|PRESIDENT TROPHY WINNERS|
What’s up everyone and welcome to another blog here on DOINOW.com. As always, tip your bartenders, don’t drink & drive, try the soup at the Bold O’Donoghues and always, and I mean always, use “IN CAM WE TRUST” as your personal mantra!
You can surely bet this blog won’t be as long as my last blog! I’m glad you guys enjoyed my Presidential blog from Tuesday, the feedback was overwhelming!
The Rangers lost to the Ottawa Senators tonight, 3-0, in their home finale of the season. For the Rangers, it was a meaningless game. For the Senators, it strengthened their playoff chances. With the President’s Trophy already in hand, for the Rangers, this was just a game to get through.
The Rangers scratched Rick Nash, who was voted team MVP before the game, Mats Zuccarello & Marc Staal. For the three players, they were scratched just to keep them healthy and fresh for the playoffs. Along with Kevin Klein, who is expected back for Game 1 of the playoffs, the Rangers had four men on the ice, who will most likely not see the ice come the playoffs. Those men were Ryan Bourque (Wolfpack), Chris Summers (Wolfpack), James Sheppard (Rangers 13th forward) and Matt Hunwick (Rangers 7th defenseman).
Going into this game, it didn’t matter if the Rangers won or lost, unless you were rooting for the Islanders to be eliminated from the playoffs. For that to happen, Boston & Ottawa had to win out, with the Islanders losing their next two games. The Rangers did their part, being blanked by Ottawa tonight, but the Bruins choked to the Panthers. As a result of Boston’s loss, the Islanders are in the playoffs.
With that said, NOTHING is finalized for this year’s playoffs. Everything will come down to the final games on Saturday, where we will finally find out who the Rangers will play in the first round. The common consensus among Ranger fans is that no one wants Boston. Hank is 1-8 in his last 9 against Boston and Boston just matches up physically & are bigger than the NY Rangers.
As a result of tonight, all we know is that Bruins, Redwings, Penguins, Islanders and Senators could all wind up playing the Rangers in the first round. Only the Bruins, Penguins and Senators haven’t clinched spots yet. What a wild way for the NHL to finish, with the west not being as wild. This is great for the NHL that so many franchises will all be alive, on the last day of the season.
|Relax, it’s ok to touch the President’s Trophy|
With the Rangers having nothing to play for, outside of maybe screwing over the Islanders, the Rangers started Henrik Lundqvist in net. I liked this decision. With four starters out, this was a way for Hank to get some work, against a desperate team, and at a disadvantage with some of the guys out there on the ice, and I don’t mean Tanner Glass.
This was the first game all season that I didn’t care if the Rangers won, didn’t care if Hank got crushed or care if the game was sloppy. The Rangers did lose this game, Hank didn’t look particularly sharp and the game looked like it was played at half-speed. Surprising to me, I thought Ottawa didn’t look hungry at all in this game. Despite the score (Ottawa scored two bang-bang goals late in the second and an empty netter in the third), this felt like a preseason game. The Rangers were better for most of the game, which says a lot, considering who was on the ice and the slow motion style of play.
This was an Ottawa team that the Rangers crushed, in Ottawa, behind Cam Talbot. You give Hank a pass here tonight, because his team wasn’t 100% nor looked like they were giving it 100%. It’s all about the playoffs now, so there is no reason to be blocking shots, playing too physical or doing anything else crazy. This is really a hard game to give any true analysis on, because it felt like an exhibition game. If anything, it was good to see Ryan Bourque (son of Bruins legend, Ray Bourque) and Chris Summers, get NHL ice time.
|Lundqvist wore this mask, which he will donate to charity|
With the Rangers needing to lose, to screw over the Islanders, the Rangers started Henrik Lundqvist! Ok, I’m just joking, relax! In all honesty, it was good for Hank to get some work, some tough work at times, as he gets ready for the playoffs. Hank finished with 24 saves on 26 shots, as Andrew “The Hamburglar” Hammond finished 26 out of 26. Don’t put anything into these stats at all. The Rangers weren’t trying. This was the same Hamburglar that was sent to the bench, after the Rangers blew his doors off, two weeks ago, in a meaningful game in Ottawa.
If you want to take anything out of this game, and remember, you didn’t have everyone playing or at 100%, the powerplay continued to fail and even with a 6 vs 5 advantage, with three minutes in the third, the Rangers couldn’t find the net.
The best part about this game was before the puck even dropped, as the Rangers were awarded their President’s Trophy. I don’t know if it’s a bad luck thing or if they can’t get the banners made up in time, but it would’ve been cool to see the Rangers unveil the Metro Champs & President Champs banners for the Garden faithful.
The Rangers & Senators skated a flat first period, with both goalies making some big stops. The only thing worth talking about in the first period was when Mika Zibanejad knocked into Lundqvist during an Ottawa scoring opportunity. Lundqvist immediately grabbed his leg. My twitter/phone blew up immediately with Talbot chatter. Luckily for the Rangers, Lundqvist was fine, despite the temporary scare.
I did some see fan reaction saying that the Rangers should’ve pulled Hank from the game from that point on. However, Hank needs the work, and shit will happen in the playoffs. It was better that he stayed in and finished the game, even in the meaningless loss. Work is work and Hank needs the work. I don’t care what anyone says, he is not in his absolute prime right now, and needs to see as much live game experience as possible, come game one on Thursday. It was announced after the game, that Hank will start the season finale, in Washington, which tells you he is healthy and able.
|This was the only thing that mattered about tonight’s game|
Ottawa got their two goals late in the second period. Clarke MacArthur got Ottawa’s first goal, with two and half minutes to go. Kyle Turris scored a minute later. The Turris goal looked bad on Hank’s part, but again, he was getting no help, in a game where the Rangers were playing it safe.
Pageau would get an empty netter, with 90 seconds to go in the third, to finish the scoring for Ottawa. Again, I can’t stress enough, despite Ottawa’s 3-0 win, you can’t analyze this game at all. At the time Ottawa won, there was a chance the Islanders might not even make the playoffs. A half hour later, the Bruins lost to the Panthers to get the Islanders in there.
There isn’t much to talk about really, outside of watching the other games on Saturday, when we will find out who the Rangers will have in round one. I know what it’s like to be a Rangers fan. Just check out my Tuesday blog. Bottom line is this, as much as we can analyze match-ups, no one wants the Rangers either. Believe in this team!
After the game, select fans were part of the “Jerseys-off-our-backs” celebration. My good friend JEFFREY’s friend, Greg, his girlfriend, was selected as one of the fans. She received a Tanner Glass jersey! Talk about something with no resale value! (And for Greg L. – I would’ve given your girlfriend a cash offer if she got the Talbot jersey haha!)
Ain’t much else to say about this game, it’s just great to know the Rangers will have home ice for whatever happens come the playoffs.
I’ll be back with a Rangers Report Card later this week.
And as I was about to sign off, the LA Kings have been eliminated from playoff contention!!! What a night!
LET’S GO RANGERS
BRING ON THE PLAYOFFS
IN CAM WE TRUST
WIN A CUP HANK!
@NYCTHEMIC on twitter