NYR/TBL Game 2 ECF Recap: Bishop Takes King, Special Teams, Lundqvist & Why People Are Scared To Call Him Out, Who Should Start Game 3, Boyle Improves While MSL Regresses, OVERPASSING, Sky Isn’t Falling & More

Lundqvist is now 2-11 in his last 13 Game 2’s.

I have gastroenteritis right now, so I am literally & figuratively, in a shitty mood right now.

No normal intro, you know the spiel already. Sorry for posting this blog so late, but as I’ve said in the past, after these playoff games, I’m either celebrating a win, or try to write after processing the game after a loss. Especially a loss like this one. This was a game that I actually watched back on replay, just to see what the fuck went wrong for a second time.

I’m sure you already know by now, from watching the game, the million other blogs out there or the zillions of social media posts, but the Rangers dropped Game 2 in their Best-of-7 ECF series with the TBL, in a final of 6-2. The series is now split at 1-1. For the Rangers, it seems like it is impossible to ever grab a 2-0 lead on someone in a series.

Lundqvist vs TBL in his last 5 games:

6-2 L

2-1 W

6-3 L

4-3 L

5-1 L

That’s a whooping 4.40 GAA, but people will still say Hank is never at fault.

Let’s make this clear, because if you know me or been following me all season, you know I’m the conductor of the Talbot Train. The response after this loss, via texts, emails and social media, was overwhelming. I mean, when you have former Rangers goalie/MSG analyst Stephen Valiquette chirping about me being pro-Talbot, I gotta set the record straight!

Am I drooling at the mouth, with glee, because Hank had his doors blown off? Hell no. The biggest thing I want to see is the Rangers win the Cup & Hank finally shed the Ewing reputation. While he’s had the best two teams in front of him these last two years of his career, he’s also had nearly a decade of blah offense. However, as the team’s skill has increased, his skills are regressing as he ages. The window to win is NOW.

Do I think you start Talbot for Game 3? No. For many reasons. This team is Hank’s to sink or swim with. This is really his last chance to get it done, or else it’s just the same old shit with him. This was Hank’s worst game of the playoffs. It sucks that he gets paid the most and has games like this once in a while. It’s his inconsistency to stay great every game, like goalies who have won Cups, is why he’s King No-Cup.

To start Talbot for Game 3, barring a major injury, to anything besides Hank’s pride, would be foolish. You have to consider Talbot hasn’t seen live NHL action in nearly 2 months, nevermind seeing one of the top four teams in hockey. I will say, I’m surprised AV didn’t spell Hank once the game was seemingly out of reach, at 5-2 in the third period. I don’t see the argument why you would allow Hank to stay in there, get roughed up some more and run the risk of injury.

Imagine if Rick Nash played like him?

So Hank got his dick kicked in, and gave up 6 goals. Were they all his fault? No, they weren’t. However, when you call yourself a King, demand to be the highest paid goalie in the league, come on now, you know the spiel I’ll give you here, he’s gotta make some unbelievable saves. He’s done it for most of this run. So when he doesn’t do it, as much as he gets the credit, he also has to take some of the blame. Imagine that concept?

It’s funny, the second the game was getting out of hand, I was telling my friends, that I was watching the game with, to watch Hank’s post game press conference. Everything that I said he would say, he said. He didn’t take any of the blame. He blamed his skaters and the special teams. God forbid he ever take any responsibility for a loss. However, he’s the first one there to take credit for a win.

Even the way “The King” reacted to this loss, crying like a baby and slamming his stick like he’s Crosby, is disgusting to watch. He is like that spoiled rich bratty girl in Willy Wonka, you know, the girl who wanted the squirrel and falls down the hole in the middle of the floor.  How about manning up and say “IT’S ON ME.”

Give credit to our captain, Ryan McDonagh. He took this loss on the chin and called the game a “complete embarrassment.”

You can watch all the Rangers postgame videos/interviews on BLUESHIRTSUNITED.com. It’s really worth watching them all and see how different players react after wins and losses. I’ve never seen a star athlete, in all my time watching NY sports, pass the blame, but take all the credit, like Henrik Lundqvist. If you don’t believe me, go back and watch for yourself.

Where Game 2 belongs for the Rangers

Since this blog is late and I’m assuming you’ve seen about 383884 recaps, highlights and lowlights, let’s just recap the goals in the game, then discuss the game itself.

GOAL ONE: Tyler Johnson got the first goal, 5 minutes and change into the first period, despite Tampa being down 5 vs 3 on the PP. MSL coughed up & turned over the puck, and Tampa was off to the races. It looked like Hank actually stopped the shot, but Marty’s momentum of crashing into the net put the puck across. Goal was totally on MSL, and it was tough to see. I really root for the guy after his work in last year’s playoff run. However, he’s having a tough go of it in these playoffs. 1-0 TBL.

GOAL TWO: Chris Kreider scored off a Dan Boyle rebound, three minutes later. Remember the Rangers scored off a rebound here. 1-1

GOAL THREE: Tyler Johnson scored yet again, three minutes later after Kreider did, on a 4 vs 3 PP. Johnson slammed home a shot, top shelf on Lundqvist. I’ve seen Hank make that save before, but tonight wasn’t his night. 2-1 TBL.

GOAL FOUR: Johnson got his hat-trick, 8 minutes into the second period, after a mad scramble in front of the net and a ton of pressure from Tampa. Give Kudos for Johnson. If TBL does go on, he’s an easy Conn Smythe candidate. What a showing he’s having in these playoffs.  3-1 TBL.

GOAL FIVE: With 6 minutes to go in the second, Derek Stepan gave the Rangers life, shooting behind the net and getting a deflection off of Coburn. Remember the Rangers scored off a deflection here. 3-2 TBL.

GOAL SIX:  Alex Killorn beats Lundqvist from the right circle, after 3 minutes expired into the third period. 4-2 TBL.

GOAL SEVEN: Stamkos deflects a shot into the net, on a PP, with 11 minutes and change left in the game 5-2 TBL.

GOAL EIGHT: TBL pours it on and gets the touchdown. Alex Killorn scores a PPG after a rebound. TBL finishes 3-6 on the PP. Final score, 6-2 TBL.

The Bishop Takes The King In Game 2

Ben Bishop, who finished with 35 saves on 37 shots, as opposed to Lundqvist’s 20 saves on 26 shots, outplayed Hank in Game 2. I want to go back to the goal scoring.

Look at the Rangers two goals tonight. Look at the game winner from Saturday. Two deflections and a rebound. STOP OVERPASSING!!! SHOOT THE FUCKING PUCK!

Too many times in this game, when the Rangers weren’t wiffing on pucks in front of them, they would overpass out of a 2 on 1 or 3 on 1 rush. At one point, Kevin Hayes had a clear path to the net, but decided to air mail the puck back to Lundqvist. Hagelin was guilty of overpassing himself out of a shot too. For all the shit that my good friend JEFFREY talks about Dan Boyle, Boyle will at least shoot the fucking puck, even if it does go 40 feet wide. (To Boyle’s defense, his shots have been more accurate as of late.)

While the Rangers overpassing is a huge issue, it also tells you how great Bishop has been. Of course, another round, another series, another goalie that turns into Vezina against the Rangers. The only way the Rangers are getting goals is by finding rebounds and deflections. So maybe instead of passing around and looking for the perfect shot, they should get guys to screen Bishop and hope for deflections and rebounds?

When you look at the goals Hank gave up, he was really burnt three times. When you’re the King, yadda, yadda, yadda, contract, yadda, yadda, yadda, he has to be better than this. He has been better this. You just hope it’s all out of his system now.

Hanging with Mr. Cooper worked for TBL in Game 2

Give credit to Bolts Coach, Jon Cooper. His team looked like shit on Saturday, but it was a complete 180 here. He made the adjustments. TBL has had Hank’s number all season. Why is that? Sure, they have a ton of firepower. What it really comes down to is TBL is just like the Rangers. They use speed, open ice and skill to win games. TBL capitalized on Ranger turnovers (Johnson’s second goal happened after a rare Staal blunder.) TBL used their speed and had Hank out of position all game.

There was a stretch of time in the third period where  Lundqvist just looked absolutely LOST. To begin the period, his horrible passing and puck possession reared its ugly head again. He tossed a disgusting pass, which was quickly intercepted and somehow wasn’t turned into a TBL goal. He was flopping in front of the net like a drunk bum who was rolled. He kept looking behind himself after every shot. His confidence was shot. He looked as helpless as that little jewish boy in that movie “Life is Beautiful.”

Again, I’m not screaming for Talbot in Game 3, just surprised Hank wasn’t put out of his misery when down 5-2 in the third.

Lundqvist signals two fingers, for Game 2, a Game he struggles badly with, as much as he’s great in Game 7’s

I’m sorry, you can’t give up 6 goals and blame your team for it. When is Hank ever held accountable? Whether it’s T-Shirt companies, bars, the Rangers themselves to sell tickets, places that sell Rangers merchandise, like say Modells or Dicks, commercial/ad agencies, whatever, it’s good business for Hank to be hot. And he’s been hot these whole playoffs. What I find funny, is how only a small percentage of the Rangers fanbase will call him out for bad games, but everyone pumps their chest out for him when he wins.

Listen, we all know how great Lundqvist was and is, but you won’t lose your fan card for calling him out. I just wonder if it’s because Ranger fans are trained not to talk bad about him, like it’s taboo or blasphemy to speak the truth.

I mean Lundqvist means so much for the Rangers, not even for his play on the ice, but for the marketability off of it. He gets the most endorsement money. Has his own MSG TV show. Has his own clothing line in MSG. He’s the Rangers number 1 jersey seller.

I tried to ask the owner of WEBLEEDBLUE.com, who releases unofficial Rangers merchandise, (Mainly T-Shirts promoting a player without using official trademarks/logos & are cheaper than the $35 Reebok ones) if Lundqvist was their top seller, but they refused to comment, jokingly saying Jed Ortmeyer was their top draw.

Bottom line, Lundqvist is good for business. For anyone who has a financial interest, it is key that Hank lives up to his “King” nickname, even if he doesn’t have that Stanley Cup crown to make him regal. If Hank can get it done this year, just imagine the business everyone who has a vested interest in him, will do. So with all the Hank propaganda out there and Lundqvist always the face of everything, a certain group of the Ranger fanbase goes nuts, when people like me & others like me, have no problem for calling Lundqvist out on his bad games.

Nash is playing well, but he’s being paid to score goals

Bottom line, was this game solely on Lundqvist? Absolutely not. Could’ve he played better? Yes. Should Talbot start game 3? No.

It is funny how Ranger fans were calling “SWEEP” after the Rangers won game 1 and how the same fans are saying “TB IN 5” after last night. This Rangers team can handle adversity & show great resolve, but when it comes to putting the foot on the neck of someone, it just doesn’t happen. I thought Rangers in 6 at the start of this. I didn’t expect a 6 goal outburst from Tampa.

So where do the Rangers go from here? You don’t really forget Game 2. Let it be a reminder. Get mad. Get angry. Get pissed. Wake the fuck up. It seems that only Kreider, Stepan & Moore have that killer instinct right now.

Everyone else is ripping on Rick Nash & MSL right now. I’m not gonna throw gas on that fire, but yeah, Nash needs to score. He’s not playing bad, he’s just not playing to the level he’s being paid at. MSL just looks old and you can see he loses his legs out there.

For some reason, Ranger fans were blaming the refs. Are you serious? If you are blaming the refs for this game (And there was 1-2 missed calls), you are nuts. Rangers had all the opportunity in the world.

Another thing to make note of are how teams are not required to disclose injury info. Who knows what’s up with Zuccarello? Even before this game, TBL reporters were saying Boyle’s bags were packed and he wouldn’t play game 2. Of course he was out there practicing and played in game 2. Who knows what’s going on with him too.

Also, just want to make mention that Tanner Glass, for as much as we gave him shit during the season, is having a strong showing in the playoffs. I said that in my last blog, just felt it was worth reiterating here again.

For Ranger fans, the world isn’t coming down on you. This team never makes anything easy. Bring on Game 3. I trust in Coach AV to make the adjustments, as well as Captain Ryan McD, to rile up the troops.

See ya Wednesday night.

Sean McCaffrey

BULLSMC@aol.com

@NYCTHEMIC on twitter

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