Friday, February 5, 2010

But We Scored Five Goals!!??

NYR 5, Caps 6

'Bittersweet' is the word to describe tonight.

Not only is former-super-sniper Atlanta Thrasher Ilya Kovalchuk officially now a New Jersey Devil, but the Rangers lost in regulation for the seventh time in eight games and have slipped below the post-season cutoff in the Eastern Conference.

But we scored five goals???!!!!

Here is the tsn synopsis:
The Rangers carried play in the first period and took a 1-0 lead at 8:58 when Callahan tipped in a shot by Jokinen, snapping New York's 0 for 25 power-play slump over seven games. Gordon tied it with 3:20 left in the frame, despite Washington being outshot 15-5 at the time.  Prospal got that one back just 10 seconds later, and New York finished the period with a 2-1 lead and an 18-6 shots advantage.

The tide turned in the second as Washington quickly caught up in shots and on the scoreboard. Knuble's 20th goal made it 2-2 at 4:41, and Ovechkin's power-play tally at 7:16 gave the Capitals their first lead.  Jokinen, in his second game since being acquired from Calgary on Monday, scored his 12th of the season and first with the Rangers to make it 3-3 at 12:19. Prospal put New York back on top 40 seconds later.  Dubinsky's power-play goal with 1:12 left in the second made it 5-3 and had Madison Square Garden rocking.  It didn't last long as Ovechkin quieted the crowd by netting his NHL-leading 38th, scoring a one-handed goal with only 8.5 seconds left in the middle frame.  Former Rangers defenceman Poti tied it 5-5 just 59 seconds into the third, 36 seconds after New York newbie Michael Del Zotto was sent off for high-sticking.
Despite the loss, it was an awesome game to watch, complete with all of the short-handed turnovers, too many penalties, and defensive gaffs one comes to expect as a Rangers fan, but there was a confidence from the start in our Blueshirts very different than the level of play we've seen throughout this losing streak.  They were fast and hungry and they fed off the Garden, something I don't remember in some time.  Henrik Lundqvist was solid in goal, regardless of how many he let in --- if he hadn't played to his level, the Caps would have scored five more goals.

Alexander Ovechkin is truly a marvel to watch.  He is a guy who loves to win, is motivated by The Garden, and is the consummate hockey player.  I wish he was on our team.  Is it me, or am I the only one scratching my head with Rozsival covering Ovechkin one-on-one?  TORTS you ineffective Napoleon!!!!  - one thing is for sure, Torts has his favorites and sure loves benching Redden.  He's got it half right.

Some quotes of the night:
“For sure this is very, very tough to take, but we screwed it up ourselves,” Marian Gaborik said after the Blueshirts yielded three power-play goals while shorthanded nine times overall, including three times in the second period and five times in the third.  "We have to be disciplined; we can’t take that many penalties against anyone, certainly not against a team like that.  It’s our own fault.”
At the very least, it's refreshing that we're not being fed the usual "We played hard, we're just not getting pucks in the net" sound-bite that bites the ear.

Recently acquired Olli "Twist" Jokinen scored a goal and an assist and pushed the puck forward --- with Proust doing a great job with the body throughout.  The team has improved with them in the lineup.  Time will show what happens, so if our newly acquired Westerners can beat the historical "Lackadaisical Garden Syndrome" (the disease that gradually slows down hockey players to not work so hard, but still hastily cashing their checks), they might improve the tempo of the game.

The NJ Devils of Newark tomorrow, with Stanley Cupping Kovy on their side.  I call on Sean Avery to rise high and make fun of Fatty Brodeur, and do what he does best.  Be a pest.  Throw off their game.  Let's win this one and remind Kovy why he should have taken his Atlantian $100 million dollar contract, rather than one that belongs to a half-attended, half-hearted hockey town.  Yeah...they're on top right now, but a loss to the Blueshirts would do wonders in elevating our half-feeling team.

Who knows?  If not the Devils tomorrow, maybe we'll win a game one of these days!!?  10th place in the Eastern, by the way folks.


1 comment:

  1. Very entertaining game -- wide-open hockey. But let's be honest here --

    The Caps showed how much distance there is between the top teams in the East and lower teams like the Rangers. The Rangers needed a banner performance from their powerplay unit simply to stay in the game.

    The top 3-4 teams in the East are distancing themselves big time from the others as teams like Boston, the Isles, and Rangers are fading from contention.

    If the Rangers are not going to the playoffs, that's fine. We all agree that it is time to eliminate some of the overpaid underperforming dross and let youngsters get quality ice time that will translate to more mature performances next season.

    If Sather "panics" by trying to turn this team around for this season, he's a fool. Kovalchuk is now off the table -- there are no other game breaking rentals out there. (BTW, when Kovy goes back to Atlanta in July, we will have to reconsider who has gotten the deal of the century.)

    The Devils, Pens and Caps are vying for the Eastern Conf. prize.

    Teams like the Sabres & Sens are where the Rangers were in 2006-2008 -- competitive and capable of an upset.

    The Rangers are at best an 8th seed and a candidate for an early exit.

    That's not progress and no reason for fans to shell out any $$ for the playoffs.


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