Monday, April 27, 2009

Ovechkin, Brashear and Poti, Oh My! Rangers Humiliated | Was 5 NYR 3 (Series Tied at 3 Games Each)

It's one thing for the Rangers management to market their players in "I am part of a tradition" campaign or for the coaches to treat the logo on the locker room floor like a Vestal Virgin. It's another thing for the players to disgrace their logo on the sweater and at center ice in front of a national television audience and their faithful fans in attendance at the Garden. This is precisely what the Rangers did in Game 6. You want to read about it, kindly go here. I've got little to say, so I'm letting some pictures tell the tale.

All I will remember is that the barbarians from the nation's capital, the league's and NBC's other must watch/survive team, stormed the Garden to thrash, bite, and mug the Blueshirts in front of a horrified MSG crowd.

Once upon a time, in fact, it was just this past Wednesday, the Rangers had a 3-1 lead. But that was when their goalie was not playing like Jose Theodore or Carey Price. His recent ordinariness has exposed the team's shortcomings that we already are painfully aware of. Now Henrik is in a slump, his teammates (especially the veterans) have collapsed and that 2 game advantage is gone and soon perhaps so will the Rangers. How ordinary? In 80 minutes, Lundqvist has yielded 9 goals on 34 shots. We all knew the Caps could not be held down forever, but the pendulum has truly swung from one extreme to the other in this series. The game reminded me of that terrible Game 6 he had against Buffalo two seasons ago. Aim high and score.

Now here's a lineup worthy of the Rangers sweater.

Not since Dave Schultz pounded Dale Rolfe in a playoff game has one physical act - Brashear's assault on Blair Betts - turned a game around and exposed the Rangers (especially their veterans) as gutless cowardly mercenaries. Until that happened, the game looked to be a great match -- the Caps scored early but the Rangers came back to tie it with a power play goal. The Garden was rocking and then at center ice, the game turned on a cowardly act. The fact that the refs told Chris Drury that the play was clean may be one of the most ridiculous things ever heard. Undoubtedly, Brashear, perhaps the biggest coward to don an NHL jersey, decided to take out the Rangers' biggest defensive threat with one of the cheapest shots ever right next to the Rangers center ice logo.

Brashear let out a pre-game roar when he looked at the Rangers during the pre-skate.

Anything more ignominious than
Tom Poti to score 4 points in one game?
How about if it's in a crucial playoff game?

Worst of all, nary a Ranger, including the neutered Sean Avery, took offense to the shellacking the Caps inflicted. Sure some players threw some bodies around, but it was long after the game's outcome was no longer in doubt (about halfway through the 2nd period).

When it came time to defend a player (Blair Betts) whose efforts this season have created a clamoring that he should wear an "A" or even a "C", no one showed up. No veteran, except for Paul Mara, showed any interest in defending their turf. The thought that our last memory of Blair Betts in Rangers blue will be his motionless body on the ice after that disgusting cheap shot makes me very very sad.

Where was Colton Orr? That's a valid question. Well, Torts has ruined him so much that he has regressed to the point that the brain trust decided to replace him with the totally useless, invisible Aaron Voros. That's a terrible answer even if it is the truth.

The gift that keeps on giving. Renney's decision to turn down Shanahan continues to impact the team on the ice and in the lockeroom.

Special Relationship. Caps fans may insinuate that Girardi and Staal have a "special relationship" but check out the Russian male mating ritual when Ovechkin "celebrated" some scoring with comrade Koslov. I'm ready for a monastery.

Alone again, naturally. The Caps moved onto Henrik's doorstep for most of the first 40 minutes and were kind enough to take care of shovelling the snow.

Insult to Injury. Shaone Morrison biting Dubinsky during a scrum. NBC signaled the refs to give Dubi a misconduct for having the effrontery to show the refs what this mutant did.

Make your travel plans now. The refs deliver the NHL's message to replacement Coach Schoenfeld to make Acela reservations now for Game 7.

The scoreboard is not our friend. 4-1 on 14 shots, midway through the game.

As for Coach Tortorella and his hissy fit and suspension (i have considered this carefully after my Saturday night post) -- let's put it nicely -- he is dead to me. He is a hypocrite and a fool. He has become a sideshow worse than Avery. Dead, dead, dead.

So it is on to D.C. and those friendly fans for a Game 7. The Rangers, who are obviously not as talented as the Capitals, will try to muster up whatever courage and heart they have to try to extend the season. If they did not have Henrik in net, they would have been eliminated in 5 games, at best. Now Ranger fans know what Montreal fans felt like in their recent disaster. My only consolation is that if the Rangers lose Game 7, many of them will not be back for next season and for nearly all of them, I say good riddance.

But we'll leave my true feelings for the season's post-mortem. Let's hope it won't be needed for a while longer.



  1. The fact that Brashear commits this act with zero response (I'm not counting a bear hug from Mr. Mara as an appropriate reaction)from the Rangers was the most disappointing part of a terrible effort. Winning takes unity - I wonder if Gravy is available tomorrow night.

  2. I'd have a more positive outlook if we turned the 3rd into a brawl, with eye gouges to even out their biting, and illegal chokeholds and the like. At least then they would have been able to say they got it all out of their system and they could come in tuesday ready to work.
    As it was you could see the frustration on the bench with Antro's stick swinging and dubinskys helmet bouncing. Hard for that stuff not to overflow when you feel youre being cheated and haven't taken measures to put people in their place and get things back on an even keel. As much as I like that Mara stood up for Betts, I think we need someone that will do more to Brashear than hug him to death. Funny the same thing happened last time Orr didn't play (against the flygirls.) Fedoruk, cheapshotted people at will... then he paid for it with his conciousness in the next game.

  3. I agree 100% with Tony, JMEY and "J"...if the The Caps were left wounded for the next potential round then I'd feel better. At the very least, make me want to see a couple of these guys stay on the team. Plus all this coach business has taken the 'class' out of his mojo for us Rangers fans. I never appreciated the 'class' that Renney brought to the table until right about now. Mind you...we need Torts going into the off-season and next season, but what he did will remain with me for a long, long time.

    Whether we move forward into another agonizing round of hockey against the Bruins (yeah...that'll be easy) or not, one thing is for sure.

    The Rangers have a new rival in DC.

    Here's to a Tuesday post-mortem. Cheers to all. It's not looking good and THAT'S OKAY WITH ME because they have given me (as a fan) nothing to look forward to. This roller-coaster ("we're great....we suck") of a season is the first in a long time.

    tony,....the Shanny picture hurt. A small reminder of how little it actually takes to make the difference on a team -- the devotion to a team, and even more importantly, showing the fans why you belong on the team. Dropping the gloves that first Caps meeting transformed that Red Wings sharp-shooter into a Blueshirt favorite within seconds...that was one of the most memorable recent goosebump moments post-lockout.

    if only there was more to say...

    the post-summer-season awaits...





This site/blog is not affiliated with the New York Rangers or The National Hockey League in any manner whatsoever. Some photos on this site are used w/out permission but are hosted on the blogger server, therefore not interfering with the profit or bandwidth of the original owner. If you are the owner of a specific image that we have used in our blog , please email me at to have it removed - we will gladly remove it immediately.

If you have a hockey blog/website and would like to place a link on our site, please contact me & we can do a link exchange (the best way to get more traffic to our blogs).

Any offer of 'tickets at cost' is exactly that -- I have season tickets and will sell them for what I paid --- so no mark-ups.

The Dark Ranger is a not-for-profit site, not officially, but we derive no income at all from anything on this site; in fact, DARK at his own expense enjoys the freedom of having no sponsors and speaking his f*cking mind.