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Rangers-Capitals Game 4 in review

Posted By Carp On May 6, 2012 @ 3:55 am In Hockey,New York Rangers,NHL | 326 Comments

[1]

Thoughts:

1) I’m not going into a gigantic rant about the Alex Ovechkin cheapshot on Dan Girardi because it’s a distraction and the Rangers don’t deserve a distraction with the way they played Game 4. … And I don’t want to call for a suspension because Brendan Shanahan and  the NHL Department of Jumping Through Hoops to Not Suspend Guys for Intentional Head Shots have set the bar so unbelievably, sadly low (see Chris Neil, Shea WWEber, et al).

2) Still, this was a leaving-your-feet, charging, ignoring-the-puck, shoulder directly aimed at the head by a repeat offender. One whose last suspension (for leaving his feet to hit an opponent in the head) announcement included this line from the NHL Department of Pretending We’re Trying To Remove Head Shots From the Game But Really Not Actually Trying:

One key note in Shanahan’s explanation:
“The moment Ovechkin launches himself into the air prior to the hit he becomes
responsible for any contact to the head.”

3) And finally, I just stopped laughing over hearing Cheapshot (Head) Hunter’s explanation that it was incidental contact. Cut it out, Dale. You’re killing us. You mean, like that incidental contact with Pierre Turgeon? [2]

4) Wow. Nice time to use your worst period of the playoffs, by far. Henrik Lundqvist bailed them out with that sick save on Ovechkin among many others.

5) Yes the Rangers overcame that start and battled and grinded (is that a word?) and got it tied up with opportunistic goals. But once again the power play let them down, once again they got some head-scratching calls (or non-calls). Once again, they had trouble creating offense.

6) That all said, I fully expect them to come out completely unaffected Monday night. And probably win.

7) I mentioned this last night, but that was a really poor performance by John Tortorella after the game last night. I personally don’t give a crap if he talks to us (or me) …. but there seem to be several hundred thousand of people deeply invested in this team, who pay his salary (and his fines) who want to know what the head coach thinks of the game they just witnessed. Wants to know what happened and why. He’s got to answer.

[3]8) Couple of mistakes by the kid Chris Kreider. The blind giveaway to Ovechkin. Then, I’m not completely sure who was supposed to pick up Nicklas Backstrom, if it was Kreider or Anton Stralman or whomever. Maybe the coach knows. Oh, wait. Never mind.

9) Despite the awful start for the Rangers and the optimal start for the Capitals, I thought the Caps’ D-men were spinning and doing whatever, while coughing up the puck, to avoid hits. I felt the Rangers got away from that constant pressuring those D-men. And while I always question the home-cooking on the stat sheet, the Capitals were credited with 26 blocked shots to the Rangers’ seven. Very un-Ranger-like.

10) On a good note: The Caps do a lot —A LOT—of salutes to servicemen during stoppages. And for every one, Tortorella and his staff take time to applaud and all the Rangers stand up and bang their sticks on the boards. Nice touch. [4]

11) Watching these playoffs I just can’t believe how big the equipment on these goalies has gotten. How did it get so out of hand? How did all these scrawny athletes come to look like Refrigerator Perry? I mean, there are some great goalies out there, but sometimes, often, they just get hit in the equipment.

12) The 1987 Flyers and the 2004 Calgary Flames each played 26 playoff games, which is the record (that’s two seven-game series and two six-game series). Why do I think these Rangers will play 28 games if they survive this series?

13) One more thing: Was the Carl Hagelin elbow on Daniel Alfredsson really, really, really more heinous than the Neil or Ovechkin head shots? Really? Speaking of which, was that Hagelin slash really a penalty, right after Brian Boyle had his stick knocked from his hands? On the Mike Knuble uncalled delay-of-game … well, I felt at that point the Rangers were probably better off 5-on-5 than 5-on-4.

********************************************
My Three Rangers Stars:
1) Artem Anisimov.
2) Henrik Lundqvist.
3) Marc Staal.
********************************************
True Fans Bleed RW&B’s Three Rangers Stars:
1) Artem Anisimov.
2) Dan Girardi.
3) Henrik Lundqvist.
********************************************

AP photos, above.

 


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[1] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/05/rangers-after-Game-4.jpg

[2] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/05/green-celebrates-gwg.jpg

[3] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/05/torts-in-game-4b.jpg

[4] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/05/capitals-after-Game-41.jpg