With winning momentum behind The New York Rangers coming off two important wins this past weekend against Buffalo and San Jose, the Blueshirts appeared to have found the confidence needed for the playoff run. Official recap here.
Who are we kidding? Habs 6, NYR 5 SO
Last night in Montreal, the New York Rangers dominated the Habs - embarrassing their home crowd with a likely fourth loss against the Rangers this season alone - the Blueshirts leading 5-0. It was a beautiful moment. Thoughts of grandeur, the pre-season expectations were going to be met, goals by Dubinsky, then Avery, then Shanny, then Drury, then.......what? They scored on us. Okay. It's just one.
Leading 5-0 and so they scored one? Fluke...we got a little sloppy. Four goals to defend now. No problem. The third period Tom Renney will employ his famous defensive zone system -- maybe they'll let one more go at the end, but good for us. I am a proud Rangers fan. Oh. They just scored again. Then another. Huh? What the f**k? Thirty seconds later another? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE? HOW IN GOD'S NAME HAVE WE GIVEN THEM FOUR GOALS AND WE ARE ONLY LEADING BY ONE GOAL? With six minutes left in the third, we have to hold our one goal lead! Reluctant optimism on my part, I actually believed we'd hold it. Plagued by uninspiring coaching and leadership, our dear, dear Rangers let the fifth Habs goal in ending regulation at 5-5.
Thoughts of "Lundqvist is just average" and "our defense is the worst in the league" were again entering my head. This is the team I know this season. Crap.
Montreal scored five even goals the last half of the game and were taking the Rangers into overtime land. Mind you, the overtime was some of the greatest hockey seen all season and I wanted this one more than any game all season, but unfortunately, it appeared I wanted it more than anyone in the New York Rangers franchise that evening. Secretly I knew the Habs deserved to take the cereal surprise away from my Blueshirts. They earned it. The crowd earned it. The Rangers were destined to lose.
The Rangers delivered that dreaded loss - they earned it - in shootout, as All-Stars Brendan Shanahan, Chris Drury and finally Jaromir Jagr were all unable to deliver anything worthy of the win. Three misses. Three very sad attempts.
Our confidence was taken away in one game. The belief is gone. Where to go from here....
NHL Three Stars: Pavelec stops 39; Marleau leads Sharks over Red Wings - *No. 1 Star: Ondrej Pavelec, Winnipeg Jets* The Jets stayed in the playoff hunt with a 5-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Pavelec was excellent again, ...
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