First things first. I want to talk about the officiating in this game.I'm not going to pin this loss on the four blind mice because the Rangers were outplayed and out-gunned. It was a mess of a hockey game for them. But when Ruslan Fedotanko takes an elbow to the head in the middle of the ice by king dirt-bag Dan Carcillo and no penalty is called, there's a frickin' problem. Feds took the kind of hit to the head that the NHL is supposedly "cracking down on" and somehow both referees missed it and still called nothing even as he remained face down on the ice. Carcillo will probably be suspended for the hit, but that doesn't help the Rangers. At that point in the game the Rangers were down by two and were dying for a power play. To put some extra salt in the wound, Brandon Prust was called for a retaliation penalty on the next play after Nikolai Zherdev took three or four shots at him that went uncalled. Pronger promptly scored on the ensuing power play. What a painful turn of events. Absolutely inexcusable.
As for the Rangers, tonight was the first night since Gaborik went down that the they dearly missed him. They simply didn't have the offensive skill to come back from a two goal deficit at the start of the third period. The Flyers defense did a great job keeping the shots to the outside and rookie goalie Sergei Bobrovsky was rarely challenged. Brandon Dubinsky was able to continue his hot streak notching the Rangers only goal on the power play, but after that the Rangers offense was flat and incapable of generating opportunities. The Rangers must put in a better effort tomorrow night at MSG West (or is it South?) against the Devils if the expect to walk out of that circus with a 'w".
Quick hits after the jump..
- I absolutely loathe Nikolai Zherdev and to see him get a puck luck goal against the Rangers was infuriating. But it's comforting to know that he will go back into his shell and disappear for another two weeks after tonight. But then again, I know he's going to be a constant thorn in the Rangers side this year. Remember two years ago when he put on a show in Columbus?
- Michael Del Zotto fell asleep on the Flyers game winner with a god awful turnover in the slot as he tried to rush up the ice. That's just trrrrible.
- It was nice to see Derek Boogard play the Kovalchuk card and tell Carcillo to 'zip it' during warm ups. It was also nice to see him throw some blows on former Ranger Jody Shelley. However, it pissed me off to see him take a retaliation penalty later in the game as he slashed Shelley. It pissed me off even more to catch a glimpse of Boogard taking a punch to the back of the head at center ice by a Flyer as the referees waited for the Rangers to touch the puck. Well here I go with talking about the refs again..
- Another former Ranger did some damage tonight, Blair Betts notched the game winner (almost forgot about that). Betts was a good soldier in New York and it was ashame to see him be let go.
I'm just going to leave it at this. I really have nothing else to say except mindless bitching and moaning about a poorly played and poorly officiated hockey game. I don't think any of you guys would appreciate l
istening reading that. Let's hope for a better result tomorrow.