Blog Entry

Rangers run out of answers

Posted on: April 29, 2008 11:58 pm

They skated hard, dominated the shot clock and even scored three goals, which will win teams a lot of playoff games. None of it though was enough to keep the New York Rangers from seeing the end of their season staring them in the face.

You can say the Rangers were done in by the work of Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, or the ill-advised penalty by Ryan Hollweg that led to the Penguins game winning power play goal, and certainly by Evgeni Malkin, who celebrated being named as a Hart Trophy finalst earlier in the day with a pair of goals and an assist. Each explanation would be valid for New York falling behind 3-0 in this Eastern semifinal.

But the Rangers are on the brink of elimination after losing 5-3 at home tonight because they simply haven't figured out a way to beat these Penguins. New York couldn't do it when the teams played run-and-gun in Game 1 or close to the vest defense in the second game. And there was no tangible benefit from the emotional boost the Rangers got from playing Game 3 at home. Even having captain Jaromir Jagr turn in his best game of the playoffs didn't help.

There was a time once when the future Hall of Famer could win games on his own when he played with the intensity he had in Game 3. The 36-year-old Jagr was the best player on the ice -- involved, aggressive and relentless in his battles -- but the Penguins are clearly the better team in this series. Despite the relative youth of its lineup, Pittsburgh is playing with the kind of poise one might expect from a group of veterans like New York's, and that has been the fundamental difference in this series so far.

This was desperation time for the Rangers and they played like it. It jmeant little though against a Pittsburgh team that doesn't need many chances to score and has learned to shut down opponents far more efficiently that it is often given credit for.

The Penguins survived New York's onslaught largely because Fleury was exceptional, but the young goalie got a lot of help from his teammates who threw down their bodies to block 17 shots and killed off all five Rangers power plays. Pittsburgh's age did show through when it let up after taking a 3-1 lead and allowed New York to draw even, but the Pengains regained their focus and were ahead again by the end of the second period.

Pittsburgh sealed the deal with another goal in the third period and is in position wrap things up on May Day unless the Rangers can respond to their own distress call. Don't count on it.

Category: NHL

Since: Sep 28, 2006
Posted on: April 30, 2008 4:02 pm

Rangers run out of answers

Only thing I want to add is about the Penguin's youth and letting the Rangers back in it with those two second period goals.

Give the Rangers some credit.  They have a good team and came out flying in the second period and forced the goals to tie.  To say otherwise makes it sound like the Pens have total control over pretty much everything and should not lose at all.  And no one expects that.

NYR has a good team.  The Pens have just played smart hockey-Penguins hockey, gotten some breaks and made some too.  No one expected a 3-0 lead right now.

Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: April 30, 2008 2:58 pm

Rangers run out of answers

Ummm Racecar420?  He was posting a blog recap with his opinion and breakdown of the game. Its not listed as an article or designed to be the insightful end all be all. He is posting his observations.

And - what good sports writer doesn't write about the positives of the winning team?  If New York was up 3-0, I am sure it would Penguins Run out of answers. 

So chill out- give the writerman a break.

Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: April 30, 2008 12:35 am

Rangers run out of answers

Wes, you are a chump. Only a chump hides his pro sports teams allegiances. I could write a really insightful article foe CBS too...AFTER THE FACTS. Give me a break.

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