The record book says the New York Rangers have lost 11 straight playoff games in which they have held the lead in the playoff series that they have appeared in. It really would be nice if the Rangers did not make the streak an even dozen games something they can do if they defeat the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night to win this playoff series.
If anyone watched the games that were played on Monday evening they know exactly what I am talking about. Pittsburgh "escaped" from Columbus almost giving away a 4-0 lead in the games final 10 minutes. Colorado failed to put Minnesota out in their game 6 allowing a game winning goal late that means the two teams are headed back to Denver for a game 7.
San Jose and their history of playoff self destruction can make a case for getting the shaft by a ref's blown call (more on that later) as they too have allowed the Los Angeles Kings to force a game 7 by losing 4-1. The teams facing a game 7 may have home advantage but they also have to deal with a ton of questions from the media, the fans and even themselves.
I am not going to pull the "they need to do this and this" because you know as well as I do what the Rangers must do in order to win. This series should been over by now because the Flyers haven't "won" games but it has been the Rangers who have "gifted" them 2 wins. Play like the Rangers can play and we can start talking about what it will take to defeat Crosby and his Penguins in the 2nd round.
Don't talk about what you need to do just do it, forget all the cliches and the "robotic" comments just shut up, get on the ice and play your butts off. I am not telling anyone anything that they don't know when I say that the last thing the Rangers need is to have to play a game 7 on back to back nights.
Even if they win game 7, it will cost them in the 2nd round where the other team is way more talented than the Flyers. And not to disrrespect the Flyers but the Rangers do need to get at the Penguins as soon as possible while that team's confidence is really rattled especially Marc-Andre Fleury is.
Tale of two whistles
On Sunday the Rangers got the shaft when a premature whistle cost them a goal and lucky for them it did not cost them a game. In Los Angeles a ref's failure not to blow a whistle in the same circumstance cost San Jose a goal and quite honestly the game.
If you have seen the replays it is clear that the ref is going to blow the whistle but changes his mind at the last second and that allows Los Angeles to score. It was the same situation as in game 5 for the Rangers and once again the lack of a consistent standards leads to inconsistent calls and a game's outcome is affected.
There are over 30 refs working for the NHL and on any given night you can have a game called 30 different ways. Each on ice official calls the game as he believes it to be called. It is a frustrating experience that only hurts the NHL when games, playoff series and even a championship are determined by a bad call.
It is way past time for the NHL to get it's act together and fix how games are officiated. The first thing to do is get rid of the "intent to blow the whistle" as either you blow the whistle or you don't. It is a rule that is not allowed to be challenged by video replay but it is also a call that affects outcomes of games. Time for it to go.