Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rangers control the first period, tied at 1

That's a tough one to swallow for the Rangers. They control almost the entire period start to finish...yet are tied. The Rangers gave up just TWO SHOTS to the Caps all period, one of them being the fluke goal scored off a double deflection (both coming off callahan). Rangers outshot the Caps 8-2, and kept most of the play in the Caps zone.

If the Rangers can play 40 more minutes like that, they will win this game.

They have done a great job on Ovechkin and his line, holding them in check. Naslund, Antropov, Doobie and Drury all coming back to help in front of the net. Have broken up a lot of blind Caps passes intended for the front of the net.

Sean Avery, well said by Michelleti, was the best player on the ice in the first period. Avery, who so far this series has been...non-existent (at best, his game has been awful, and he's been taking penalties when he does show up), was fantastic in the first. He was non-stop energy getting hitting from all sides by multiple Caps players looking to punch at him every chance they got. Avery set up the Rangers first goal with some great work on the boards in the Caps zone, and didn't stop all period. He Also kept his head after receiving multiple late hits during the period, including one where to the shock of the MSG crew, Avery was knocked down by Erskine RIGHT IN FRONT OF A LINE JUDGE, over 100 feet from the puck! (Isn't that the definition of a penalty?) Avery should have drawn a penalty there for getting under Erskine's skin, but refs decided to pull a brashear on that one.

If you're in the Caps lockeroom, you didn't show up the first 20 minutes of a Game 7, and your tied.

If you're in the Rangers lockeroom, keep it up. You owned the first, come out and control the first few minutes of the second.

(Something to be worried about: If you don't have enough already. Throughout his young career Hank has shown the more action he sees, the better he is. If he is constantly under pressure, and peppered with shots, his game stays sharp, and he is usually at his best. It's the games where he doesn't see a shot for 5-6 minutes at a time, where he seems to either lose focus, or just have a very hard time maintaining his best game. He didn't see a shot tonight for the first THIRTEEN MINUTES of the game, and then the next one was the fluke goal. Not saying I want to see more shots on Hank, but it is a bit of a concern)

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