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I swear to God, it feels like someone kicked me in the nuts as hard as humanly possible right now. Last year, I was pretty OK after the Drury goal against us. Right now I feel like I am unable to process human emotion. This is so much worse because we lost because of our own player (Ryan Hollweg) not because of a herculean effort by the other team.


Ok, so here I am, a few hours after the fact, and I am still numb, but I’m going to power through this. I think this game came down to a few big things, and one huge thing. Lets start with the big things. The Rangers had 2 chances on 2 separate 5 on 3’s and didn’t score a goal. No team, particularly one struggling to score with the man up, can feel good about their game after that. Not scoring on 5 on 3’s is as bad as being scored on. It deflates you, and really kills your momentum. Next, but not in game chronological order, Marty Straka shanked a puck 4 feet wide with a completely 100% wide open net that could have notted the game at 1 early. Yeah he redeemed himself later, but Id like to think that could have given us a 2-1 lead, rather than being a redeemer.

Then you have Henrik Lundqvist. I am not going to kill the guy, because I think all the goals he gave up were tough shots to stop, perhaps shots he had no chances on. With that said he didn’t make a single game changing stop. Its the argument I usually steer clear from because I’m not a big believer in your goalie having to steal you wins, especially in a series where he has been flat out spectacular. People love to kill him, and some people love to give him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps I am in the latter group, but with that said, I wish Henrik had stopped one or 2 of those goals. Maybe he should have, maybe he shouldnt have, but I don’t think he made a single spectacular save in the game. And we just arent good enough to win if that is the case.

Now, the huge thing. You all know what it is. Ryan Hollweg. He cost us the game, the series, and the season all in one, epically idiotic play. The Rangers have all the momentum in the world. ALL OF IT. They had just scored 2 goals, rang one off the pipe, had the puck in the Penguins zone for what seemed like a month and a half, and what happens? The same thing that has happened at least twice before this year. Ryan Hollweg, caught up in the emotion of trying to make a play, takes a terrible boarding penalty (that was clear as day, its an inarguable call) which takes all of our momentum, hands it to the Pens, and effectively kills our season. Remember, its not about the eventual goal we gave up, its about the complete loss of momentum on one play.

Do you have any doubts, any whatsoever, that if Hollweg doesnt take that penalty, we go on to win this game? I know I don’t. The way the Rangers, and more importantly Jagr were playing, it was only a matter of time. I know it, you know it, everyone knows it. Then, on one play, it was all over. Gone, another defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.

And this is bad guys, this hurts, this hurts a whole lot. Like I said earlier, this hurts more than the Drury goal, because it wasn’t another team beating us (imho). It was one of our own players sabotaging our entire game on a reckless play he has done a quite a few times before. I’m not going to get on Renney here, because that argument will come on a later day. But you do have to question Renneys decision making in putting him on the ice at that point in time. I understand the thought process. Ryan gives energy, he can skate, he can hit, maybe he can keep the pressure going. But when you have the other team on their heels like that, you don’t put on your offensive inept grinder out there. You put in your scorers, to keep applying offensive zone pressure, till the other team cracks.

Ryan Hollweg. Goodbye, I never want to see you in Rangers blue ever again.

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