Let’s be clear on this. The Rangers were flat out dominated for the vast majority of this game. Even the 3rd period, where we scored 3 goals, I felt like the Devils probably had the better scoring chances than we did. There is only 1 reason we won this game. His name is Henrik Lundqvist.
This game was VERY reminiscent to some of the games the Rangers played against the Capitals during the playoffs a few years ago when we went up 3 games to 1 only to lose that series. Why? Because one can argue that the Rangers have been BADLY outplayed in 7 of the 9 periods of hockey played in this series, and somehow hold a 2 games to 1 advantage, and nearly could be up 3 games to zip. This has the makings of a very dangerous series so far. Why? Because they ARE being outplayed, and yet, somehow, they are winning games. We’ve seen the Rangers clock strike 12 a few times like that, where eventually the worm turns, Henrik can’t single handedly win them games, and they get blasted out of the water.
The Rangers need to start playing games like they did in in the final periods of games 1 and 3 FOR 60 EFFING MINUTES. I gave them a break on being tired for game 2, and to a degree in game 1. But let’s call a spade a spade here. The Rangers are within 2 wins of going to the first cup finals in nearly twenty years….that’s right folks, it’s almost been 20 years since they were in the Stanley Cup Finals…1994 is a looooong time ago. You want to have a chance to win the cup? You need to raise your compete level a whole hell of a lot. Tired? Sure, who isn’t. But it’s time for these guys to shake off that tired, to catch their 2nd….3rd….28th wind….whatever it takes. They need to start moving their feet. Everyone needs to follow in the footsteps of the top 2 left wingers who are the only 2 guys who seem to be consistently active in the offensive zone with their tenacious play.
I’m getting sick of seeing the Rangers running around in their own zone for period after period. Do the Devils deserve some of the credit? Absolutely. They have a good team. I said it before this series started, the Devils are a damn good team, who play a strong offensive game. So what? Can you honestly say the Rangers have played as hard, and have had the required compete level this series? I sure as hell can not. It’s tough to tear into a team that’s so close to the ultimate prize, but I’ve long been a believer that good plays leads to wins, and poor play leads to losses. Right now, barring another god-like performance by the King, the Rangers are not too far off from getting a few losses. It’s time to man up, pay the piper, and start winning some battles.
Let’s go, Game 4 is on Monday, I want to see a 5-0 demolishing, not another 3-0 win that completely disguises the fact that the team was outplayed in nearly all facets of the game sans goaltending.