Sunday, November 16, 2014

I hate the penguins (Rangers fall 4-3 in controversial Shootout loss)

Okay – there are lot of emotions to process here – but let me start by saying that I dislike the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

I hate them actually.  I hate Sidney Crosby.  I hate that Malkin is so much better than Crosby but never gets the credit for it.  And I just really hate the Penguins.  So this terrible won-then-lost reversal of fortune thing tonight really upsets me.  And if the Rangers finish one point out of the playoffs….

You know what.  That’s just too terrible to contemplate.  I have to set that one aside as best I can and plow ahead.

Okay – big picture.  We got three points to the Penguins two in the home and home.  They’re a really good and really hot team – so we should take that.

But crap – we nearly won it.  I mean – we were in the locker room taking off our skates when the refs pulled us back on the ice.  But let’s start at the beginning.
In the first, Blake Comeau’s shot hits Lundqvist but tragically trickles in.  But then – just 15 seconds later Lee Stempnicak jumps on a rebound and snaps it past Marc-Andre Fluerry in a flurry in front of the net to tie it (Editor – yes we see what you did there – but we don’t like it). 

Later in the first – with the Rangers on the Powerplay (a powerplay that looks more organized since Dan Boyle got back on the ice) Marty St. Louis directed in one of his classic tough angle shots for a 2-1 lead. 

And, oh, how we could have used one more goal. 

In the third – Evgeni Malkin – the Penguin’s best player – found a way past Lundqvist off a terrible defensive zone give-away by Dan Boyle.  Malkin hit the post – but the puck found 
Henrik’s back and then the back of the net.

And a few minutes later it was to Overtime we went.  And in the extra period Sidney Crosby got a breakaway that Hank stoned him on.  And then again – in the last 5 seconds – Hank stopped a Khris Letang breakaway to get us to the shootout.

And then things got just plain weird.  Stepan scored on the shoot out as did Crosby (that crybaby overrated rat).  Round three ended with Dan Boyle apparently beating Marc-Andre to end the game.  The Rangers celebrated.  In fact they left the ice and went to the locker room.  But there is that Bad Luck Boyle thing that we told you about just the other day.  And so here comes the boom: 

The Refs, damn them, called our heroes back on the ice.  What the replay shows is the puck hitting the post – then Boyle’s stick and then into the goal.  That was ruled a double-hit and the refs went into the dressing rooms to get the half-undressed players back out on the ice. 

For his part – Lundqvist was a stand-up guy about the whole thing:

Said Hank: "We came in here and I asked [Boyle about the goal] and when he explained it to me, I had a bad feeling we would have to go back out there."

So Lundqvist kept his pads on for a few minutes – trying to stay ready just in case.  And it turned out his worst fears were realized.  Hank said of the process:

"You want it to be right. If we were in that situation and found out it was the wrong call, you'd be very upset. … You have to be right."

So back out they went and the shootout resumed. And the Penguins ended up scoring and winning in round 4.

It’s a tragic tale of heartbreak and wasted opportunities.  But it’s also a point in the standings.  It’s a shame – but all we can do is take the point and move on.

And as bad as the shootout has been to us recently – remember that there is no shootout in the playoffs – so if there’s something we have to be bad at – let it be something they ain’t got in the playoffs. 

Assuming we get there and don’t finish one point short!  That’s it – now I won’t be able to sleep again tonight.  

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