And so it continues for the New York Rangers, pushing their playoff match ups to 7 games- twice- and well on track to make it a third. A third that doesn’t even begin to look charming, as the Rangers continue to frustrate opposition and fans alike with the same lackluster game plan. It goes like this: let the other guy tire himself out in two periods of play, throwing everything at the net, play five effective minutes to score early in the third, and then sit back and defend your way to the last buzzer.
If the Rangers don’t bother to show up for the first two periods, the New Jersey Devils shouldn’t either. But that would lead a to dead puck game that would end in more boos than an old gladiator arena where one of the slaves won’t fight. What’s worse, with a home team crowd looking for something to cheer about, the Devils were forced to put on a show, with almost double the amount of shots on goal as the Rangers. The Rangers relied heavily on Lundqvist to bail them out, which he did in spectacular fashion. Just like in game one, he has been the most valuable player for New York and nobody can deny that he carries this team.
He carries this highly undeserving New York team to victory and he will likely keep doing it, right up to the Stanley Cup final. This series is looking like 7 games, because New Jersey won’t just give up and New York will have at least off game where they lose by a goal. New York now leads 2-1, and it will be for lack of trying.
Critics will point the finger at the highest paid members of each team when there’s a loss. It’s partly fair to give Kovalchuk some of the blame in this loss, but hardly fair to give him the bulk of it. Besides, it was not for lack of trying that New Jersey lost, and a clanker off the post would have made this a very different game for the home team. Reffing was absent for the most part in this series, but 5 missed power play opportunities for New Jersey is just shameful. It’s a certainty that if there’s one thing that needs work during tomorrow’s off day session, it will be the Devils power play.
A good playoffs needs a good story. Unfortunately, this is one we’ve all seen before and we all know how it ends. It ends in 7 games of frustration and boredom. And not all of us are going to stick around for the final chapter.
About the Author
Written by Mika Oehling
Office worker and sports nerd. Cannot play a professional sport to save my life, but love to write. Prone to rants, raves, snarky humour and caustic commentary. My team's the Ottawa Senators. Author of Armchair Hockey, a work of humourous fiction released this year and available for sale online at Chapters and Amazon.