In a game on home ice the Rangers absolutely had to have, they couldn’t get it done. On sloppy ice with a bouncing puck, the Rangers and Bruins played a pretty tepid first period. The Rangers outshot the B’s 11-9 in a stanza where Henrik Lundqvist was stellar on his chances and Tuukka Rask was fighting the puck.
The Blueshirts drew a power play at 4:08 of the first, but you all know the rest. The period ended with no scoring by either side.
Early in the second, the Rangers drew another power play, the final one of the game, (though Callahan got away with a double minor on Zdeno Chara and Steve Eminger probably got away with one too) and once again astonishingly for the 36th time this post-season, the Rangers did absolutely nothing.
Pierre McGuire, hated by everyone apparently, was spot on in his criticism of the Rangers power play, or better, lack thereof.
McGuire – “They are not supporting the puck and basically their entires have no orchestration. One man on it, you can’t do that. Look at that. no support. zerp. nothing. that is unacceptable at this level.these guys just didn’t start playing today. you can’t play that way. they’re just freelancing. i can tell you right now. i coached in this league for a long time. they’re just freelancing right now. there is no structure at all on their entries. none. again there is no structure. guys are just going one on four.
This is o solo mio hockey. That means doing it by yourself. That is not how a good power play is orchestrated and run. Look at all the blue sweaters by themselves. No support. Trouble brewing. They can not make that man happy (Tortorella.) I’m telling you, when he was in Buffalo as an assistant coach for John Muckler, they had one of the best power plays in the league and he was the architect of it”
So why are they so terrible? What is Torts not orchestrating? He has had five years to figure this out with plenty of good offensive players.
Despite having no power play and very little offense, the Rangers struck first at 3:53 of the second when Ryan McDonagh floated a shot towards the net through a mass of bodies in the slot that apparently glanced off Taylor Pyatt and by Rask.
Up 1-0, the Rangers were throughly outplayed and outshot (14-5) by the Bruins in the middle frame, but still managed to escape the period with a 1-0 lead, thanks to Henrik Lundqvist.
The Blueshirts took the opening draw of the third period needing to win one 20 minute period on home ice to be back in the series.
And they weren’t good enough to do it.
At 16:50 the Bruins’s 4th line outworked the Rangers and scored on a floater that Lundqvist never saw. Hank collected a dump-in pass behind the net and sent a pass to Michael Del Zotto that Gregory Campbell swooped in and stole. Campbell sent a drop pass to Daniel Paille behind the net and Paille’s tried a wrap-around that Hank stopped. As the rebound squirted through the crease, Arron Asham (skating in cement) with a 5 foot head-start, lost a race to the loose puck to Matt Bartkowski. The Bruins rookie defenseman poked the puck to Paille who dished to Sean Thornton. Thornton sent a shot wide that Paille collected and slid to Johnny Boychuk at the point. Boychuk’s floater eluded everyone in front, tying the game at 1-1. Brad Richard’s (shocker) line, with Mats Zuccarello in for Chris Kreider, got throughly outworked by Boston’s 4th line.
Then at 3:31, somehow (Hank) still tied 1-1, the Rangers once again got outworked by the Bruins 4th line. Sean Thornton threw a shot off Lundqvist’s mask that had all sorts of backspin and grazed the crossbar, flipping in front of the King and skittering across the goal line. Paille blew past a lazy Michael Del Zotto hook behind the net and pinballed the fluttering puck off a stick (maybe Thornton’s) and in for the 2-1 lead.
At that point, there was little chance that the NYR would come back and tie the game. And they didn’t.
The New York Rangers have no offense.
Their power play is 2/38 in the playoffs and 0/10 against the Bruins in this series.
The Rangers have lost 2 of 3 games by a single goal.
The power play is the difference.
Can a team with an overworked goaltender and no offense (4 goals in 3 games of this series and 10 goals in 21 games this post-season) stage a miracle comeback and do something that has only been done 3 times in 172 series?
Let’s go Rangers.
Wayne Gretzky was at the game. I’m sure he could help the power play, even at 52 years old. And when are they having that number retirement ceremony for the Great One that they promised in 1999?
Brad Richards is not only just a contract albatross. He is a liability on the ice. It has gotten so bad that McGuire said this of Richard’s linemate Chris Kreider during the broadcast.
“Kreider getting a chance to play with some good players right now with Nash and Brassard, trying to get his speed engaged.”
Rick Nash has 1 goal in 10 playoff games. Yikes! But he’s not the only one coming up small.
Derek Stepan 3
Ryan Callahan 2
Derick Brassard 2
Carl Hagelin 2
Brian Boyle 2
Carl Hagelin 2
Taylor Pyatt 2
Rick Nash 1
Mats Zuccarello 1
Brad Richards 1
Ryan McDonagh 1
Michael Del Zotto 1
Dan Girardi 1
Everyone Else 0