Yo New York Rangers if you are still in the mood to end
negative streaks there is one big one your fans would you guys put an end to
with a win in game 2. Yes that would be that ugly NHL record 12 game losing
streak the team has when it comes to holding a series lead.
Boy it was so nice to hear the shock in the voices of the
NBCSN announcers when the Rangers scored their “twin” goals in overtime to earn
a 3-2 win in game 1 over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Pierre McGuire and his “that
was no goal” call from that spot between the glass showed what a waste putting
people there is.
That the Rangers won despite a horrible 2nd period and an officiating crew that isn’t good enough to call “drop in” games
at the local ice rink was a bit of a minor miracle. The Rangers can take a lot
from the lessons they should have learned in game 1 and realize that if they
work hard in every game for every minute then they should beat this Penguin
Columbus provided the blueprint to how to beat the Penguins
so it is up to the Rangers to follow that blueprint. Get bodies in front of
Marc-Andre Fleury and you can score as seen not only by the Brassard/Pouliot
twin goals but Brad Richard’s goal in the first period.
If I am Coach Alain Vigneault then I would show the team the
video of those goals and ask how come they aren’t doing this on the power play?
That Brassard and Pouliot scored goals was not a surprise as they along with
Mats Zuccarello have been the only Rangers who have attacked the net all season
The 4th line of Boyle, Moore and Carcillo also
attack the net but they haven’t been as good at finishing plays as the 2nd line has been. If the Rangers could ever get the Nash line to do this on a more
consistent basis then writers like myself would not be able to put out that
Nash in 24 post season games has all of 2 goals.
But the Rangers won and they should have won this game in
regulation if the officials had done their job correctly. The Penguin’s 2nd goal should have been disallowed if not for goalie interference then slashing
Henrik Lundqvist should have been the call.
And just wondering didn’t the NHL put in a rule outlawing
someone facing the goalie and waving his stick? Think it is called the “Sean
Avery” rule but the sad reality is there are 2 sets of rules; one for the
Penguins and one for the other 29 teams.
And while it wasn’t a perfect game there were some positives
to build on starting with a penalty kill that killed off 4 Penguin power plays,
that the Rangers were only called for 4 minors while playing under Penguin NHL
rules is also a positive and a great job on the giveaways with only 4 for the
They even had a good job on faceoffs which especially in the
2nd period saved the Rangers as only Derek Brassard was under 500
for his faceoffs and he was 9-10 while the other 3 Ranger centers were 500 or better
at 26-22. Like I said there were a lot of positives to take away from game 1
but none this will matter if the Rangers don’t follow this up with a strong
solid effort in game 2 on Sunday.
I honestly believe if the Rangers can get to Fleury early in
game 2 and stay on him that they will force Pittsburgh Coach Dan Blysma to make
a change in goal. Those Pittsburgh fans as one could tell was not happy with
their team’s effort in the first period which also helps the Rangers.
Even better is that if the Rangers can come out of
Pittsburgh up 2-0 in the series then it would be a huge difference maker on
Monday night back in New York City. But it is going to require the Rangers to
break that 12 game losing streak.
It can be done if the 18 skaters and 1 goalie all show up
ready to play.