Sorry if the Rangers winning ruined your day NOT
The haters are going to say that the Rangers have not won a thing even after their 4-2 over the New Jersey Devils earned them the President’s Trophy for the best regular season record in the NHL. They will trash the team that earned the best record in the Eastern Conference despite losing their franchise goalie for a good portion of the second half and playing an untested backup goalie.
It is as traditional as the crappy “1940” chants Ranger fans had to endure but even if the Rangers this June hoist the Stanley Cup that there will be those who will look for reasons to hate. Such is the way things are for the New York Rangers and her fans.
Let them hate, let them boo and let them talk all they desire because in the end as much as people want to hate, when you win it does the most to shut their mouths up.
You would have thought that a team with as much pride (or thought they had) as the Devils would have fought tooth and nail to prevent the Rangers from clinching all that they did on their ice. From the opening faceoff the Devils were looking to cheap shot the Rangers every chance they could.
The Rangers could have blown this game out early had their finished their chances and Corey Schneider had not busted his tail trying to keep his team in a game his teammates didn’t care about the outcome. The Rangers failed to capitalize on an early “5 on 3” but the tone of the game was set as the Rangers took the game to the Devils and dominated the first period.
The main reason the Rangers were not scoring was the play of Schneider but in some ways the Ranger trying to be too pretty with their passing games looking to make the perfect play. It could have cost them this game had the Devils not been too interested in playing like they were in the movie “Slapshot”.
Yet it is ironic that while the pretty plays failed, it was a busted one that led to the first goal of the game. Kevin Hayes was beaten on a faceoff but his linemates outworked the Devils behind their net and a loose puck found its way to the stick of Hayes in front of the net who just lifted the puck over a surprised Schneider to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead at 13:45.
The goal came on the Rangers 11th shot of the period and they were not done. The Devils took a hooking minor and the Rangers needed just seven seconds to make it a 2-0 game. Ryan McDonagh fired a shot from the point and Rick Nash with a perfect screen kept Schneider from being able to do anything about the shot.
The goal at 14:32 gave the Rangers two goals in just 47 seconds but the Devils would get one back when they scored a power play goal of their own at 17:43. Tanner Glass took a penalty that cost the Rangers when Patrick Elias found some space close to the Ranger goal and beat Cam Talbot.
The Devils almost tied the game when Jacob Joesefson was all alone in front of Cam Talbot who made the save and sent the Rangers into the first intermission up 2-1. The Rangers with an insane 19-4 edge in shots as the Devils Corey Schneider was the story in the first period.
The second period saw the Devils come out looking to play hockey a little bit more and cheap shot a little less as they took the play to the Rangers. The Devils though for whatever reason wanted to cheap shot and fight more than they did play and soon were back at their antics. The Rangers would gain a power play on a weak call (compared to some of the stuff not getting called) but fail to take advantage of the opportunity. The Rangers not scoring on their power plays are allowing the Devils the excuse to keep playing like they were.
Why the referees are not calling more is almost as bad as the antics the Devils are pulling. Jordin Tootoo was clearly going headhunting when he takes a run at Matt Hunwick over a hit earlier in the period and nothing is called. The referees go over to talk to the Devils bench as if that is going to change things.
You would have thought the Devils would have played hard to prevent the Rangers from winning the President’s Trophy on their ice. The referee’s stern talking to had some effect on the Devils in the third period as they came out playing hockey, generating scoring chances but Talbot was up to the task and the Rangers finally score again when James Sheppard deflects a Dom Moore shot past Schneider to make it 3-1.
The fourth line scores for the fourth straight game but hold off the celebrating as the Devils come right back and score to make it a 3-2 game. The Rangers Derek Brassard knocked the puck into his own net but he was not to blame as the Rangers broke down defensively and the Devils took advantage.
In the end it was still not enough as for the first time since the Rangers hoisted the Cup in 1994, the Rangers clinch the President’s Trophy when Carl Hagelin knocks one into the empty net for a 4-2 lead.
It is fitting that Cam Talbot was in goal for this win as the Rangers never would have been in this position after Lundqvist was hurt if Talbot had not played as well as he did. It is nice to know that if something were to happen in the playoffs to Lundqvist then Talbot would be up to the task.
Let the haters hate because today the Rangers stand at the top of the standings. Next week we will start counting down from sixteen and see where it takes the Rangers.