Say the word “lockout” and any sports fan will immediately cringe, but no more than a hockey fan, who has two instances of nightmares to be dredged up with every utterance of that evil word. The first work stoppage ate up nearly a half a season in 1994/95 and killed all the momentum the league gained from a New York Rangers trip to the Stanley Cup Finals, a moment that no one can argue against that it was the pinnacle of hockey popularity in the United States. Soon after, hockey did recover, and became a very steady sport to watch en route to the second lockout ten years later, in which the NHL became the first professional sports league in history to lose an entire season due to a work stoppage. This second one effectively killed any popularity, as the sport quickly disappeared from television and newspaper coverage, only to be laughed at upon its return as “that sport nobody cares about”. It is hard to fathom that we have yet another potential lockout to face heading into next season, and while I will not get into the particulars, I have no doubt that we will indeed see a loss of hockey, albeit a short one, as TSN’s Bob Mackenzie notes it will probably not last past Thanksgiving. People will cry, people will be angry, and I will be one of those; not crying, of course, because I know better, but I will still be at a loss for words at how the people who are supposedly working to please fans have found themselves creating the very same situation that will leave the fans with nothing to watch.
Despite some questionable coaching decisions and lackluster performances in each game following a very important overtime win, the New York Rangers are farthest into the playoffs than they have been since 2007, when they lost to the Buffalo Sabres in six games. The first six games of this series has been a see-saw match, as no team has yet to win two in a row, and the largest margin of victory has been two goals. The team that has scored first has won every game, even after in the first five games, the opponent has tied the score at 1-1; the only exception so far being last night, when the Washington Capitals found themselves with their greatest lead of the series at 2-0. The Rangers have a habit of never making things easy. Though the playoffs are not what they used to be—the mantra of “just get in” has worked wonders—as seeding seems to mean absolutely nothing anymore, the Rangers had a hard time beating the Ottawa Senators, and have now taken the Capitals to the brink. Having lost the last two playoff match-ups against this very same team, the Rangers desperately need to get their act together with their backs against the wall on Saturday night. This series has been a microcosm of their season, where nothing ever came easy, and the Rangers always emerged on top. After two thrilling overtime wins and some spectacular play from goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, all would unfortunately be for naught if the Blueshirts cannot close out the Capitals in Game Seven two days from now, a game that has become the hottest ticket in town…quite literally.
Madison Square Garden, the New York Rangers’ home arena, is in the midst of a three-phase renovation, which began last year and had the Rangers on the road for an extended amount of time to start this past season, as the crew needed the time to finish the first step, which was began in the off-season. It was said that it was a very close call, and almost was not finished in time because of the yeoman’s work that had to ensue. Now, phase two is slated to be underway as soon as this season ends. This begs the questions: if the playoffs for the Rangers continue to drag, hopefully to a third round, or as we would all love, the Stanley Cup Finals, would that impede in any way on the scheduled renovation? It would seem that the longer the season goes, the less time there is, meaning that unless the league wants to give the Rangers one of the longest opening road swings in NHL history, another plan may need to be called into action.
By now if you are a fan of the New York Rangers, you have heard the
idiotic comments made by Washington Capitals’ head coach Bruce Boudreau, where he called out Madison Square Garden for being “nothing”, while saying some aspects of the arena and locker room area “horrible”. There is no need to reiterate what writers and bloggers have already said, such as how Boudreau tries to deflect the blame of every loss because he cannot handle it. This all comes from a coach who can’t speak to his players in the locker room without using an expletive every other word, a coach that would be nothing without the four all-stars he was handed, and who really run the team.
We saw this two seasons ago, when the Rangers last faced the Capitals in a playoff series. As soon as the Capitals began to trail in the series, the coach, along with the players, whined and deflected the blame away from themselves. Last time it was Avery calling Boudreau the “…fattest, [bleep]ing pig” he had ever seen, to which the coach cried about to the media. The Capitals then sent Alex Ovechkin to spy on the team during their morning skate, when he was seen sitting in the stands. What other team in the league does this? People complain about Crosby and the Penguins being whiners, but when do they ever take it to the media (Mario Lemiuex’s asinine statement regarding headshots aside). At least they maintain some standard of professionalism. The Capitals—their fans, as well as players and coaches—are the biggest bunch of immature imbeciles I have ever seen. Considering the franchise has not one championship to their degree and the arena was empty for years leading up to the post-lockout Ovechkin era, they really can’t say much. The players jump up and down like girls when they score a goal and win, then they complain, call out officials (and arenas, apparently) when they lose.
Bruce Boudreau also noted how the Verizon Center is louder than MSG. Perhaps it is due to the noise added over the sound speaker that is generated in order to pump up fans and get them cheering. Madison Square Garden does not have such a feature, because they don’t need one. At least Rangers fans know the difference between a blue line and a clothes line. Then there is the issue of Capitals’ fans pelting the Rangers’ bench with items during the game. Last season, it agitated John Tortorella so much that he, in turn, threw a water bottle at a fan and shouted obscenities at them. This time, it was assistant coach Mike Sullivan, who got hit with ice cubes at the end of Game Two, with a security guard standing just feet away no less, prompting him to turn around, and have Tortorella come over to tell him to ignore it. There is that immaturity again. I have been watching hockey for many years, and I cannot recall many instances of fans throwing food at a bench, yet the two most recent occasions were both against the Capitals, in their own building.
Tomorrow night, Game Four will be played at the quiet, decrepit, squalor known as Madison Square Garden. Perhaps Rangers fans should do something in return, to let Boudreau know just what kind of fans we have here. I am not advocating showering the bench with beer (at almost $10 a pop you wouldn’t want to either) because that would be stooping down to the same below sea-level altitude their fans are at, but it is time to get creative. Perhaps a chant or two other than “Potvin Sucks!” which still seems to echo from antiquity will be heard. It’s time to bring back the old MSG atmosphere from years gone by, when the air was hostile and opposing teams and fans were not given any iota of respect. Their fans have shown us none, so why not return the favor?
This is something that used to be really bad, but has only gotten worse in recent seasons, and that is no one is in their seat at a New York Rangers game at the drop of the puck, which is normally at 7pm. It is not people hanging around the concourse, but people who have not even arrived in the building yet. I remember a season or two ago when the Rangers were in Dallas, Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti jokingly mentioned that the crowd there liked to come in late—have they ever looked at the MSG crowd at game-time?
Madison Square Garden is like no other arena in the league, because it is smack in the middle of a major city with so much going on. People are trying to get there from work or others are taking the train in, so sometimes it is hard for fans to get their on time. If you notice, at puck-drop, there are hardly any people in the lower level seats. You can make the argument that most are corporate anyway, and do not care about the game, but they are still fans nonetheless, who contribute to the noise and atmosphere in the building, to which momentum can hardly be gained from an early goal or big hit because there is not a full house to cheer. It is not until the second period, when the arena is full and crowd noise can finally play a factor. For that, if anything, a time change should be considered.
In a way, I think the Rangers are considering changing the start time. Joe Aiello was asked on his season ticket subscriber survey if he would “consider a 7:30 start time for the 2011/2012 season”. His personal view is that they should not change the time, but says it makes sense, because the lower bowl is always empty. To play advocate for the money hungry owners of the Garden, making the time 7:30 also gives fans an extra hour to buy more food, beer, and items in the team stores, which may end up being the driving force if they do decide to change it.
To me, I really do not care either way. I don’t go to 41 games a year, so it really would not affect me. But if I remember correctly, games used to always be a 7:30 start, so some of the older, die-hard fans should not mind as much. I would like any season ticket holders or Rangers fans who go to games on a regular basis to leave a comment with what you think should be done.
Calling all New York Rangers fans, my friend has sent me a list of tickets for games he has for sale. He is a season ticket holder, but in order to buy Knicks tickets, the money-hungry Madison Square Garden and Co. made him buy a mini-plan, which he has no use for. Below are some games for sale:
Thursday, February 27 vs Los Angeles Kings
Thursday, March 3 vs Minnesota Wild
Tuesday, March 22 vs Florida Panthers
Thursday, April 7 vs Atlanta Thrashers
All seats are in section 114, row F. Price for each pair is $212 (face value) but he said he is willing to take a little bit less. Please contact the seller at Nikolaos.LaTorre@Gmail.com.
With the way fans of the New Jersey Devils have been acting this season, you would think they were Union Army soldiers in the middle of December 1862 with Ambrose Burnside at the helm. Okay, so Lamoriello and Lemaire are not too far off from that level of ineptitude, and that has caused fans to turn a blind eye to how terrible the team has been this season. We could sit here and joke around all day that the Devils never really had a large fan base to begin with, that aside from games against the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers, no one bothers to risk their life trekking through the streets of Newark to that beacon of false hope known as the Prudential Center.
It’s a shame that with such a beautiful arena, the Devils have no one to sit inside and watch them play. They had all their glory at that crumbling piece of concrete and asbestos Continental Airlines Arena, which included three Stanley Cup victories, but at this new arena, they have only three playoff wins. If they would not mind, I would contact Mega Movers and see if they can put the stadium on a truck and haul it over to New York so the Rangers can use it. At least in their mediocrity over the years, there were still fans in the seats.
Even when the Rangers missed the playoffs for seven straight years, there was still a good amount of people who ventured down to Madison Square Garden. They might not have sold out, but they certainly had more than the average 7,000 degenerates who show up for Devils games. The reason I say that is because they are just not too bright; they seem concerned about other teams before their own. It is because they have an inferiority complex, knowing that their team is smack in the middle of the New York and Philadelphia markets. To the north is Rangers’ fans, to the south, Flyers’, and they just cannot get it through their thick skulls that no one cares about New Jersey Devils hockey. This drive to be recognized and make people think that the Devils fan base is wide-ranging is what prompted them to move to Newark in the first place, because fans could now take the train in from New York City, but what they did not realize is that there are no Devils fans in the City. Hell, there aren’t many Devils fans in New Jersey. But I applaud their management for being so considerate to Rangers fans for providing them with an easier way of transportation for three games a season.
This complex is what prompts them to chant “Rangers suck!” rather than “Let’s go Devils”. They whistle their stupid little tune and then all ten fans in attendance scream out against their neighboring rivals. This would not be so bad if it was just at Rangers-Devils games, but they do this 41 times a year. Every single game, old and young fans yell at the top of their lungs about how the Rangers suck. I guess they haven’t taken a look at the NHL standings in the recent months.
Needless to say, I am extremely happy with the way this season is evolving. The Devils sit in dead last place, the laughingstock of the entire NHL, made so by their undying summer quest of trying to lock up Ilya Kovalchuk for eternity. We have all been predicting this for many years, you know, and of course Devils’ fans wanted no part of the truth, because they thought Martin Brodeur was going to stay spry and agile into his 40′s. Now he’s 38 and he is starting to look like a 38-year-old. The unbelievable saves he made in years’ past are now easy goals, while even mediocre shots have been able to find a way past him—just ask Brian Boyle about that one.
The funny part is, it is entirely his fault. Rather than be a team player and focus on championships in later years, he has tried to play as many games as possible, only so he can own every NHL goaltending record. The Devils embarrassing playoff exits three seasons in a row, to the Rangers, Hurricanes, and Flyers have been proof of that, because Brodeur has been on of the main culprits, showing how tired he is. Looks like the Devils won’t have to worry about that this season.
Anyway, what angers me is that the fans are not sticking by to watch this disaster unfold. Even last night, at the cusp of yet another loss, there were no boo’s in the crowd. Oh silly me, that’s because there were more Rangers’ fans than Devils’ fans—poor example on my part. Instead of booing and showing frustration, fans are choosing just to not show up, but that really is not making an impact because they never really showed up to begin with. Even some of my friends, who have been fans their entire life are not even watching the games on TV. I asked one last night if he watched the game and he responded, “Oh, they were playing?” He wasn’t be sarcastic either. These fans genuinely don’t care anymore. It does not matter how bad your favorite team is, but to not turn on a rivalry game? That’s just pathetic. I have only one friend who watches them on a nightly basis. He sits in his recliner with his infant son on his lap, and a glass of hard liquor on the rocks in one hand, to try to teach his kid how to not play hockey. The glass just makes it more easier.
I tell my one friend all the time, who I always ask if he is watching, that it isn’t fair. Other teams have had seasons like this (cue the Flyers in 06/07) and fans actually stood by the team, even if they booed more than cheered. The Devils are going to be bad like this for the foreseeable future because they have no farm system, more importantly, no goaltender who can fill Brodeur’s shoes (before you bring up Jeff Frazee, let’s be real here), and half the aging veterans have no-trade-clauses. In other words: you’re stuck. The Devils enjoyed success for so long, which you could argue was false success because of their boring, trapping ways, but it was success nonetheless. Now they are having a bad season, their first since 1996 and fans can’t take it. They are showing what kind of fans they truly are, and what they have been all these years.
With the way the New York Rangers and Calgary Flames played tonight, you would they were hated cross-town rivals. For sixty minutes, both teams skated back and forth, throwing checks, getting physical, and causing tensions to rise in the third period, keeping fans on edge. The Rangers would pull out a 2-1 victory at MSG tonight, behind a solid effort by Martin Biron, who made his second straight start, giving Henrik Lundqvist additional time off to tweak his game. Unlike Saturday, where Biron did not have to be great, he actually found himself quite busy tonight, stopping 31 of 32 shots.
The Rangers controlled play for most of the first period, but could not get many quality shots on goal. They would have a powerplay just 14 seconds into the game, but once again, failed to capitalize. The game would then develop a nasty edge as Michael Sauer would check Stefan Meyer from behind, before being jumped by Rene Bourque. Both players would head to the penalty box, and minutes after the penalties expired, Sauer would fight Tom Kostopoulos. Sure enough, the fisticuffs would not end there, and later in the period, Sauer would fight again, this time with Meyer himself. Sauer would win both fights, though not decisively. The first period would end scoreless.
In the second period, the Rangers would finally break through with a goal as Brian Boyle came in on a two-on-one with Ruslan Fedotenko against the Flames’ Brendan Mikkelson. While attempting to get the puck to Fedotenko, Boyle’s (9) pass would deflect off the defenseman and past Miikka Kiprusoff for the game’s first goal. Three minutes later, Brandon Dubinsky failed to get a shot on goal while near the net, and the puck was knocked away to center ice. The Flames would come in three-on-one and after two passes, Jarome Iginla would one-time it over the glove of Martin Biron to tie the game. Things would then get nasty again, as later in the period, Ryan Callahan would lay a clean check on Jay Bouwmeester. Curtis Glencross, who knocked out Chris Drury last season with a blindsided hit, came over and high-sticked Callahan in the back of the head, receiving a penalty. The Rangers would finally come through on the man advantage, when Dan Girardi (2) would take a slapshot off a Derek Stepan faceoff win. Stepan continues to put up points and improve his game, while Girardi finally has a goal to show for all his hard work.
There would be no goal scoring in the third period, but the physical play would continue. As Matt Stajan entered the Rangers zone with the puck, he passed it to his left, and kept looking at it. With Stajan putting himself in a susceptible position, Marc Staal would use that opportunity to level him with a clean shoulder-to-shoulder hit, that sent Stajan’s helmet flying and knocked him to the ice. He would be a little wobbly before skating to the bench by himself; he would not return. Tension would then rise to such a level that you could cut it with a knife, however, there would be no more fighting, despite Meyer trying to goad Derek Boogaard into a fight, but he was smart and did not risk taking a penalty. The game would end with the Rangers up 2-1, and victorious for the second straight game.
Martin Biron has now won four games in a row, but will bow out to Lundqvist who has already been announced as Wednesday’s starter. The Rangers have been waiting years to have a reliable backup, and now that they have one and he is playing well, Tortorella decided to go with the hot-hand. A win or a loss tonight, this was the right move, and hopefully it will prompt Lundqvist to improve his play, and cut down on the one soft goal per game he has allowed. Also, in case you have not already noticed, Biron is a fantastic interview—I see him having a job as a color analyst somewhere when his career is over.
As for the defense, they were once again solid. Dan Girardi continued his excellent play, Sauer showed some toughness and strength with the two fights he was in tonight, and Eminger continues to be the team’s most improved player since the beginning of the season, blocking shots and taking the body.
Multiple times this season the Rangers have had a good team effort and win, yet they have not developed any consistency. They will be visiting the Stamkos-led Tampa Bay Lightning Wednesday night, and they will need an all-around team effort like tonight if they are to stop them.
There is no doubt that in two or three years the Edmonton Oilers will be one of the best teams in the league due to their massive depth of young talent, but unfortunately for them, that time has not come yet, and rookie mistakes and countless turnovers led to an 8-2 destruction at the hands of the New York Rangers this afternoon at Madison Square Garden. For a game that got off to such an unassuming start, with one goal in the first and only minor physicality, it would end up being anything but.
The Rangers would get off to an early start in the goal scoring department just a minute and a half in, when Marian Gaborik would score his first of the season, just a game removed from missing twelve due to a shoulder injury. Gaborik came flying into the zone and toward the net and almost scored a moment earlier, when the puck bounced wide, but it was recovered by Christensen who set up Gaborik, before it was slid between the legs of Nikolai Khabibulin. The rest of the period would pretty much be uneventful, with Derek Boogaard and Steve McIntyre coming together a few times, refusing to drop the gloves.
The second period would be a little more wild and rambunctious, and we would see both the Jekyll and Hyde sides of the New York Rangers. The Oilers would strike less than three minutes in to tie the game, when Ryan Jones was left all alone in front, and Biron did not have a chance. 28 seconds later, Shawn Horcoff would take a wrist shot from the right circle that deflected off Marc Staal, then off the glove of Biron and in. Though it was deflected, Biron had more than enough time to adjust, and it was a very soft goal that was all on him.
With the Rangers playing extremely sloppy, Gaborik would get the team on the right track with his second of the game when he was sprung on a breakaway with a nice pass from Christensen. To counter the Oilers two quick goals, 25 second later, Brian Boyle would score on a two-on-one with Fedotenko on a one-timer pass. Prust would also get an assist as he chipped it out of the Rangers defensive zone. Six minutes later, the Rangers would keep pouring it on, when Derek Stepan saucered a pass to Artem Anisimov who swatted at it and missed, but it went off his skate and in. After a brief review, it was announced as a good goal, and the Rangers had a 4-2 lead. Avery would also get an assist on the play, his team-leading eighth of the season. But the Rangers were not done–with just five seconds remaining in the period, Christensen would get his third assist when he slid a pass to a wide-open Gaborik in the crease, hoping for a tap-in. The puck would never get to Gaborik, though, as Alex Frolov (already with an assist on the first goal) who desperately needed a goal, would get to it first and put it in the back of the net. The crazy period would end with the Rangers up 5-2.
The third period, however, was a little more one-sided for the Rangers, but before the Rangers would add more goals, fists would fly. Boogaard and McIntyre would finally go at it after dancing around in the first. Boogaard would pretty much wreck him, but then just minutes after the majors ended, the two would go at it again, with Boogaard getting a marginal victory—it would not end there.
After Sean Avery threw a hard check on Colin Fraser a little less than nine minutes into the third, Ladislav Smid would quickly skate over and challenge Avery to a fight. At first it looked like there was going to be no deal, but then the gloves flew off and with one punch, Smid hit the ice. The game then went to a commercial break when a good old-fashioned donnybrook broke out. As Avery was being led to the locker room, Theo Peckham skated over and got into a shouting match with him, as the linesman desperately tried to get Avery off the ice. Zach Stortini then skated over and locked up with Prust. As Avery was forced to the locker room, all hell would break loose. Prust would fight Stortini, Brian Boyle fought Peckham, and Fraser would start punching Dubinsky on the bench before Eminger rushed over and tied him up. John Tortorella could be seen on the bench holding Dubinsky back so he would not get involved.
When all was said and done, there would be more than 80 penalty minutes assessed between the two teams, 7 fighting majors, two misconducts, and five game misconducts—all at the 11:18 mark of the third period.
With the trouble makers sent to the locker room, the Rangers then polished off their best game of the season. Alex Frolov would score his second of the game on a wrist shot from the slot, an unassisted play made off a turnover. Fedotenko would then net one forty seconds later, with Stepan getting his second assist of the game, and finally, Marian Gaborik would put the exclamation point on the afternoon with a hat trick goal on a breakaway, after an excellent breakout pass by Frolov.
This game was a very important victory for the Rangers, not just because of the win and some much-needed toughness showing through, but because Gaborik looks to be in fantastic shape, and perhaps Frolov will now break out of his struggles, after having a four point game today. Martin Biron was quiet in net, making only 19 saves as the Rangers kept the Oilers to the outside for the entire game, with the exception of a sluggish first few minutes of the second period.
The Rangers top line of Gaborik, Frolov and Christensen would finish each at +5, with a total of five goals and six assists.
Today’s game was the most exciting of the year, and was very reminiscent of old-time hockey. It is not often that line brawls happen anymore, and it was fun to see one here today; too bad it all happened during the TV timeout and we had to learn about it via replays. Also it is worthy to note that there were no powerplays for either team when play resumed after the fights, but I would expect there to be some suspensions coming, as Edmonton clearly initiated it.
The final stats for this game include: 10 goals, 16 assists, and 153 penalty minutes. Who says fighting is bad for hockey?
All the toughness that the New York Rangers had been lacking this season came out in an intense first period against the Washington Capitals tonight at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers, for the first time in a long time, were sticking up for their teammates instead of just standing by watching. Unfortunately, the increase in physicality would not result in a win for the Blueshirts, as they would fall 5-3 after a very sloppy end to the second period, and the same for most of the third period. The Rangers are now counting the days until Marian Gaborik returns, which could possibly be Thursday night.
The first period would be probably the most exciting twenty minutes of hockey the Rangers have played this season. Brian Boyle would continue his career year with his sixth goal of the season, on assists from Dan Girardi, who took the initial shot, and Sean Avery, who continues to put up points. The goal would come four minutes in, and a minute later, Brandon Dubinsky would engage Mike Green in a fight that ended up being more of a hugging match in the beginning, before Green would land more punches that Dubinsky. This pugilism came on the heels of a great save by Henrik Lundqvist on Mike Knuble.
The Washington Capitals would then tie the score on a powerplay goal by Brooks Laich. The penalty call was questionable in itself, because Jeff Schultz was already falling down when Erik Christensen made contact with him. This would not be the only bad call of the period, as the Rangers would then be assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, with no explanation given. Four minutes later, though, the Rangers would re-take the lead, once again, on a goal by Brian Boyle. This would be Boyle’s seventh goal of the season, after notching only four in 71 games last season.
As the first period wound down, the intensity would continue, including an intentional knee on knee collision between Matt Hendricks and Steve Eminger, leaving Eminger in pain on the ice. Michael Sauer would immediately drop the gloves and fight Hendricks but no major penalties would be given out—instead, Hendricks would be given two minutes for roughing (meaning nothing for the kneeing) and Sauer would get four minutes for roughing. I am not one to complain about officiating, but in this first period tonight it almost looked like the referees were trying to hand the game to Washington.
The second period would begin with a Capitals goal by John Erskine, one that Lundqvist should have easily stopped. It was a simple slap shot from the top of the circle with no obstruction in front. Lundqvist has no one to blame on that one but himself. But less that a minute later, the Rangers would get a goal from the most unlikeliest of sources. With Washington’s defense being trapped in the offensive zone, Derek Boogaard looked to break out, and he came streaking into the Capitals zone. With a defenseman trying to catch up, Boogaard put his head down and rifled a slap shot over the shoulder of Michael Neuvirth. This would be Boogaard’s first of the season, and first since the 2005/06 season (I was a freshman in high school), a span of 234 games. This was not a garbage goal, but actually a good shot, and again, one that the goaltender should have had.
Unfortunately, the Rangers could not end the period on a good note, and before the midway point of the frame, the Capitals had tied the score yet again on a goal from Mike Knuble, his first in 13 games. The Rangers would also be victims of yet another questionable call. Ruslan Fedotenko would drive to the net and nudge Neuvirth as the puck slid across the line, but after looking at the replay, not only was the puck sliding in before contact was made, but it was the Washington defenseman who actually pushed Fedotenko into the goaltender. There would be no penalty assessed on the play, which confuses me because if it was goaltender interference, he should have been penalized. But the call would be bad enough as the Rangers lost out on a chance to have the lead heading into the third period.
It took until almost eight minutes into the third for the tie score to be broken. After a misplayed puck by Michal Rozsival, and the rest of the Rangers standing around letting the Capitals have their way, Matt Hendricks would bury a shot top shelf with Lundqvist down, guarding the bottom half of the net. Though this would prove to be the game winner, the Rangers still had their share of chances. Fedotenko again would have an opportunity to make up for his waved off goal, when he came down on a breakaway and shot it high and wide of the net. Then, with the Rangers on a powerplay later in the period, a Brandon Dubinsky shot would bounce up and roll along the crossbar, before falling behind the net. In this game of inches, it was clear tonight just was not their night. Brooks Laich would then ice the game with an empty net goal with six seconds remaining in the game.
This is now two disappointing games in a row for the Rangers, one where the defense was good and the offense bad, and then vice versa. Gaborik will attempt to return Thursday, but overall, offense is not the Rangers main concern. Staal and Del Zotto continue to be brutal, and as a team, the Rangers are just giving opponents too many damn chances.