Friday, February 17, 2012

Breathing Room? Rangers wheeze their way to 4 goal deficit - lose 4-2 to Blackhawks

If you forget the first 10 minutes - the Rangers have 2-0 win for Marty Biron. You have goals by Marc Staal and Carl Hagelin. You have assists by Rupp Eminger, Callahan and McDonaugh

But we can't forget the first 10 minutes - no matter how much we'd like to.

A very rough start to the game by 2 rangers:

Dan Girardi was called for closing his hand on the puck - resulting in a penalty shot for the first Blackhawk goal - and then for trying and failing to pinch in - twice - leading to breakaway goals by Sharp and Hossa.

Marty Biron - looking to bounce back from a prior loss - let in 3 goals on his first 4 shots - for an .250 save percentage that Dave Pucks does not remember ever seeing in quite some time. In Biron's defence - the Rangers defense let him down early - giving up breakaways and the aforementioned penalty "kick".

Marty eventually raised his save percentage to .810, but, still, bad start and bad night. You could see Henrik Lundqvist looking embarrassed for his teammate.

Good call by Torts not pulling Biron. Hank needed the rest and Marty needed some saves to get his mojo back.

In the end we outshot the Hawks - but the damage was done.

Our so-called breathing room over the 2nd place Bruins dropped from 9 to 5 points in a big hurry. But then - it may be a good thing for the Rangers to need to keep sharp as they head towards the playoffs.

And the Rangers next game has been moved from a 7:30pm to an 8:00pm start - let's hope that gets us safely past the first ten minutes of bad play we saw last night.

- unrelated note - my condolences to the Gary Carter family. The Kid was the best Catcher of his era and the missing piece that put the Mets over the top in 1986. His hit in the World Series in the bottom of the 10th with 2 outs and the bases empty and the season about to end: that was pure excellence in the toughest situation a batter can face in Marjor League Baseball. They can never take that away from Gary - and we'll never forget his joy for the game. A great Met - a great Catcher - and great person. We'll miss you, kid.
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