The Pittsburgh Penguins came to Madison Square Garden last night for a hockey contest versus the professional hockey club representing the city of New York. The squad from Pittsburgh was awarded 2 points and a 3-0 victory by the NHL because their opponents, the Rangers forfeited the match.
This just in, to the surprise of those in attendance and those watching on television, the Rangers did actually take the ice vs the Penguins. And oh what a game it was!
The Rangers burst out to a 1-0 deficit just 84 seconds into the contest when Evgeni Malkin was able to rip a one-timer by Hank. The Blueshirts must have forgotten that the reigning league MVP was even on the ice, because Malkin had enough time and space on the shot to make perogies with Igor Larionov’s smoking hot daughter.
After, that not a whole lot happened. The second period was boring.
In the third, the Pens bumped the lead up to 2-0 on a beautiful James Neal tip-in power play goal. For those Ranger fans, who have never experienced a power play goal, that is what happens when the team with the man advantage (due to the other team taking a penalty) scores a goal.
The Rangers had their only two real quality chances when they hit posts. Marc Staal rang one and then Stralman clanked the post at the end of yet another momentum-killing Ranger power play. That chance was immeadiately answered by a Simon Despres breakaway goal. 3-0 Pittsburgh. Game over.
Hey remember last year when the NYR earned the nickname, the “Black and Blueshirts?”
Yeah, this year, not so much.
The Rangers apparently had 28 shots on net, none of which were difficult for Tomas Vokoun.
”He had two or three big saves that he had to make. He was great.” Said Pens coach Dan Bylsma, being overly generous and obviously trying not to give his rivals any bulletin board fodder for their next matchup.
The Rangers look lackluster, tired, slow and worst of all, unprepared.
The incredible fitness level that they displayed last year is nowhere to be found.
Unlike last year, when their tireless puck pursuit would wear teams down, this year’s model looks like they pack it in and give up in the third period of games.
Not the fault of the coaching staff, right Torts?
The Rangers now lead the league in too many men on the ice penalties with four.
Oh course, this is not the coach’s fault in any way at all either. Right Torts?
Finally, the power play is now a feeble 3-28 on the season after an 0-5 night. It is also very easy for opposing teams to defend. It usually goes like this, the Rangers will skate to the blue line and throw a strong-side corner dump-in at the defending team. It has become so predictable that the Penguins were sending the weak side D-man to the weak-side wall and just waiting for the Ranger dump in to ring around the boards to the waiting d-man for an easy clear.
Finally, the atmosphere at the “World’s Most Famous Arena” was akin to that of a library.
The fans were mostly silent.
There was no excitement and/or energy and only one “Potvin Sucks” chant. Fish Lips got booed on a couple of touches and there was one semi-drunk, overly enthusiastic kid who was able to put enough peer pressure on the fans in the upper sections to get a tepid “Let’s Go Rangers” chant going that quickly fizzled. The crowd did come to life with a brief “Hen-reek” chant after Lundqvist stopped Sid the Squid on a breakaway. A breakaway, Crosby was able to get when the hinge on Derek Stepan’s blade obviously came loose. However, the chant quickly subsided when yet another NYR penalty was announced.
The in-game entertainment packages provided by MSG were unoriginal, uninspiring, recycled and lame.
How fired up does a crowd really get trying to guess which goalie mask the hockey puck is under?
This is “New York Hockey” right MSG?, not a Tier 2 game at some ganked-up barn in Dubuque?
Hey Coach, how’s that cake coming?