The ship be sinking. Again.
Well, if I didn’t know any better I would think that the New York Rangers were playing to get their coach fired. This game was awful. It wasn’t even a bedsh!t. It was another no-show. In fairness, Henrik Lundqvist played well, but that was it.
Right off the bat, the Penguins went up 1-0. 90 seconds into the game, Beau Bennet tattooed one over Hank’s shoulder. Roman Hamrlik, or as we call him, “That guys is still in the league, seriously?” did a sort of pinch along the wall, and Bennett sprinted to the puck and wound up for an eternity before putting everything into his clapper. Either Anton Stralman or J.T. Miller let Bennett go and the Pens took the early lead and that was the whole ball game.
But wait there’s more.
The Rangers then went on to battle back with a staggering 4 shots on goal for the remainder of the first. That’s right, 4. The team on the other side managed 12 shots on Hank. On the radio side, Dave Maloney (and Jeez, he so much better than Sam and Joe Micheletti) said it looked like the Penguins had the puck on a string. So the Blueshirts were able to escape the period down only 1-0 thanks entirely to Hank.
The second period the Rangers apparently “righted the ship” according to their coach. They outshot the Pens 10-7, so I suppose in Coach’s eyes that qualifies as a victory of some sort?
Great moment in the second period and very telling for just how close-knit the Rangers are this year. Nash had his stick broken by an un-penalized slash. As the big guys skated to the NYR bench to reach for a stick, not a single Ranger player handed Nash a stick. This moment pretty much encapsulates the 2013 Rangers. Their best player has his stick snapped and as he skates to his own bench, not a single player hands him a stick. The Blueshirts obviously so engrossed in something, didn’t bother to give Nash a twig. That is togetherness boys. I guess that answers the question to why no one responds when Brooks Orpik buries Chris Kreider with a shoulder to the head. Or why No one says a peep to Milan Lucic when he plasters Nash headfirst into the boards. Or why no one lays a finger on smirking Max Pacioretty after he gets away with a leaping hit on Ryan McDonagh. This team is gutless and apparently heartless.
Many Ranger fans pin that on the loss of Brandon Prust. Prust was a tough player and he stood up for his teammates, but he was not Adam Graves. Graves fought anyone who touched Mark Messier or Brian Leetch. The Rangers have no one like that. This is not a team that would sacrifice for one another, and this is certainly not a team that plays for their coach.
In the third, the Pens got two in 43 seconds to put the game away. Chris Kunitz ripped a rocket by Hank off Steve Eminger’s skate and Pacal Dupuis had a year and a half to flip home his backhander past Lundqvist.
On MSG, Joe Micheletti took the time to point out how Gaborik didn’t hustle on the back check and he didn’t. But Joe failed to mention that Buyout Brad Richards, the 6.7 million dollar turnover machine, gifted the puck to Dustin Jeffrey and then just waved at the Penguin forward on the back check. No mention of the #1 center’s treating the puck like a grenade and handing the Pens a 2 on 1.
The team doesn’t hustle, generate offense, stand up for one another, score goals, or possess any semblance of a power play. The world class goalie is over-worked, and the young defenseman are regressing. The coach has an uncanny knack for transforming goal proven scorers into shells of themselves. Gaborik is slumping. Rick Nash is no longer Superman.” Now Nash is just “Man.” Brian Boyle is terrible. Ryan Callahan seems almost indifferent in post game interviews. The young forwards Carl Hagelin and Derek Stepan while not necessarily regressing are flat-lining. J.T. Miller looks like he can skate in the NHL produces nothing. Taylor Pyatt? Jeff Halpern, Darroll Powe and now Michael Haley? This team is in big trouble. The team looks lackluster and uninterested. They have clearly tuned their coach out. Its sad to watch this season slip away, but that is exactly what is happening.
If Glen Sather finds the stones to fire John Tortorella, it may be the jolt the team needs> If Slats can’t summon those stones, this season will end quickly and ugly.
“It’s painful right now.” – Henrik Lundqvist.
The King is absolutely right. It’s painful for him to play and for us to watch.