Rangers need to find another gear for Game 2 … Live Stanley Cup Final Playoff Chat today at 1 p.m. EST

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We’re on a roll with these chats, so let’s keep ‘em going. Our fourth Stanley Cup Final Playoff Chat will commence at 1 p.m. today. Be there. Or else.

Here’s my column from The Journal News and Lohud.com:

By Rick Carpiniello

LOS ANGELES – Game 1 opened some of the Rangers’ eyes.

So as they head into Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final Saturday night, they feel better prepared.

“There’s another gear in the Stanley Cup Final,” Derick Brassard said after practice Friday. “It’s really hard to win the Cup, and I think we realize how hard it was in Game 1. It was pretty intense, really fast game, high-paced.

“And the bottom line is, we lost the game. We need to play better as a team.”

The Rangers’ focus, whether because of the newness of the experience for all but two of their players — Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis, neither of whom actually played very well either — was sidetracked after two pretty solid periods. They were dominated by the Los Angeles Kings in the third period, though not as much as the 20-3 shot count would indicate, and lost a game they led 2-0 early, and still could have won late, on a bad hop in overtime.

“We’ve been playing hockey for such a long time now, and everyone’s so on top of their game, that everything’s magnified,” Chris Kreider said. “If you make a mistake, they’re going to capitalize, and vice versa. So in that regard, I guess there’s a different gear, yes.”

The Kings, most of whom played when the franchise won its first Stanley Cup in 2012, were obviously ready for whatever new level the Final would bring.

“Well, probably till you’ve lived it, you know, coaches and guys that have been there can say what they want,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. “Like I mentioned prior to the series, sometimes experience is hard to get. When I mentioned (Thursday) … that we need everybody’s ‘A’ game, it’s not just because it’s a great opponent, but it’s the time of the year.

“You know, if you’re in the Final, and your expectations are to win, you have to bring your best game to the table. Our guys are aware of that. Our guys are talking (among) themselves about it. We’re all looking for a better response.”

Though the play might get ramped up in the last round of the marathon, the Rangers were not surprised about the way the Kings played.

“They played exactly the way we expected them to play,” Henrik Lundqvist said. “We had meetings going into this game. We talked about what to expect.

“After the first period, I think A.V. asked us if we were surprised, didn’t expect that. We all looked around the room and realized this is what we’ve been preparing for, this is the way it’s going to look. They’re pretty consistent the way they play. That’s why they’re here.”

But it can go quickly, either in your favor or against you, if you’re not prepared for more, faster, harder and better in the next game.

“It’s pretty obvious,” Richards said. “If we win that game in overtime, we’re still having the same meeting probably today, the way the game went. Sometimes you don’t win a game, you have to realize where you are.

“We have to expect they’re going to be a lot better. We have to be better or you’re going to be down 2-0. You know, that’s normal. We recognized that right when the game was over. You know, it’s this time of year. You get one crack at it. You got to raise it. There’s no other option.”

***********************************************

NASH KNOWS THE SCORE … BUT CAN HE?

LOS ANGELES – Rick Nash remains polite through it all, especially now that the number of people surrounding him has quadrupled, or more.

He’s not scoring. He’s done other things, and done a lot of those things well, and he says those are important, and they are.

But he’s not scoring, as if he doesn’t know it. It’s 33 playoff games in a Rangers uniform now, and four goals — one in a loss to Boston last spring, three in the Eastern final against Montreal this May.

“I’ve got to find a way to finish some of those chances,” Nash said about his Game 1, when he was one of the players, most likely, that coach Alain Vigneault said “need to bring their ‘A’ game.”

“Just get to the inside, try to get some better opportunities, better chances,” Nash went on. “I think our line has to establish more of a forecheck. I thought we had a good first period, had some chances. After that, we just had too many turnovers.

“We spent the second half of the game in our end, and me and (Chris Kreider), we have to be better in their end.”

Moore back in: Vigneault wouldn’t say, but based on Friday’s practice, defenseman John Moore will return from his two-game suspension and replace Raphael Diaz in Game 2 Saturday night.

Vigneault said that nothing has changed with goalie Cam Talbot’s undisclosed injury status, that he remains out day-to-day. So David LeNeveu will back up Henrik Lundqvist in Game 2. Forward J.T. Miller, who suffered what appeared to be a shoulder injury in the Montreal series, is available, though he’s not expected to be in the Game 2 lineup.

Kings coach Darryl Sutter said that defenseman Robyn Regehr, who has missed 14 games with an injury, will probably play Game 2.

Gone, but not forgotten: When you have masses of media in one spot, a story line never seems to die. So it was with Dan Girardi, who was cast as the goat in Game 1 when a puck bounced over his stick, he fell down and had his pass picked off, ending up in the winning goal in overtime.

On Friday, Girardi said it was great the way his teammates rallied around him, and that it would have been the same for anybody on the team.

“That’s the type of team we are. Everybody’s got each other’s back,” he said.

He was asked if he had been able to put the moment behind him.

“Well,” Girardi said, “it was gone until this morning. Until right now. … You’ve got to move on.”

Twitter: @RangersReport

*****************************************

Series schedule

Wednesday: Los Angeles 3, Rangers 2, OT

Saturday: at Los Angeles, 7 p.m., NBC

Monday: at Rangers, 8 p.m., NBCSPO

Wednesday: at Rangers, 8 p.m., NBCSPO

x-Friday: at Los Angeles, 8 p.m., NBC

x-June 16: at Rangers, 8 p.m., NBC

x-June 18: at Los Angeles, 8 p.m., NBC

x-if necessary

Photo by Getty Images.

 

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64 Comments

  1. Barrasso 2 consecutive cups in pittsburgh, among other accolades…you’d think if they wanted to put banners up they’d put his up. Especially when they were the lowest attendance team before the crosby rig, they could have made a couple of nights around it and made some money.

    Fluery has that Cup but you could argue he has cost them a couple more. He’s been a running joke for several seasons, THE playoff choker. He’s young and they are probably gonna make a goalie move once Crosby gives the okay…I just can’t see them retiring his number after all the hairballs he’s coughed up in the post season. You could say he cost PIT their chance at a dynasty the last several years.

  2. Looking at the Penguins wiki, Barrasso is not even in the Penguins Hall Of Fame. He’s only in this thing called “Penguins Ring Of Honor”

    Barrasso has 226 wins as a Penguin in a little over 11 years.

    Better question is, will they retire Jagr’s number? I think they should.

  3. _He’s not scoring. He’s done other things, and done a lot of those things well, and he says those are important, and they are._

    Spinning. He supposed to be a high paid elite offensive weapon, a game changer. “Done a lot of Other things well?” Not as well as DMoore, Brian Boyle, Hagelin to name a few.

    And real big of him, taking on the responsibility of needing to play better in the O-zone while dragging The Kreider under the bus with him.

    Hey Nash, the eyes don’t lie.

  4. Tonight’s ref stats

    O halloran

    Rangers 4-3 reg 2-3 playoffs
    Kings 4-3 reg season 3-2 playoffs,

    McCauley

    Rangers 4-3 reg 2-3 playoffs

    Kings 4-0 reg 4-0 playoffs

    Kings have won 8 straight games with McCauley and kings have won there last 10 home games with McCauley last loss December 2011.

    Both o halloran and McCauley have awarded rangers more pp then opponents. Kings have received fewer under these two vs opponents.

  5. Stranger Nation on

    First off…LETS GO RANGERS!

    The first line is just not a well constructed one. Starts with the center who doesn’t carry and create so he just dumps it in. THE is happy to chase the puck on the forecheck, but inevitably goes to the other side and Nash cannot keep the puck in or if he does get it, he immediately tries to stickhandle through defenders in the middle.
    Last season he was our best passing non-center this season…zilch. He never looks for THE or Step if he gets the puck coming off the boards. He needs cycle it back to THE and allow him to use his size to scrape the boards or pass it to the point…something, puleeze
    That line’s Ozone time is hurting the team.

  6. Game Day, People!

    As Boneheads, we need to step up our game too. I think a lot of us, myself included didn’t blog to our A game levels. I won’t make that same mistake today.

    Let’s head back home tied one to one. We can do it, if we all do our part.

    Let’s Go Rangers !!!

  7. Good morning, boneheads!

    Agree, CW. Everyone should bring their A game to the table. Including boneheads. Carp is certainly doing his part, and then some.

    Kidding aside, this is a crucial game. Outcome notwithstanding, it’s more about letting LA know that period 3 was an aberration. At the moment, their feeling is that they simply didn’t have their legs going before that period. They’re coming in tonight with a lot of confidence. NY needs to show them that they haven’t seen their best game yet. Because they haven’t.

  8. I know this is a bit off topic, but all real hockey fans should read the article on Bettman that appeared in Wednesday’s WSJ. IMO, this guy is a virus, a David Stern protege, sent from the NBA and will eventually destroy the NHL. The thing I fear most is that hockey will increase in popularity. What will this mean? More commercials, more timeouts, more endorsements, more rules. In short, the NHL will turn into the NFL or the NBA. The NBA has become unwatchable and the once-great NFL is declining.
    The wonderful OT period we witnessed between Chicago and LA – a 20 minute period played in 26 minutes actual time – will be a relic of the past.
    All the attendant “social issues” will rear their ugly heads in our wonderful sport.

    Commercialization and the popularity of the NFL has about destroyed what was once a powerful and relentless sport. A 60 minute game that provides about 11 minutes of action but takes 3.5 hours to broadcast. Please do not let hockey suffer the same fate.

    LGR!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Less than 20 comments on game morning of Stanley Cup. That’s just not bringing our A game!

  10. The sooner we trade Nash for some picks, the better off we’ll be. The guy is a fraud.

  11. Thank you, Boiler!

    We let them off the hook in game one.

    No Passengers, No Prisoners!

    *Make Some Noise*

    LGR !!!

  12. I love the Rangers. Have for many years.

    But I’m honest in my evaluation of players.

    For me as a fan, it has always been very simple..l’m loyal to the team first.

    Individual players? ……,please be a selfless player who hustles, who plays with courage and who will sacrifice and give it all for their teammates and the common goal.

    I’ll never go for the player who wont give it their all or sacrifice for the greater good of the team.

  13. I’m with you,Papa. I’ll take a guy with less god given talent but who plays every shift as hard as he can.

    No Passengers !

    LGR !!!

  14. Robby Bonfire on

    JD –

    Thank you so much for your reasoned take on the peril hanging over the NHL. Years ago, blogging in Canada, I kept raising the subject as to what a colossal mistake it was to hire a basketball guy (and a probable saboteur, to boot) to run the NHL, and how the NHL needed to replace Bettman with a HOCKEY MAN.

    I actually thought that this germ of thought would take hold and the NHL Board of Directors would make a timely change. I am mortified that Bettman has been allowed to fester in his position, for over 20 years, now.

    And you are right about that cunning weasel David Stern, one of the most unethical, sleaze-ball, dishonest, manipulative con men ever to attain the helm of any corporate entity.

    Their is nothing we can do. I am seriously considering dropping hockey as a sport I follow, in the next few days. I have successfully done this with baseball, which was a passionate focal point of interest of mine since the age of nine when my family relocated to the Philadelphia suburbs.

    We are getting scant return now (and a lot of frustration)considering the time, the emotion, and the money we put into this hockey addiction of ours. My life, happily, is at a crossroads now where I think I can better invest my time and energy into more productive pursuits.

    Thanks again, and you are NEVER off topic when you hit the bulls eye, the way you did!

  15. Heard that post time for Belmont is 6:52. If a sheet of ice was put next to the track would THE or Hags be able to keep up with California Chrome?

  16. Robby Bonfire on

    The Boiler –

    Re “Less than 20 comments,” this is an interesting reversal of the other night, when Game One of the SCF greatly reduced attendance at the Yankees game at Yankee Stadium.

    Turnabout is fair play, today hoards of people in the NYC metro area are headed out to Belmont Park, hoping to see some history in the making.

    These things do even out in the long run, it seems.

  17. We are in game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals and people are taking about trading Nash for picks? Save it for JULY….

    LGR!!!!

  18. Stranger Nation on

    Buttman is not an NBA guy, but a Unioni Busting Labor Attorney for Proskauer Rose. See this article for reference:

    http://slewfooters.com/gary-bettman-union-busting-lawyer-proskauer-rose/
    _Though Bettman and Stern both got their starts in the NBA, fans shouldn’t distrust Bettman as a basketball guy who doesn’t know how to handle the hockey industry—they should fear him as a union-busting lawyer who doesn’t give a damn about hockey, its players or its fans_

  19. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Gary Buttplug – “C C C Congratul l l l l ations to J J J J James D D D Dolan, CCCCCoach AAAAA V and and and and the EnTtttttttttire RRRRRRAnger orRRRggggganization EssssssPppppecialy the the the the ppppppplayers

    Ccccccccccccaptain Bbbbbbbbbbbrasssssard

    Cccccccccome get th th the the Stanley Ccccccccccccup

  20. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Gary Buttplug – ” I I I I I Wwwwwww illll B b b b b b b b ust the ypthe the the the u u u u u u nion

  21. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Robbie – I’ll stop picking on you. But seriously, just google what a standard deviation means and how to calculate it and what it actually represents….fair enough?

  22. Sorry I haven’t posted. At my sons rugby tournament at Randall’s island. Got the team to chant lets go rangers for the team picture. Got my the kreider t shirt hanging by the scoreboard for all to see. Dreaming of a victory tonight. Lets go rangers

  23. Robby bonfire is CONSIDERING dropping hockey as a sport he passionately follows?

    How can you consider to drop a passion?

    Have you already dropped the rangers as the team you support?

    Back to rugby!

    Go Pelham!

    Lets go rangers!!

  24. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Me Ed is going for the early lead. Pure speed. Looking at 1:08 at the 3/4 mark.

  25. Rob in Beantown on

    Post time at the Belmont Stakes: 6:52 pm on NBC
    Stanley Cup Final: 7:00 pm on NBC

    ???

  26. Rob in Beantown on

    There’s a decent chance a horse will win the triple crown and then NBC is going to cut right away to a hockey game? Lol…

  27. “”Rob in Beantown

    There’s a decent chance a horse will win the triple crown and then NBC is going to cut right away to a hockey game? Lol…”” Rob, I’m thinking the exact thing. We might not get the game at all until the 3rd period.

  28. Stranger Nation on

    Open your eyes and look within:
    Are you satisfied with the life you’re living?
    We know where we’re going;
    We know where we’re from.
    We’re leaving Babylon, y’all!
    We’re going to our Father’s land.

  29. Robby, thanks for your post at 10:49. I am old enough to remember when there were NO TV timeouts in hockey, ever. Teams did not get timeouts either, although I do not think one TO a game is a terrible thing. But if Bettman and his thugs have their way, the great game of hockey will go the way of the NBA and the NFL. And it will cost the average fan more money for a lower quality product.
    Here’s hoping Bettman is forced out. I am, however, not holding my breath.
    Rangers need to bring it tonight for 3 periods. LGR!!!!!

  30. Robby Bonfire on

    Sadly, JD, whomever replaces Bettman will be controlled by the TV-advertising monolith swine, who inundate all of us with thousands of commercials, every week of our lives, from tv ads, to radio ads, to billboards, to internet pop-ups, to manufacturers labels on apparel, etc.

    Last week I was going to buy a new Philadelphia Eagles baseball cap, and I liked what I saw on the screen, except for the lettering “Reebok” across the side of the cap. So I passed on the offer. I thought it was about the Eagles, I didn’t know, until then, that my wearing an Eagles cap was about Reebok and some sweat shop in Indonesia, even more.

    No where to run, no where to hide, is my dilemma, at this stage of my life.

    Enjoy the Belmont and don’t suffer the fortunes of the local hockey team more than you have to. lol.

  31. The boneheads are sure bringing their A game today!

    So here’s my question – what will NBC do if the Belmont ends in a tie and goes into couple overtime? Bet the suits at 30 Rock didn’t figure that one out yet –

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