I’m going to start by saying the Rangers didn’t deserve to win this game. Anyone who doesn’t believe that should watch Torts’ press conference. He’s most testy when he knows his team sucked and he doesn’t want to call them out. And as much as I want him to bash every one of them tonight, I’m okay knowing it was done in the privacy of the locker room.
As for the game, the first period was just plain ugly. Honestly the Rangers were lucky to be down only 1-0. Both on the broadcast and on twitter people hinted that maybe the Rangers were tired. I didn’t see tired hockey players. I saw a bunch of guys who left their brains in the locker room.
It wasn’t that they were losing foot races. If it was then I would agree they were tired. But instead they were bobbling pucks in the defensive zone, waiting to move the puck until a Devils player got close and could take it away or passing not even to the middle of the ice but directly to the guys in white. Those are brain farts and I’m sorry but I don’t believe it was because they were tired.
Not sure what Torts said in the intermission but I’m sure it couldn’t be shown on non-cable TV. Before we got to see if it worked the Rangers got a lucky call as the Devils got called for an interference penalty I’m still looking for. (Honestly, they never showed a replay.) I’m guessing every Ranger prayed to the Hockey Gods so they wouldn’t get yelled at again and it worked as they got an even luckier bounce and the puck ended up behind Brodeur.
From that point on the Rangers did wake up and while they were far from perfect, they at least looked like their brains came out to the ice with them.
Then halfway through the period we got to witness the funniest moment of possibly the entire playoffs as Zajac took a penalty and they couldn’t get the penalty box door to open. The entire time all players and coaches were trying not to laugh. I have no idea how most of them succeed. It took them about 5-8 minutes before they started to put him in the Rangers box. As he sat down they finally fixed the problem. And the game could continue.
I figured with all that time standing around, the Rangers would really lose momentum. But somehow they got their second power play goal of the game. You read that correctly. Two power play goals. Our power play really is bi-polar.
Of course once they were officially losing the Devils woke up and the Rangers looked scrambly again. (I have no idea if scrambly is a word but I plan to continue to use it to describe the Rangers.) And of course when that happens the Rangers always give up a goal (this time to their freaking fourth line) and we ended the period tied.
At that point I threw out the notion we didn’t deserve to win and went with the cliche “win a period, win a game” (or in this case steal a game) and hoped for the best. I should know better. Shortly into the third the Devils got their own deflected goal by my least favorite Devil – David Clarkson. I seriously despise him. And I know that means he is doing his job but I don’t care. I hate him.
There was plenty of time for the Rangers to come back but it was pretty easy to see it wouldn’t happen. Definitely wasn’t going to happen with Gaborik glued to the bench. I’m not saying he shouldn’t have been cause Torts could’ve picked anyone and benched them, but when you’re down a goal, a 40 goal scorer probably shouldn’t be riding pine. But credit to Torts for holding his ground and treating everyone equally. (Well almost everyone. I’m still waiting for the day he benches Richards.)
And so the Rangers lose another game 2. Everyone said this wouldn’t be a short series and looks like they will be right again. I just hope they do whatever they need to so they can come out with the right level of intensity in Game 3 cause it just wasn’t there tonight. Problem is it’s an afternoon game so I’m a little worried we might be in trouble come Saturday evening. Hopefully I’m wrong as I really don’t want to give these guys any hope they can win the series. A Kings-Devils finals would be an absolute nightmare of a series for me as I despise them both. Don’t let me down Rangers!