NYR/CAR Review: “Give Me Two Goals And I’ll Blow This”, Lundqvist Average Again, Another 4.00 GAA For “The King”, Rangers Lose the Staal Cup & Second Place and Much More

“Waa, waa, waa, it’s a team game!”

I really thought this would be a celebration blog. I really did. The Rangers, who have been playing really well, ever since the San Jose loss, dropped a disgusting game to the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night, with a final of 4-3. Worst of the matter, I had $600 on this, that’s how confident I was that the Rangers would win this game and officially clinch a playoff berth.

If you know me in real life or been a fan or even a hater of this blog, you know my feelings. Lundqvist is overpaid and overrated. You know my spiel. If you have been living underneath a rock, you can just check the archives or use the search button, on the right hand of the site. Just type in “Lundqvist”.

Here’s the quick and skinny of tonight’s loss – The Rangers absolutely sucked in the first period and were lucky to escape only being down 1-0. The Rangers then scored three goals in the second period. At one point, the score was 2-1 Rangers, but Lundqvist gave up another soft goal and another lead. The Rangers took a 3-2 lead heading into the third.

As what’s been the same old story this season for the Rangers, Lundqvist blew the game in the third period and the Rangers couldn’t muster up any offense. The Rangers went on to lose 4-3, in a game they should’ve won, despite their horrendous first period.

Bottom line, and you can argue with me until you’re blue in the face and you will still be wrong – the highest paid goalie in the league can’t be blowing leads & games in every third period he plays. WHY THE FUCK IS LUNDQVIST THE HIGHEST PAID GOALIE IN THE NHL, if he can’t be elite and shut down games?

The Rangers used to be one of the top teams in the NHL at closing games, but that seems to be a thing of the past.

I can’t find a stat, but based on all the hockey I watch, Lundqvist has to lead the league in not only blown leads, but most goals allows in the third period to boot. The guy is shakier with a lead in the third period than Michael J. Fox.

Michael J. Fox is sturdier and more reliable in the third period than Henrik Lundqvist.

I’m really disgusted by this loss. It’s easy to blow off. You can say, “it’s just one game” or “it’s not the playoffs” or whatever you want, but the Rangers had 3 days off to prepare for this game. They came out like absolute shit in the first period and the highest paid goalie in the league did them no favors as the game went on. It’s funny how as the games progress, the “KING” does his regress.

Again, you know how much I hate Hank’s contract, so you can take this where it’s coming from, but this loss is solely on Henrik Lundqvist. As usual, in the postgame interviews, he’s holding everyone else accountable except himself. Same old story. He’s a fucking egomaniac that wants all the credit for the wins, but none of the blame for the losses.

People will say, “oh, but it’s a team game” and if that’s the case, you don’t over pay a goalie and make him the highest paid in the league. Simple as that. The guy will continue to be paid until he’s 40. Hank has peaked and we’re watching him on the decline, simple as that.

It’s funny – everyone knows I hate Hank’s contract. People who argued with me all season last year are now saying I’m right and jumping on the ship. All I can say is- stay off my ship guys!

I got about 60 mentions on twitter tonight saying stuff along the lines of “Sean was right” and the kicker – “Raanta should be starter like Sean said.”

Let’s be clear –  I NEVER SAID RAANTA SHOULD BE STARTER. I said TALBOT SHOULD’VE BEEN STARTER. Senile Sather blew that one. Save me the Edmonton record shit, NYR & EDM are two different teams and Hank would be even worse in Edmonton than he is now.

Henrik Lundqvist? Starting goalie. Cam Talbot? Starting goalie. Antti Raanta? Not a starting goalie to me. Don’t confuse my hatred for Hank’s contract as being a Raanta rah rah guy. I am the Talbot guy!

As of right now, Hank is the guy and will be getting every start in the playoffs. Does it make sense? Yes. Am I confident about that? No.

My 2015-2016 team signed Edmonton Oilers Cam Talbot Goalie Stick! IN CAM WE TRUST, IN HANK WE BUST!

I’m so mad right now, that I’m hoping the Labatt Bleue Dry Beer and writing this blog will be therapeutic for me.  Speaking of, let’s show a picture for the LBD:

I was able to get a few of these across the border during my return flight from Montreal!

Why am I so mad? Easy. Henrik Lundqvist gave this game away. Make no bones about it. Yes, the first period was atrocious.  However, going into the third, leading 3-2, and having already given up two soft goals, you can’t give up two more in the third. You gotta hold the lead. That’s what you’re paid to do.

Isn’t it amazing, that since signing his contract, Lundqvist has not made an All-Star Game or been in Vezina contention? KING! If you can’t admit he’s overpaid and overrated, you only started watching the Rangers in the Hank era. You want to see a real goalie? Real men who held themselves accountable? Go look at Richter. Go look at Beezer. Go look at Giacomin. Go look at Chabot. Go look at even Lester Patrick. Hank is an overpaid diva. He’s for the high fives, but quick to pass blame when things go wrong. That’s not a stand-up knockaround guy. That’s some faux teammate shit.

Another reason to be mad – Hank cost me bucks tonight!

I was hoping my donation to Garden of Dreams would bring me good karma for the Rangers!

Is there any way the Garden of Dreams can get Lundqvist a Cup? It might be the only way he ever gets to see one, because let’s face it – Hank & all the Rangers are consistently inconsistent.

I know, it’s one loss. However, for as hot as the Rangers get, they get just as cold too. This team, outside of their start of the season, has never clicked as a unit for any significant period of time.

It’s funny, I know many of you follow me on twitter @NYCTHEMIC and probably read this, but I said yesterday, after the Caps loss, that they could be had. They might be had, but it’s gonna be tough for the Rangers to do it.

I think anyone can come out of the East this year. Caps are obviously the favorites, but they can be beat.

What drives me insane, is that the best chance this team had win the Cup, was in 2014. Hank blew all those games. Hank blew a game in the 2015 ECF when he was spotted 5 goals. Remember the Hank that said – “give me 2 goals and I got this?” I wish we still had him.

I have been saying it all year that I think the window is closed. I really hope this team can win the Cup, but realistically, how can I envision that happening? This team does not stay consistent for any length of time and struggles against bad teams.

Another thing that makes me mad is when I say “I don’t think the Rangers will win the Cup” and people say “that doesn’t make you a real fan.” Right, because the Rangers have won every Cup of the last 90 years. The Rangers are my S&M team, because I’m a fan of the Giants & Yankees (Indifferent to the Knicks) and I’ve seen them win. Multiple times. I saw one Cup at 12 years old and that was that. All I want is one Rangers Cup in my adult life time, similar to how Met fans, my age, want the World Series. In this contract era, I don’t see it happening.

The best out the Rangers had was wasted. They should’ve tried to get rid of Lundqvist last season, kept Talbot for $8M less and beefed up the team big time. Instead, we got a struggling goalie, Rick Nash who despite his goal tonight, has been disappointing and the fourth line carrying the team.

Did you know that Eric Staal once played for the Hurricanes?

You would’ve been piss hammered if you took a shot every time the MSG Network mentioned that Eric Staal was the Captain of the Hurricanes. You would’ve had to get your stomach pumped for every Garden of Dreams mention tonight too. I don’t know which was mentioned more tonight, but damn, it was overkill.

Regardless of all the Eric Staal mentions, at the end of this “Staal Cup”, he didn’t factor into the decision. It was a great way to sell the game and give credit to the Canes for honoring him, but I care about the Rangers winning, not Staal’s past.

It was funny, for the people following me during the game live tonight, every time I mentioned I was having a Labatt Bleue or a shot of JP Wiser’s whisky, the Rangers scored. Then it all went to shit once Lundqvist pulled his usual antics in the third period. My liver took a beating (my wallet too, with the bet I had on this game) watching this atrocity.

Let’s get into the official box score, with my notes in italics, as usual. The box score comes from ESPN.com because NHL.com is impossible to navigate these days:

1st Period Summary

Time Team Scoring Detail NYR CAR
11:05
Patrick Brown (1)
Assists: Jeff Skinner, Ron HainseySomewhat of a freak goal. Brown gets a long pass and beats Lundqvist, somehow, with not much space on the short side. Bad goal by Lundqvist. It’s never good when you give up the first goal in someone’s career.
0 1
Time Team Penalty Detail
8:26
Dominic Moore: 2 Minutes for Tripping
12:03
2 Minute Bench Penalty for Too Many Men on the Ice (Served by Sergei Tolchinsky)

2nd Period Summary

Time Team Scoring Detail NYR CAR
1:36
Mats Zuccarello (25)
Assists: Derek Stepan, Dan BoylePerfect blast from Zucc, who beat Cam Ward high.
1 1
5:03
Rick Nash (15)
Assists: J.T. Miller, Ryan McDonaghThis was a Rick Nash goal we hope to see in the playoffs. He made a move, fought to the net and beat Ward. He’s gotta do this in the playoffs.
2 1
13:27
Justin Faulk (16)
Assists: Sergei Tolchinsky, Ryan MurphySoft goal allowed by Lundqvist from deep.
2 2
17:18
Chris Kreider (19) (Power Play)
Assists: Derek Stepan, Keith YandleKreider scores early into the PP, to give the Rangers a goal lead heading into the third. The PP has been very productive lately.
3 2
Time Team Penalty Detail
9:01
Ryan Murphy: 2 Minutes for Holding the Stick
16:54
Ron Hainsey: 2 Minutes for Hooking

3rd Period Summary

Time Team Scoring Detail NYR CAR
4:22
Jeff Skinner (27)
Assists: Ryan Murphy, Patrick BrownAnother soft goal allowed by Lundqvist.
3 3
9:06
Victor Rask (21) (Power Play)
UnassistedThis was offside, but footage was inconclusive. Your highest paid goalie in the league can’t have 4.00 GAA against non-playoff teams, and that’s the bottom line.
3 4
Time Team Penalty Detail
8:12
J.T. Miller: 2 Minutes for High-sticking

 

Might be time to give Stalberg/Glass/Moore some more time on the ice.

Looking for positives on tonight’s game? Here they are:

  • The fourth line continues to dominate and play well. I thought they had the best shifts, overall, out of all four lines.
  • Rick Nash scored a goal. Doesn’t mean shit here. Needs to do it in the playoffs and that’s how his NYR career will be judged on – how he does in the playoffs.
  • Kreider and Zucc played well. Again, needs to carry over in the playoffs.
  • The Rangers didn’t give up after a horrible first period. They came back to score three goals. Unfortunately, King 5 Hole gave up 3 to negate it.

Coach AV doing his third period Lundqvist impression.

When you read this, know that I hate Hank’s contract and I had money on this game. Deep breath and a swig of beer – the sky isn’t falling. However, things aren’t looking up either. The Rangers are now in third place in the Metro division. The Islanders have a game in hand and are two points back. Would it be the best thing for the Rangers to drop to the wild card and play Florida, Tampa or Boston over the Penguins or Islanders? Maybe.

Even with the loss, it’s a matter of time before the Rangers clinch a playoff berth. Could happen as early as Saturday. If you’re a Rangers fan that’s confident about the playoffs, can I please have whatever you’re smoking?

What I agree with, when it comes to the confident Ranger fan, is that the Rangers have a good of a shot as anyone to win the East. The Caps are slowing down a bit. However, what have the Rangers shown you that they can beat anyone in a 7 game series?

The Rangers had some crazy stat, where they were something like 125-1-3 when leading after the third period. They have shot that stat to shit this season. Whatever it is, they can’t close games. It’s harder to fix your mistakes in the playoffs. The only thing you can try to hang your hat on is that the Rangers are playoff tested.

For those tweeting at me – I think the lines you’ve seen over the last few games is what you”ll get in the playoffs. The fourth line is the most consistent and hardest working on the team right now. I don’t see how you fit Lindberg in, unless you bench Hayes. I don’t see how you work McIlrath either, unless you bench Boyle and Coach AV has shown he will go with the veterans on this “WIN-NOW” team.

What do these four have that Lundqvist doesn’t? A championship in their profession.

As you know by now, I’m a huge Mike Francesa “mongo”. I said it before on this blog and after watching Messier on the “Mike & The Mad Dog” reunion show (Another $300 I donated to Garden of Dreams, that still didn’t buy me a Rangers win tonight!) another problem with the Rangers is lack of leadership.

Nothing against McDonagh, or the assistant captain squad of 2014 or even Callahan before that, (I’m not even going to mention Drury and Jagr had bad teams) the Rangers don’t have a great assertive captain. McDonagh is young. It’s not a shot on him. Messier had 5 Cups when he got here. He’s a born leader. Is McDonagh? Who knows. I’m not taking a shot at McDonagh or anything, but the Rangers are missing those intangibles that Messier had.

The Rangers have had ex-captains from other teams here, such as MSL, Staal and even Nash. That said, none of those guys were Messier.

I grew up with those 1994 Rangers, at 12 years old. Those guys will always be heroes to me. I wish I was an adult when they played, so I could appreciate it more. However, I hope for that 12-16 generation now (that usually tweet at me when I slam Lundqvist with a “YOUZE NOT A REALZ RAINGERZ FAN!) they get to grow up with a Cup team as heroes. This team is just missing something.

Calder candidate. Remember when Lindberg was one of those?

Rangers can still get a playoff berth with a win over Buffalo on Saturday. Buffalo, despite their record, are a tough team with future perennial All-Star, Jack Eichel, leading the way.

You see this more in basketball than you do in the NHL, but a big problem with the Rangers is that the biggest star supercedes the coach. Even when you see the postgame pressers, AV is very touchy when talking about Lundqvist. Hank has already gotten one coach fired. Hank makes the money and sells the jerseys, not AV. Plus, AV is not a Dolan hire. Dolan still wants Torts here to this day.

I would start Raanta on Saturday, but AV knows if he does that, he could piss off his diva goalie. I assume Hank starts Saturday and blows a lead in the third period like usual. I gotta learn to start betting the OVER on Ranger games when Lundqvist starts, and not the Rangers themselves!

The Rangers will be in the playoffs this season. How far they go is anyone’s guess.

Sorry for going short here tonight, I’m still fuming and got work at 5AM.

Win or lose,

As always,

LET’S GO RANGERS

Sean McCaffrey

BULLSMC@aol.com

@NYCTHEMIC on the tweeter

Comments

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