by Patrick Hoffman on 04/29/09 at 12:00 AM ET
This was a typical Tom Renney-style of hockey game for the New York Rangers and much like it did during the regular season, it cost them dearly. This time, however, it cost them the season as the Washington Capitals were able to come back from a 3-1 series lead to defeat the Rangers in Game 7 by a score of 2-1.
The Blueshirts looked great in the first period, outshooting the Caps by an 8-2 margin and getting a goal from Nik Antropov. However, they ended the period tied thanks to a fluky goal off the stick of Alexander Semin and from that point on, the Caps took it to the Rangers.
Much like during the regular season, the Rangers struggled to find offense and had to revert to relying on their defense and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to save the day. While Lundqvist was often spectacular in making 22 saves, the game-winning goal he allowed to Sergei Fedorov is one that I’m sure he wants back as he once again got beat high short side, something that happened a lot this series.
Now, I am not pinning the blame on the “King”. Again, he played well enough for the Rangers to win but unfortunately, the goal he allowed is probably one he should have had. As Greg Wyshynski posted on Twitter, Henrik’s grave will read “high, glove side”.
But that’s neither here or there as the Blueshirts did not deserve to win this game. They did not establish a forecheck in the third period, they didn’t throw enough pucks at rookie netminder Simeon Varlamov (the Rangers were outshot 25-15), and they were tentative with the puck. The Rangers definitely played with a lot of heart but they could not come through when it mattered the most.
It’s time to move on and start thinking about the off-season and the 2009-10 NHL season. These questions will have to be answered prior to the start of next season:
- Should the team keep Nikolai Zherdev?
- Should the team keep Antropov?
- Should the team keep Derek Morris?
- How will the team’s offense be improved during the off-season?
- What will the team’s defense look like next season?
- What team prospects will the Rangers have a good look at in training camp?
Obviously, a lot more questions will have to be answered as this is just the beginning.
While the Rangers are out of the playoffs, I will not be going anywhere so you can expect a lot (I say that loosely) of posts from me in the future.
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: alexander+semin, derek+morris, henrik+lundqvist, new+york+rangers, nik+antropov, nikolai+zherdev, sergei+fedorov, simeon+varlamov, tom+renney, washington+capitals
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at email@example.com.