Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Witness for the Execution | Was 2 NYR 1 (Caps Win Series)

I watched Game 7 at the Ziegfeld tonight with a few hundred die-hard fans and 3 of my favorite Ranger fans. I was exchanging e-mails or on the phone with several others during intermissions.

Something special was developing on the big HD screen. A happy ending was ever so tantalizing close.

I allowed myself to think about matchups with the Bruins. I was yelling more at the screen that I do at the Garden. But any fantasy of a second round series was snatched away with quickness of a Sergei Fedorov rocket with 4:59 to go from the right hashmark over Henrik Lundqvist's left hand. A few minutes later, the series and the season were over. Official recap here.

The last goal of the Rangers' season was scored by Nik Antropov.
It also gave them their last lead of the season at 1-0 in the first period.

I saw a team of warriors - too many to mention right now but Sean Avery, Henrik Lundqvist and Michal Rosival get special praise for leaving their hearts on the ice.

Not in your house. One of several stunning saves made by #30 to keep the Blueshirts in the game.

Too bad the refs ignore the beating Sean Avery took once again.
If they had paid attention, they would have seen the tremendous game he played.

I saw an entire team play with passion, heart, courage and guts. Even Aaron Voros.

I saw a team whose flaws manifested themselves at the worst possible time.

I saw a team that cannot finish, cannot convert opportunities, cannot set up one timers, cannot hit open nets.

I saw an outmanned team on hostile ice with indifferent refs outplay the number 2 seed, control the ice, forecheck and defend as well as any other remaining team in the playoffs.

I saw a team show how well they can play by putting together perhaps the best 40 minutes of hockey they played all season during the first two periods of a 1-1 game.

I saw a defensive unit that never allowed the ballyhooed Ovechklin to score a meaningful goal over 7 games.

I saw a team that exasperates me, tries my patience, infuriates me and makes me hoarse from screaming.

I saw a team that did not panic.

I saw a team that succumbed to the relentless pressure of its opponent including being outshot 13-1 in the decisive final period.

In the 89th game, the season ended with 4:59 to go.

I saw a team that did justice to the Rangers logo as opposed to the prior 2 games and acquit themselves with class as opposed to its opponents in red, their classless fans and the imbeciles that run the NHL.

I saw MY team make me damn proud even though I saw its season end.

Next season seems so far away.

The time for reminiscing, recriminations and speculation is for the proverbial morning after.

Right now, I need some time to mourn the end of another Rangers season but I am thankful for the joy, drama, and heartache I felt over the course of a season of 89 games.



  1. I was not proud to see Lundqvist give up that softie for a GW goal. The dude got outplayed in every sense by a kid who hadn't played 5 NHl games b4 this series. Lundqvist came up REAL small this series. While I'm proud of others on this team who showed up and repped as hard as they could, I am extremely disappointed with Henrik. This dude makes buku dollars and IMHO was every bit responsible, maybe even more so than deadbeats like Redden, Drury, Antropov, and Gomez. Washington's guys showed up all series long.

    I'm extremely proud of the work put in by guys like Dubi, Betts, Sjostrom, Callahan and Avery. I'd like to see all of them back, I'd go to war any day with those guys. Reddens gotta be put on waivers with an outright assignment to the minors, his money needs to be freed up. We need somebody who can actually score, not these joey come lately 15 - 20 goal types that currently flood our roster.

    Another long summer awaits. You think we'd be used to this by now.

  2. Great post Tony.

    "I saw a team that exasperates me, tries my patience, infuriates me and makes me hoarse from screaming."

    I know just how you feel ...

  3. 1) Rudy: For real about Lundqvist? Except for the first two periods last night, the rangers got outplayed in every game. If not for Hank there isn't even a 7th game!
    2) As for the 'kid' he faced ONE SHOT in the final period last night. He's hardly ken Dryden quite yet!
    3) If Sean Avery can somehow harness a game like last night on a consistent basis, he could be a star in this league. Can he control the other crap? Yes, the refs seem to be looking for him and allowing the opposition liberties when he is involved.

  4. Faux Rumors - Absolutely, this guy needed to be better. Our one strength against the Caps this series, was supposed to be our goal tending. That was not the case. He only showed up in games 1,4, & 7 This guy earns the big dollars to make big saves. He gave up a good 5 0r 6 "SOFT" goals this series, including Federov's game winner. Now if hes the franchise goalie hes supposed to be, we'd still be alive. I would be happy with this performance 2 -3 years ago but we've seen this song and dance before. Yes, his team was outplayed, but lets not forget Lundqvist didnt take any discounts to be here. He's paid as an "ELITE" goalie. Elite goalies find a way to take overseries. Especially when your squad has a strangle hold on the series at 3-1 or even 3-2 at home. My point is the dude came up small, when we need him the most.

  5. Hey Rudy, how about shifting the blame where it really counts. Where was the scoring for the Rangers?

    11 goals in 7 games? and you want to blame Lundqvist for some soft goals?

    Didn't the Rangers sign a couple of "Elite" players that people still fawn over 2 years later and have yet to live up to their salaries?

    You know who they are and yet you seem to give them a pass for their wonderful production they have given the Ranger fans, much like the media.

    Without Lundqvist this team would have battled the Islanders for the 1st pick in the draft.

  6. Alright first off, I think Lundqvist is one of the top goaltenders in this league. I'm a big fan of his. My critique of his play, is only from THIS SERIES. He was up and down this year, but all in all, had a solid campaign. With that said, be for real, if you watched all 7 games, you'd know he was far from his best. He's not a rookie anymore, hes been in the playoffs 3 straight years. I expected him to take his game to the next level, it didn't happen. If you missed that you can't see the trees from the forest. Big game goalies step the F up when its playoff time. Not just some of the time. Stop convientaly forgetting he laid two straight eggs in games 5&6 and had to be pulled both games. He doesn't earn a pass on this one, sorry.

    As for the other two bums you mentioned. What do you want me to say about them, that hasn't been said about them all year long? Gomez is a girl and Drury is grossly overrated and both are ridiculously overpaid. There ya happy?

    I'm calling it like it is with Hank, the dude came up SMALL and gave up soft goals in the Washington series. He only showed up in games 1, 4, & 7. If you didnt see that, then you are blind. Sell your TV and buy a radio.

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  8. Rudy, If I need a new TV then maybe you might want come along and pick one up for yourself as well.

    Sure the King let in some soft goals there are you happy now?

    Lundqvist has tend goal for the Rangers thinking "If I let 2 or more in it's over". Hows that for a mind set.

    You still haven't explained the 11 goals in 7 games. Wow! I've never seen such firepower.

    Oh and if you don't see that then I have some "Ocean Front Land" I want to sell you in Kansas City LOL.

  9. Your kicking a six month old dead corpse!!!!

    The anemic offense has been WELL documented all year long. I'm not ignoring it, I was fully aware of it all season long. I didnt expect it to show up for this series.

    I did however expect Hank to show up and not get blown out of games. The dude has been to the show before and has to be accountable. Yes he stood on his head in game 4. Yes hes the reason we even made it to the playoffs. But to give him a pass for games 5 & especially game 6 is absurd. The rest of the team played like ass in those games too, not denying it. My point is still, Hank was every bit responsible for the collapse as Drury, Gomez, Antropov, and any other bum with a blue jersey on that couldn't score. Some of those softies were back breakers. What good is a franchise goalie if he cant take over 1 game out of 3 and put us in the next round?? The Capitals are far from the 83 Oilers. Don't belive all that hype that lead up to this series. The rangers belonged here. This wasn't a 4 game massacre, it was an epic collapse by a team that was up 3-1 and couldn't seal the deal. Base your expectations on that instead of how bad our offense was in the series.

  10. Rudy, Now we are talking. I would agree that Lundqvist should not be given a pass.

    If you think that he was the big reason the Rangers lost this series that is your opinion and you have every right to vent about it.

    My opinion is slightly different than yours. I would of bet the house that if the Lundqvist held the Caps to 2 goals in a game 7 on the road the Rangers would win.

    I goal and 1 measly shot in the 3rd and final period of a 7th game. That my friend sums it up for me.

    If I stopped kicking the 6 month old dead corpse would it go away?

  11. Well the things make us different, make us great. LOL!

    I hold him more responsible because in actuality, he's our Ovechkin. He's the guy thats supposed to be the difference maker for us.

    Either way, we're done and wait til next year is our mantra. Now we await for the next set of ill conceived signings and trades from that fat necked mad man Sather.


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