Rangers-Capitals in review

110

Happy Easter. In case you fell asleep, Vancouver won the Presidents’ Trophy by beating Edmonton. Big whoop.

These are the first-round matchups, with the schedules to be announced today at 1 p.m. Since it’s a holiday, I doubt I’ll be interested at that hour, so youse will have to rely on the widget over there  ——–>

East: Rangers-Senators; Bruins-Capitals; Panthers-Devils; Penguins-Flyers. West: Canucks-Kings; Blues-Sharks; Coyotes-Blackhawks; Predators-Red Wings.

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So, I’m getting my expired passport renewed a few weeks ago. They said it would take 4-6 weeks to get it back. But they offered to expedite it for, like, $60. I thought about it. Nah, the only Canadian team the Rangers could possibly play before the finals would be Ottawa, and that’s not going to happen. Aw, what the hell, maybe I should get it expedited just in case …

So $60 later, guess what.

Thoughts:

1) I’m done talking about this stupid stuff with some of you about how these last two games are going to have any effect on the playoffs, or that they would have been better off playing this team or that team. Geez, they’re the best team in the East all freakin’ year. Through 81 games, they were the best in the whole league. Do you really think it matters who they play in the first round? I’m not saying they’re guaranteed to beat anybody. I’m just saying, wouldn’t you think they are going to ultimately play some pretty good teams if they’re going to do what they’re supposed to do starting when Game 83 rolls around?

2) That said, it’s kind of human nature to not be able to jack it up to the highest level in games that really don’t matter. The Rangers clinched everything that was important two games ago when they played a pretty darn good game against a pretty good team, on the road. I expected them to play better in Pittsburgh, and at home last night. But human nature is a factor. These two games meant zilch to them. And it I thought it showed.

3) John Tortorella didn’t think his team played all that badly in the last two games, and neither did I. But IMO it didn’t play the way it did most nights. I think there was a bit of a feel of an exhibition game, which it was. The Rangers rolled four lines and six D, even on the PK. There was some gliding away from the puck. There were a few turn-aways from hits. There were puck battles they lost that they didn’t lose most of the year. I don’t think if they were playing onions-out for the Presidents’ Trophy they put Derek Stepan, Artem Anisimov, Michael Del Zotto and Anton Stralman for a PK down 2-0. Do you?

4) And quick look ahead to Ottawa: That’s a team with some obvious skill and speed, on the back-end too. But will the Senators really want to fight for every loose puck, for every inch of ice. Because I think the Rangers are going to make those battle grounds once they get started again for real, like they did in all the important games this season.

5) Two games in a row, the Boyle line was their best line, the Mitchell line their second best … and Stu Bickel among their best d-men. OK?

6) And the same syndrome was apparent through the league, St. Louis losing games down the stretch, Vancouver, Pittsburgh losing twice to the Islanders, etc.

7) That Philly-Pitt bloodbath everybody was expecting yesterday, didn’t really materialize, did it? The game was rather anticlimactic. But the first-round series should be good. I expect it will be mean and nasty, and games could get crazy if they’re one-sided. But mostly it’ll be straight-ahead, non-nonsense hockey.

8) There were a ton of Capitals fans in the building last night. And when they started chanting, the Rangers fans booed them. And that’s a bad job by them. If you were loud enough, appropriately, for the final regular season game, you wouldn’t have had to boo them. Of course, not letting them get out to that pesky 4-0 lead would have helped, too.

9) That said, Rangers fans rose to their feet in the final seconds, and that I thought was pretty cool. I’ve said it before, in this Steinbrenner-ized world of pro sports, we tend to lose sight of what it means to have a good season. This Rangers team gave you six months of pretty amazing stuff. I know the playoffs are where you’re judged, and what’s important. But if you can’t appreciate what you just saw, starting in Europe all that time ago, why bother being a fan?

10) Rangers fans also chanted “Crosby sucks” briefly … and I’m sure the NHL will be fining each and every one of them.

11) Last year, I was calling the conferences “Bestern” and “Leastern,” because there was that much disparity. Then the Bruins won the Cup, and the Rangers rose to power, and I think it’s a lot more even this year. Still, though I think the Rangers, Penguins, Bruins and Flyers could all beat any of the Bestern teams in a series, I don’t think there’s a chance in hell that the Panthers, Capitals or Senators would make the playoffs in the Best.

12) Judging by the photos, the Rangers must have won this game handily, right?

13) Thank God, no more BCATHGEs (breakaway contests after the hockey game ends) or Bettman Bonus Points! It’s win or lose, during the game, from now on. Which means Florida is in trouble.

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My Three Rangers Stars:
1) Brian Boyle.
2) Carl Hagelin.
3) Brandon Prust.
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Manny’s Three Rangers Stars:
1) Brian Boyle.
2) Marian Gaborik.
3) Martin Biron.
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AP photos, above.

 

 

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110 Comments

  1. Good morning all! Can NOT believe I got beat for first at this hour!

    Carp, I breathed a huge sigh of relief at #9. And congrats to my man Boyle!!!!!!
    Much as I’d have liked the Prezzie’s Cat Dish (ugh, Vancouver) I’m a happy fan today and can’t wait til Thursday. Impeach the Sens!!!

    Hartnell. Off to work…..later all!

  2. Can’t beat the Honken Trophy.

    Brooks with a shine box reference in his ever-so-slightly bitter rip job on the NHL and the Penguins this morning (I’ve only got the mobile link to hand).

  3. bull dog line on

    Krider signed yet? can’t run a good practice without him. they probably shouldn’t let him practice, it would not be fair to Mitchell or any of the other guys.

  4. Sounds like sour grapes to me!;>)) I would like them to have wond the #1 spot, just in case they end up in a series with the Canucks at the end. That’s a lot of travel time. I agree it’s a natural let down at the end of a great season. Disappointing game. You want to be on top of your game starting the playoffs, and they dominated play for much of the game with not much to show for it. Hope it’s not the start of another scoring slump.

  5. Hey Carp-

    Just wanted to let you know I had the same passport problem 6 months ago. You could actually have gotten your passport on the same day.

    It’s only for certain emergencies, like traveling out of state same day. I think they’d do it for your case too.

    Regards,
    cv

  6. Onecupin72yearsandcounting on

    when you’re so close to being Number one overall and dog it.. well, the rangers seldom find themselves in a spot to be number one overall.

  7. True fans bleed rw&b on

    So Manny reconfigured the Tom Renney line generator to pump out game stars. Brilliant!!

  8. The Rangers could’ve, would’ve, should’ve taken that Presidents Cup but it favors teams like Vancouver who play in a weak division over the Rangers and St. Louis who go 24 games against powerhouses. Edmonton was hopeless. They couldn’t even goon right. Hordichuk and Eager together took whacks at Lapierre and gave Vancouver a man advantage in which they scored. I also thought if something was on the line those opening shots on Henrik would have been blocked properly. I’d gladly give up the two meaningless points and not carry a Callahan off the ice again in pieces.

  9. How many of the people who are so upset about the last two losses were also calling for any of the following?

    Resting a stack of players and playing call-ups

    “Rolling four lines” and/or cutting top D-pair minutes

    Changing the style of play to stop the team being tired/burnt out/injured

    Not saying the easing off was by design, but you can’t have it both ways.

  10. For whatever it’s worth, it was the Caps fans (and it was literally 3 full rows of Caps fans that were doing all the damage) that started the “Flyers suck” and “Crosby sucks” chants. I think they were trying to make peace and not get beaten up on the way down to Penn Station.

  11. It looked to me that the players were being extra careful to avoid injury. There weren’t as many blocked shots or physical play. That’s OK because the real season starts Wednesday.

  12. Very happy we avoided Washington. Ottawa is better than your average 8th seed, but I’m not worried since the Rangers should have no problem with them.

    Obviously Anderson will decide how many games Ottawa will win, but I’m gonna go Rangers in 5…

  13. I was looking forward to that game all day! Blinked my eyes and it was 2-0….

    Oh well….

    an amazing, amazing season. I have faith in this bunch!

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL AND……

    LGR’S!

  14. dave and carp,

    i was just about to say that about the 4 rows of cap fans. they were sitting directly under the press area so they probably sounded much louder over there. it did feel like an exhibition game without the fighting

  15. bull dog line on

    Sens not the best match up for the Rangers. have to compete with them and the favoring of a canadian team.

  16. i agree that sens are the toughest of the 3 possibilities NYR had going into last night. but, they are also probably the “least physical team” out there. with that said, and following along with carps point, NYR has to be themselves in this series. bang the crap out of the d men very dump in. clear the crease with anger and hit everything hear the puck and the rangers will win in 6.
    now, i can’t wait until the rangers are 1-1 going to ottawa. then the real banwaggon jumping and panic sets in. should be fun

  17. stranger Nation on

    A case can be made for any playoff team not from Florida in the Eastern Conference. That being said, the Sens are not a great match up. They have some serious top line skill and some physicality on the bottom 6. Get ready to really hate Neil after a couple of games.

    NYR in 6, but the king may have to steal 1 or 2 games.

  18. I was at the game – there a lot more than 4 rows of caps fans. They were everywhere.

    Great season by the boys – they deserved the prez trophy.

    It will be a long road for the cup – brace yourselves!

    Happy Easter everybody!

  19. potvin,

    yes there was. i was referring to the ones chanting “crosby sucks” though specifically

  20. Duckbill platterpus on

    Tiki and latona,
    Thank you for kind words other day. This is the greatest blog not only on this planet, but on the for forbidden Planet and the planet of the apes as well!

    Lettuce go rangers!!!

    Regards,
    Duckbill formerly bob the builder

  21. Wicky©No pears, No apples, Where's my pineapple?! on

    Morning ILb and all!!
    Carp
    great review as always, but re #8…did I miss a few goals??

  22. As to #8 and #10, the Caps Fan Club made the trip to MSG so that explains their numbers. As to the “Crosby Sucks” chants, can the NHL fine us if we did outside of the Garden? I managed to start a really good one with the Caps fans following the game. Let me know where to send the check .

  23. Wicky©No pears, No apples, Where's my pineapple?! on

    damn, hit enter too soon!

    So Happy all these religious holidays to all of you who celebrate them and hope you and your families enjoy them.

    I was talking to the captain last night and I was telling him how funny it was with the mrs at the hospital prodding the staff along to make sure she and the baby were discharged in time to get home and see the drop of the puck for last nights game.

    And then the caps scored a couple of goals and I said well, maybbe I won’t get on the “go time” thread to let everyone know, they might tell us to go back to the hospital and check back in to change the momentum in the game!!!

  24. Wicky©No pears, No apples, Where's my pineapple?! on

    the sens are not the best matchup for us IMHO, they have some size and grit as well as the speed and skill, but I have a feeling our boys will be ready!!!!!

    LGR!

  25. Wicky©No pears, No apples, Where's my pineapple?! on

    does anyone have a link to the shirt off our backs ceremony last night??

    TYIA!

  26. Wicky©No pears, No apples, Where's my pineapple?! on

    I don’t know why (maybe lack of sleep) but looking back at the “new baby hattie” post kinda looks like “new baby daddy” to me LOL

  27. Wicky©No pears, No apples, Where's my pineapple?! on

    Is there something wrong with me if I find the most egregious transgression from the other night the clowe interference from the bench. The fact torts got fined 20k and then the least troubling to me was the orpik hit. I mean I do think it was a bit dirty, but more reactionary than anything IMHO. I don’t think he is normally a dirty p;ayer at all.

    The fact the clowe incident was an integrity issue (to me) is what bothers me the most, and then to have it on video and still do nothing just boggles the mind to me!

  28. Wicky©No pears, No apples, Where's my pineapple?! on

    LW
    hey, thanks bro…thought I was really losing it!!

  29. True fans bleed rw&b on

    Ottawa is a pretty bad first round matchup. They have skill, size and some toughness.

    Don’t forget the send went 3-1 in the season series and the rangers just cannot contain spezza. Add to that Karlson, a premier blue liner, and this is far from an easy step to round 2. This one will go 6 or more…. Perhaps Not a good start towards a long run.

  30. Wicky©No pears, No apples, Where's my pineapple?! on

    how was eric able to vote twice in the poll—>?

    just kidding eric!! ;)

  31. Wicky©No pears, No apples, Where's my pineapple?! on

    hey sallycrepes!

    and ditto re manny and the stars!

  32. rangers in 7. if they lose this series it will be becuase they wont get secondary scoring paging rick nash. if they lose wait to see what i write in two weeks.

  33. Wicky©No pears, No apples, Where's my pineapple?! on

    eric
    LOL, I was just joking around about the 2 picks for sens in 6!

  34. So what are people’s predictions for the Eastern conf. matchups? Can we get some bracket predictions here?

  35. It seemed like the Rangers just wanted to get the game over with without any injuries.They didn’t have any second effort.The playoffs are a totally different game.I am sure they will not be blown out in any series.And your right Carp,it doesn’t matter who they play.You have to beat the teams the schedule gives you,or you are not a playoff team.As long as they can start the games well and dictate the style of play they should handle the Sens.

  36. I will tell you mine (first round)

    Bruins > Caps
    Devils > Panthers
    Pens > Phlyers
    Rangers > Senators (different from my poll selection – I am very worried about this)

  37. I don’t know how anyone can say Ottawa is a tougher opponent than Washington. Ovechkin is still one of the top 5 players in the league (when he feels like being one) and that will show during the playoffs. Plus Backstrom is back and he can pass it with the best of them.

    and regardless of who’s in net, their goalies always seem to play their best against us.

  38. And for the Western:

    Canucks > Kings (6)
    Sharks > Blues (7)
    Blackhawks > Phoenix (7)
    Preds > Red Wings (7)

  39. My picks..

    Rangers def. Ottawa
    Boston def. Washington
    New Jersey def. Florida
    Philadelphia def. Pittsburgh

    Vancouver def. Los Angeles
    St. Louis def. San Jose
    Phoenix def. Chicago
    Detroit def. Nashville

  40. Thanks to the New York Rangers for a great season!!! I was happy and relieved that the Garden fans were chanting and cheering in the final minutes of the loss. I also think that, given the way this team hates to lose and really hates to lose consecutively, this may actually give them a nice push in the start of the playoffs.

    Let’s Go Rangers!!!!!!

    Happy Easter to all xo

  41. Morning Carp, Im happy to hear you went for the extra sixty. The best plan A is a plan B. I know Torts and his staff feel the same way. Was not at the game yesterday but i know on Thur. it will be all Blueshirts in their seats. Nothing better in all of sports, then being at a NHL Playoffs game LIVE. The best being at MSG. Rangers in 6

  42. schedule comes out at 1 today on nhl network. pens flyers bruins caps wings preds will be featured series on nbc for sat and sunday afternoon games. expect all night games for ranger series for hockey night in canada. there also may be some 630 starts.

  43. not one mention of Lundqvist in this post. that in itself worries me.

    happy Easter all

  44. I want to say Ranger’s in 4,but 5 will do. This way they can win at home.
    What’s up with Kreider???

  45. well the playoffs are every other day except when the building is not available. In that case they add an extra day as they never play back to back.

    after looking at Knicks schedule, Rangers first round should be Thursday, Saturday, Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, Monday, Thursday

  46. Leetchhalloffame on

    Don’t know what Rangers were thinking last night but I believe they will have a much tougher series vs. Ottawa than they would have against the ever choking Craps. Should have had at least a bit of motivation regarding Pres Trophy and sending the Craps a message. They made their bed. Hoping for the best. Let’s Go Rangers!

  47. Leetchhalloffame on

    Unless they lay a complete egg in the first few games vs. Sens, who out there really thinks Torts is the type of coach that will throw Kreider (if he signs) right in the lineup for the playoffs?

  48. oleosmirf

    expect a monday game 6 followed by game 7 tuesday not thursday. nhl will not have any series end past wednesday april 25th.

    montreal and boston played back to back last year btwn game 6 and game 7

  49. if they can’t beat the Senators, then they’re not beating Pittsburgh or Philly next … so I don’t know what the hell you guys are talking about.

    Hows the baby, Wickster?

    Guys, you can do your predictions, but later in the week we’ll do the predictions contest … so I’d save them if I were you. Might have some great prizes, too.

  50. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Carp,

    You don’t think NJ or Wash can win their series? I’d bet the Conf finals matchup would be Pitt or Philly (if the Rangers can get there), and I won’t be surprised if both NJ and Wash find a way to win their series.

    I would anticipate Rangers vs. Wash round 2 while Pitt vs. Bos faceoff.

  51. The Devils are going to win their series. They have more points and are better in almost every aspect. I expect Devils in 4 or 5.

    Rangers – Devils in the 2nd round would be a great matchup…

  52. True, Washington would have to beat Boston. I don’t see that happening. Devils could beat Florida, no doubt.

  53. Mama, thanks for the NYT link. It corrected the small letdown I felt after last night’s slump. Henrik is our main horse in this race and I anticipate a level of play from him that will awe us and frustrate those trying to beat him. I also expect to see a grit and determination from several others that will raise our passion for our team even higher.

    Given the season series against the Sens, they may go back home to Ottawa after the first two games shell shocked. Let’s hope they never recover, if that’s the case. LGR’s!!!!

  54. Happy Easter and belated Passover to all.

    I don’t put too much thought in to regular season records against any team. Look at 94 when we won all regular season games against NJ. Look at last year when we owned Washington in the regular season. This season we have owned Boston and Philly. I don’t think that matters in the playoffs. You are in a series now. You get to know each teams tendencies, you really see matchups at their best. It really is a new season. Ottawa is a good team, but we are deeper, and we have done nothing this year that makes me think we are some how inferior to them. We haven’t gone on long losing streaks, we show up to play almost every game, we have the best goaltender in the world, and we bounce back after losses. I said this mid season and I will say it now, in a seven game series, I like us against any team in the league.

    Let’s Go Rangers!

    I am starting to grow out my playoff beard today and when all is said and done, I hope I can rubber band the bottom like Captain Lou Albano.

  55. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    You’re right, caught me with the wrong matchups. Still…

    I think Wash can give Boston a run for their money and, actually, i’ll put it here – i predict:

    Rangers vs. Caps second round and
    Pitts vs. NJ.

  56. just think no doc emrick pierre mcguire and eddie o for rangers sens becuase it wont be nationally televised. thats a blessing

  57. if we have caps beat bruins assuming we beat sens then we draw caps

    then pitt phil and devs could all beat each other up before we play one of them in conf finals.

    we may only need to play one division rival on way to finals

    with that said sens in 4.

  58. anyone else pumped for schedule show on nhl network. told wife i need an hour of alone time

  59. nhl.com has all matchups. no afternoon games.

    told u wash boston phil pitt on nbc this weekend at 3pm

  60. Totally don’t understand thought 1,2,3 & 8. but agree to disagree. Was at the game last nite and I thought it was a disgrace; to bust your ass all season long and to take a huge dump in center ice for the fans. Carp, during the season when we had a series of bad games we had a chance to turn it around. In cup play that being a short series with space in between games it may be hard to right the ship if you get in a bad funk. They needed to win for proper mind set. We won all year with extraordinary goaltending and great defense. I’ve often said over the season that once we lose either one or both we’re in trouble. They, also, needed to win to play the Caps and not the Senators who happen to be a fast very talented team. The Sens were challenging the Bruins for a period of time before they went ino their last 3rd of a season funk. That being said most of the season the only team to beat the Rangers was themselves. This, however, is a short series and righting ourselves quickly may not translate. My Picks are as follow:

    Senators 4-2 over the Rangers – the perfect storm for us has turned out to be the same for them. Untimely poor goaltending and defense will be our undoing. Sens are a very talented team

    Bruins 4-1 over the Caps Bruins are really thanking us for freeking up our last game

    Panthers 4-3 Devils should win but they won’t. Florida been playing tough all year.

    Pens 4-3 over the CheeseSteaks – This should be a great series. Pens too talented and the favorites of the NHL

    What could have been. What a shame. Man I hpoe I’m wrong

  61. Blast Tyrant on

    I hope this isn’t the case, but does anyone feel that Lundquist has played himself out of the Vezina this past month and given it to Quick?

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