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Rangers-Devils Game 3 in review

Posted By Carp On May 20, 2012 @ 2:26 am In Hockey,New York Rangers,NHL,Stanley Cup playoffs | 86 Comments

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Thoughts:

1) I am going to start off with the Brandon Prust elbow to the head of Anton Volchenkov, only because there’ve been so many such incidents in these playoffs and I want to be consistent, since I’ve pretty much led with all of them throughout. I thought Prust reached out to get a piece of Volchenkov, and really caught the back of the helmet. Originally I thought his arm might have ridden up Vochenkov’s back before contact with the head, but now I don’t believe it did. All that said, we’ve seen much worse in these playoffs, and many worse that didn’t warrant so much as a hearing, never mind a suspension. That all said, your guess is as good as mine as to what Brendan Shanahan’s dartboard will decide. And that said, if others like Shea WWEber, Teflon Chris Neil and NBC’s own Alex Ovechkin had been suspended, these things wouldn’t still be happening. [2]

2) Since Prust has a hearing today, I’m expecting he will get a game. It’s also a really easy call to suspend tough guys and third-liners. But there’s not a chance what Prust did is nearly as calculated or dangerous as what Ovechkin did, and they had no onions regarding the repeat offender Ovechkin, did they? And thank God in heaven that Volchenkov is OK. What a miraculous recovery. Because I thought he’d been killed there.

3) Now, onto the game. Through three games, I don’t know if the Rangers have figured out anything about the Devils yet. Who has? They forecheck harder than either Washington or Ottawa, and give the Rangers more problems on the wall. I don’t think they’re as mean as the Senators were (Games 2-7), and I don’t think they clog the front and block shots as well as the Capitals. But overall they are a more difficult opponent for ya boys. And will be going forward.

[3]4) That said, is there still a question which goalie is better? Because I don’t think there is. Martin Brodeur has made some remarkable saves in this series, seriously good ones, and he will do that (it crossed my mind what some of you might have been saying about Henrik Lundqvist if he allowed a wrist shot like Dan Girardi’s goal to beat him, when some of you were all over him for the Ovechkin rocket last series). But start to finish, Lundqvist is much more of a factor than Brodeur … and on his team, he has to be. And he was. As he headed to the podium yesterday, while walking around a circular hallway from the lockerroom, a fire alarm went off. Then it ceased. I think Lundqvist stopped that, too. That was the lead to my story today.

5) At 5-on-5, the Devils have been much, much better. But the Rangers’ special teams vs. the Devils’ special teams has been a mismatch. The Rangers now have four PPGs in the series, the Devils’ one. The Devils have allowed 16 PPGs in 15 playoff games. Holy shishkebob. [4]

6) You could say it was all Devils, and it was, but that first period set back hockey probably 10 years. Definitely pre-lockout. Maybe they should have another one and make new rules.

7) I thought it was funny when Brad Richards was saying on Friday that it was the writers who keep saying their power play is no good when, he felt, it has been decent, and John Tortorella shot that down, saying it’s been mostly crappy in the playoffs. Then Richards winds up on the second unit. And of course, Alternate Captain Clutch wins the draw that results in the game-winning PPG. Marian Gaborik, by the way, drew the penalty that led to the game-winner and had a stronger game still picking those splinters out of his pants.

8) The Rangers, outplayed as they were, shot themselves in the skateboot more than once, I thought. Artem Anisimov led a 2-on-1. Gaborik led a 2-on-1. Brian Boyle led a 3-on-1. All three passed. All three failed. Gotta think shot, then shoot.

9) Did you see that future Ranger Zach Parise snubbed the Devils’ media. The captain? I’m sure it was because of the story about his father, in which J.P. claimed his remarks were taken out of context. Well, I think his quotes were actually portrayed quite accurately. [5]

10) Not sure about the Steve Eminger-for-Stu Bickel swap and whether that really had any bearing … other than Eminger got a couple more minutes than Bickel probably would have gotten.

11) The Kid, Chris Kreider, continues to pile up his playoff games-played bonuses (another $175,000 in the bank yesterday, for a total of $300G so far) and set an NHL record for playoff goals (5) and points (7) before playing in his first NHL regular-season game. His goal was such a smart, subtle little play, reading that Ryan McDonagh would keep the puck in at the left point and going to the net for the tip, after a couple of terrific plays by Captain Callahan. I also got to wondering yesterday: when Kreider was demoted to the fourth line after the two bad plays in the Washington series, if Brandon Dubinsky was healthy at that point, would Kreider even still be playing? Seriously.

12) That David Clarkson sure does a lot of diving and whining for a tough guy. And Kovalchuk sure does some basket-hanging.

[6]13) And while I’m taking some shots in a western direction … there sure were a lot of empty seats for, you know, a sellout. Plus, I really dislike that carnival-barker of a P.A. guy they have at the rock. Embarrassing.

14) Guys like John Mitchell and Mike Rupp, who don’t score at all—and whose contributions otherwise I surely appreciate—can’t take penalties. They just can’t.

15) This is for all the idiot radio/TV guys who continue to talk about the Rangers or Devils gaining or regaining home-ice advantage. Road teams are 2-1 in this series and 41-34 in these playoffs. OK?

16) Hope nobody jumped off that ledge yesterday. We need all of you guys here, especially Monday when we plan to do a 12 noon Live Game 4 Chat, and the whole soup-to-nuts Game 4 thing from the Rock.

*********************************************
My Three Rangers Stars:
1) Henrik Lundqvist.
2) Ryan Callahan.
3) Ryan McDonagh.
*********************************************
Josh (age 26) Thomson’s Three Rangers Stars:
1) Henrik Lundqvist.
2) Ryan Callahan.
3) Dan Girardi.
*********************************************
Brooklyn Rob’s Three Rangers Stars:
1) Superman Henrik Lundqvist.
2) Ryan McDonagh.
3) Dan Girardi.
*********************************************
Alec Berg’s Three Rangers Stars:
1) Henrik Lundqvist.
2) Dan Girardi.
3) Captain Cally.
*********************************************

AP photos, above.

 


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