Posts Tagged ‘Quick Reaction’

Devils 5, Rangers 3. Devils lead series 3-2

Depending on whether you’re a glass-half-full or half-empty type of guy, you could look at Game 5 in two ways. You could say the Rangers came back from three goals down and dominated play most of the game or you could say that their defense was sloppy and Henrik Lundqvist was less than royal. Either way, the Rangers’ Cup is running out quickly. Again, they missed chances, took silly penalties (EMBELLISHING!?!?!?), and let up at the most inopportune time.

For whatever reason, this team play best when their backs are against the wall. Their weakest moments always seem to be right after they score a big goal. I can think of several games, most notably both Game 7’s, when the Rangers throttled back their aggression after taking a lead or tying a game. It may not always result in a goal for the opponents, but maybe a drawn penalty or a quality scoring chance. Luckily, the Rangers won’t have that problem anymore. Their complacency is stifling.

I think it’s obvious that they’re the better team in the series. It’s just that after winning Game 1 and 3, they let their guard down. Even yesterday, it was almost like they expected to win and forgot to play for the first 10 minutes. Maybe they’re just tired. They’re going on almost eight months of a brutal schedule but they’ve come to far to go down now. Their backs are as far against the wall as it gets. They’re through the wall. Game 6 in hell with a spot in the Finals on the brink? I say this team responds.

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Capitals 2, Rangers 1. Series tied 3-3

That must have been the absolute worst way to come out and start the game. A penalty where the defenseman gets beaten, and an Ovechkin power play goal. If the Caps didn’t score in the first five minutes, all the pressure would have been on them after the way they blew Game 5. But that goal got all the jitters out of the way and allowed them to get back on track. Otherwise, this game played out like the others in the series. Great goaltending and D, and Washington got the lucky bounce on the second goal. That was enough to send it to Game 7. Luckily, there’s two days off so Holtby’s momentum should slow down a little bit, but both teams are very evenly matched heading into Saturday. Hopefully, the Garden will be the difference.

Rangers 3, Capitals 2 (OT). Rangers lead series 3-2

Valeri Zelepukin couldn’t have done it any better. There’s not much more that can be said about this one. Amazing effort by the Rangers for not giving up until the final buzzer. I still have no idea how Brad Richards managed to sneak that puck by Holtby but he’s worth every penny. Then, Staal in overtime with the absolute blast that we’ve been waiting for all series. Stunning. Unbelievable. Epic.

If the Rangers had lost, I’d be writing about how their power play was absolutely anemic and the amount of time they hold the puck looking for the perfect perfect shot is about as frustrating as having a girlfriend on her period. But they didn’t, so I won’t. Loved the way they came out to start the game but you have to get more than one goal in the first period. Again, I thought the refs did a horrendous job absolutely missing calls against the Capitals, but what else is new? The Rangers have to keep getting the pucks on net. Holtby is good but he’s prone to juicy rebounds. I can’t imagine a team being able to rally from a crushing defeat like this but Washington won Game 4 after the triple OT game, so I’m not ruling anything out. All I know is that when King Henrik and the Blueshirts play their best, nobody can beat them.

Knicks 89, Heat 87. Heat lead series 3-1

Rejoice, 11-year-old Knick fans! You have seen your team win a playoff game! Amar’e and Melo came up big today. I formally accept the apology of Amar’e Stoudemire after he came out and played like a man. The Knicks looked like a team that wasn’t ready to go home for the summer and that’s all you can ask for. Most importantly, they played with pride and with the Garden behind them, there was no way they were losing. Here are some random thoughts:

– It’s going to be tough with only Mike Bibby and Toney Douglas at the point but that’s no reason to rush Lin back. You can’t risk a major injury on the off chance that the Knicks can come back from three down to beat the Heat.

– The refs once again called a horrible game. If Queen James is driving down the lane and shoves Landry Fields as he’s making his move, it should an offensive foul. You can’t push somebody with your off hand if they get in your way.

– I’m not a fan of the “Beat the Heat” chant at the Garden. Isn’t that kind of acknowledging that the Heat are superior? We don’t need special chants for our opponents unless it’s “[insert name here] sucks.”

– Again, I never thought the record was a huge deal but it felt great getting the win out of the way so there’s no need to think about it ever again. Now we can just worry about playing hard. If the Knicks had lost Game 4, I would have said the season was a failure, but now there’s a (very small) foundation of positivity that can be built on. Little by little, the Knicks’ stigma of losing and the stink of Isiah Thomas is going away, and it’s going to be easier to attract talent and eventually contend for a Title. Right now, I’m just a happy fan.

Capitals 3, Rangers 2. Series tied 2-2

Same script as Game 2. It was a pretty solid, evenly matched game. The refs called a questionable penalty at the end and missed a couple on the Caps. The Caps scored on the power play and now we’re going at least six. It was a real blown opportunity because this could have effectively put Washington out of it. King Henrik didn’t play his best game. All three goals were stoppable but I’m sure he was still feeling the effects of triple OT. The kid Kreider blew it on the first goal but he’s a kid and you have to take the good with the bad. The game-winning goal hurt because Callahan had a chance to clear the puck but instead had it poked away. And that’s the game.

The Rangers need to come out guns blazing in Game 5. The first period today was unacceptable and they were lucky to only be down one goal. If they play every game like they did for the first half of the second period, they’ll win the Cup mark my words. This game sucked but it’s not as demoralizing as Game 4 against the Senators. Blowing that two-goal lead really hurt and carried over into Game 5. This time I don’t think it’s going to happen. There’s really no margin for error anymore.

Heat 87, Knicks 70. Heat lead series 3-0

I was pleased with the way the Knicks played. I know they lost by 17 and put up a stinker in the fourth quarter, but what do you expect? Three starters are out, they’re playing what should be the best team in the NBA, and Melo was off. The D and effort was there, mainly in the first half. Guys like J.R. Smith and Mike Bibby were holding their own, but when Jorts is in a do-or-die playoff game, things are not going to end well. The fact is the Knicks need Melo to go off to win a game and with nobody else in the lineup able to score, the Heat can harass him. They may be bitches, but they’re not stupid.

I don’t give a shit about the record. Who cares how many playoff games you win or lose in a row? We don’t have any rings and that’s all that matters. It’s a different team that lost to the Raptors and Nets. If we won a game in 2004, it wouldn’t really make any difference. I wish people would shut up about it. The take away from this game is that the Knicks aren’t going down easy. Also, how does Queen James have any fans outside of Miami after all the whining he does after every call against him? He’s really upping the crybaby antics. They’re at a Sidney Crosby-level. He better watch himself because the refs don’t take kindly to that. I prefer the Jordan death stare but maybe I’m just old school.

Rangers 2, Capitals 1 (3OT). Rangers lead series 2-1

Wow, I need a cigarette. Amazing game on both sides. Both goalies were phenomenal (and lucky). Both teams showed heart and grit and played hard for every second. It could have gone either way but luckily the good guys won. Gaborik’s been struggling throughout the playoffs and just hasn’t looked like himself. But as the overtimes wore on, he seemed fresh and finally connected. Hopefully, this gets him going for the rest of the series. The Rangers really need his production.

With Stu Bickel in the doghouse, the other defensemen had to come up big and they did. Ryan McDonough playing over 50 minutes of quality hockey is insane. He was on the ice for longer than a regulation basketball game! What a machine. Of course, Girardi and Staal were great as always, and Callahan was always there to put his body on the puck. Lost in all of this is that King Henrik had another stellar performance. Some of those shots in overtime had a lot of traffic and he picked them out of the air like it was nothing. I’ll be honest, though. When Ovechkin’s shot hit the post and the lights and sirens went off, I thought it was over. Some nights the posts are just on your side.

The important thing now is to carry the momentum into Game 4. The Rangers can’t give the Caps any breathing room heading back to the Garden like they did to the Senators, especially after the draining game tonight. It’s just a good things there’s a few days off now.