Rangers Vs. Canadiens: Nope

Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto

Notes from the Rangers' Game 5 loss to the Canadiens.

- I tweeted this out last night but want to say it again here. I think it's a good thing the Rangers got "embarrassed" in that game. And I use quotes around "embarrassed" because they could have taken that game at any second. The scoreline completely flattered the Canadiens.

- That was the worst playoff game I think the Rangers have played all year. Right up there with whatever the Game 6 performance was against the Flyers in Round One and Game 4 against the Penguins in Round Two. The common denominator? Against the Flyers the Rangers had a chance to finish the series early. Against the Penguins the Rangers botched a chance to give themselves life in a series where everyone assumed all was lost if they lost. My point is, as bad as the Rangers played (and oh man was it bad) they still only lost by two goals (essentially).

- Henrik Lundqvist might have had his worst game of the playoffs. Not that you can blame him, he was bound to have a human moment eventually. But you do have to point out he simply wasn't on his game. That didn't stop Rene Bourque from saying that Lundqvist hasn't been better than Dustin Tokarski in this series. Seriously, he said that. Look it up.

- The power play looked really good, even when they didn't score. Derek Stepan was a monster with the man advantage. So was Ryan McDonagh who -- surprise -- was great all night. Chris Kreider was horridin his own zone, but had a goal and three assists. Rick Nash was great. Dan Girardi was solid.

- Derick Brassard, Mats Zuccarello and Benoit Pouliot were out of sync all night. When that line is off it puts even more pressure on guys like Brad Richards, Martin St. Louis, Carl Hagelin and even Dom Moore and Brian Boyle.

- The Canadiens dive, embellish, act and fake all game long. The officials finally made an embellishment call on the Canadiens, but missed countless others. In Game 4 P.K. Subban actually jumped off the ice with both feet to try and sell (which he succeeded in doing) a high sticking call. When Benoit Pouliot skated behind him Subban (knowing the official couldn't see Pouliot clearly) threw his feet out from under himself like he was hit by a train. The call? On Pouliot of course. I don't know if the officials watch replays after the game, but at some point someone has to say something. NBC has been relentless in attacking the Canadiens constant diving. That can't make the NHL happy. The replays won't either because NBC isn't wrong.

- Subban, for what it's worth, is one of the worst of the bunch in the diving department. This makes no sense to me. He's so friggin' talented. Why resort to those actions to further his cause? He doesn't have to.

- The John Moore hit is a tough hit. It is. It wasn't nearly as late as the Brandon Prust hit, and it wasn't even close to being as predatory, but he made contact with the head. The call on the ice in Game 5 was the right one. Of course, the officials saw Prust's hit in Game 3 and gave him nothing. I find it hilarious that the players and the coach on the other bench can cry bloody murder about Moore's hit but defend Prust's with a straight face. They're right, of course, because they're Montreal and that's how hockey works. Go read a book.

- Bourque, by the way, got a match penalty and a game misconduct for cross checking Derek Dorsett in the head at the very end of the game. I doubt very highly he gets anything for that. And while I didn't see it, apparently Dorsett headbutted Bourque. That's not smart, either. Bourque should get suspended since he got a match penalty and those are the rules but, probably not.

- My guess is Moore will get a suspension. I would give him a single game because I don't think the hit was as bad as Prust's, but that's how I'm basing that length. In a vacuum, Moore's hit is probably worth two games. If he gets more than two, though, it's a joke.

- Secretly, I think we all expected a game like that someplace, somewhere. We all knew that horror was lurking in this team. And that's not a shot at the Rangers, actually. Every team has one of those terrible, no legs games in them. The hope is the game doesn't come at a bad time. In this case, it kind of did. But the Rangers got a 3-1 series lead in the first four games, and that afforded them an opportunity to cough one up. Game 6 is a completely different story. But I didn't turn off the TV last night and think to myself "oh boy the Rangers are going to blow this series." I felt relatively confident, because the Rangers won't play that poorly again and Montreal got almost every offensive bounce.

- That doesn't, by any stretch, mean the Rangers are in the clear. Game 6 is a must win. No question about it. You do not want to go back to Montreal for Game 7. However, the Rangers are a team that play much better with their backs against the wall. They should feel some of that pressure today and tomorrow and I think it will help them. Lundqvist, historically, steps it up after a tough game. And I still take him as my goalie tomorrow no friggin' question. And anyone who says otherwise is insane.

That was more angry than I anticipated. Sorry, gang.

Thoughts?

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