Before every playoff game this year I have had the same feeling – nerves. My body shakes, I can’t eat…the whole works. Today? None of that. Not a single worry as I was able to eat lunch and dinner easily. Why? Cause inside, I knew the Rangers were going to lose. Not sure why or how, but just had this feeling we were headed to Washington tied. The good news is I expected the Rangers to completely dominate the game and be shutout. Richards scored a nice little tap in with less than a minute to go in the first to kill that. Would’ve liked to have been wrong about the outcome too.
So what did I see in this game? Well since I missed Game One, this was the first time I got to see Rangers-Caps playoffs, round 3. Watching the Caps play the same style as the Rangers is just weird. There’s no other word for it. I’m not used to them blocking shots and defending. It took a while for me to wrap my head around the fact this was how it was going to go. Once I did, I realized they were outplaying us at our own game. Not good Rangers.
That said, it wasn’t like their goals happened because of those plays. They happened because we decided to make the game interesting. Knuble’s goal? Horrible turnover by Bickel who couldn’t get back to cover. Shockingly he had another shift after that play (although it was only one). Chimera goal? Don’t even get me started on that hot mess; we put the puck in our own net. Winning goal? Can we win a faceoff just once???? Oh yeah and maybe taking two penalties in a row when you just tied the game isn’t the best game plan Rangers. In case you guys weren’t sure. Yep, it was one of those nights where the Rangers biggest issue was that they kept beating themselves.
I really want to compliment the Capitals on their win but I just can’t do it. I’m sure everyone will say Holtby saved them. Honestly can’t think of one save that he made that was that great. Plus we hit two goalposts on shots that beat him so cleanly, he had to be thanking the hockey gods for that metal. (Yes I know they hit four in Game One. Guess we got lucky to get them tonight.)
And I won’t dare blame the refs. If anything there should’ve been more calls but I can’t fault what they called. (Well I’m not sure on the Boyle penalty in the third – thanks NBC for not showing a replay of that….) Simply put, the Rangers beat themselves. I’m sure Annie over at VC-Chillin has a different view but right now I just think her team got lucky. But I guess that’s what the playoffs come down to, luck. Lucky bounces, lucky breaks, lucky that it’s best of seven. That last one is what gives me hope. I still don’t believe the Caps can beat us four times this year. I better not be wrong about that Rangers.