make a thoughtful decision about what to do. It certainly won't help the Rangers one bit. The right call was to be made in real time, during the game, you idiots. The Rangers don't need your charity now and suspending Brashear won't hurt the Caps in the slightest bit. As my good buddy Mark Rosenman said, "The King still gives us a punchers chance". We Rangers fans have to hope so. Over and out!