Blog Entry

Trouble without the maker

Posted on: April 24, 2009 11:05 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2009 11:08 pm
Turns out the New York Rangers really don't need Sean Avery around to get into trouble. Apparently they can manage just fine on their own, thank you very much, and if there was any doubt, New York proved it by getting run out of the rink tonight by the Washington Capitals.

The Rangers were as brutally bad as the Capitals were awesomely good in a game that could have ended this series, they just didn't have the NHL's most notorious agitator around to blame for it. Of course they didn't have his speed, energy and forechecking skill either.

Avery was scratched by coach John Tortorella because he was a bad boy earlier this week and almost cost New York a win by taking stupid penalties, but if the message was intended to emphasize the importance of discipline, it fell on deaf ears as the Rangers allowed seven power plays and spent nearly 11 minutes short handed.

"It's something we have to cure," Tortorella said.

And fast too or it could end up costing the Rangers this series.

New York remains in the driver's seat despite tonight's 4-0 blow out because it is going home for a sixth game Sunday afternoon still one win away from advancing. But their grip on the series definitely looks more tenuous now. The Rangers have allowed a sleeping giant to awaken with a roar, and that's a potentially serious problem for a team that doesn't have the offense to keep up with the Capitals at most times, let alone when they are playing with the kind of desperation they did in Game 5.

What the Rangers do have is an all-world goalie in Henrik Lundqvist, who has stolen three wins for them so far and until tonight, seemed to have been in the heads of Washington's high powered scorers. But New York hung him out to dry almost from the opening faceoff and made him look ordinary enough for Tortorella to protect the goalie by pulling him after two periods.

Lundqvist certainly had a bad night, allowing one shorthanded goal, another from a really bad angle and a third right off a faceoff before Alex Ovechkin rounded out the scoring by steamrolling his way through the Rangers and eventually the goalie. But Lundqvist was not the worst of the Rangers, who were flat from the outset and quickly overwhelmed by the home team's relentless pressure.

"Their top players were flying," New York captain Chris Drury said.

The first sign of trouble came a minute into the game when Scott Gomez pulled an Avery and retaliated for a big, but clean hit by Ovechkin with a slash. The Rangers' penalty killers got them out of the early jam, but before the period was over, Washington had a pair of goals from Matt Bradley, who rarely scores them, while New York spent another four minutes shorthanded because of unnecessary penalties.

The game was effectively over by then because New York's offense is so feeble, but the Caps didn't let up and put things out of reach on second period goals by Alex Semin and Ovechkin. Meanwhile, the Rangers made life relatively easy for Washington's rookie goalie Simeon Varlamov, who faced only 20 shots in his second shutout of the series, only five of them on New York's four power play tries.

So now the momentum has shifted back to Washington and the Rangers have to find a way to respond if possible. They did after a bad Game 3 loss, and for better or worse, they'll likely have Avery back in the lineup when they try again Sunday. The bigger issue for New York though is finding a way to generate some offense. So far they have scored only seven goals in this series, all by different players which means no one is stepping up for the Rangers.

"That's a huge problem right now, both five on five and on the power play," said Tortorella. "We simply have to get more and time is running out for our big guys to get something accomplished.

"But if you told me at the beginning of the series we'd be up 3-2 going home, I'd sign up."
Category: NHL

Since: Mar 10, 2007
Posted on: April 26, 2009 12:18 pm

Trouble without the maker

Just for the record, I was not complaining about the loss. The Rangers played like crap, and hopefully they'll wake up at home.

I was complaining about an obviously sub par production, and obviously biased announcing by an impartial network.
I can accept that some think the NHL wants the Rangers to continue in the playoffs for money issues (BTW - WHY would the NHL want the bruins to play the caps?? Could there possibly be more income generated than a Ranger - B's series... NOT A CHANCE)

It was a thoroughly unenjoyable broadcast. And I've watched well over 300 games this season (including 76 of the Rangers 87 so far.)
Maybe I am just spoiled by the Ranger announcers who actually can think on their own, call a good game, and actually see the game as it happens rather than how they think it should happen. So.. eff yo m.

Since: Mar 10, 2007
Posted on: April 26, 2009 12:10 pm

Trouble without the maker

Did you watch the game?
There is a definite difference in the calling of this game and an NBC game.

In the Last two games, there were atleast 6 checks that were called by the announcers "WOW, he levels callahan..." yet callahan skated away, while the "leveler" dragged himself off the ice.

Maybe you call it whining, but I was thoroughly disgusted with the last two broadcasts by vs.
The biased cheerleading. (there was one point where one of the idiots actually suggested that the official score keeper stopped giving credit
 for some of the caps shots so that Lundqvist's stats wouldn't look sooo good. And he commented that this was good, and acceptable, and it happens)

It the previous game, they were constantly messing up camera choices, where obviously the guy operating the live camera had no idea he was "on". Zooming in and out on live tv is just a joke. Flashing graphics for a segment that was upcoming in 5 minutes accidentally. (Russian scoring leaders.. duh)

Now, take my whining with a grain of salt.. I live in Montana, but grew up in NY. I watch more hockey games than most people. I have NHL CenterIce, and watch on average 3 games per day DVR. I have watched Ranger games broadcast by the opposing team, and NEVER have I heard such cheerleading. Even POTVIN is fair and even when calling a Ranger game.

So think what you will. But Ranger fans are indeed "whiny provincial SNOTS", they deserve to be. go eff yo m.

Since: Apr 6, 2008
Posted on: April 25, 2009 9:47 pm

Trouble without the maker

hockeynotsoccer - you suck.

you sorta just made his point...

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: April 25, 2009 9:43 pm

Trouble without the maker

hockeynotsoccer - you suck.'s not hockeynotsoccer himself that sucks.  Since you are an admitted Rangers's what he said that sucks....because it's true.  I would be pissed off as well if I heard all of the things that were said about my team....none of them good.  The problem is, you came in and started whining about all of this non-relevant crap because your team lost.  You deserve the backlash.

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: April 25, 2009 1:19 pm

Trouble without the maker

hockeynotsoccer - you suck

Actually I think that hockeynotsoccer made a pretty good point NYRangerFan. Stop whining about announcers, if your team plays well enough to win then great, if not , don't try to find something trivial to complain about. How old are you 10?

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: April 25, 2009 12:38 pm

Trouble without the maker

hockeynotsoccer - you suck.

Wow.  Insightful.

Since: Apr 16, 2009
Posted on: April 25, 2009 12:18 pm

Trouble without the maker

hockeynotsoccer - you suck.

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: April 25, 2009 9:36 am

"Washington Fans" as announcers???

The p-b-p guy for the game was John Forslund, who works for the the CAROLINA HURRICANES, so yeah, totally dude,  he's a super-huge Capitals fan.

Is it just this commenter, or do all Rangers fans sound like whiny, provincial snots when they call out anyone and everyone who doesn't trip all over themselves to lavish praise on the Rangers?  What, exactly, should Forslund have said positively about New York's pathetic effort last night?  Your coach actually allowed himself to get goaded by a FAN, your disgusting agitator had to ride the bench because he sucks, your defense was swiss cheese, even your half-sane players like Gomez played like drunken bullies and took stupid penalties...and you want the announcers to slobber on about how awesome the Rangers are????  And you don't even know who the broadcast team is!!

End rant.

Since: Dec 18, 2007
Posted on: April 25, 2009 7:35 am

Trouble without the maker

The reason why this loss was worse than the Game 3 is simple. The Rangers had a chance to put the Capitals away in an elimination game, and they didn't even get off of the team bus. The Rangers took their foot off of the Caps' throat, and it could cost them dearly. 

Since: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: April 25, 2009 7:01 am

Trouble without the maker

I didn't watch on versus, but i absolutely belive you. as a rangers fan (I'm assuming you are, correct me if I'm wrong) you would have to agree that the media picks favorites and for the last three years previous to this one it's been Pitt. I think that after Ovie won MVP last year the sports media realized it would be a goldmine to portray the caps as a darkhorse even though they were already semi-prominent. So they shalacked anybody trying to follow hockey with caps coverage. I belive (as a caps fan) that Ovie has earned his due as the best player in the game, but it has gotten slightly out of hand.

PS: the reason this was the worst game for the rangers was because the only reason you were winning games was that Lundqvist was obviously in the heads of the caps big name players. We have dominated from the get go. Going into game 5 we had exactly 50 more shot on net, dominating in zone time, around 70% face off percentage and were actually out scoring you 8 to 7 in a series you were up 3 to 1. The article articulated it perfectly, "the flood gates opened" and suddenly we are in the heads of Lundqvist and obviously Torts. That is reason for concern. Don't concentrate on Ovie only having one goal in the game, concentrate on no goals in the first 3 games and 2 in the last 2 games. Also VarLAmov waving on just 3 in 4 games. If those trends continue, 2 goals maybe enough to win 2 games for washington.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or