Eight minutes into overtime of Game Two the Washington Capitals found themselves on their first powerplay of the game. It took just fifty-one seconds until Mike Green fired a slap shot past Henrik Lundqvist to give the Washington Capitals a 2-0 lead in the series and make Ryan McDonagh feel like the loneliest man on the planet.
Through almost six and a half periods of playoff hockey the Rangers have scored just one goal. Ironically, it was the first goal of the series. Carl Hagelin scored a wrap-around that went off of John Erskine's skate and into the net 16:44 into the first period of Game One and since then the Rangers have not been able to get a frozen rubber disc past Braden Holtby. Through two games Holtby's has a 0.47 GAA and a .983 SV% and currently has a shutout streak of nearly six periods. In the words of the great philosopher Mr. Dobby Doo... "Ruh roh."
In short, the Rangers shooting percentage makes The Empire's Stormtroopers look like elite marksmen. It makes that blindfolded kid that cracks his dad in the crotch with a waffle bat look like Miguel Cabrera. It makes Mark Sanchez look like an elite quarterback.
...Okay, that last one was a stretch.
The good news? Eventually Braden Holtby is going to let in a goal and when that happens the Rangers will stop making him look like a terrifying cyborg made partially from Patrick Roy, Dominik Hasek, and uh... a some robot parts. The bounces might even start going our way and pucks that go off the post and wide might start going off the post and in.
The bad news? All I have to say is that the Rangers better start scoring soon. The Rangers can ill-afford to go down 3-0 in this series. Game Three isn't technically a "must win" but we all know that is exactly what it is.
Thankfully the Rangers have home ice in Game Three, it looks like they might have deadline pick-up Ryane Clowe back in the lineup, and they still have Henrik Lundqvist in net. Two softies in the Game One aside Hank has been keeping the Rangers afloat in this series and so long as he is in net I think the Rangers can win four games before the Capitals win another two games.
I know that things are pretty bleak around here. This place was sunshine and lollipops when Ryan Callahan clinched a playoff berth for the Rangers when he scored overtime against the Carolina Hurricanes and that good feeling carried over through the end of the season and right up until that first goal scored by the Capitals in Game One. It's all been downhill from there. A quick summary of how things have gone goes something like this:
I am troubled and disturbed about what is going to happen in the third frame... Oh, and in case you are wondering, in my mind that is more or less what you all look like.
Things certainly do look bleak my friends but this series is still far from over. Hopefully the Garden and Clowe's return can inject some energy and life into the Rangers. Hopefully Holtby's cyborg parts malfunction and he finds himself out of position or low on hydraulic fluid or oil or whatever day-to-day woes cyborgs have to worry about. I don't know, I'm not a doctor or a mechanic.
What I am trying to say here is there is plenty of hockey still to be played and we shouldn't give up on this team just yet. I know it is hard to be excited about optimistic as Game Three but at least it can't be as bad as being eaten alive by a bear. You know what the scariest part about being eaten alive by a bear is? The small mouth. When a shark goes after you it has really sharp teeth and a very big mouth so I am sure it isn't half as bad as being eaten by something with a small mouth. See what I'm getting at here? A small mouth, taking dozens of bites until you mercifully lose consciousness from blood loss... creepy and horrible to think about huh? Well no matter what happens on Monday night it won't be as bad as being eaten alive by a bear. So try and relax... and don't go hiking.
I hope you all had a good weekend... don't go hiking and always respect bears.
Let's go Rangers. Believe.