A missed opportunity, but the season ain’t over

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If you’re looking for a synopsis of this lost weekend, that would be it.

Yes, the Rangers can come back and win two at the Garden. They’ve beaten the Penguins in all four games there this season, and they staged the same type of comeback last year against Buffalo.

But that doesn’t change the fact that this team had a chance to steal at least one win here, and they didn’t. And as much as players said it wasn’t the case, I couldn’t help but feel that the events of Friday carried into today.

So now it’s backs-against-the-wall time, and while it wasn’t quite Mark Messier against the Devils, Henrik Lundqvist issued his own sort of guarantee today.

“It feels like the difference between these two teams is not that big. It could be one bounce that’s the difference,” he said. “We should go back to New York and put more pressure on them. I think they looked a little better than they are.  I know we can put more pressure on them. We’re going to do that in New York and we’re going to get the win.”

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76 Comments

  1. Way to go Hank. If only this team could score a goal or two for the kid.

    LET’S GO RANGERS!!!

  2. Yeah they keep us at the edge of our seats! Th series isn’t over and it ca easily turn in the Rangers favor. They have two days to go home and regroup, watch tape, talk about mistakes, and correct them. It should be interesting on Tuesday. I think the Rangers will play much better at home and carry that forward back to Pittsburgh.

    LGR!

  3. our backs are against the wall

    take it one shift at a time

    get pucks on net

    there’s no tomorrow (unless you’re orphan Annie)

    etc etc

  4. GoCaptClutch! on

    nice one Hank!

    down but not out! can’t wait for tuesday’s game–and its gonna be on msg. thank god cause this nbc/versus stuff is killing me!

  5. It ain’t over till it’s over…we’re going to see true desperation Tuesday night I think. I have faith!

  6. avery-dubinsky-jagr
    straka-gomez-prucha
    callahan-drury-dawes
    sjostrom-betts-shanny

  7. The vibe in this series can still change, and change decisively. Fleury is a big key. Today he kicked countless rebounds back into the slot, especially early on, many on shots that were not close to being dangerous.

    If the Rangers were down 2-0 to a team that had a proven, battle-tested playoff goalie, I would feel far less hopeful than I do right now.

    The fact is that the Penguins have won six straight games to start these playoffs. In other words, there has been no adversity beyond the three goal deficit they overcame very, very quickly on Friday. Things have been too jakey, and they know it cannot last. The Rangers’ biggest task is to maintain faith —- before this thing is over, if they believe, there will be many chances presented to switch the momentum and the direction of the series.

  8. i like those lines, time for renney to put the team before any individual player regardless of the name and put out the players most capable of performing and that means shanny should be 4th line and pk and maybe limited pp but even there he hasnt looked great

  9. Not even close to done. The Rangers can and still will do better. Fleury leaving HUGE rebounds everywhere high into the slot, whoever said that above was right. Just send one forward to crash the net (presumably the other one is shooting) and have the third guy trail in high. Cash in the bank. Defensively the Rangers were great today. They can still be better and they will. I’m expecting huge wins in the next 2 at the garden. And somehow this 2-0 hole doesn’t feel anywhere near as bad as the 2-0 hole to Buffalo last year.

    I still think the Rangers will win this series.

  10. Renney has a lot of defenders on this board, and it is time for him to show he is deserving. Moves he has to make

    1) Shanahan to fourth line now and stay there

    2) Take Tyutin off the PP forever and give the job to Staal

    3) Reflect humor and confidence about eventual victory in meetings with press. In order words, continue to show his usual grace but within same, not be afraid to tweak Therrien as Therrien has tweaked him. In other words, stop catching and start pitching.

    4) Bench Dawes, or light a fire under him that can be seen from Mars. There is no shoot-out in the playoffs.

    5) Use your last change at home to get the matchups you want, especially on defense. And for the last freaking time, Girardi and Tyutin are not Savard and Lapointe, okay? They are not very good. And they are dreadful when they don’t hit. So if they won’t take the body, dress Strudwick! what is there to lose?

  11. gotta love the guarantee. that crappy ice and the calls and early whistles r killing me!

  12. Fleury has not had to make a difficult save in 2 games. And, the chances we’ve gotten, we’ve scored. He’s highly unimpressive.

    Two thoughts:
    1. We need to get our edge back. We played uninspired today and still almost won. I’d argue we havent even played our best game of the playoffs yet. It’s one thing to play your best and get beat by a better team — a la Buff series last year — that has not been the case thus far, which for me is very encouraging. I’m still very confident in this team.

    2. This might seem trivial and miniscule but what is the point of having the “no change” icing rule if every time there is an icing in a key situation NBC has a 5 min. commercial break where the worn out line essentially gets to rest and regroup. Kinda renders the rule meaningless, no?

    BTW, I love Shanny and I love the kind of locker room leadership he brings to this team but he has not taken a meaningful shot since game 1 against the Devils. Playoff hockey may be too fast for him… which is depressing b/c he’s such a great team player. Maybe he’ll show up with a big goal on tuesday.

  13. Shanahan has got to be injured knee hip something! I admire trying to play through it but yeah fourth line would be good- less minutes will help him.
    I would leave Straka with Jagr and Dubinsky after all he is the only one who scored a goal today! (after the whistle but still it went in)

    Unless you think it will get Avery going?

  14. one thing they really need to work on is establishing themselves in front of the other net. rebound boy was coughing up huge ones as usual and there was noone there to pick them up. when the rangers had someone in front, he was almost always in an innefective position to shoot or deflect the puck on net. gotta give the pens credit they were really good defensively and took away the slot and room around the crease.

    also, this trap crap needs to go. it seems like they woke up after that first goal was scored, but i wanted that the entire game instead of playing tentatively for the entire first period. rangers had a great effort but couldn’t get good shots on net, capitalize on rebounds, or stay out of the box.

  15. “2. This might seem trivial and miniscule but what is the point of having the “no change” icing rule if every time there is an icing in a key situation NBC has a 5 min. commercial break where the worn out line essentially gets to rest and regroup. Kinda renders the rule meaningless, no?”

    my bro and i were talking about that. i wont mention this to pens fans but we were none too thrilled.

  16. I have wanted to see Staal on the power play for awhile now! He is young but I think it is certainly time to put him in the pp he has handled every other situation very well. His rookie moments are few and far between.

  17. Yeah I noticed that to a lot o icing canceled out by the tv timeouts. I dunno maybe they nedd to sell less commercials or put more on during the period breaks no one wants to listen to their commentary anyway!

  18. is it me or was Backman (who wasn’t the only one) just getting schooled–especially in the own zone.

    when staal coulnd’t clear the puck i said to myself ‘watch that lead to a freaking goal’ and it did. wah!

  19. Ok I’m sorry I knew he was killing penalties and he had a number of good blocked shots. The Rangers had six penalties 3 in the first 1 in the second and 2 in the third (it sure felt like more than that).

    Wow they just put up a stat Rangers won 37 faceoffs to Pittsburgh’s 20- that’s a positive.

  20. Ok I’m watching the west. The west is a lot tougher penalties don’t get called nearly as much. Why is that? Its the same refs so what gives?

  21. GoCaptClutch! on

    i want the HBO fourth line back, esp after that shit at the end with avery getting jumped.

    prucha was useless today (and im a fan) and sjostrom has been useless as well (dont know why he has so many supporters-is it cause hes scored one whole goal since hes been here?)

    my biggest concern is that avery has disappeared this series–and that a big problem. he needs to get his game face on and start involving himself. and he should absolutely have more PP time.

  22. Well of course Prucha is useless. How can a guy be effective when he played 5:50 today?

    The powerplay goes 0-7, and Prucha still can’t get a chance on the pp. God forbid Renney try and change the PP lines.

  23. Put Prucha back on the PP with Jagr in his rookie year didn’t he set or tie a rookie record for power play goals playing along side Jagr? It could work again!

  24. What about
    PP1= Prucha- Dubi- Jagr
    STraka- Staal

    PP2= Drury- Gomez- Callahan
    Mara- BAckman/Giradi

    I may have wings on the wrong side and I’m not sure about defenseman. I think Straka is pretty solid on defense which is why I feel comfortable with him back on the point and I think Staal should get a chance on the power play. Mara also has a good hard shot and I think so does Backman and Giradi but the both of them have been shaky.

  25. I’ll boo him from the bar! Anyone going to the game? Better yet anyone know of people who have tickets and would be willing to part with them for cost or just a little more? :-) Didn’t think so.

  26. I said it this afternoon i really dont think jagr looked like jagr today. I hope in wrong

  27. czechthemout!!!!! on

    some random thoughts about the game and some things I’d like to see:

    Shanny is a shadow of him self and is now playing hockey like a punch drunk boxer fights.He cannot get to the action fast enough and needs to be put on to the 4th line and pp unit.

    Straka for all his hustle is still not playing well ennough in my opinion and is looking mostly for Jagr to pass to.He almost never passes to Dubi when it is the right thing to do.It is time to move Avery back to that line and put Straka
    with Gomez.

    Rozi is playing like SHIT!!!!.He is far far from a 5million dollar player!

    Avery needs to stop worrying what the refs might do to him and play his game.The bias against him is remarkable.They said on t.v. that Avery initiated the scrum at the end of the game,I replayed that scrum 3 times and FAILED to see Avery do anything but respond ti Fluery jamming his stick between Avery’s legs.What is he supposed to do when he’s hit in the balls,nothing?

    Hank was great today.

    I think it might be wise to give Byers a shot on the fourth line and the pp.Put him in front of the net and let him make Fluery crazy!

    Finally,it is a shame that we blew the first game.But as Al Trautwig said,”Tom Renney chose to sit on a three goal lead earley in the game and blew it”As I’ve always said,Renney is a nice guy but cannot coach well enough to get us to the next level.He can’t make ingame adjustments needed to change the course of a game.Terrion changed many things that the Pens did wrong on friday and was able to shut down the Rangers tonight.He has a much more talanted team than Brent Sutter has.If Sutter had the horses to work with that Terrion or Renney does than we would have already been playing golf.I know that I’m going to catch some flak from some of the polyanna posters who post here and on BB like Stuart the schmuck from L.A. but the these are the facts.REnney has now been out coached in two straight games and most likely we will wind up falling in 5 games in this series.Changes need to be made starting behind the bench and on the roster.This team is too small and to soft to compete with the better teams in this league.The Devils series was and abberration.

  28. Where is Beer Me? Huddling with Renney, devising the game plan for Tuesday?

    Doodie? Your performance at the end of the game today still nauseates me 5+ hours later.

  29. Pollyanna Posters? why cause we still think the Rangers can win the series. The are going home to the Garden we know the Rangers play well at home and if they win the two games they are right back in it. Just gotta go game by game.

  30. Jorek

    Well said, and ironically enough a far more realistic point of view than the weak-kneed defeatists who threw in the towel today.

    Rangers in 7. Believe it.

  31. OtherOne81,
    What a great point about the icings and TV timeouts. If the league had any smarts or guts, it would tell its TV partners: No commercials after icings. Wait for another type of stoppage: penalty, goal, offside, puck in crowd, goalie cover, whatever. Just no commercials after icings. Simple, right?
    NBC is just an extension of Versus, which means just as bad. Gotta tell you, though, the MSG postgame crowd isn’t exactly doing itself proud making every possible excuse for the Rangers. The refs, the (correctly) disallowed goal, the layoff. Please. They blew Game 1 and were outplayed in Game 2.
    But I digress.
    Remember this, a lesson learned from guys like six-time champ Kevin Lowe: There is no such thing as momentum in a playoff series. Today’s game means nothing Tuesday, and Tuesday’s game means nothing Thursday. That’s a fact.

  32. Guys a lot of negativity here. Remember last year when we fell to Buff 2-0 and a lot of you threw in the towel only to get stuffed with your crap attitude when it was 2-2 after MSG. Lots of game left. Last time I checked it was best of 7.

    That being said, it is intersting to see who disappears from series to series. Last season we were all flying against the Thrashers and then against the Sabres a lot of the team disappeared. This season we blew through the Devs and nearly everyone looked great.

    This series so far is no different. Avery scored a goal Friday but that as a weak one let in by Fleury. Avery has yet to do much. Dawes is invisible. Shanny too. The 4th line continues to disappoint. A few D men are just not good so far, making bad mistakes.

    But I still have faith. Doodie I can’t believe you. You suck. Go away. We don’t need your fairweatherness here. You are no longer Doodie to me, you are Shi**y. So if I refer to you again it’s Shi**y Machetto, nothing else.

    In any case, I will be there Tuesday night screaming my lungs out. We need to play one shift at a time, no more, no less. And, NO MORE PENALTIES unless it’s like Betts’ which saved a goal.

    I will say, Jags gets manhandled like every shift, no call. Someone farts in Crosby’s direction and it’s an interference call. That is bogus.

    We need a better effort crashing the net and in general with ballsiness. I need to see Cally, Dubi, Drury, Avery, Betts hitting people with wild abandon.

    Still have the faith. LGR!

  33. czechthemout!!!!! on

    Bathgate-

    I stil hope to see a turnaround but we went throught this before last year with the Sabers.

  34. 1. Whoever said on the last thread that Pitt is much better than last year’s Buffalo team, you’re wrong. And this Ranger team is much better. I don’t feel like this series will be over quickly the way I did last year.

    2. The problem is that right now they’re not peaking and in fact, really haven’t peaked all year. The first half of game one was a continuation of the Devils series – withstanding stretches of the other team carrying the play and counterpunching quickly. When Pitt not only came back but twice scored 2 goals in 20 second spans – largely because Renney didn’t bother to change the lines after a goal – that knocked the Rangers’ confidence down about 10 notches. So now they’re playing way too conservatively offensively because they’re completely terrified of Pittsburgh’s ability to strike.

    3. At the risk of being the master of the obvious, if they don’t manage to come out and re-assert themselves and gain more confidence offensively in game 3 this will be over in 4 or 5. If they do and manage a solid win, it’s going 6 or 7 at least.

  35. Amazing to an old fart like me that I am about to write the following sentence, given the long history of MSG’s aversion to providing their team the best surface money can buy. But the superior ice surface at the Garden, so different from the slush at the Igloo, will help the Rangers on Tuesday.

  36. Carp- I agree with you on MSG, but really only on “The Maven” He killed the refs on Friday night so bad it was unprofessioanl to be on tv and act that way.

    I think Bathgate is doing a good job since he is not on tv always, and Butch Goring is an Islander I don’t need him there.

  37. I agree on the icing.

    I always thought complaining about refs and stuff that was for the fans. I don’t want to hear a coach or the team and yeah announcers. They are the ones with the ‘hockey knowledge’ not that fans aren’t knowledgeable but we don’t have to be professional they do. It is after all their profession.

    I don’t want Renney screaming and throwing fits like Sutter did. Thats for us . . the fans to do. IMO.

    LGR!

  38. Carp

    Come on, get real. Everyone knows that TV timeouts occur after the 6:01, the 10:01, and the 14:01 marks of a period. If a team is lucky or wise or whatever adjective you wanna employ to use that knowledge to their advantage and ice the puck at those times —- which of course in the real world doesn’t happen —- so be it.

    What a ludicrous bone to pick among the thousand that are already out there.

  39. Ok I haven’t been posting often here 9really only the last week or so) but Doodie is a regular here and I think he deserves a little more respect then he is getting. He got upset it happens. He got mad and voiced his opinion he shouldn’t be trampled for that.

    I’m looking for a decisive win on Tuesday by 2-3 goals.

  40. Wow um Bathgate actually I didn’t know when the tv timeouts occurred since, whoops. Didn’t realize it was common knowledge.

  41. czech

    ….though as you can probably deduce, I am not as pessimistic as you about the chance to salvage the series. But your assessment of Renney’s limitations is spot on. Again, he’s not a dead-to-rights anchor around the neck, because adjustments can always be made by the most unlikely people, and Renney though afflicted with a terrible case of needing-to-be-liked-and-admired syndrome is not a stupid man. But sadly enough, until his will to win trumps his desire to ride the white horse at all times —- not sitting Shanahan for example, to choose one of a million —- an anchor around the neck he will probably be.

  42. That Was A Goal. You don’t blow a whistle when the puck is crossing the line. We tied the game. Worst officiating ever. Rangers didn’t play well, but teams that don’t play well have been known to win in OT. BAD CALL on the part of the officials, and of course, great joy to the Nothing But Crosby network; they nearly wet their pants every time he touched the puck.

  43. Dr. Ogrodnick bows to Leetch on

    Yep. Puck was never covered, and it looked like the ref should have seen that almost immediately from where he was standing too.

    Makes you wonder how quick the whistle would have been had it been Crosby in front of Lundqvist.

    It makes me sick to my stomach watching the Versus/NBC announcers trip over themselves to try and prove how Crosby doesn’t dive. Really strange, considering all of those ex players played in an era when Crosby’s own teammates would have taken him out back and beaten him for those antics. Can anyone say NHL directive?

    Why does the sport I love do everything in its power to make me not want to watch anymore?

  44. Im going to the doctor tomorrow…. perhaps there is a prescription drug out there for Rangeritis

  45. here’s my thoughts after todays loss:

    shannahan has to be moved to the 4th line. he has been absolutely invisible and a shadow of his former self.

    avery was a ghost today. he has to be a factor throughout the rest of this series. when he’s hitting people, the pens are talking about it. he becomes an issue and a factor in the game.

    if prucha is in the line up he needs to see some powerplay time. maybe not much but he still needs to be out there.

    tyutin has got to come off the powerplay and he has to come off the powerplay now. i used to believe that tyutin would evolve into the backbone of this defense. i have little reason to believe this is still the case. staal has to be in his spot on the pp.

    girardi baffles me. he has to hit to make up for his defensive gaafs.

    say what you want about the bad calls being made but i still think this team is taking too many stupid penalties.

    dawes needs to be benched for a game even if that means putting orr or hollywood back into the line up.

    rangers have to find a way to get the puck in deep and forecheck hard. the pens just keep intercepting the break up passes in the neutral zone.

    i hope the rangers can even this series up with the next two at msg. the reality of things is im having a tough time believing the glass is half full right now.

  46. Not that this should be the focus of the thread, but I’m glad some others think they need to eliminate TV timeouts after icings. I’ve been complaining about that since the season it started. It seems like teams track when TV timeouts are coming now and get by with a “free” icing. Whether that’s coincidence or not, it’s an easy fix (unlike the quick whistle issue).

    Tuesday starts the turnaround…the team will play hard.

  47. The Rangers lost today becasue the forwards were a bunch of pathetic, prancin pansies…Only Cally, Avery, and Jagr showed any guts and physicality…….Shanny, Dawes and Sjostrom (who has been a zero for about 10 games) were particualry worhtless…

    We will never be a real physical team, but the forwards have to put in the physical effort to pressure the Pens D and forwards and battle the Penguins at every turn. They did not come close today for whatever reason..All can’t be benched, but all of Dawes, Shanny and Sjostrom have earned some pine time…

    Why not go with the lineup that beat the Devils? Better yet, on home ice where we have the line change, why not go with the 4th line that played the best all year (HBO) and had very good success against the Penguins?

    Unfortunately, Renney mistakenly believes that Prucha and/or SJostrom can provide offense (neither can) if Shanny can’t get going–which is becoming normal…Kinda hamstringing the team if you ask me…

  48. reginald dunlop on

    hey carp,what part of fleury’s body exactly was covering the puck……..tonight nabokov was flat on his back with the puck under him for 3 seconds before the whistle blew so was wondering in the butterfly as fleury was with gloves up and upright…what exactly was covering the puck…..poor positioning by o’halloran and lack of hustle to see if puck was still free….
    just another example of poor consistency by the blind, overmatched referees still officiating…..just once one of these important calls has to go rangers way…law of averages….and for all you doubters…

    Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor???????

  49. Play Malik with Rosival … Rosival plays SO MUCH BETTER with Malik … sit Mara or BackmanTurnitoverofFallDown …

    Also, bench Sjostrom and play Greg Moore or Orr … if Orr plays, get physical

  50. Dunlap is right for a change.. Fleury is full of crap the puck was uncovered under his balls… his glove was at his waist.

    I do agree wit hTyutin of the PP, he is awful the only problem is all our point ma=en stink, but I also woud put Staal there he is the man at 21..

    Mara to me has played pretty well also.

    they win tuesday everything changes, they will win tuesday.. they will play there arses off for 60 minutes and win 3 to 1…

  51. So Martin Straka gets some BS game misconduct called against him after game one is over, but Hal Gill doesn’t get a fighting major (along with anything for Avery) at the end of today’s game, for which he could possibly be suspended? It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it’s annoying to me.

  52. I’d like to point out, and if you’ll scroll up to entertain me, that I was indeed the first person to point out the “icing scandal” referring to the 5-7 min. commercials after important icings during the game.

    Hats off to me. And thanks to those who chimed in and agreed, ha.

  53. reginald dunlop on

    thanks stuart………if you actually knew anything about hockey I would really be happy with your opinion

  54. Shame about Ref not seeing that the puck was still moving towards the net & not covered, but if not for Hank we were not even in this game. Pittsburgh was better than us, had way more scoring chances, & deserved the victory as they played very good defensively. They scored on a PP & we didn’t.

    I still think we are a better team & can take the next 2 at home & put the pressure back on the Pens & turn this thing around.

    Its not over. Rangers have bounced back all season. Go Rangers.

  55. Another Crying Whining Ranger Fan on

    Waaah Crosby dives! Waaah that shoulda been a goal! Waah the announcers are saying Crosby doesn’t dive! Waaah my diaper rash is acting up, somebody powder me! Waahhhhh! Waahhh!

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