Season ending embarrassment is exactly what the doctor ordered
The Rangers were one minute away from walking into the locker room with a one goal lead after two periods in game three. Instead, Sidney Crosby deflected a puck over the outstretched leg of Henrik Lundqvist with 42 seconds remaining in the period to tie that pivotal game at one.
Pittsburgh would go on to win 3-1, take a 2-1 series lead and never looked back. Alain Vigneault called it the turning point of the series. Perhaps he’s right in some regard.
The Rangers season ended the second Crosby got a stick on that pass. Through a maze of ineffective Rangers penalty killers, Phil Kessel was easily able to make a pass to the best hockey player in the world, sitting wide open on the doorstep. It was a goal the Rangers couldn’t let up at that point in the game, series or season. Read the rest of this entry
Rangers season comes to a close with 6-3 thrashing in Pittsburgh
Alain Vigneault said before the game that his team has been there before, and they’ve been successful by staying in the moment. Unfortunately, that success didn’t carry over to this season, as they lost this game, this series, and their season, by the final score of 6-3.
One of the things the Rangers said they needed is the strong presence and scoring of Rick Nash, and he opened up the scoring for his team 1:01 into Game 5. Brady Skjei made a fast pass to Dan Girardi, who took a shot from the point. That got deflected by Nash in front for the early Rangers’ lead.
But the Blueshirts didn’t stop there. They proceeded to harass Murray and were able to get quite a few quality opportunities. Specifically, they had an odd-man rush where Nash made a great pass to Girardi in front of the net, but Murray made a good save to prevent a bigger lead. Read the rest of this entry
Rangers head to Pittsburgh for Game 5 with their season on the line
Just like the last two seasons, the Rangers find themselves in a 3 games to 1 series deficit, dropping two straight games on home ice to the Penguins. Starting tonight at the CONSOL Energy Center, Alain Vigneault’s squad will be looking to make it three straight seasons with a come from behind series victory.
In 2014, the Rangers defeated the Penguins after being down 3-1, winning two on the road and Game 6 at MSG. Last year, the Rangers found themselves in the same hole to the Capitals, winning three straight games including a Game 7 overtime winner from Derek Stepan.
The only positive to take out of this is that the Rangers have been in this situation before, they tend to respond well to adversity, and they’ve knocked Pittsburgh out of the playoffs for two straight seasons. Other than that, it’s a tough mountain to climb. Read the rest of this entry
Calling Eric Staal; Where have you been?
Eric Staal was acquired at the trade deadline to be a playoff hero, but so far against the Penguins, he’s been a playoff zero.
Staal, 31, was traded to the Rangers for two second round picks and highly touted Finnish prospect Aleksi Saarela. The Hurricanes captain had been having a bit of a down season, scoring just 33 points (10-23-33) in 63 games with Carolina. His underlying numbers looked fantastic though, owning a career high Corsi For percentage, and it seemed like his scoring troubles were due to a lack of talent on the Hurricanes.
When he got to the Rangers, things didn’t improve all that much. He collected just six points (3-3-6) in 20 games, scoring in just four of them. Staal spent almost all of his time on the third line with Kevin Hayes and Jesper Fast. Read the rest of this entry
Rangers offense falls flat in crucial loss to Pittsburgh
In a game the Rangers had to have, a game that would have evened up this first round series at two games apiece, the Rangers came out and played as if they didn’t understand the significance in the least. From start to finish, the Penguins dominated the game and won it 5-0.
This marks the fifth straight playoff game the Rangers have lost on home ice dating back to Game 2 against the Lightning last season. The Rangers looked flat and lifeless at times in this game, not playing with the urgency needed in a game like this one. It was really disappointing, and the same errors that plagued them all season (bad penalty kill, bad defensive coverage, etc) hurt them again tonight.
This is the third season in a row that the Rangers will face a 3 games to 1 series deficit. Can they come back again? Read the rest of this entry