From high above the Igloo, Game 1

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UPDATE, 10:03 p.m.: Quickly, before I write: One, most of the Rangers didn’t want to talk about the interference call on Martin Straka. Jaromir Jagr and Scott Gomez said they didn’t see it, and Straka didn’t want to talk about it. The one exception was Brendan Shanahan. “Weak call,” he said.

More on this in a bit…

UPDATE, second intermission: Well, one way to look at is this. The Rangers didn’t lose any ground during the second period. And I’ll even go so far to say they collected themselves well after the Penguins’ second goal.

That, of course, is an exceedingly rose-colored assessment of what happened, because the other side to consider is this place was dead about 20 minutes ago and now it’s hopping. And here I was thinking the third period might be fairly uneventful.

If you’re interested, I’ll be on with Dave Maloney in a few minutes.

UPDATE, 8:35 pm. The series’ first example of a possible Crosby Factor. Brandon Dubinsky gets called for tripping No. 87, even though replays don’t show much in the way of an infraction.

UPDATE, 8:24 p.m.: And to think, this place was dead silent just minutes ago. Two goals in 13 seconds — in large part because of lapses by Michal Rozsival and Christian Backman, respectively — has the Penguins to within one.

UPDATE, 8:10 p.m.: Where have you gone, Ty Conklin? Rangers 3, Pens 0. The fact that it was Sean Avery who just toasted Marc-Andre Fleury probably doesn’t bother Pittsburgh at all. Really.

UPDATE, 8:06 p.m.: A Marc Staal slap shot, a Chris Drury deflection past Marc-Andre Fleury and…..a prolonged review. Was Drury’s stick up? Not enough to overturn the call on the ice. Rangers 2, Pittsburgh 0. Wow.

UPDATE, 7:49 p.m.: Expect a scoring change on the first goal. It looks like Dubinsky never touched the puck and it caromed in off Gonchar, meaning the goal will be credited to Straka.

UPDATE, first intermission: Rangers 1, Penguins 0. As ugly a period as that might have been for the Rangers, the Penguins obviously weren’t much better. They couldn’t do anything with their two power plays, or muster much when Sean Avery was force feeding the puck to their points.

Let’s call the layoff factor a wash for both teams. I would imagine the second period will be better. Otherwise I’m going to ask for my money back (never mind that I get in for free).

UPDATE, 7:32 p.m.: And just like that, the Rangers are ahead 1-0. Funny how that works. On the power play, Brandon Dubinsky appears to get a piece of the pass from Martin Straka. Needless to say, a huge break for a team that hardly enjoy an inspired start.

UPDATE, 7:19 p.m.: Something tells me we’re not in Greenburgh anymore. The Rangers look like they’re still on their between-series hiatus, and just now got called for their second penalty when Christian Backman interfered with Jordan Staal.

UPDATE, 7:10 p.m.: First 23 seconds, Jaromir Jagr touches the puck, gets booed, then gets whistled for cross-checking Sergei Gonchar in the offensive zone. Not exactly the composed start the Rangers were looking for.

UPDATE, 6:58 p.m.: Tom Renney is throwing his top line headfirst into the fire. The line of Martin Straka, Brandon Dubinsky, and Jaromir Jagr starts out with Michal Rozsival and Marc Staal at defense. Sid the Kid, Marian Hossa, and Pascal Dupuis start out for the Pens, with Sergei Gonchar and Brooks Orpik at defense.

UPDATE, 6:48 p.m.: Another round, another attempt at a live blog.

There were no incidents to speak of in warm-ups, and by that I mean the taco/fajita dinner is still with me. As far as the players, they seem fine, too.

Here’s a picture to capture the spirit.

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231 Comments

  1. I think we might be the greatest group of online commenting ranger fans, hooray us!!

  2. does anybody else agree that its rigged now?

    dubi goes down twice and the first time a ranger touches a pen its a penalty come on

  3. I said it leading up to this game, if the Rangers find themselves in the box, they will lose this series quickly.

    I really hope they can turn it around.

  4. did we really just say this crosby getting averys stick to the face was on purpose? excuse my language but come the fuck on. i could call this game and scream when ever a ranger does something good and seem less bias to one team

  5. It took half the period for the rangers to find there legs but i thought after the first half of the first period the rangers looked better.

  6. “did we really just say this crosby getting averys stick to the face was on purpose? ”

    I thought that was pretty unprofessional as well. Forget bias, there was nothing there that made it look remotely intentional.

  7. omg how can you say the penniguins are rusted they dominated the first 10 mins come on!

    that was my 23525th come on in under 50 mins

  8. Couple comments: the commentators are AWFUL, 90% of their comments about the Rangers are retarded. They acted like they played their best period of the season. The woman is the best so far, her question to Straka about getting momentum from PK was actually fairly observant (atleast by standards of these commentators).

    Personally, the first half of the period was horrendous and I could not be happier with a 1-0, I think I would have been ok with being down 1-0.

    Also, Avery isnt playing a good game. He had a couple awful turnovers and some really lackluster play.

    God was I excited for that goal though. LGR!!!

  9. And I think that stick to the face could have gone either way I would have to watch it a couple more times to be sure. If it was lower level hockey I would say no way but really guys like Avery have alot more stick control and awareness to not make that play atleast semi-consciously.

  10. “Also, Avery isnt playing a good game. He had a couple awful turnovers and some really lackluster play.”

    I agree. He isn’t talking either, and without that, he’s pretty useless.

  11. Fred, it doesn’t matter if Avery did it on purpose or not,
    The point and angst is that fact that the Stupid Freakin Commentator actually suggested it on National TV…
    Come on! Give me a break!
    very unprofessional for that schmuck to do that.

  12. i may be reaching for something else to complain about right now but these commercials on vs are awful too

  13. the broadcast is horrible i agree… they have shown 1 penalty the sykora hook… not Whitney’s high stick or Backman’s interference. No they would rather show Avery high stick Crosby(which i enjoyed very much lol) but i think VS is the worst to watch

  14. I won’t blame Rozsi for the deflection, but I will blame him for the weak clear that led to the whole play.

    And the Dupuis goal is 100% Dubinsky’s fault. Just blew his coverage.

  15. if they say villans one more time…

    to play the role of mel gibson in conspiracy theory for a moment does anyone else find it funny how they were talking about a 3 goal come back then it happened?

  16. “bourret better be WELL worth it after the ranger killer dupuis became”

    I’ve noticed that too. I told my friend that Dupuis would score today. He sent me a text afterwards calling me a dick.

  17. omg cindy fell down we have to call a penalty…. god forbid he gets hurt again… this league is horrible

  18. once again the rangers own a 1 goal lead going into the third
    lets hope shanny finds the words he did in game 5 vs the devils

  19. dear andy pettite everyone knew that pitch was coming *hangs head* is it the third period yet?

  20. Ants? Jagrs pad has ants, WHAT THE F%$& DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING?
    this is absolutely embarrassing for VS and the NHL. Between the refs and the announcers I think I’m gonna be sick.

  21. The next goal is huge. Which ever team scores the next goal will probably win the game. I saw Straka get hooked when turning with the puck towards fluery, no call, gomez gets trip going for the puck behind fluery, no call, crosby falls down, trip. This is what worries me in this series, the refs, not the penguins.

  22. onecupin67years on

    The rangers never have an easy time in the playoffs. They get all ,ok almost all the calls against them.Trip on Crosby?
    The nhl would love to have the Pens advance ,the nhl posters boys crosby and malkin ..

  23. stall i started yelling when they were talking about ants I’m muting my tv and putting the radio on

  24. Wow, that Crosby “trip” was just unbefrigginglievable. I screamed when I saw that, at least as softly as I could so as not to wake up the baby.

  25. Dr. Ogrodnick bows to Leetch on

    I love how the Versus announcers after seeing the replay on the Crosby non penalty come up with “well, the intent was to trip him”. like that has anything to do with what happened.

  26. yeah rasputin,

    just watched the “trip” again…wow i really thought the ref was calling a dive. the ref has no reason to make that call he was looking at the play the entire way…skate was nowhere near the puck that dubi hit…nhl should be ashamed

  27. I love the graphics that block the game, those are my favorite… Even more than the uncalled hooks when Jagr has the puck

  28. Tyutin got how much per year? What a waste. He has dropped below Backman on the depth chart as far as I’m concerned

  29. Dr. Ogrodnick bows to Leetch on

    booooooooooo.

    About the worst way to start the series. Way to give the pens a ton of confidence. Hope you enjoyed your mini vacation in the middle of the second, Roszi and Backman.

  30. the rangers are gonna set a record for most goals scored on themesleves in one playoff year

  31. Yo, guys, clean it up.

    And I couldn’t agree more about the amateur play-by-play on versus. Everything’s a tally, a helper, a stanza or a frame. This guy has every cliche in the book, and not a clue.

  32. Before the season started when the rangers signed Gomez and drury, the hockey experts said the rangers had a shot to go to the cup but what could stop them from doing so was there blue line. Tonight has shown it’s ugly head. sather, are you listening, you need to build a stronger blue line in the off season.

  33. No holding on the guy who took down avery huh, I think we are all gluttons for punishment. This is rough, I need an Avery play to calm the nerves

  34. Does anyone want to eat at Fridays after seeing that fat backstreet boy eating there?

  35. Straka gets tripped no call. Gomez great defensive play and they call a penalty on straka????? Unbelievable. Oh wait, it was on crosby, he “Embellished” he didn’t dive but that’s okay.

  36. Ah I see, I guess I’m too busy watching the Rangers to catch the food network!

  37. I do hate the NHL. It’s too bad we have no choice. It’s awful. Embarrassing. I also wish I could mute the refs and listen to the sounds of the game.

  38. This is looking suspiciously like the NBA. A young referree at home calls something pivotal in favor of the home team, and then…

  39. Dr. Ogrodnick bows to Leetch on

    So the Penguins are allowed to tackle, trip, and hold all third period yet Crosby skate into Jagr and draws the only call of the period. The NHL is a complete joke. Professional wrestling is less fake.

  40. Whatever. Bad calls, diving, whatever. Rangers just blew a 3-0 lead like it was nothing. That’s way more concerning to me. Looks like our inexperienced and soft D has cost us a game here.

  41. Like I said, it isn’t the pens that I am worry about it’s the refs and my fears came true. Bettman and his dummy refs are a joke just like this league.

  42. “Whatever. Bad calls, diving, whatever. Rangers just blew a 3-0 lead like it was nothing. That’s way more concerning to me. Looks like our inexperienced and soft D has cost us a game here.”

    Can’t argue with that.

  43. what a fucking JOKE..

    the first penalty on Dubi for the trip of Crosby was BHullshit and the interferenc was a friggin joke.

    does anyone have the nerve to ask what the fuck is going on..

    That was a friggIN JOKE…

    THAT IS A DISGRACE.. Sam do not rationalize this. You saw it with your own eyes were either Crosby calls penalties????????????????

    NO FRIGGIN WAY.

  44. im actually sick and VS. show a fucking replay…stop it already i cant deal with your bias bs

  45. I can’t believe they called that interference when Crosby clearly helped that one out. But at the same time, we gave up a 3-0 lead because we packed it in in the 2nd period. You can’t do that if you want to win in the playoffs.

  46. Come on. The Rangers simply suck in the minute after letting up a goal. They have all season long. That was frigging terrible. They lost it. Pathetic. God, what an awful loss.

    Come on, Rangers! Rebound Sunday!

  47. WHY DOESN’T VERSUS JUST SUCK HIS D-CK.

    what a friggin joke, tough questions for him…

    DISGRACE………

  48. Though honestly, should be even be amazed at the wall the game is called?

    For how long has the officiating just been plain BAD in the NHL?

  49. Hockeyman Rangers #2 on

    Relax crew this is one game, we really outplayed them the just got some lucky breaks. Relax as you know this series is not any where near over.

  50. Sean Avery's pink panties on

    Talk about whiners! You Ranger fans don’t win a game and all you do is WHINE!!!
    PS The King is dead!!

  51. at this point why play the rest of the playoffs…just give the Cup to that diving piece of shit now…

  52. “Relax crew this is one game, we really outplayed them the just got some lucky breaks. Relax as you know this series is not any where near over.”

    In the 1st half. In the 2nd half they owned us.

  53. And seriously guys, lets stop whining about the loss. If we actually keep playing our game and slowing down the pace to take the speed and the crowd out of it, even when we have a 3-0 lead, Crosby is never even in that position. We didn’t deserve the W with that 2nd half performance.

  54. I give up-the call against Straka wasn’t even shown on replay on Versucks it was so bad. Why didn’t Tom renney pull a Bobby Knightat this point. Straka gets tripped in corner and no call and then he gets an interference call and he wasn’t even involved in the play.

    The refs won this game.

  55. onecupin67years on

    Ranger D was awful, Refs and NHL got what they wanted,Straka
    nhl most wanted

  56. The refs definitely jobbed the HYR, but it’s a 3-0 game with 32 minutes to play. You have to close that deal in the playoffs every single time — and if you don’t, it’s your fault.

    Having said that, the Flyers got their hearts ripped out in Game 1 against Washington and still won the series. So no need to rush out for razor blades….yet.

  57. UpstateRanger on

    From the glass half full department: We had these clowns on the ropes and gave it away. Anger should be the prevailing mood with NYR right now. This is not over by a long shot.
    L-G-R.

  58. some tough calls by the refs but you can’t blow a 3-0 lead. we made some mistakes and the pens capitalized. On the bright side I think our best game (sound defense and crashing the net) will win in a seven game series against the pens weaker defense. Defense wins championships.
    also- who comes onto a rangers beat writer blog to make fun of ranger fans? get a life. The king was way sharper than fluery tonight.

  59. dave if you and panties up there can’t see how lopsided the officiating was…your a stupid schmuck!
    If I was a Pens fan I’d know the game was handed to my team…

  60. Mark,
    The announcers don’t know who Dawes is, the only players they knew were Cindy and Milkdud..

  61. I hear so much “Wah” and not enough “what the hell happened?”

    No matter what people say, everyone is still gonna point the blame in the wrong direction, at the refs for making that last call. The right place might start with the defense and the forwards just shutting it down and leaving Henke out to dry.

  62. And another thing, its 1 game. Remember what happened after we blew that Montreal game. They will be ready on sunday.

  63. First, Dave, never speak again.

    Second, chin up boys. Several things one can point to in that game and we beat ourselves as much as anything. It’s 1-0, that’s all. Time to head out and take one back.

    Nothing more.

    Also, one contrast here: Boo Jagr when he returns in a Rangers jersey, standing O for Messier when he returned as a Canuck…never forget who brought you there. Puck the Fenguins.

  64. Honestly? I’m a BIG Ranger fan and I feel terrible now but Rangers were asking for this all game long. Pens actually were BETTER team with great (hard to say) crowd behind them. We could won but Rangers made some terrific defensive mistakes. Even GREAT Gomez couldn’t pull this out. They had some breaks with lucky bounces off legs/skates etc. But it’s HOCKEY! HOCKEY! HOCKEY! Let me ask you all – How can you lose 5-0 game (Montreal)? So if you lost that one you can easily do 3-0 game. Don’t worry. If Renney is the man we’ll win Sunday because Fleury looks shaky as hell. Shit, Rangers kill me…

  65. The game shouldn’t have reached the point where the refs could’ve stuck it to us the way they did.

    Pittsburgh was the better team for most of the game.

  66. Ha ha true blue
    Rangers weren’t blown out most of the scoring was in a minute. we had chances. Come back strong in game two and get the split

  67. Thank you Doodie for making an intelligent comment about the game. I still feel like a lot of people are going to come on here and keep the “OMGZ THE REFZ BLUE THE GAME” trend going though.

  68. I still feel we are the better team, and can win this series. The defense needs to be better. I said it a few days ago. I don’t think the Pens are winning one game at MSG. We just need to find a way to steal one in Pittsburgh.

  69. This was the exact type of game that Renney didn’t want the Rangers to get in to with the pengiuns….a run and gun, very little defense, wild game. The rangers defense made too many errors. At times, the forwards failed to backcheck. This is what will happen if you play that type of game vs the penguins…a 5-4 loss. Renney can’t be happy right now.

  70. Straka call was legit. Versus did a horrible job of showing it, but he was definitely interfering. Some of the other calls were totally bogus though.

  71. Versus is terrible. Put the game on MSG so we can get some real announcers. Posers!
    The refs were garbage!
    Whats with that Ruutu guy. Someone on the Rangers has to lay him out.
    The Rangers will be back for game 2. No doubt.
    BELIEVE!!!

  72. Who Needs Lohan on

    Rangers D is soft. How many pucks can go in on soft angles and off skates??? Ref has no business making an away from the play interferenca call late in the third guys! Cindy DSL Pu$$t lips dove twice. I honestly can say that if given the chance I would possibly try to injure him.

  73. “This was the exact type of game that Renney didn’t want the Rangers to get in to with the pengiuns….a run and gun, very little defense, wild game. The rangers defense made too many errors. At times, the forwards failed to backcheck. This is what will happen if you play that type of game vs the penguins…a 5-4 loss. Renney can’t be happy right now.”

    spot on

  74. I dunno I haven’t seen a replay of the Straka call that looks good.

    We can’t sit back on three goals gotta keep trying to score!

  75. Bad second half? Come on, if Hank hadn’t been amazing in the beginning they would have been f’ed. They were giving the puck away like mad in the first period and didn’t clear a ton.

    The Rangers lost and it wasn’t officiating that made that happen.

    Hopefully they get motivated and get even and then go into high gear.

    Look alive, Hank. You do let up goals, including a lot of unlucky ones — it’s cool, it’s the game. Don’t let it shake you.

    Let’s Go Rangers!

  76. Let the NY whining begin :-)
    Oh, and Cindy Crosby is just about as lame a name as Jaromir Jagirl.

  77. Gomez was second star of game? What game these idiots watching? Were was Jags? set up goofey Gomez on his only effort of game….
    As far as game goes; this is perfect example of this bend and dont break “team defense” that Renney plays…hey! works great against the mediocre teams in the east like Devils, Islanders, Flyers etc…but not against superior Offense like Pitt…looks like he still playing for tie game and shootout

  78. Please don’t blame it on refs. WE’ve blown 3-0 lead. Peroid. I’ll not stand anymore “Montreal” blows.

  79. Also for those of you who scream re-sign Avery…his antics clearly gave us an advantage tonight…ok not. He had an OK game but as I predicted, all that crap he pulled in the 1st round and throughout the year won’t do anything in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. People don’t fall into that trap this late in the year. The cup means too much to them. Its not a shot at him since I think Avery is awesome, but just a point I thought I’d bring up.

  80. not the refs fault….agreed. Lose 3-0 lead? throw maybe 3 checks all game? c’mon we’re smarter than that aren’t we?….Aren’t we?

  81. No way this team is gonna quit or let up. We need a split. Let’s get Game 2 and its back to MSG.

  82. Jorek

    yeh, pissed is a better word. the dreaded 3 goal lead. hopefully renney gives the team an earful.

  83. I read all the comments about VS announcing….Hey! I watched on HNIC oh man do they hate Avery and love the Pennies!!! Only PJ Stock brings any objectiveness to broadcast ( and he’s a F%^$ing nut!)after the Drury goal they actually said “no way the refs can call that a goal” pathetic…..

  84. Dr. Ogrodnick bows to Leetch on

    Orr gets tripped in the 3rd, versus announcer says; “he must have stepped on the puck”

    Replay clearly shows no trip whatsoever on the penalty call on Dubi late in the second, versus announcer defends the call by saying “well, he intended to trip him”

    Come on, this is the national broadcast. And the NHL wonders why its the perpetual joke of the sporting world.

  85. Who Needs Lohan on

    Yeah, when the NYR went up 3-0 did anyone here think for a second, “yes, this one is in the books”! Not a chance. You all, just like me, knew that a tie game or worse at some point was inevitable. There was no question in my mind (and yours) that they would come back. Why is that? For such a great defensive team that I hear about, 3 goal leads dissipate about as fast as you can say “Crosby goes down”

  86. Who Needs Lohan- I think it has been like that since last year. Remember how many 2 goal leads would be blown last year.

  87. Who Needs Lohan on

    Yes I do remember. And they continue now. I actually dread us going up by 2 or 3 or 5 for that matter. Especially on the road. Its just inevitable!

  88. Bettman, Campbell and Wolkham and the new NHL can rot. Maybe the hockey Gods will stricken Crosby with a yeast infection in that bush he has inbetween his legs. Diving pussy.

  89. every game this series is going to be like this one with the outcome be different but they will all be high scoring games I dont think any of us questioned before this series if the rangers were going to have trouble scoring. They just need the D to show up next game. The refs suck and it shouldn’t be a suprise everyone knew they were going to make shitty calls. But like doodie said should have never got to that. Goodnight guys I’m misreable

  90. Kaspar has it right. the ridiculous Renney defensive sag causes a lot of the goals off rangers into their own net. when you pack 5 guys in front all the time, a few pucks now and then are going to bounce in off ranger skates.

    it is effective against weaker off. teams, but not high powered O teams.

  91. I think Crosby can qualyify for the 08′ Olympics in China for those dives. Imagine him on the high dive…. he would swipe the competiton! — What a joke. It can’t be that easy to push a 6’ft 200lbs guy down on the ice. The refs protect him like he’s their own child or something.

  92. The call on Straka at the end of the game was a garbage call. I watched the play frame-by-frame on directv DVR about 15x…Straka’s stick started to come up parallel to Crosby’s hands, and Crosby embellished it by diving to the ice without any real contact.

    So far argument sake, the Refs wanna call 2 min for interference on Straka, then you better bet your bean bag that he has to call Crosby for the dive.

    Yes, it was disgraceful and it contributed to the outcome of this game which was exciting to till this bullshit occured.

    Rangers must pick up the pieces and be ready for Game 2 on Sunday afternoon.

  93. When we went up 3-0 my wife asked me if I wanted to go out and catch a movie because this one was in the bag. I looked at her and said, “You silly moron, I would not be surprised if we blow this one.” I could not have been more right. Folks, I will agree that Crosby dove twice and the refs bought it twice. But you do not blow a 3 goal lead.

    With that being said I am going to say this. We have done things like this in the past and bounced right back the next game and made up for it. I fully believe that not only will we win the next game, but we will win the next 3 games. Yeah, we gave up 5 goals, but we also scored 4.

    I will guarantee you that the Penguins are definitely worried even though they won. They expect that if they are going to play run and gun that they are going to blow any team out of the water, and they didn’t. I am not suggesting that we do play run and gun, because I don’t think we can beat them in a series that way. But what I am getting at is the fact that they know damn well that we are going to play better defensively and Hank is going to have a much better game 2. But you know that it is in their heads that we scored 4 goals on them. Fleury looked very shaky. Our vets and coaching staff will know how to handle this. The team will respond and win the next game. If Renney is thinking about tinkering with the D and sitting someone, I am all for Tyutin sitting. I don’t know what the hell happened with him. He looked awful in this game, and didn’t play too well in the first series either.

    And lastly, Game 1 is all that it is, Game 1. I do not believe that the winner of this game will win the series. The last time the Rangers went to the conference finals they lost the first game of both the first two series to only go on and sweep the rest of the way. The year we won the cup we lost the first game of both the last two series and well, the rest is history. Chins up ranger fans, we are going to be ok here. The rust has shaken off and lessons were learned. It wasn’t a blowout and we easily could have won this game. Trust the old Nasty 1 here.

  94. the same Ranger turnovers that did not end up in the net vs the weak popgun Devils offense, ended up in the net with the way better Pens offense.

  95. I heard Jags say he didn’t want to talk about it, then say “I expected a call like that” when asked about the interference on Sid.

    As much as people wanna rag on the man, he’s played with heart the last few months. I was one of the people who hated him wearing the “C” when he didn’t go all out in the regular season the last few years. But he’s earned it. He know’s this is his best shot left to win another cup. I have become a big time Jagr fan through the second half of this season.

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