Who Wins the 2014 Stanley Cup?

New York Rangers

Los Angeles Kings














Where is the Defense?
The Rangers trademark defense and elite goaltending is MIA


Please, just keep the king protected


Please, just keep the king protected

The NHL released the stat today that no team has ever rallied from back-to-back 0-2 starts in the playoffs.

Well then.

Prior to Sunday’s game, my Dad and I were talking. Since the Penguins seem like they are going to steamroll everyone in the East, the Bruins are almost mercy killing the Rangers. He withheld punching me like I’m sure most people with hold from punching the screen every week they read my posts. He explained that as long as the Rangers have the best guy in the world between the pipes, they have a chance. And as long as they have the best six guys in front of him, they will be in every game.

Well, what happens when the defense breaks down? A 5-2 loss. The first time Lundqvist has surrendered five goals in over 150 games. Lundqvist did everything he could, but the Rangers defense literally hung him out to dry. Ironically, on a day when everyone was focusing on the Rangers power play, it was their blue line that handed this game to the Bruins (not that the power play was good. It went 0-5 in this game alone. That’s pathetic by anyone’s standards).

Last year Dan Girardi became a write-in candidate for the All-Star game. He was the only undrafted player to do so and was really the only true defenseman on the roster. I say that because everyone puts so much focus on the Karlssons and Subbans of the world that we overlook how good and important stay at home defensemen are. It does not make for an interesting All-Star game, but he deserved to be recognized. He has been absolutely terrible. Yesterday he was on ice for all 5 of the Boston goals. He was our rock. He was supposed to be the blue line protector while his partner McDonough was going out to aggressively shutdown the oppositions’ top players.  Girardi is not just being pushed out of position, he’s putting himself there. He’s trying to block shots that are not coming. He is screening Lundqvist. He is doing all of the things we would expect from 22 year old John Moore. Moore, who has never played in the playoffs, is looking as if he was on a team that went to the Conference finals last year. Girardi is almost a liability on the ice.

But it is not just Girardi. The whole team’s defensive focus has been completely lost. They have coughed up pucks. The defensemen are pinching in on the wrong times and allowing numerous odd men rushes the other way. Last year, the Rangers drew ire for their defensive play. They would block shots, clog up the lanes, literally infuriate their opposition. Now they are leakier than a sieve.

Never in a million years would this Bruins team be characterized as “fast”. But they look like the 1980’s Oilers out there. The Rangers need to remember what got them this far. They need to step up. Every single player out there needs to show some jam and not give the Bruins an inch. That is the only way the Rangers can make a historic run. If any team can do it, this one can.

 

-Dan French

 

*Photo credit goes to csnne.com

 

For more by Dan French, be sure to visit www.liftthepuck.com

Posted by Will Wagner | May 21, 2013 at 05:00 pm
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New York Rangers VS Philadelphia Flyers
Friday, November 28, 2014

  1 2 3 OT F
Rangers 1 1 1 - 3
Flyers 0 0 0 - 0








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