Game 3: Rangers-Kings in review

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This is subject to change, and subject to the blog server not crashing, but we’re planning to do another Live Stanley Cup Final Chat today at noon. Or maybe we’ll call it, Talking You Down. Be there.

Thoughts:

1) This review is quick and easy. The Los Angeles Kings are the better team in this series. Yes, the Rangers could have won either of the first two games, could be down 2-1 or even up 2-1. Yes, Los Angeles got a critical non-call at a pivotal juncture in Game 2. Yes, the Kings got bounces on all three of their goals in Game 3. But the Kings are the better team. Period. Me, after the fluke 1-0 win in L.A. in the second game of the season: “11) The Kings are loaded for bear.” That was before they added Marian Gaborik. The Rangers added Martin St. Louis. I still think St. Louis is the better player, but Gaborik is going to get Conn Smythe votes. Imagine how bad this might be if Anze Kopitar was having a good series.2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Three

2) But going back to the bounces. Yes. The Kings got more of ’em in the series. The Rangers got a few too. I seem to recall Ryan McDonagh’s shot in Game 2 caroming in off a King. And Carl Hagelin’s short-handed breakaway that was stopped by Jonathan Quick but went in off Slava Voynov’s skate in Game 1. Breaking news: There are bounces in hockey games, almost all hockey games. The better teams still seem to win more games.

3) And those three bounces in Game 3 need some ‘splainin’ … The first goal, the really back-breaking goal that gave the Kings their first lead of the series with .7 seconds left in what was otherwise a pretty good period in front of a pretty good home crowd by the home team: John Moore has to have a clock in his head, has to know that time is winding down in the period. There is not a single reason for him to chase Justin Williams to the wall, not when Rick Nash is there already. He left a huge seam for Jeff Carter, and yes, Dan Girardi did his snow-angel thing and the puck deflected up past a surprised Henrik Lundqvist. But Jeff Carter, that wide open, who’s to say Lundqvist stops it if Girardi’s skate blade doesn’t get a piece?

4) The second goal, on the power play, with Marc Staal serving a high-sticking penalty, went in off of St. Louis. But Carter was all by his lonesome screening Lundqvist on that one. Completely ignored. The third goal is a 2-on-1. Ryan McDonagh stops the pass, it goes right back to Mike Richards. Unlucky, yes. Why is it a 2-on-1? Girardi caught up ice? Yes, that’s what the Rangers do. But the high forward was Brad Richards and when the puck changed possession, the acting captain was dead-stopped in the offensive slot. Not a chance he was going to get back in time from a stop. I thought he had some jump at the start. That went away. He’s played all 105 games. The tank is empty.ledge

5) So there you have it. Three bounces, three goals. But the Kings only needed one. I didn’t see a lot of the Kings’ early-round games. But I saw the entire Chicago series and I saw Games 1, 2 and 3 of the Final, and this was Quick’s best game of those 10, IMO. That save he made on Mats Zuccarello was pretty sick. And the Rangers forwards, as they tend to do from time to time over the last (add your number) years, didn’t make it nearly difficult enough for him, despite the big shot advantage.

6) Zuccarello, I though — I know, but it remains an opinion — was the Rangers’ best forward all season. It wasn’t even close in Game 3. And as good as he is, as much as he competes and gets out of that small body, as admirable as that is, he can’t be the best forward on team that has Rick Nash, Derek Stepan, Richards and St. Louis. Either Derick Brassard or Chris Kreider was second, and Kreider might yet become an elite power forward, but he shouldn’t be second or third, either. The big guys let down the Rangers.

7) The Daily Nash-O-Meter. Speaking of big guys and let downs. I’m not going to repeat, again, all the good things he does and when he plays hard and all. But enough is enough. Four goals in 35 playoff games in two springtimes, two of them against Dustin Tokarski, one against Peter Budaj, isn’t getting it done. Not at all. Gaborik has 13 this spring. Again, just saying. And all of this hoo-ha about how Nash has to go back onto the power play, well, tell me who he’s replacing. He can’t play the point for Richards, so don’t go there. He’s not better in front of the net than Kreider or Benoit Pouliot. Anyway, the unit that consistently gets chances is Pouliot-Brassard-Zuccarello. So Nash doesn’t fit there. He doesn’t pass well enough to replace Stepan. And St. Louis has been very good on the PP with the one-timer. He finds spots that Nash doesn’t even think to visit.

2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Three8) That said, Nash drove to the net and forced Doughty to take a penalty, a really good penalty, because Nash was going to score there coming out from behind. And some veteran hockey scribes were saying in the pressbox, what doesn’t the NHL award penalty shots when a great scoring chance like that is thwarted by a penalty from behind? Why is it only on breakaways? Good point, I thought. But do you really want these fine men in strikes making more determinations?

9) New game, new rulebook. So in Game 3, all of a sudden, it’s a rodeo. Anything goes. Let’s see. One team is big and strong and struggles defensively. The other team is small and quick. Which team benefits from it being a rodeo? (Answer later).

10) Looked for a while there that the Rangers’ strategy was to make the Kings play with the lead, since they’re so good playing from behind.

11) BTW, and to be clear, I didn’t think effort, overall, was a problem. I thought, again, execution was. I thought, at times, between the ears was a problem again. I thought there was enough try and compete. That wasn’t good enough against a bigger, better team trying and competing just as hard.

12) Alain Vigneault seemed to get a little testy in the post-game, not that he should be blamed when he answers so many lame questions daily. But he really doesn’t like to explain anything that sounds like a second guess, such as why no Nash on the power play. And his “Grade A chances” line is really stale by now.

2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Three13) So, as the immortal Ted Sator said when his ’86 Rangers went down 0-3 to Montreal, “One way or another, we’ll be history.” Those Rangers won Game 4, then lost in Game 5. Can these Rangers live to play another day?

14) My buddy Tom Gulitti noted that in the 2012 Final, LA won Games 1 and 2 over the Devils in OT, then won Game 3 via shutout. For those who forget (like me), the Devils won Games 4 and 5, then were blown out in Game 6. But, just so you know, no team has come back from 0-3 in a Final since 1942 (Maple Leaves over Detroit). Seventy-two years ago, and that’s the only one in history.

15) So do you think all those faux-fan celebrities come to Game 4? And do you just feel terrible for those secondary-market (aka legal scalpers) whose bottom lines are going to take a beating now? One more question: What happened to the bunting they used to hang from the facings of the decks at MSG during playoffs?

16) After every loss since we’ve been doing these Three Stars polls, a few of you annoyed fan-boys vote for the backup goalie. So side-splittingly funny. Just never gets old. (sarcasm).

*************************************
My Three Rangers Stars:
1. Mats Zuccarello.mats
2. Ryan McDonagh.
3. Derick Brassard.
*************************************
Josh Thomson, 26’s Three Rangers Stars:
1. Rick Nash.
2. Derick Brassard.
3. Derek Dorsett.
*************************************
Your poll vote for Three Rangers Stars:
1. Mats Zuccarello.
2. tie, Ryan McDonagh, Brian Boyle, Rick Nash.
*************************************

Photos by Getty Images.

Twitter: @rangersreport.

 

 

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193 Comments

  1. OUCH!

    This game started OK. I didn’t expect the Rangers to win this series.. but please get one win.

  2. Bummed out. It was an unexpected run and never expected to be here. But, this team is not the kings or blackhawks. They had a lot of luck to get here. I do not see them as a perenial contender. I pray it is not another 20 years before we see them playing for the cup again..

  3. #9- Not ten minutes into the game I wondered out loud when the meeting between the Kings and the refs took place at which the Kings disclosed they were going to play lock down defensive hockey and were told, “Okay, just keep your sticks down.” This was one where you throw the stats away- “double the shots on goal” “quadrouple the chances” “Quick 32 for 32″- and use your eyes. Carter scores and game over- this was why I wanted to play the Hawks, who can’t suffocate you like this 5 on 5- who don’t have a lights out goalie- maybe worst bounce Rangers got came in OT of game 7 of Western Conference Finals…we’ll never know.

  4. Couldnt stay up to watch the game last night due to having to be up at 5am (2hours after the game finished here!!) – and i’m very glad i didn’t.

    No need for me to comment on the game/team/goals/roster/referees, Carp says it all as always.

  5. The first period was clutch and grab at its finest.

    Feeling so proud or the rangers for this run.

    Flyers

    Penguins

    Canadiens

    Great run boys. Get one win, but i dont think that they do. Kings have been better because they have won three games on rangers mistakes and some horrific non calls, but they have been better. Goals that tick off your skates and saves that tick off his stick.

    Not meant to be. Not this year. Maybe a different year but not this year.

  6. gregm_oldsection403 on

    So where is this ledge you all speak about? Any room for 1 more?

    I have tix for wednesday. My son, age 11, still wants to go to the game. He knows the odds, but he doesn’t care. He says he still believes the rangers can do it….ahh youth!

    Meanwhile, i want to puke.

  7. gregm_oldsection403 on

    Power play was 0-6 in a ‘must win’ game. Only 1 of the PPs last night actually looked good. The others were pure garbage.

    PP is 1 for 14 in the series.

    Bench Richards tonight so he doesn’t get hurt…then you can buy him out in a few weeks.

  8. The stubborn ness of the coach not to change looks on pp really pisses me off. He uses Nash when game is all but lost. But the same unit of 5 to start corms over boards to start. No movement. No big time shot presence.

    Ranger pp is one of the major reasons for this run ending. We had our shot in LA and that’s where series was lost. Add the pp tonight and breakup day begins friday

  9. Apologies to Norm, but BR has been a weak link in a Rangers team that otherwise shows speed, grit and defensive awareness…once again he plays like he should be a healthy scratch for the entire series.

  10. the Rangers were using their speed to exploit the Kings’ slower team speed during games 1-2…not so much during last night’game, which had the appearance of serious jet-lag play

  11. UK, I turned the game off at the start of the 3rd period here in NY…also rising early, and glad I didn’t watch the ending. Thought the Rangers showed some life for short periods of time, and while Zucc-Breass-Poodle were on the ice. A step backwards for the Blueshirts. Can only imagine what would have been, had they bought out Richards in a compliance deal before the season started. I wonder whether his leadership intangible is really worth the cost of his weak play during the playoffs.

  12. Carp, that photo of the Ledge Lane sign looks cold and forlorn in the snow…was that what *the ledge* felt like last night?

  13. “B-Game” was awful again,but St. Louis should have recognized the Girardi pinch first. He was right there and he was in position (momentum out of zone), but he angled to the boards thinking he may get lucky. “B-Game” is responsible defensively as center, bit MSL coulda helped out there big time.

  14. Stranger Nation on

    Re Stall penalty – don’t forget it was a couple of seconds after we just fought off another penalty. Can’t give this team 4 mins of PP time back to back.

    Stall, Girardi: Not good enough
    Richards, Nash, St. Louis: Not good enough
    Henk: Not good enough

    Not good enough salary???: ~$39M – 2/3 of team

  15. bull dog line on

    big saves at big times. Quick makes them, Hank does not. thats the story of the series.

  16. ” And do you just feel terrible for those secondary-market (aka legal scalpers) whose bottom lines are going to take a beating now? ”

    *slinks into chair*

  17. Of the three games, I felt this was the only one they got outplayed 5-5. The other two games we were the better team. The biggest difference, as Carp said, execution. The Kings finish when they get chances, the Rangers don’t. Period, the end. If we bury 2 of those, what seemed like 100 PP chances, it’s a different game completely. Seventeen shots on goal, can’t score on one. Quick was REALLY good, but we also missed quite a few. That great chance by Zuc, there was room UNDER his stick, and ON TOP of his stick, so where’s the shot? RIGHT ON his stick. And there, my fellow boneheads is the difference.

  18. You guys may think I’m crazy but my lesson from game 4 of the Pittsburgh series was don’t give up on your team. After game 4, I was already folding up the tent, thinking the Rangers were going to sht the bed in Game 5. They won the next 3 and the rest is history.

    Is LA more stacked than Pittsburgh? Yes. Does LA have a better goalie than Pittsburgh? Yes.

    The Rangers looked as if they had already conceded defeat when they were down 2-0. If that truly was the case, I hope they conserved energy for game 4. Even the most pessimistic of fans has to admit the Rangers have played their best hockey when their backs have been against the wall.

    Also to the fans who are criticizing Hank, give me a fuggin break. He is reason number one that we’re even here playing games in mid-June.

    Want to get on Girardi? I have no beef with that. Want to get on Richards, St. Louis or Nash? I have no beef with that either. But if you guys are goin to criticize Hank, you’re fuggin delusional. Go support the Islanders or Devils then.

    And don’t give me your freedom of speech nonsense, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about credible, intelligent rants, not absolute nonsense.

    Let’s Go Rangers and thank you Carp for everything you do for us.

    Any chance we can get a Rangers Report Boneheads BBQ going for this summer? Would love to meet people like Orr, Doodie, Papa, ilb, Yev, Manny, Sioux, Miami, and UKRanger.

  19. Woulda shoulda coulda but it would have been interesting to see a peaking Bruins team take on LA

  20. Maybe I’m deaf, but I don’t hear any fat ladies…

    Wanted to puke last night too, but still gotta have faith that they can do SOMETHING. I really don’t wanna see the cup raised at MSG tomorrow night…

  21. How far down the list of teams that DIDNT survive out West would we have to go, before we found a team that we could have beaten 4 of 7 playing like we have?

  22. Ok…we got at least another game…we are watching hockey in June…won ir lose we are blessed. The Kings play the right…Quick is the better goalie…or at least he was last night…but he has got a focused team in front of him…no Brad Richards…no MSL…etc.
    I have been begging for Richards to be benched..well..since last Oct…whatever rebirth he had offensovely has been matched by his defensive prowess..or rather lack thereof. I doubt that anyone you replace him with will give me less pleasure to watch.
    When the Rangers lose..the TV goes off immediately…so if the Kings win on Wed..I willnot see the handshake, the cup…or Duguays outfit d’jour….which by the way I have not seen since game 6. I get the autopsy right here..in the way I need to read it…alongside the people I need to read it with…and that had made this ride so enjoyable.
    Now..I keep thinking as the losses have piled up…that the Kings were either going to sweep after playing max games to get here…OR….pull a reverse…and lose 4 straight and crash and burn not being able to pull out the OT in game seven…which the Rangers win on a goal by some currently on the Black Aces.

  23. Didn’t watch the game. In fact after the non call that should have been goalie interference and no goal I shut the tv off and haven’t watched since. It will be interesting to see if I watch another nhl game. I’ve had it with the amateur hour officiating. I don’t follow basketball and baseball anymore and hockey is next. Football will be the only sport I will invest my time in from here on out.

  24. Sunday after game 2 today and whenever it ends is a time to feel sad and deflated. We could enjoy ride later. Too hard right now for me.

    Question

    Do rangers get back to a cup final in lundquist era. Figure 7-9 years.

  25. Stranger Nation on

    Fat Guy – If AV doled out Playing Time based upon on ice performance and not $$, we could be up in this series.

    This team cannot afford to make up for the poor play of B gamer Mr Ed and (soft as) Nashed Potatoes.

  26. As a fan, even at the beginning of game 3, I was much more relaxed watching, as the Kings had beaten down my expectations. I wonder if subconsciously if the players were feeling the same, particularly after the first goal. That after playing really well in LA, having not been behind in either game until the end, that the players had lost some belief.

    After pulling out the Pittsburgh series, we were playing with house money. These playoffs have given me a lot of joy (and agita), so I can’t get too upset with the outcome. So, I’ll watch game 4, support the team, hope for the best, and expect the worst. Who knows?

    Do you believe in miracles…?

  27. If they are going to buy out Bradley I say sit him. Put in JT Miller for the experience.

    This is not the time but see if you can move Nash at the draft.

  28. 1st goal was a backbreaker….Nash did not get the puck deep and it goes the other way off a skate…Kings take advantage of every mistake

  29. Sun coming up above the fog somewhere here in SF as I settle in to some C&C. It ended up being an interesting experiment for me watching the game on the plane with no audio and away from the whining bonehead entries I would ordinarily have contributed to. I saw a different game than is being written about here for The Ledger. No question the Kings are the stronger team over three games and they defended their lead far better than the Rangers have. But they were almost comically lucky on their goals. The first Lundqvist was safely tracking (the replay from behind the shooter makes that clear), he also had a good bead on the second, and the third Richards must have giggled about, trying to force a pass through McD and being rewarded for his mistake.

    Tough on MSL, the chief culprit on the second two goals, though the failed gamble on the third was not that unreasonable. In any case, if Quick hadn’t had the puck happen to catch his flailing stick not once but three times, we’d be talking about the plucky Rangers this morning. As the expression goes, though, if they hadn’t had bad luck (last night) they’d have had no luck at all. They’re still alive, and I’m still loving this run.

  30. I will still watch game 4 and hope for a miracle, but not too optimistic. I at least want to win game 4 so there’s no cup celebration for the Kings at MSG this year.

    Hey, to me, this is the first time all season I’m going to join everyone on the ledge. It finally seems appropriate. Still, I ain’t jumping. No matter what happens, it’s been a great and unexpected run :)

  31. Good morning, boneheads!

    Great review, Carp! Lost to a better team, as simple as it may sound. Sometimes you look and play as well as the opposing team allows you too. Hard to swallow, and hard to enjoy, but true. I know it’s difficult emotionally for some, but should really take this whole postseason run in perspective. At the moment all I want is for them to come out tomorrow night and give us, the fans, everything they have. And if the still lose, so be it.

  32. By now it’s clear that the Kings got into Rangers’ heads. The confidence level is shut down. Hence, inability to execute simple plays.

  33. Zev the welder on

    Quick was soooo good last night. They could of peppered him with 50 shots. He wasn’t letting anything past. That’s what killed the game for the Rangers. He should be the one with the king title. Deserves it and has come up huge when needed, for the Kings.

    Gotta say, I’m still mighty proud of this team and what AV has done to get them here. Maybe they pull off a win on Wednesday and give us all hope? Who knows… Regardless, I’m proud that they even made it this far when they were down 3-1 to Pittsburgh. That was our Stanley Cup finals.

  34. I like Eric’s approach! This is the most upbeat and optimistic he’s sounded all year long. And to answer your question, yes they can. There is never guarantee, as we all know, but if they made the right moves this offseason, I don’t see why they can’t.

  35. Onecupin75yearsandcounting on

    At the rate the rangers make it to finals and win cups ,well mine was in 94 ,I don’t think I’ll around for the next Cup

  36. Carp, you wrote a lot of this as if the season was already over. Pretty close but not yet.

    I’m glad most people built this series up as it coming down to Lundqvists performance because bad bounces and officiating or not, this series comes down to 11 goals against in 3 games and not being able to hold 2-goal leads. I’m tired of hearing about how great LA is. That stuff just cannot happen and any team in a Cup Final.

    I won’t fault Richards for subpar play though. The guys out of gas. He’s been so for the better part of the last 4 weeks. It’s not “poor play” if your body won’t allow you to keep up.

    With those two points made ill just say this – this really stinks

  37. You have got to give the Kings credit, they seem to take advantage of every mistake we make. We give them an inch and they take a yard.

  38. Lazy. The first goal was the game and the series. They’ve been lazy in the final seconds of periods all season long. “Whistle to whistle” huh? Pure laziness. I don’t know where it comes from, but Rick and Brad take the heat deservedly so. I wouldn’t mind both going away. They can’t handle the pressure of NYC. Keenan was spot on post game about pressure of MSG. That’s why I’d rather see some kids from our farm system play with some passion and abandone. Dorsette sucks! I never thought I would say this in a million years, but Carcillo should be in, will he play in this series? Meanwhile that’s the least of their problems. They win tomorrow, go down in five. Good run, miracle type stuff. Why not us? Maybe next year.

  39. Ah man. That was rough.

    Trying to remain positive. Who’s to say we can’t come back down 0 – 3? If the Kings can do it during this year’s playoffs, so can we!

    It ain’t over til it’s over.

    Y’all can enjoy the Chase Ledge(c). As for me, I’ll be here ready to enjoy another Rangers game in June.

  40. Nash needs to go btw. Once again he’s showing you as much as you’ll get out of him on the big stage.
    And good stuff and physicality while glued to the bench every power play doesn’t equate to a 7.5 million dollar forward. the Bruins got more offense out of Bergeron last year while playing through 5 different injuries. If not in the Stanely Cup finals, when??

  41. Maybe, Manny. Unless he exploits that elimination game stat and gives us 2 goals the next 3 games to force a game 7.

  42. Ranger Playoffs of 2014 has been a great ride. Unfortunately the ride ended with a flat tire in a drenching rainstorm.

  43. Sounds like the ledge is pretty crowded, some have already jumped off, others are pushing from the rear. Me? i’m just sat on sun-lounger drinking the cocktails and thinking if this does end on Wednesday, the World Cup starts on Thursday, would that be such a bad thing?

  44. Better to lose this way, as another OT loss would have been devastation on top of an already big pile of devastation.

    This was their worst game of the series. Inexcusable for a first Cup game at MSG in 20 years.

    You guys think it’s a given that Richards is gone, but that’s what everybody said last year (including Carp). You would think Sather can’t be that crazy…but I really have no faith that the right thing will be done.

    Nash is the supposed superstar, and he’s playing like a 35 year old third liner fighting for a job.

  45. Jeff in South Dakota on

    Carp, thanks for the write up and everything you do for us, it is truly appreciated. Is it wrong to be happy with what the Rangers accomplished this year? I’m happy – I didn’t think they’d ever make the SCF this year – not with the start they had. NYR hockey in June! I will be happier when management buys-out Richards and trades Nash during the summer.

  46. I could have bought an Authentic Rick Nash Ranger Blue Sweater (my size, looked new) for $20 from the season ticket holder (great kid in his 20’s) who was sitting next to me during last nights game. Obviously the last thing I want is Nash’s sweater.

    But, on the way home it hit me hard. I should have bought it so I could burn it.

  47. I would love to see this exact roster next season, now that they know who they are, one of the best teams in franchise history. Won’t happen for any number of good reasons, but overachieving teams don’t come down Broadway very often. This group has a lot to be proud of, hope they get to put at least one more puzzle piece into that Cup on the wall. And AV! What a superb hire.

  48. It’s fine to be happy. But know this from a long time Ranger Fan who goes back many years………Rangers probably won’t be back in the finals playing for the Cup for another 20 years.

    2014 was this generations shot to get one early and my generations shot to get one late.

    Sadly, the supposed best and highest paid players on the team, (sans Hank and McD) failed miserably to make a difference and lead the way for the younger players.

  49. They can’t have the same team next season, Norm, for many different reasons. But if managed properly, this team can be upgraded. I’m not ready for the *offseason* talk yet.

  50. Surprisingly, not a single rat came out of their hole this morning yet. But there were a couple last night, for sure.

  51. Rob in Beantown on

    Buyout Richards. Trade Nash for spare parts/picks. Sign Boyle. Sign Moore. Sign Pouliot. Sign Stastny. Sign Stralman. This team got to the Stanley Cup Final so we dont need to retool too much. Dumping Broadway Brad and the Loser will be addition by subtraction.

  52. Carp, can you set up an off-ledge sub-blog where some of us Posies can go to lower our blood pressure before coming back here to the [very entertaining] land of whining, ungrateful negativity? As the season draws to a close, though, I’d like to thank all boneheads, from the reasoned ilb to the vitriolic bear, for making this the worst blog on the i-webs. And don’t even get me started on the bizarre after-hours antics of coos and E3. I love this place.

  53. Norm, does your “change nothing” approach include effectively signing Richards to a 6 year extension this offseason?

  54. I’m down for a BBQ.

    Would be glad to roast these no-talents.

    What a bunch of clowns.

    This was my Facebook status BEFORE the game last night:

    “Pimp recommends that everyone tune in tonight to Game 3 of the NHL Finals … you’ll catch the absorbing comedy that is Cirque du Soleil’s “Clowns sur la Glace” … the story of the New York Rangers and their epic battle to win the Stanley Cup with a bush-league team composed of no-talent, amateur-hour ice jesters who occasionally moonlight as hockey players.”

  55. Ranger Organization blew it big time last-night by not having a ceremonial puck drop.

    Dolan was sitting in his owners seats surrounded by Phil Jackson, Matt Harvey, Mike Francesca. What a tool.

  56. Girardi has sucked this series. I have nothing good to say aboot his performance in these tree games.

    And deflected or not, Hank needs to stop that Carter goal. It wasn’t much of a deflection. He needs to be more aggressive with that much time left.

  57. *Offseason* talk will start 48 hours after the last SCF game’s played. That’s when the teams enter an ordinary and compliance buyout window.

  58. We have all July and August reflect on this journey. Spend rest of June thinking about how hard it will be to get back to this spot. It hurts it should hurt and it will for weeks. Plenty of major dec btwn now and July
    1st.

    Anybody who ever needs tix let me know. Face value to you none heads. That said I’m going back to crying

  59. I predicted before the start of the season that these no-talents were going to lose.

    Call me Nostradamus.

  60. Speaking of BBQ. Old timers here may recall that we already had one a few years back at my upstate place. Well, guess what, mrs ilb said a week or so back that maybe we should have another one this year *if they win the Cup*. Maybe I should start talking to her about having it *anyway*? :-)

  61. Matty"WhyNot!!"Boy on

    Not saying it’s over till it’s over, but yes, LA is a really good team.

    That said, kudos for the good guys for getting through Philly, Pitt, and Montreal!! And will any of us wonder forever the what if scenario:

    What if we faced Chicago in the Finals??????????????

  62. Here are the 3 game always popular and relevant and important “hit events per 60″ stats for our boys …

    Kevin Klein: 27.3
    Mats Zuccarello: 25.0
    Derek Dorsett: 24.7
    Chris Kreider: 20.2
    Brian Boyle: 16.6
    Ryan McDonagh: 15.0
    Dan Girardi: 14.7
    Derick Brassard: 14.2
    John Moore: 13.8
    Anton Stralman: 12.5
    Benoit Pouliot: 11.1
    Rick Nash: 9.8
    Marc Staal: 6.6
    Raphael Diaz: 5.9
    Dominic Moore: 5.5
    Derek Stepan: 5.3
    Martin St. Louis: 5.1
    Carl Hagelin: 5.0
    Brad Richards: 3.3

  63. Rob in Beantown on

    “And will any of us wonder forever the what if scenario:

    What if we faced Chicago in the Finals??????????????”

    I started wondering about that last night. I guess we’ll never know.

  64. I agree with the sentiment that B-rich and Nash probably need to go. The issue as i see it is that even though they have not given us what they need there is a trickle down that happens coverage wise. Teams still need to play their best d-pair vs Nash or at least pay attention to him.

    If we get rid of Nash then teams will focus more on people like Zucc and bring our offense down as a whole

    I’m not really behind signing Stastny as he seems to me to just be a very similar player to B-rich. I would not be much happier with Stepan/Stastny/Brass/Moops than I am with our current set up

    I don’t think what we need is really available in free agency.

    what we really need to hope is that someone in the Fast/Miller/Lindburgh camp makes the jump to being a serviceable 2b/3a center in the league in the next year or 2. My hope is the big bodied Miller figures out his away from the puck stuff and steps in as the daily 3c next year. You can slot Brass and Step up slightly and just hope that the death by a thousand cuts approach works again (depth beating top end talent)

    I want to just bring back the Brass/Zucc/Pullout line in tact. Love how they play together and stupid penalties aside they were surely our best line this season. I also want to bring back at least 2/3’s of the 4th line with the Dorsett/Carcillo spot sort a flex spot for me. Not that I don’t like those guys I just feel we have a lot of young talent that can fill that spot and grow playing 12-15 minutes a night

    if B-Rich goes, and we somehow find a way to rid our selves of Nash, I’d be ok/happy with an MSL/Stepan/Kreider top line.

  65. Also, I’ll be going to g4 and work about 3 blocks from MSG, anyone interested in possibly meeting up for a few pregame? Drown our sorrows a bit?

  66. Turnovers at key areas of ice killed us all series. Nash gets puck in deep late 1st with 10 sec left carter doesn’t happen.

  67. I’m also ready for OffSeason talk. I think it motivates the players.

    Is DuClair ready to be a 1st line player?

  68. @Eric, how packed will it be there at that time? Every time I’ve tried to go there it was too packed to move

  69. Rob in Beantown on

    Totally ORR. We blew game 1 and I feel as though we were robbed of game 2. But if we just won one of those games this is still a series even if we’re down 2-1. It just makes me sad.

  70. As hard as game 1 was game 2 is the game. The non call missed opp in overtime by kreider 2x Nash/Mac turnover on tying goal.

    Game 2 will sit in my gut for a very long time.

  71. I thought we might win one playoff series but we’d eventually have to face (and lose) to the Penguins or Bruins.

    Either way, i can’t see us winning 4 straight against this lot.

    AV has worked wonders this year, lets hope this offseason we re-sign the right players (Boyle, Brass, Zucc, Pullout, Moore) and use the Richards buyout money to sign or trade for a new 1/2nd line center (Stastny seems the only UFA) and get THE Kreider signed up long-term

  72. I’d say at least half of the goals scored against the Rangers in this series have come from turnovers either in the neutral zone or the defensive zone. You just can’t allow a team with LA’s size and skill get opportunities like that.

    As a side note, when was the last time the Rangers scored a real greasy goal? Like, point shot, deflected, scramble in the crease, hammer in a second or third opportunity type of goal? I’m honestly thinking hard here. Seems like the Rangers can only score off the rush, which given how fast they are at least a few times a game. Still not good enough, especially on the PP, where the Rangers can pin an opponent in their zone and work a cycle until a goal.

  73. Caffeinating at Blue Bottle Coffee Co. Carping properly now. Enjoy putting food on your family’s table while I throw money out the window like it’s my new job. Daughter graduating. Two more tuition years to go for the youngest. Then the poorhouse…

  74. Rob in Beantown on

    Other than not winning the Cup, the worst part of this is getting embarrassed on the biggest stage there is. If we lose like this we are letting down the whole Eastern Conference. Proving all those people who said “Hawks vs Kings is the real Stanely Cup Final” right. I don’t want to read any hockey coverage anywhere other than this blog — just don’t want to deal with all that right now.

  75. UK, I agree about the guys to keep. MZA is a dynamic playmaker and tenacious forward. He has a lot of tricks in his bag. I don’t think Dom Moore’s value can be overstated as well. The guy is the defensively responsible 4th line center with some offensive potential the Rangers have looked for for years. He’s like a Blair Betts that can actually score goals as well. He filled in admirably for Stepan in the MTL series and didn’t look out of place. He’s a keeper for sure.

    Richards has to go, and Nash has to be traded for whatever.

  76. Big saves at big times. Quick makes them, Hank does not. That’s the story of the series.

  77. Duguay was just on with Joe & Evan spouting the “lucky bounces” nonsense. I know he’s the biggest homer on the face of the earth but maybe stop bleeding Ranger blue for a second and realize that Ranger ineptitude had a prominent hand in all three of those “lucky bounces.”

  78. Hey guys, I’ve been staring at this for an hour and I just can’t quite figure out the prob … oh wait, there it is …

    Derek Stepan: 0-1-1
    Chris Kreider: 0-1-1
    Rick Nash: 0-0-0
    *1st Line: 0-2-2 (181.9 TOI)*

    Martin St. Louis: 1-0-1
    Carl Hagelin: 1-0-1
    Brad Richards: 0-0-0
    *2nd Line: 2-0-2 (162.4 TOI)*

    Mats Zuccarello: 1-1-2
    Derick Brassard: 1-1-2
    Benoit Pouliot: 1-0-1
    *3rd Line: 3-2-5 (181.3 TOI)*

    Brian Boyle: 0-1-1
    Dominic Moore: 0-1-1
    Derek Dorsett: 0-0-0
    *4th Line: 0-2-2 (118.3 TOI)*

  79. We dodged a couple bullets in the east when we didn’t have to play Columbus or Boston. The only two teams in the east that really worried me…(Philly had a punchers chance against us IMHO).

    Most teams in the west worried me (except Chicago and Minnesota). I did not think we matched up well against most of the west due to the size factor.

    The first two games were up for grabs, we could have won either or both (I thought game 2 was an awesome game to watch), butwe were man handled in game 3, no way around it.

  80. If anyone is willing to part with a Game 4 ticket, for any reason, let me know….thanks.

  81. “Big saves at big times. Quick makes them, Hank does not. That’s the story of the series.”

    couldn’t agree more with that. I feel that 2 of those 3 goals scored last night Quick would have found a way to stop while Lundqvist cannot. if this series ends on Wednesday without much more than a whisper from the Rangers, get ready for most of the “best goalie in the sport” talk to swing in Jonathan Quick’s direction.

  82. Even if Hank stops two of those three goals, they still lose. I don’t think it’s as much a matter of Lundqvist playing bad as it is Quick playing better.

    And, frankly, the Kings are a bit lucky to be here. Quick was getting lit up early in the playoffs. But, he’s improved as the playoffs have gone on, so good on him.

  83. I was just kidding about Duclair.

    Hank has had almost no chance on 90% of the goals. Three players usually leave one Kings player alone in front of the net.

    Blame the actual issue here: Kings are much better and they are getting the bounces.

  84. _I feel that 2 of those 3 goals scored last night Quick would have found a way to stop while Lundqvist cannot_

    Ignoring that playoffs to date and regular season Henrik has “found a way” to stop a lot more pucks than Quick, I totally agree!

  85. I think there’s more of a chance Richards gets bought out this *offseason* than if they won, or it was close.

  86. If the Kings were shooting on Quick and the Rangers were shooting on Henrik, its still a 2-1 series for LA. Quick was great in Game 3. It was an outlier.

  87. Utter nonsense, Lloyd. No goalie stops those three goals. He was on top of each shot and got ‘bounced’ each time. Quick has no magical powers and was as lucky as was brilliant last night. It’s so compelling to think great athletes control all situations and that by extension we all have control of our destinies. They don’t and we don’t.

  88. Hey Carp, one correction to your synopsis:

    Nash scored 2 of his goals against Tochristki. The utterly meaningless, A-Rod style 7th goal in game 1 was against Budaj.

    Speaking of Nash, I recall one of those NBC geniuses doing voiceover in a Nash highlight package during game 2 against Montreal and when they showed a clip of Nash’s first period goal he said, “And this is what happens for players like Rick Nash once they get going, the goals start coming in bunches.”

    Rick Nash has 1 goal in the 7 games since

  89. Anyone here got a problem with Nash driving the net, getting stopped, driving around for the wrap, and getting whacked by Doughty’s textbook ‘good penalty’? Or was he avoiding scoring areas again? You don’t suppose the Kings are aware of him? Just as the Rangers are aware of Kopitar? The Kings do employ a coaching staff last time I checked.

  90. sorry guys but Lundqvist had a chance to make a play on 2 of the 3 goals. the first one went in off him. the third, “unlucky bounce” or not, he was in position to stop it and got beat clean. and believe me, I’m not saying those are automatic saves by any stretch, but in a game where you’ve faced just over 10 shots for most of the game and your team is struggling, you need something special there. you have to find a way to stop pucks in those moments. Quick has found a way to do that in this series. Henrik Lundqvist has not. and don’t kid yourselves: Quick has outplayed Lundqvist in all three games.

  91. at the end of the day, to win the series, we needed lundqvist to outplay quick and it didn’t happen.

    i totally agree that we wouldn’t be here without him but the reality was we needed him to steal some games and it didn’t happen.

    also, can i drive richards and nash to the airport after game 4?

  92. Rob, regarding your 10:33 post…agree completely! I just want a victory in Game 4. Anything they have to do, please just do it! I like their chances on the road where the Boys have been better all year.
    And who give a crap about what Mr Willa Ford has to say.

  93. My goal now is recovery.

    Therefore, I have convinced myself, every time I think of Rick Nash, I will immediately replace the thought with thoughts of Ryan McDonough.

  94. Great review as usual, Carp. Though I agree that your language suggests the Rangers are done. I have no illusions but I for one will continue to hold out hope until the last horn sounds and the Kings win four. Not ready to talk about next season yet. (Though I am seriously looking forward to the moves we can make once we buy out Brad!!)

  95. Classic Pierre McGuire last night: In the first period he was going on and on about Sutter and what a great coach he was. In the third period, he said that the LA team basically coaches itself. OK, now I got it.

    And did the Ranger organization screw over Edzo at some point? Is he upset with the Rangers for some reason? Because it surely seems as if he is relishing the fact that the Kings are up 3-0. He sounded chirpy and happy as a schoolgirl in the 3rd period last night.

  96. also, Lloyd, not only is Doogs a homer, but he’s completely clueless about what happens on the ice. But, hey, he can dance.

  97. Quick preserved the lead given to him by his team. Hank was unable to preserve four, two-goal leads. Hank shrunk with the ultimate prize in sports on the line.

  98. Lloyd, you know so little about goaltending, it’s staggering. I’m laughing myself silly imagining Quick using his superior skills to make those imaginary saves. Lundqvist might have made them if was a bad enough goalie to spread and hope. The guy beat the Pens almost by himself, for crying out Lloyd.

  99. The website crashed and burned.

    The Rangers crashed and burned.

    Coincidence? I think not.

    Steven Wright

  100. Does anyone have a comparison of the avg weight of the kings lines vs the rangers?

    We have too many small forwards and not enough overtly physical players

  101. Wicky, here’s my rough estimate I just ran on my computer:

    Kings: 6-7, 260.
    Rangers: 5-8, 145. Take Boyle out and that changes.

  102. If your Doug Wilson sharks gm and you ask jumbo joe Thornton to waive his no trade clause and come to rangers.

    Where does conversation begun with sather. What could we possibly offer them to entice a package.

    They would want center and def.

    3 yrs 6.75 for Thornton is a real good contract. Not too much term. Granted he’s another loser who hasn’t won a thing.

  103. Norm,

    I was a goaltender (and a pretty damn good one) for about 7 years. What position did you play?

  104. Hahah, Carp. I just howled mightily at your post about Duguay. He does dress well and has nice hair but he’s the proverbial breasts on a bull.

  105. Eric
    I was thinking the opposite re SJ. What do we get back for Nash? Lol

    Remember all the talk of how great jumbo joe and gnash we’re together on a line in Switzerland during one of the Bettman bonus non nhl hockey breaks?

    You have to figure they are on the same team at some point…right?

  106. Eric, would definitely be up for some tickets next season if you are offering. My daughters (8 & 6) have been pestering me about going to a Ranger game at the Garden, and I’ve been putting it off mostly because of the prices. And unlike most people, I am looking for a non-Rival game, as I’d like to shelter them from some of the salty language sure to come from a Flyers/Devils/Islanders match-up. Something like the Coyotes or the Canucks.

    As little faith as I have in Sather, who to be fair made some good moves this season (Klein, Moore, Pouliot), I will be shocked if Richards is not an ex-Ranger by July. Reading Glen’s non-committal on Richards recently “that’s something will address in the off-season”, makes me sure he is a goner.

    Now about Nash, while trading him is possible (I mean, somehow we are able to get some team to take Scott Gomez), it’s not like the rest of the league hasn’t been watching the Rangers and doesn’t know that Nash isn’t producing. Is it even permissible in the NHL to eat salary? That’s about the only way I see any team taking Nash. He’d be serviceable on a third/fourth line making $2/$2.5 million, but what team would take on $7.8 million for him.

    I think we are stuck with Nash. And I say this as someone who roots for him, as he seems a genuinely nice guy (not that I have any insight into him behind closed doors).

  107. oh god no not Joe Thornton not ever

    Thornton will be 35 in a few weeks. His 11-65 will be about 9-35 with the Rangers. And as much as I hate to admit it, Tortorella was right on the money about him. No thanks.

  108. Mickman

    Email me over summer after schedule comes out mid July. Hold my email. Be my pleasure.

  109. Yes, I’d take stastny a 1000 times over before I ever considered jumbo shrimp

    I want a stastny Chris Stewart reunion on Broadway next season

  110. I’m just saying *not only* are the Kings the better team but they are also getting all the bounces and capitalizing on all their chances.

    Conversely the Rangers, not the better team, would have needed a miracle to win this series and they are getting the exact opposite of a miracle. Screwed at all turns.

  111. I was a center minoring in off-wing. And Lloyd, loath though I am to drop the ‘Jane you ignorant slut’ tone, I respectfully ask: What would a world-class goalie do to save any of the 3 shots in question?

  112. Manny can back me up: There’s no way Lloyd stops that first shot that changed direction off Girardi’s skate. I played against him in juniors for all 7 years (and then I played another half year) and he was known for not stopping deflected shots and other types of shots as well.

  113. ThisYearsModel on

    No more excuses for Rick Nash. He is fraidy scared of going to the net, where goals are scored from. We gutted out team for a $7.8MM penalty killer. Can’t believe that we are down 3 games without Kopitar having much of an impact. Richards is having an impact. Too bad it is a negative one. No doubt which team has the better goalie either. It is the Kings.

  114. Not sure if you’re actually reading the posts or are just dreaming about all the Ranger greatness of the past 3 games but I’m not saying those are automatic saves, just saves you need a goalie to make in a game where he’s stopping, to that point, about 75% of the chances he faces. First goal went off Lundqvist. Third goal he bit the “non-pass” from Richards, started to lean and then fell forward as Richards shot. Are any of those easy saves or saves that are made most of the time? Absolutely not. But you need extraordinary efforts in those situations and Lundqvist simply did what most other goalies would do. That being said, Quick has been in several of those identical positions in these 3 games and has made saves. Do you not consider Quick “a world-class goalie?” Sometimes you just have to come up a little bit bigger.

  115. The New York rangers will not get back to a cup final in hank era. Willing to wager 68 hot dogs.

  116. Lloyd, that’s just emotion. What, technically, speaking as an ex-goalie, would you do to stop each goal? And the newspaper-selling ‘coming up bigger’ doesn’t cut it. Convince me you know something about the modern, deep, push-across game.

  117. Yes, LA is a much better team on paper.

    But, what happened on the ice in the last three games?

    The Kings seem to have luck in their favor. Lucky, lucky, lucky…Simple as that.

  118. First goal went off him. Third goal went by him to this right as he moved to his right beating him by inches. If you consider those situations where the goalie has absolutely no chance, you have very minimal expectations from human beings.

    Save percentages through first three games:

    Jonathan Quick: 94%
    Henrik Lundqvist: 89%

  119. So had Girardi’s skate tipped it where it sailed past an unable to react goalie rather than ticking just off an unable to react goalie, that would be a “good” goal?

  120. This has nothing to do with the game, but has anyone else noticed that Jonathan Quick hunches over during the National Anthem?
    As an American, he should know what that song means and what that flag represents.
    Stand up during the song!
    It is only about 90 seconds long.
    If Swedes, Russians, Canadians and Norwegians can show enough respect to stand during it, then why can’t an American?

  121. OK, Lloyd, you have made your ignorance more clear now. Remember, though: you passed on an opportunity to offer some expertise based on your alleged hockey career. If you want to take advantage of the opportunity, though, have at it one more time: What, exactly and technically, would you have done to stop those goals, and what would Quick have done differently than Lundqvist, in your opinion? Please avoid “rise to the occasion” and “have a higher save percentage” if you want to differentiate yourself from a mere disappointed rooter.

  122. Omg, now we are all rehashing our old “playing days” expertise?!

    You guys are a riot

  123. I am here to back up *The Doc*

    When I played Junior I would never expect my goalie, even Lloyd, to stop that

  124. Wicky, don’t want to brag, but I was definitely shooting a wiffle ball off my friends garage last weekend. Still got those smooth wrists. #formerplayer #glorydays #wristshots #7point5yearjuniorcareer #ifyouwanttostoptheshotyouwill

  125. Luck:

    Jeff Carter’s goal nicked off of Dan Girardi’s skate and past Henrik Lundqvist

    Jake Muzzin’s goal went off of Marty St. Louis and changed direction to beat Henrik Lundqvist

    Ryan McDonagh blocked a Mike Richards pass on a 2 on 1 but the puck came right back to Richards who beat Lundqvist

  126. I think we should set up a meeting where Lloyd can talk to Henrik and Talbot about how they need to overcome luck if they want to be pretty damn good like he was during his seven year career.

  127. Lloyd, goal one only goes off of Lundqvist because Mr. Snow Angel deflects it up at the last second. That doesn’t happen and it’s in Lundqvists glove. Regardless, the fault of that play is all on John Moore. He has no business taking Williams at the wall and leave Jeff Carter open in the slot. Just stupid.

    Goal three Lundqvist is trying to go right to left to stop the shoot, which never comes because it goes right back to Richards. Only way he’s making that save was with a bad shot back into him.

    Bad luck on all the goals yes, but the Kings created the luck with good play or the Rangers gave it to them with stupid play. Both really.

  128. you guys who seem to believe in luck and likely also the tooth fairy, pixies, goblins and santa claus, how many of Quick’s saves last night were attributable to luck?

  129. Maybe luck is the wrong word. They were certainly fortunate bounces, no way around that. However they created that fortune with good play and the Rangers gave it to them with dumb plays. It can be both luck and good/poor play at the same time, don’t know why you’re so hung up on that.

  130. you guys who incessantly wax rhapsodic about Lundqvist sound exactly like Olcyzk and McGuire at a Dustin Tokarski game

  131. After hearing Mike Keenan go on his little rant on the post-game show, I got to thinking that maybe, if Vigneault doesn’t know what to tell the guys to get them more motivated, it would be a good time to ask Mark Messier to come in and give the guys a little talk. Not that they should need any motivation- they’re facing elimination in the Stanley Cup Finals.

  132. _you guys who seem to believe in luck and likely also the tooth fairy, pixies, goblins and santa claus_

    And now I have a new favorite “wow, talk about not getting it” quote.

  133. can’t really get on Vigneault’s case now as he’s had a big role in getting them this far. I just hope he sticks with the guys who got him there and doesn’t ham-fist Richards and Nash into situations where they clearly do not belong.

  134. Rei,

    Definitely agree with you on John Moore. And I’m not sure what happened to the guy between last season and this season but he looks so out of his depth about 90% of the time. Maybe the added playing time exposed him but he’s not someone you can have any confidence in when he’s on the ice.

  135. ‘I had a friend was a big baseball player
    back in high school
    He could throw that speedball by you
    Make you look like a fool boy
    Saw him the other night at this roadside bar
    I was walking in, he was walking out
    We went back inside sat down had a few drinks
    but all he kept talking about was

    Glory Days

  136. Since there really isn’t anyone doing anything, outside of the Zuccs line, AV doesn’t seem to have many options left.

    PP was a disappointment, you have to give the Kings credit for being the better team. Getting the puck deep into our zone, punishing our defenseman and causing turnovers.

    I don’t believe for a second the Rangers have played poorly, its just that the Kings are that good.

    Losing game 2 was a crusher.

  137. Happy as a clam that we got to the finals. Never expected it in a million years. We managed to make it through the first three rounds despite the same problem that has plagued this team all year: Inconsistency. On the PP. Up front, especially the players making the most money.

    What has been maddingly consistent is the dmen’s inability to the get fk out of the way of shots so Hank can just make a save. I remember when he first came in he was beaten by deflections. A lot. Mostly off the other team’s sticks. Then he figured that out and has arguably been the best in the league for most of the last six seasons. Somewhere during tort’s regime, with all the blocking of shots came deflections off our own players passed Hank that has continued and you might even say has gotten progressively worse. Hank hasn’t managed to figure that out. I gotta think he says to himself it’s bad enough I have to focus on the other team shooting on me, I also have to worry about my guys getting in the way to make it even worse.

    All that said, I’m glad these guys are getting a taste for what it’s like to play in a final series. Despite how good the first three rounds were, the Final is another animal. ANd I think that will help us for the next few years. We could be one of four teams (Chi, Bos, LA and us) to make repeated visits to the finals, with some tweaking. They know how they need to play after getting this taste. They don’t have all the right pieces in place to get to the next step, though, yet.

    For me, with a sad heart, Staal needs to go. He had his moments but relies way too much on that stick and has never ever put the puck near the net, let alone on it (hyperbole, yeah, but you know what I mean). Same with Girardi. WAY too many pucks go in off him, and his mistakes are BIG. They should fetch a nice return. Richards, thanks, but see-ya. Nash should fetch a nice return from whatever western team takes him, and that is where he should play.

    Build this team around THE, Step, Hags, Brass, Zucc, even bring Pouliot back one more yr, re-sign Dom and, yes, the playoff Brian Boyle, not the regular season one, DD, McD, Strals, Moore and Kline. We will be back. And we will win game 4!

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