That was ugly.
You can say it was on the road against a very good team, and that would be true; and you can say the Mighty Ducks got three very lucky bounces, and then turned a miraculous save into a two-goal swing, and that would be true, too.
1) Pucks go off D-men. It happens. My problem with the two off Girardi and Staal were that they weren’t doing anything. If you’re not engaging an opponent in front, get the heck out of the way. And far too often, those two guys are not engaging a man. I have no idea what Girardi was doing in the crease on the first goal.
2) When it was 3-1, I thought the Rangers were, at worst, even with the Ducks. But after that, I thought the Ducks dominated the second period, outplayed, outworked, out hit them, and the Rangers were darn lucky to still be down 3-1. You haven’t seen a poor effort like that from the Rangers very often this year.
3) Oh, and two more 2-on-1 passes that Girardi went down to block and didn’t stop, and ended up in the Rangers’ net.
4) And one more thing on the three own goals. On the two from the point, Brandon Dubinsky was late getting to the shooter both times.
5) Dubinsky had an interesting game, with the goal, the two late coverages, the missed empty-net (and great save by Ellis), a goalpost, and a blown tire on a Ducks rush. And he and Callahan tried a few too many “wish” passes when a shot on a questionable goalie would have been a better idea. He and Callahan were -4, which is hard to do when your line has an even-strength goal. The shutdown pair was -3 each.
6) The Mighty Ducks have an awful lot of Monsters on their team. How in holy hell are they where they are in the standings? Maybe further proof of the difference between the Bestern Conference and the Leastern Conference … especially now that you see the lousy teams closing in on the Rangers. And this was a year in which, at one point, I thought the Least was closing the gap, and even thought that the pre-injury Penguins would win the Stanley Cup.
7) Once again, as almost nightly, there sure were some head-scratching calls and non-calls. The holding call on Staal, when he barely touched the guy, was ridiculous. The non-call on the head shot by Lydman on Boyle, even more so. They were complete non-factors in the game, though.
8) Guess it wasn’t the white jerseys.
AP photo, above.
Games that matter tonight (sorry for listing some of these last night, mistakenly): Buffalo Baby Buffaloes at Bruins; Flys at Leaves; Senators at Panthers.