- So last night after the game ended I tweeted this:
If you're a Rangers fan you should be thrilled with the way NYR played tonight. You can be frustrated at the result but not the effort.— Joe Fortunato (@BlueshirtBanter) May 5, 2015
And some people lost their damn minds thanks to some Rangers Faithful Twitter account painting me out to be the next coming of Satan. Outside of the chirping -- which is way more fun when another fanbase is doing it to you -- I absolutely stand by the comment. And I'm not sure how anyone can question the Rangers effort lat night.
- At all strengths the Rangers outchanced the Capitals 41 to 24. They outshot them 30-22. In the third period the Rangers did everything other than score and they out-possessed the Capitals all game. Sometimes it isn't your night. Sometimes the puck doesn't go in. And sometimes another goalie stands on his head and that's exactly what Braden Holtby did.
- My point? Relax, guys. Seriously. The amount of people who called me an idiot who knows nothing about hockey because I wasn't panicking over last night's loss is comical. If you can't appreciate the Rangers effort last night (regardless of result) then I don't know what to tell you. But if the Rangers play that exact game 10 times they probably win eight of them, and that might be conservative. And being down 2-1 isn't the worst thing in the world. Especially with Game 5 and 7 in your pocket at home. This team knows how to overcome adversity.
- The Rangers best player (outside of Henrik Lundqvist who I thought was spectacular) was Rick Nash. My word did he have a game. Seven shots (team high), two official hits (he had more than that) two takeaways and a brilliant diving play to break up a golden chance for the Capitals. There was nothing he wasn't doing, except for scoring, which is the bottom line for a lot of people who thinks he sucks. He doesn't. He was a monster. The goals will come.
- That was Martin St. Louis best game of the playoffs so far, but it's still a mile from where he needs to be. I'm not going to lie, watching Brooks Orpik catch him on a breakaway was hard to watch. And in that situation, a veteran of his caliber should know he has more time and do something other than shoot the puck into the goalie's chest. I'm now at the point where I would be shocked if he comes back next year regardless of price.
- The biggest issue is there's no real solution for St. Louis. I want him off the top line but where do you put him? You can't put him on the fourth line; that line has enough problems of it's own right now. You don't want to task Kevin Hayes and J.T. Miller with protecting him and he did not work out at all with Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider. It's a horrible situation to be in.
- Some people have said move him with Carl Hagelin. To me Hagelin is like the team babysitter, he's so good in his own zone (and can still produce offense despite his assignment) that he can handle having to lift St. Louis with him. But the problem is I love him sitting with Hayes and Miller to help clean up their messes. I'm not sure I want those two out on their own.
- Kreider was a close second for best forward. He's some player, man. He's using his body to throw his weight around, his speed to open the Capitals up and he has the ability to add offense. I thought he was really good in Game 3. The Rangers need that guy from him and they're getting it.
- The power play needs to get better, there's no way around it. I thought the Rangers power play was OK in Game 3, but it was a big step back from Wednesday. Those are the moments that come back to bite you in the butt, when you can't find a goal and your power play is mediocre.
- Keith Yandle should burn the tape from that game and never watch it again.
- Dan Boyle might want to think about doing that as well.
- Kevin Klein was bad in beast mode last night.
- Another person who should burn last night's tape? Alain Vigneault. He's been out-coached this series, which is a major problem. Barry Trotz has no issues getting the matchups he wants on the ice and Vigneault keeps making the wrong decisions. With guys like Ryan McDonagh, Marc Staal and Dan Girardi (hell even Klein), Boyle and Yandle should not be out against Ovechkin at all. As the road team those moments will be unavoidable at times, but too many times Ovechkin was lining up against Boyle and the Hayes line or (God forbid) the fourth line. That can't happen.
- P.S. The fourth line was OK against Pittsburgh because they had no depth. In this series they're getting destroyed and that has nothing to do with Dominic Moore (draw your own conclusions). That made people angry last night too but it's the reality of the situation. I'd suggest playing Ryan Bourque for him but we all know it's not going to happen. But the more Vigneault throws that line out in the offensive zone the worse the offense is going to get.