Can I have my two and a half hours back please?
That game was a giant turd of nothing.
There were many analogies to describe the Rangers and Canadiens at the Garden last night, the best of which was the Walking Dead analogy.
Yes, the Rangers did look like the Walking Dead last night but not the cool Zombies on the Walking Dead, the Rangers looked more like the boring part of Season 2 where they all just sat around Hershel’s farm kind of just bitching about stuff and not really doing much of anything.
Last night, the NYR didn’t do much of anything.
The first period was a snooze fest with 8, yes 8 shots on goal. Combined. Rick Nash was a late scratch with a concussion apparently in his groin, and that obviously hampered the Ranger attack – can it actually be called an attack? The Canadiens were clearly tired on their second night of back to back games. The Montreal squad was perfectly content to slog through a close road game that they would try to slow down and maybe hope to win with a PP marker or a steal leading to a goal.
The brilliant Rangers coaching staff (Hey Sully, hey!) fully aware of Montreal’s situation, did absolutely nothing to prepare the home team for such a vulnerable foe. The former coach of the “Safe is Death” Stanley Cup Winning offensive juggernaut Tampa Bay Lightning couldn’t come up with an attack strategy, offensive game plan, or any ideas and really hasn’t in his tenure with the NYR despite the plethora of offensive talent at his disposal.
Although, it should be noted that Torts, did shake his head several times in disgust on the bench. Now that’s coaching!
So after surviving Montreal’s 3 shot onslaught in the first period, the Blueshirts came out and grabbed the lead 12:29 into the second period. Anton Stralman crashed the net and picked up a cookie on a nice pass from Derek Stepan. A delayed penalty on P.K. Subban for sticking his leg out on Marian Gaborik had the Habs kind of quit on the play, and Step found Stralman. Stralsie (that’s what those on the inside call him) popped a rebound of his own shot by Carey Price for the 1-0 lead. And that was the mighty Ranger attack for the evening.
Later in the period and well after a questionable non-icing call, the Canadiens evened the score on a Max Pacioretty blast from the high slot. Icing or not, the Blueshirts were in full scramble mode in the defensive zone. Pacioretty had about a year and a half on the slapshot as all five Ranger skaters (Boyle, Miller, Pyatt, McD and MDZ) were below the circles. Its true the NYR like to back in on Hank, but this was ridiculous.
First, Richards gains the offensive zone and, what else? throws a terrible drop pass for Marc Staal. After Staal collected the pass out of his skates, he threw a shot towards net that got blocked leading to an MTL breakout. Then, Richards made matters way worse by loafing back into the play. B-Rich watched Callahan bust it to get back and nearly break up the play, and when Cally didn’t chip the puck past Alex Galchenyuk, Richard$ coasted to the rookie and waved a stick at Galchenyuk. Watch the highlight video, Richards coasts in from the blue line, never once moving his feet. That is 6.7 million dollar hustle right there! Galchenyuk, and not Lars “Ellers” (why did he keep calling him that?) as Sam and Joe insisted, pops the game winner off the pass from Brandon Prust and that was it. A Raphael Diaz empty netter added some icing on the turd for a 3-1 loss.
Despite the fact that an exhausted Montreal squad managed a measly 17 shots on net for the match. And despite the fact that Montreal iced the puck something like 97 times, Rangers still lost the game. The Ranger power play (does Sully still have a job?) was a characteristic 0-2 and now pumping at 9% for the year. This was the exact type of game that a power play can win a team or at the very least send to overtime with at least one point in the pocket.
So instead of exploiting a weary team, the Rangers laid a giant egg on home ice.
“Thank You Fans!”
Mark these words, the Rangers have not played well and this season is on the verge of heading South very quickly.