We all knew Lundqvist was going to steal one (and I believe I predicted two, because I am an unremitting pessimist), but it’s still obnoxious to watch it actually happen. Who says you can’t go 16-0 in the playoffs?
Pretty wacky game, though. Referee Chris Rooney is out for the postseason with either a broken ankle or fibula, and if those turn out to be the same thing I’m going to look mighty embarrassed. I also feel a little ashamed at shouting all those rude words about his masculinity at the TV screen.
Well, not that ashamed, because with one notable exception we got royally screwed by the officiating. I sort of wonder if the lopsided differential was BECAUSE we got that major call, and therefore the Rangers deserved all the time in the world to make up for the goal that got waived off. The penalties were 8 Washington to 3 New York: 4 to DC in the second with none for NY, and an overlap on one so that we had 4-on-4 rather than an actual power play.
Lundqvist looked pretty good, and he deserved the cheers he got, but neither he nor Neuvy looked as good as they did in the first two games. The OT goal was something of a fluke, though Dubinsky had been playing well all game and obviously wouldn’t have gotten the goal had he not been in position to take advantage of the empty net.
Gaborik has so far been kept off the scoresheet, probably because he’s never dealt with this mysterious “postseason” before and is unsure how to handle it. Do the same rules apply? What happened to the shootout? Now he has to find different ways to choke! This, incidentally, remains my fondest memory of Gaborik. P.S. you have the EARN the nickname Gabby, Gaborik, and right now it belongs to Bruce.
In the end, we can all take solace in the fact that the Rangers needed a hell of a lot of help to take the game, at home. I still have plenty of confidence in my 4-2 prediction. I would even downgrade it to a 4-1, but I think I already covered this re: unremitting pessimism.
The real story of game 4 is that both Bruce Boudreau and John Tortorella are running their mouths, which should come as no surprise to anyone who has watched more than 20 seconds of hockey. I’ve never been to MSG, but I’m no fan of New York City, and in a totally biased manner I would have to agree with everything Bruce says. Of course, Torterra couldn’t keep his mouth shut, and the Rangers responded with the compelling “we’ve got the best fans in the world” rigmarole. Shut it. They don’t even have the most obscene fans in the world — that honour goes to Philadelphia.
I mentioned in my suspensions post that I didn’t think Staal hit Green for any reason other than “he’s one of the best players on the ice,” but here’s an interesting video from Skate Skate Shoot that compiles all the shots Green has taken from the Blueshirts. It skews a little too conspiracy-theoryish for me, but it’s not unheard of that they would target Green as someone with a history of injury.
Let’s clean up our act, avoid ending the season of any more refs, and take game 4. Oh yeah: Neuvy’s starting, and it looks like Eric Fehr’s getting some ice time! In horrible news, it also seems likely that Knuble is out. Chimera skated on the first line at the optional practice this morning, which could lead to a very interesting 8-19-25 line. And “banging pucks into the net” is certainly within Chimera’s skill set!
(…am I the only one who loves the Rangers’ staches?)
Official Capitals Preview
Official Rangers Preview (I really like how they say “their opponent’s outspoken coach.” Really? Pot, meet kettle.)
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