Rangers Vs. Bruins: Rangers Fold In The Third, Bruins Up 2-0
Notes from the Rangers loss to the Bruins.
- Well at least we know where we are. Some Rangers fans were scratching their heads and checking roadmaps when the Rangers went down 2-0 to Washington in the First Round, at least time time around the fans know the Rangers have the ability to win the series. Then again, if the Rangers bring they're play in the final 20 minutes of that 5-2 blowout to Game 3 this is going to be a very short series.
- Which is why I can't give a reason or think of an excuse for why this team played so poorly in a game that they needed so badly. Those first 40 minutes were textbook successful hockey (minus, you know, power play goals). The Rangers created offense, were physical, tough in the corners and crashed the net. All of that (repeat: all of it) disappeared in the third as the Rangers rolled over.
- It should also be noted the Rangers had a power play with four minutes lef in the second when it was 3-2 Bruins. The Rangers didn't come close, which is ironic because that's as close as they would get the rest of the game.
- 2-for-36 on the power play in the playoffs. Not a typo. 2-for-36. The fact that the Rangers have made it this far with a power play that bad is a testament to Henrik Lundqvist and this team finding a way to win games without too much offense. Then again, the Rangers haven't scored a power play goal against the Bruins and they're 0-2. Not going to get away with that type of stuff against a team as good as Boston.
- Want to know what else the Rangers aren't going to get away with? Abandoning the point in the offensive zone. Washington didn't make the Rangers pay for that too badly in the first round, but the Bruins defenseman are eating the Rangers alive in terms of offense. Too much space, too much time and too many people screening Lundqvist. Put bodies on the point. It shouldn't take 120 minutes of hockey to notice that the Bruins are far more dangerous when they have time up top. Adjust.
- Another adjustment? Remove Brad Richards from the power play. Both units. I like what Richards brings to the room with his voice and his leadership but his level of play simply isn't there. He's playing 10 minutes a night as it is. He's making mistakes rookies wouldn't make. The second Bruins goal came because of two things: 1) Dan Girardi blocked the puck directly to Gregory Campbell and 2) Richards completely lost Campbell in the slot and allowed him all the space he needed to score the goal. Yuck.
- Speaking of Girardi. Worst game I've ever seen him play as a Ranger. He was on the ice for all five of the Bruins' goals. All of them. He's done so much for this team he gets a full pass in my book, but he was awful Sunday.
- I'm sure many of you will point out that Michael Del Zotto was on the ice for four Bruins' goals. He wasn't great either, but not all four of those goals were on him.
- Rick Nash scored a goal. Finally. And despite what you might think from the scoreline, it was a huge goal when it was scored. Tied the game at two and sucked the air out of the building. Nash pulled off a few vintage Nash moves and on his goal he made Zdeno Chara look like a traffic cone. Need more of that.
- Ryan Callahan had one of his best games in a long, long time.
- Here's the thing. I wanted to completely avoid going down 2-0 to Boston. They're a better team than the Capitals and they're far more experienced with success in the playoffs. The Rangers have tow games at MSG where they can even the series. Get a win in Game 3 and you keep things alive. As negative as I've been in this recap, the Rangers have shown serious flashes of good in the second round. Game 1 could have gone either way, the Rangers doomed themselves with 20 putrid minutes in Game 2, things can change for Game 3. And if the Rangers win both games at MSG, well, this is a whole new series. Easier said than done, obviously.