Rangers Vs. Bruins: Close Isn't Good Enough For Rangers In Game 1
Notes from the Rangers loss to the Bruins in Game 1 of the Second Round.
- First of all, huge apology to all of you who are fighting through these server issues SB Nation is currently going through. We're expecting there to be a fix soon and things should be completely normal (and even better) by the time the Rangers take on the Bruins for Game 2. You've probably seen stories not getting posted on time and some lacking updates. We're having issues with this, too, but for the most part the major things seem to be fixed. I always say that Vox has the best support people in the business and they've legitimately been working 24 hours a day to fix these issues. So thanks for the patience there.
- Back to the hockey game. After every single loss in Washington I was furious after the game was over because I felt that had the Rangers played even a solid hockey game they would have won. Yes, that overtime loss to give the Bruins a 1-0 series lead was close, and I thought both teams were completely even though the first 60 minutes. But the Bruins won (and deserved to win) that game in the extra frame. They were quicker on the puck, had possession and completely dominated. Some of that might have been nerves for the Rangers, but most of it - I think at least - came from the Derek Dorsett penalty (he was good otherwise) that gave the Bruins eight shots and completely tilted the ice in their direction.
- And how many games are the Rangers going to lose in overtime during the playoffs? Seriously. Henrik Lundqvist - who was all kinds of brilliant - is 3-11 in the playoffs in his career. That's not a typo. At first glance you might think that's on Hank, but when you take into consideration that three of those losses came this year, and that Lundqvist has given up three goals COMBINED in regulation in those three losses, it really makes you realize the Rangers simply can't score in overtime. You can see how much these overtime losses wear on him, too. It has to be tough.
- Another tilting point in the loss? The Rangers power play. 0-for-3. The Rangers truly only had two full power plays, but they were futile enough to count for a thousand. Brad Richards doesn't belong on the power play anywhere. Not right now. Not playing like this. Start giving John Moore some more minutes. Keep Michael Del Zotto out there as long as he played like he did last night. Give Ryan McDonagh some minutes if you have to. Maybe start running with five forwards. Maybe move Rick Nash to the front of the net. Maybe move ANYONE to the front of the net.
- The ideas above might not be good. I'm just spewing thoughts after another crushing playoff loss. But the Rangers have to do something. It's the same exact thing every single time. And it doesn't work. The Rangers are 2-for-30 on the power play in the playoffs. I don't even have a joke or a statement for that. It's too alarming. I actually need to wash my hands before I keep writing these notes because I feel dirty.
- Moore should have played more in overtime. I don't know if John Tortorella was being cautious after he was hit with the puck (he probably was) but Moore can skate around pretty much any pair of Bruins defenders. I know he's a defenseman, but when you need a goal and the other team is dominating you have to take chances. He looked fine to me.
- So did Chris Kreider, who was making things happen and wasn't a liability in his own end. But Kreider only played 11 minutes, so.
- Del Zotto was awesome. Hit a crossbar, played almost 30 minutes, had two hits, three blocks and four shots. He's picked it up since Game 6 of the First Round.
- Derick Brassard was really good (he grabbed an assist on the McDonagh goal) but the pass/turnover in overtime caused the Bruins 2-on-1. That was followed up with Mats Zuccarello not staying with his man which was followed up by Anton Stralman not sliding to block the pass which was followed up with the overtime goal. Some pretty big mistakes there starting with Brassard. Otherwise? He was still making things happen.
- Another good game for Nash. One of the better ones we've seen. Some media members still don't think he's 100%. I agree. But if he can keep playing like that the Rangers should be fine. Still, you would love to see him pot one in overtime or something.
- Big game from Derek Stepan, too. And I'm not just talking about the goal.
- McDonagh has a lot of offense to his game, he just hasn't been able to use it with the Rangers because they need his defense so much. But that goal was a rocket from the point.
- Didn't love Ryan Callahan's game at all. He's been off and on all playoffs. Maybe he's hurt, too.
- The Rangers really miss Marc Staal and Ryane Clowe. A lot.
- Here's the good news. The Rangers hung with the Bruins without any issues. Aside from the overtime you could even talk me into the Rangers being the better team for a really good portion of that game. You would think the Rangers have to win Game 2 in Boston, especially because the Bruins are deeper and more well-rounded than the Capitals, but this is another series that can truly go either way. Shake it off, move on. It wasn't a bad showing at all.