Friday, February 5, 2010

Rangers score 5 - still lose to Caps

As losses go - this one was pretty entertaining. 11 goals. 5 by the home team. Some real offense by the Blueshirts. And that Ovechkin is really something to watch. He's so fast and agile and large and quick. I hate the guy but it's still hard not to admire him out there on the ice. That one goal at the end of the second period was stunning. He took the puck right through Rozy's legs, snuck around him, and whacked the puck at Lundqvist. It deflected up and over Hank and just snuck in the opposite post.

For a change, we scored plenty of goals. Jokinen showed how he can light up the Ranger's second line - and the powerplay - but he also committed 3 penalties. Would Higgins and Koty together have matched Olli's offense last night? No. So the trade was a good move - both in who we got and who we got rid of.

Look - we ran into the best team in the NHL right now - playing on an 11 game winning streak. And we hung in with them all night.

But man, one more goal. Redden came close with a slapper that beat Theodore and HIT BOTH POSTS before bouncing out. And Ovie's goal just floated in. Another inch or two and we win this one.

On the other hand - you commit 9 penalties and let up 6 goals - you ain't gonna be nobody. (Editor - he means...) (Dave Puck - they know exactly what I mean)

Anyway - here are the grim facts

The Goalies: If you give Henrik Lundqvist 5 goals - I usually like our chances. But the Caps - especially the way they're playing right now - are unbelievable.

Hank faced 32 shots. He let in 6 of them for a 0.813 save percentage. And that's not going to beat anyone. Still he made some very good saves and the Rangers seemed to be down a man all night.

Theodore "three or more" made 33 saves on 38 shots and beat us. When Jose Theodore outplays Hank - we are in trouble.

And yes - we lost the game right there.

Special Teams: A tale of two cities:

It was the best of times - our PowerPlay - with Jokinen on the point - woke up for 4 goals in 6 attempts. You can't ask for any more than that.

It was the worst of times: our Penalty Kill let up 3 goals in 9 attempts. Not a fiasco - but bad enough to lose.

The New Veteran Rangers: First - the new guy. Jokinen had a goal and an assist - and sparked our 2nd line. And he was the only Ranger that won more than half of his faceoffs. But he also took 3 penalties. Gabby had 2 assists. Prospal had 2 goals and 2 assists.

Your Returning Rangers showed up as well. Callahan scored a goal and had an assist. Dubinsky scored. Staal had an assist.

Drury painfully blocked 4 shots – and was minus-two on the night for his troubles. And I’m sorry – but have we ever had a worse season from a Ranger Captain before?

The Kid Rangers contributed assists from Gilroy and Del Zotto. Gilroy is quietly having a great rookie season by the way.

Defense on Offense? Three assists from the back line.

In conclusion: Plenty of offense. But the Capitals are amazing. We've said it before - but if we can play like this every night we will beat a lot of teams. Still it's Hank's 6th straight loss and at this point I've had enough with the encouraging losses. I'd settle for a discouraging win or two right now.
Next Up:
we get The NJ Devils. You may have heard - they just added this guy named Kovalchuk to the roster.
Where we stand.
Just barely standing. The loss puts us in a tie for 9th with the Florida Panthers.

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