Rangers Play Their Worst Game Of The Playoffs
Many a Ranger fan is probably wondering how can you play so poor when so much is on the line. That's my thought right now. In losing to Washington Wednesday night the Rangers played lousy as their "compete" level was not there on this important night. It's the 1st time in a long time I felt the club didn't bring the fight.
All night they were beaten to loose pucks. I counted NO impactful hits. That's a hit that causes a turnover. For a team that thrives on beating you in physicality it just wasn't there on Wednesday. Not 1 time did they set up shop behind the net and work to the front. If not for the goaltending of Henrik Lundqvist this thing could have gotten real ugly.
By compete level just look what Alexander Ovechkin did in the 3rd perios, getting a great scoring chance while sliding along the ice on his buttocks. That's the will to compete of compete level. Except for the 4th line of Kreider, Mitchell and Rupp the compete level was missing in my opinion.
The top line of Gaborik-Richards and Hagelin was weak. Gaborik's late goal went of his rump and made the score close but the game wasn't really that close.
Anyone and everyone knew the Caps would play for their playoff life. The rangers didn't get the memo. Few chances of the 31 shots were any threat.
Hard to explain how a team like the Rangers can win such an incredible game like they did Monday then play a stinker in a close out game. It's the 2nd time in this series that you would have thought all the momentum was on NY's side and it didn't carry over. The Rangers lost game 4 after that tremendous 3 OT win in game 3. Hard to explain.
I never question the Rangers work ethic or heart and neither lacked Wednesday night but they won no battles. Not in front of the Washington goal. Not in the corners. Not anywhere. The 31 shots on Cap Goalie Braden Holtby were mostly weak and easy stops. I don't think the Rangers followed a shot with a shot all game. Holtby wasn't challenged at all, although it is confirmed he did sweat a bit.
Ovechkin opened the scoring 1.28 into the contest with a power play goal.The Caps made it 2-0 on Jason Chimera's goal in the 2nd. At no point was the sense or urgency driving the Rangers and it showed.
Game 7 of this series is back at the worlds most famous arena, Madison Square Garden on Saturday night. The Caps have eliminated the Rangers the last 2 times NY has made the post season. I have NO doubt the compete level will be very high for both clubs in the win or go home contest.