BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 30: Jhonas Enroth # of the Buffalo Sabres deflects the puck against the New York Rangers at HSBC Arena on March 30, 2011 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
You could see it coming from a mile away. It was the perfect storm for Rangers malarky. Stud nemesis goaltender Ryan Miller is a late scratch and rookie backup Jhonas Enroth steps in between the pipes. It comes as a shock to nobody that Enroth summons his inner Hasek and posts a shutout. That's just the way things have gone this season for the Blueshirts. Nothing is easy, everything is an uphill battle.
The disallowed Artem Anisimov goal looms large but realistically, it probably was the right call. Even though Callahan was pushed into Enroth by the Sabres defenseman, nine times out of ten that goal is disallowed. As a fan I'm righteously pissed and am sick and tired of calls being made when a defenseman uses the opposing forward to bulldoze his own goaltender. But as the calm, cool and collected Blueshirt Banter blogger that I am. That's just the way it goes.
The fact of the matter is, the Rangers never established their forecheck and struggled to get pucks to the net. If I was mathematically inclined I could tell you how many times the Rangers missed the net, but unfortunately I can't count past twenty (kidding). The long layoff probably played a role in the Rangers inability to control the puck, but excuses are for losers and Devils fans. This is the final push to playoffs and nothing but perfection is satisfactory.
Enjoy reliving tonight's game more after the jump.
The Sabres defenseman did an excellent job blocking shots and clogging the middle of the ice. Enroth was rarely faced with a challenging save and his job was made easier by the Rangers inability to find the net. Tim Connolly's laser that beat Henrik Lundqvist in the second period was the difference.
Watching the third period was probably similar to being one of those unfortunate souls who serve as witnesses to an execution. You know the guy sitting in the chair is going to die, you're just waiting for the switch to be pulled. For whatever reason the Rangers just didn't have it tonight. They didn't have the same level of urgency that they usually do in the third period. Nobody in particular had a good game and more than a few had a bad one (yes I'm looking at you Wojtek Wolski).
The Rangers are now sitting in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. Only three points ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes who back hand slapped the Montreal Canadiens tonight. Hopefully Henrik Lundqvist is good to go tomorrow night.