by Patrick Hoffman on 04/21/09 at 12:30 PM ET
Last night’s 4-0 loss in Game three to the Washington Capitals brought back memories of Tom Renney’s New York Rangers.
The team failed to score on the power play (what else is new?), failed to create quality scoring chances, left their goaltender Henrik Lundqvist out to dry and made Caps’ rookie netminder Simeon Varlamov look like the second coming of Patrick Roy. It was a game in which the Blueshirts had the chance to take a commanding 3-0 series lead. Instead, they have given the Caps’ some life and this could end up hurting the Blueshirts in the end.
It’s been said by many hockey pundits that special teams are crucial come playoff time. Well, the Rangers realize this when it comes to penalty killing but when it comes to power play, they do not seem to get the point. The team is still trying to look to make the perfect play more often than not and when they do get into prime scoring areas, they shoot the puck right into the goalie. What happened to the club that scored two power play goals in Game one?
Secondly, where was the defense? They allowed the Caps’ to fire at will (40 shots) on Lundqvist and many times, left Lundqvist all alone out there. What happened to the ‘d’ that tightened up for their goaltender and protected him when he needed it the most?
Third, captain Chris Drury should not be in the lineup. It’s obvious that he’s playing hurt and that the injury has something to do with his arm or wrist as he looks scared to shoot the puck, cannot take any face-offs and played the game with one hand on the stick.
Lastly, this team needs to start scoring goals. They were able to get four in Game one and then one early in the first period in Game two but since then, have been kept off the board. If you can;t score goals, you’re not going to win. It’s that simple.
Be back with more later, hopefully.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.