|Kreider was in BEAST MODE today!|
Welcome to another blog here on DOINOW.com! As always, check out the right hand of the site for the live tweets, archives and all that other good stuff. As I type this right after the game, this may be a quick one, as we’re experiencing the biggest sports day (minus the Superbowl) thus far, of 2015. Not only did we have the Rangers today, we have Yanks/Sox, Mets/Nats, Spurs/Clippers in a Game 7, The Kentucky Derby, and of course, the May-Pac fight. If this goes too short, due to lack of sleep on my part, I’ll add in more thoughts tomorrow.
The Rangers defeated the Washington Capitals, 3-2, in Game 2, to tie the series at 1-1. Game 3 and 4 will take place in Washington, on Monday and Wednesday, respectively.
No game is a must-win game until you’ve lost three games in a series, but for the Rangers, this was a game they needed to win. Taking in the game as a whole, I thought the Rangers put out a much better effort than game one and played much differently.
What concerns me, and what has been a concern all season for me, is that the Rangers will have these unbelievable periods or just bursts of frantic offense, then go flat like a fart in church for 20 minutes at a time. The difference between the first period and second period today was a prime example of that.
For instance, the Rangers were up 2-0 after the first, after out-shooting the Caps 15-4. The Rangers were then out-shot the second period 16-12 and lost the period 1-0. I understand the ebbs and flow of the game, but the Rangers just have these periods where they get dominated and look lifeless at times.
Chris Kreider was the first star of the game and for a reason. Not that I’m a homosexual and I do think it comes off silly when you say the phrase “no-homo”, but NO HOMO, I had an erection watching Chris Kreider play today.
Kreider scored 38 seconds into the game, after taking a Jesper Fast rebound and slamming it home. 1-0 in nearly 30 seconds. Just think, my friends JEFFREY, BRIAN MILLER & RB, were all at the game and saw the Rangers take the lead before they could take a sip of their first beer. Meanwhile, when I’m at the game on Thursday, the Rangers didn’t score until the 57 minute mark! Maybe I should stick to watching these games at “HOCKEY TOWN, Nassau County, USA” the Bold O’Donoghues!
As much as the Rangers needed Kreider’s goal, on the next ensuing play, Kreider got into it with Ovechkin. Listen, I’m not an Ovi hater. In fact, he’s my favorite non-Ranger in the league. I love watching the guy play the game. I wish he was a Ranger. You can say Sidney Crosby is a bitch and a cunt and all that stuff and I won’t argue. However, to me, Ovi is the best player in the NHL today. He’s just a monster and I respect his play.
After Kreider’s goal, Washington went on a rush. After the whistle, Kreider got right in Ovi’s Russian face and gave him a headlock, popping his helmet off in the process. It was glorious. The Rangers are not known for their physicality. They are a skill and finesse team. To see Kreider go right at it with Ovi, man, was that amazing. The book out on Kreider is that he’s a dirty player, the skating into the goalies stuff and all that, but Kreider manned up, went into Ovi’s face, and fucked him up.
For real, Kreider is the player you hate the most if you’re an opposing fan, but he’s one of the guys you love the most if he’s on your team!
|Boyle & Brassard beat Holtby today|
My good friend JEFFREY, who you may have read about in these blogs, hates Dan Boyle. Despises him. I didn’t watch the game with JEFFREY today, but every time I see Dan Boyle on the ice, all I can hear ringing in my head, is “GET OFF THE ICE BOYLE”, in JEFFREY’s irritating and authoritative tone. Leave it to that same Dan Boyle, to blast a SUPER RARE power play goal, with 15 minutes gone by in the first period, giving the Rangers a 2-0 lead.
Just take that sentence in. RANGERS POWER PLAY. A GOAL. DAN BOYLE. I haven’t connected those words that much this season and this is the first time I’m constructing this sentence in the postseason.
Boyle just blasted one by, from deep, near the blue line, with Rick Nash screening Holtby for the goal. Boyle looks like he’s 90 years old there, but for the first time seemingly all season, was able to put a shot on net, rather than sailing it 30 feet wide, like he’s Scott Norwood.
By the way, I was at the game Thursday, so I didn’t see it on TV, but pardon my lack of imaginary professionalism on these blogs – “SUCK A DICK MIKE MILBURY.” How Milbury calls Rick Nash a “marshmallow” implying that he’s soft, is beyond me. How Milbury has a job covering hockey is even further beyond me. The Islanders are now just finally recovering past the Milbury era. He was one of the worst GM’s in the history of the NHL. The toughest thing he ever did as a player was attack defenseless fans with a shoe. Go fuck yourself Milbury!
|Who did this clown blow for a job?|
After the first period, it was 2-0 Rangers. What a sigh of relief and some breathing room. However, with Henrik Lundqvist in net, you can never relax. To “Weird Al” a Taylor Swift song, Henrik Lundqvist makes you “SWEAT IT OUT, SWEAT IT OUT, because Hank always breaks, breaks, breaks, SWEAT IT OUT, SWEAT IT OUT!”
Did Henrik make phenomenal saves today? Fuck yeah, he did. Did he also give up two horrible goals? He did that too. Why am I hard on Hank? Because he is the highest paid goaltender in the league and demanded to be paid that way. I expect better from a self-proclaimed King and a guy who considers himself the best in the world. Fleury was better last series and Holtby has been better in this series thus far.
Has Hank played amazing playoff hockey during this run? Yes! No question. I’ve said that. However, the two goals today should not happen. I don’t expect shutouts every game, but I do expect Hank to live up to his money. Can the Rangers just blow someone out? Even when they do score three goals, you have to worry about Hank coughing it up. It’s the playoffs, I get it, but at the same time, Hank needs to live up to his deal.
What kills me the most about Lundqvist is his horrible body language and hissy fits. Slamming the stick like a spoiled brat, blaming his teammates in the media or doing the Eli Manning faces just drives me nuts. I would just like to see Hank play a game, and show he’s not rattled after a goal. Is that too much to ask?
|Will Hank ever get his crown? 11 more wins away|
Evgeny Kuznetsov, the hero of Game 7 of the Caps/Isles series, got the first goal for Washington, grabbing a Chimera rebound and beating Hank with it. I’m sure Hank is already blaming Dan Boyle for being beat to the rebound, but at the same time, it’s a save we’ve seen Hank make before and a save he needs to make here.
The Rangers absolutely dominated the Caps in the first period, but the Caps took back the game in the second period. Hank made some great saves, looked lost on another save, before giving up the rebound goal to Kuznetsov. When the team starts slacking, we need our highest paid goalie in all of the land, to stand on his head. If he can’t do that, then he shouldn’t be paid the way he is. Was Boyle beat to the rebound? Yes. However, who gave up the rebound instead of just deading the puck?
2-1 Rangers, after two.
|Brassard had a lot to smile about, scoring the GWG|
With the asshole clenching and with twenty minutes of hockey left, the Rangers had a one goal lead in the third period. Washington was surging and would out-shoot the Rangers, yet again, in this period. Leave it to the guy who was hot in the first round, Derick Brassard, to score the game winning goal.
Six minutes into the third, Marty St. Louis, the hero of this second round series a year ago, found Brassard wide-open. Brassard capitalized, pardon the pun, and beat Holtby for the Rangers third goal of the game. Three Rangers goals in a playoff game? Consider me impressed!
However, you couldn’t relax for too long, as Alex Ovechkin, the MVP of the league in my eyes, scored with less than 10 minutes to go. Words can’t give Ovi’s goal justice. Ovi simply outskated Girardi & McDonagh, the Rangers best defensive pair, fell down and still beat Lundqvist. All series, all series.
This was a horrible goal on Lundqvist’s part too. Was DG & the Captain burnt? Sure. Still, Ovi scored from the floor, at a tough angle and Lundqvist looked puny against the mighty Ovi. This was a highlight reel goal and a goal ESPN would show in the Top 10 plays of the week, if ESPN cared about hockey.
If you didn’t see it, go check out the goal yourself. It’s another example of why Ovi should be the MVP of the NHL.
3-2 Rangers, with less than 10 to go.
|Hockeytown, Nassau County USA aka The Bold!|
With less than 10, the Rangers increased my heart rate and tightened my arteries, faster than a clam chowder soup from Chez Teddy at the Bold. Kreider had numerous chances to make this a two goal game, but Holtby kept coming up huge. Holtby has stepped up his game tremendously, from the Islanders series.
It’s also worth mentioning the referees of today’s game. They let a lot slide, but would call some tacky penalties. The Rangers played their most physical game of the season, to match Washington’s bruising game, but the refs let a lot go. I didn’t blame the refs for the Backstrom hit on Boyle, and I don’t blame them for today. I thought they were good, although the Brassard interference call on Ovi was very weak.
Hank, who finished with 30 saves on 32 shots, as opposed to Holtby’s 32 saves on 35 shots, played well, but King? N-word please. This game shouldn’t have been tighter than me in a kids size small T-shirt. The keys to this series, on the Caps side, is Ovi, special teams and Holtby. Ovi is beating Lundqvist easily, Holtby is outperforming, or at very least, on the same level of Hank and today was the first day the Rangers outplayed Washington in the special teams department.
In other words, “CAN THE RANGERS WIN ONE PLAYOFF GAME BY MORE THAN TWO GOALS?” I get it, the Rangers are a team that finds a way to win. However, that style will burn you, just like it did in game one.
|AV looking Asian!|
Major credit goes to AV, for the Rangers victory today. Despite the 3-2 win, and the Rangers being able to hold, despite Holtby being pulled and not being able to clear the puck, nevermind finding an empty netter, AV had this team ready. They were checking. They were in Washington’s face. They wouldn’t let any shit slide, especially Chris Kreider, who has a reputation of sliding himself!
As I said in the top of this blog, this wasn’t a must-win game. We’ve seen this team, with this coach, come back from 3-1 before. However, it is a huge win. I said before the series, I expect the Rangers to win in 6. Holtby needs to play every game, like he did in game one, for Washington to win this series, no matter how hot Ovi gets.
I don’t care what anyone believes. This is a Cup or Bust year. The Rangers now have 5 wins down, 11 to go, to win the ultimate prize – The Stanley Cup. You would like to see the Rangers stomp out teams, like their West #1 seed counterpart does, the Anaheim Ducks, but this has been the Rangers all year. They just find ways to win.
Sorry for the brevity of this blog, as I usually go deeper. However, it’s a busy Saturday and I’m on no sleep. Perhaps a more detailed look tomorrow. If not, see you Monday for a Game 3 recap!
LET’S GO RANGERS
WE WANT THE CUP
Messier to go!
@NYCTHEMIC on twitter