2012 NHL Playoffs: Rangers Vs. Senators - Game Four Notes

OTTAWA, CANADA - APRIL 18: Milan Michalek #9 of the Ottawa Senators celebrates his second period goal with teammates in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the New York Rangers during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Scotiabank Place on April 18, 2012 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

- Here is the dirty little secret about this series. When the cards have been on the table, only one team has gotten the job done in crunch time. Hint: It's not the New York Rangers.

- Here is another dirty little secret about this series. This is not the New York Rangers who won 50 games this season. That team rolled four lines, never sat back and found ways to win games. For whatever reason, John Tortorella has stopped rolling four lines (I think the fourth line played eight minutes COMBINED) last night. It's hurting this team. The top three lines are noticeably gassed at the end of the game. The Rangera are sitting back on leads and they're finding ways to LOSE games, not win them.

- And what happened to "safe is death?" After the Rangers went up by two, they started sitting and the Ottawa Senators controlled play because of it. You know the rest of this story. This ideology has let the Senators back into this series. It is a problem.

Join me after the jump.

- If Tortorella isn't going to give Chris Kreider more than three minutes a game then why is he out there? I thought he was good (he had another scoring chance) in his short ice time. It doesn't make much sense not to give him minutes early. I understand late in the game. But why was he glued to the bench all game?

- Henrik Lundqvist can't do everything. The Kyle Turris game winner was a perfect, and I mean perfect, shot.

- I've been saying all year that the Rangers' power play can kill them (I know, I know, I'm a genius), and it did Wednesday night. They couldn't have gotten a better start to the game. Then the power play couldn't be worse. Once again, they failed to convert at the end of the game with a shot to keep it from going to overtime.

- Call me bias, but that Marc Staal hit on Jason Spezza isn't dirty at all. Spezza is leaning over the puck, moving towards the goal; what is Staal supposed to do, move aside for him to waltz into the slot? I don't think so. Yes, Staal hit Spezza's head. Spezza also leaned into it. Sorry, not buying that one as dirty at all.

- Speaking of, best game by Staal all season.

- While we are being positive, Anton Stralman has really stepped up this postseason. He has been sensational. Whatever happens from here on out, I think he might have earned himself a contract.

- The Rangers still have home ice advantage. I still don't think this team is cooked. This is the first Senators' victory I truly thought they deserved. But if the Rangers can't score when it counts this series could be over in six.

- I loved Brad Richards, Ryan McDonagh, Marian Gaborik and Dan Girardi's game last night.

- Here is the final dirty little secret of this series. The Rangers are playing their worst hockey of the season, and are still tied at two. This series isn't over by a long shot, even though that was about as crushing of a playoff loss as I can remember. A win on Saturday would still shift the pressure back to Ottawa. But some things need to change before that happens. They can. I still believe in this team, I really do. Wednesday night was just a tough one to swallow.

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