Monday, March 19, 2012

Avalanche send Rangers Tumbling

Avalanche - as in - a growing rapid descent of debris down a mountain side. That's who the Rangers lost to (3-1) on saturday and that's what happening to them as a hockey team.

We're tumbling down the standings. The Penguins can leap from 4th to 1st in the East by catching us. We can drop from 1st to 4trh by letting them. And the only reason we're not tied with Pittsburgh is that the Flyers won a rare day game on Sunday - giving Crosby and company their first loss in 12 games. The OT loss gave the Penguins 71 point, leaving them exactly 1 point behind us.

On the home front the Rangers managed to lose to the Avalanche 3-1, sending everyone into full scale panic mode.

We were outdone by our old nemesis -Simyon Varlemov - the former Capital's goaltender who we can't seem to score on. His save percentage against us was .975, while Henrik's was below .900. And so - even though we launched 42 shots at the Russian Goalkeeper, only Zuccarello found the twine. Hank let two go by - plus an empty netter to give us the final score.

The NHL is all about the playoffs - and the Rangers are not struggling to grab the 8th slot as they've done in recent years. Instead we're in the first slot - but the Penguins are charging and we're tumbling.

And as a result - we're pressing and exhausting ourselves down the sdtreigh even though we're comfortably in the playoffs. This is why first places teams tend to not win the Stanley Cup - it's too long a season with too much pressure and physical punishment to run wire-to-wire at full speed.

And with Anisimov out with a shoulder injury - with Callahan hobbled by what no one but me is calling a broken foot (wearing a special boot for a bruise?) and Hank feeing the after-effects of the flu - this team is hurting.

The good news is that we have time to get well. First place means nothing - its the playoffs that matter and that's what we need to be ready for.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

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