Thursday, April 2, 2009
When the New York Rangers needed to dig down and win a 3rd period, they blew a tire and basically went flat. The Carolina Hurricanes were the team who came out and outplayed, and eventually outscored the Rangers with 2 goals in 28 seconds during the 3rd period. Right from the drop of the puck in the 3rd, the Canes hemmed the Rangers in the Rangers in their own end for the first half of the period. Then after Nik Antropov's failed connection on a pass to Chris Drury, Carolina struck with a nice passing play that was finished off by Chad Larose - while the Rangers stood around reaching instead of hitting somebody.
You can't play the game of hockey by stickchecking and watching. It just doesn't work that way. From there Rod Brind'Amour was allowed, and I mean allowed, to take this time inside of the Rangers blueline. While it seemed like every Ranger had peeled off of him, he fired what looked to be a harmless shot toward the goal that hit Paul Mara and found the back of the net behind Lundqvist. Again, stickchecking and watching instead of hitting somebody. No excuses here.
My observations from the game... the PP continues to haunt the Rangers. In a time where you needed it the most, the best it could do was 0-4 in the 1st period. I believe that was the game in a nutshell. There were plenty of opportunities, lots of shots (they outshot Carolina 38-23), but there were not enough goals. Boy, have we seen this before? I also thought at times the Rangers looked like the better team, but in the end the scoreboard is what counts. 4 games left now and this is going to go down to the wire. I can't really complain about the officiating tonight as the Rangers were given many PP chances. However, there was one peculiar non-call... Antropov gets punched by Tim Gleason and then he drops his gloves, looking like he's going to fight. Break to commercial, come back, no penalties. Are you serious? Didn't Avery drop one glove and receive a roughing call while being thrown around by David Clarkson? Let me know what you think. On to Boston, over and out!