I’ve said it a few times thus far this year, but the probability of so many players playing so poorly for so long will eventually approach zero…tonight it did. The Rangers killed the Penguins on the scoreboard, but if you look at the game, the Penguins had some *REAL* good scoring chances that they didn’t
capitalize Ovechkinize on, whereas it seemed like everything the Rangers threw at the net went in.
The key to the Pens, as with most great offensive team, is to out posses them. It’s how the Bawstun Brooins killed the Pens, and it’s kinda how the Rangers rebounded after a horrible start to tonights game. I mean, if you actually watched the first 10 minutes tonight you’d be like me and be amazed the Rangers weren’t down 5-zip. Instead the Rangers were able to weather the storm almost completely by some borderline miraculous goaltending by Henrik Lundqvist, and turned the ship around by getting the puck in behind the Shittsburgh defense and working their defenseman. If they don’t have the puck, they ain’t all that scary.
One side story that wasn’t really discussed at all was the horrendous officiating tonight. It was really amazing how the Pens got away with murder tonight, coupled with some unbelievably soft calls (Hagelins hook, are you kidding me?!). The scoresheet doesn’t tell the story (Getting a pattern here?), but if you watched the game, you saw some typical Pittsburgh bullshit. It’s why I hate watching that team play, they get away with so much crap and constantly get the benefit of calls that other teams don’t.
An interesting side note on how terrible Evgeni Malkin looks without Chris Neal. Malkin was a complete no-show tonight, and has been for much of this season. Without Neal to rifle lasers past the oppositions goalies Malkin just looks lost. Let’s see how Crosby does if Dupuis is out for an extended period of time.
It really is a pretty recipe to shut that team down, just don’t let Crosby or Malkin have the puck. That’s it. Their other forwards are mediocre at best, and their defense is putrid outside of Martin and MAYBE Letang. Their record is more of a function of how weak the East is than anything else. If you look at the Rangers, we’ve been beaten up on by the West.
Anyways, once Nash comes back, this team should be a little more fun to watch. Hopefully it’s not *too* much longer (weeks? months?)