Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dave Hutchinson of the Star Ledger,
The mood was visibly gloomy as a handful of Rangers went through the paces during an optional skate Tuesday morning at Madison Square Garden, the reality of a 3-0 deficit to the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Final staring them in the face.
Afterwards, their half-empty locker room had the feel of a funeral. Faces were long. Voices were low.
“Excuse us if today we’re not real cheery, but tomorrow I can tell you we’re going to show up,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said.
While the Rangers are down, they insist they’re not out. They’ve watched the Kings rally from a 3-0 hole against San Jose and they themselves battled back from a 3-1 disadvantage against Pittsburgh.
added 3:45pm, from Katie Strang of ESPNNewYork,
from CBS New York,
Keenan held nothing back, literally. He was especially incensed by the Rangers’ demeanor in the locker room following the defeat.
“I don’t like the tone at all. I want more resolve, I want them to be more angry, I want more determination. I’m not seeing it. This is the Stanley Cup Final,” Keenan said during MSG’s postgame show, according to SNY.
Keenan, who coached three different teams to the Stanley Cup Final, and made a total of four appearances, said for whatever reason the Rangers have been unable to play the type of ferocious hockey needed to vanquish opponents at this stage of the playoffs.
“If this goalie is on top of his game you need to do something about it. There isn’t anybody in front of the net. I was at ice level and they don’t hate each other yet. You gotta get engaged,” Keenan said. “Maybe it’s inexperience on the part of the Rangers who haven’t been here before with the exception of two players who have won the cup. The other team the entire nucleus has been there. You gotta step your game up.
“I’m talking whistle to whistle and within the whistle being more determined that what I am seeing right now,” Keenan added.
more and you can watch the MSG post-game video below...
from Tim Wharnsby of CBC,
If you were pulling for Martin St. Louis and the New York Rangers to jump back into the Stanley Cup final on Monday evening you may have come down with a case of the what ifs.
- What if, in the Rangers' 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings at Madison Square Garden to fall behind 3-0 in the championship series, New York right wing Mats Zuccarello buried that chance from close range in the first period? Instead, his shot hit the post and then the stick of Kings goalie Jonathan Quick and stayed out.
- What if Los Angeles sniper Jeff Carter doesn't score a goal on a deflection off the left skate of sliding Rangers defenceman Dan Girardi after a brilliant setup from teammate Justin Williams with 0.8 seconds left on the score clock in the first period?
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
You almost have to feel bad for Henrik Lundqvist, don’t you? The Man Who Has Everything has nothing to show through the first three games of this Stanley Cup Final series.
No luck. No help. No wins.
Well, nothing is not entirely accurate, of course. The embattled Rangers ‘keeper does have one thing:
Lundqvist was on the hook for three goals on just 15 shots in New York’s 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night. But who could blame him, right? The first might have deflected off the skate of defenseman Dan Girardi about 20 feet out and changed direction slightly. The second was redirected by another well-meaning block attempt by Martin St. Louis. The third was created when the puck bounced off the skate of Ryan McDonagh directly onto the tape of L.A.’s Mike Richards.
In fact, that’s pretty much been the story of the series for Lundqvist.
The first stick save by Quick was on Mats Zuccarello with the score at 0-0...
And with the Rangers down 0-2, Quick stops Derick Brassard with another great stick save...
First up is Alain Vigneault...
Followed by Darryl Sutter below...
from Helene Elliott of the LA Times,
Quick and the Kings reached back to their 2012 playbook for a dominant performance that moved them within one victory of their second Stanley Cup championship in three seasons. His 32-save gem in the 3-0 victory that gave the Kings a 3-0 series lead over the Rangers was vintage Quick, a throwback to the acrobatics and forbidding focus that won him postseason MVP honors two years ago.
"He was obviously the best player on the ice tonight," Rangers Coach Alain Vigneault said.
Quick himself was typically laconic and unemotional, saying that playing near where he grew up and in front of his parents and wife didn't mean anything special to him.
"It was a playoff hockey game. We were trying to win a hockey game," he said. "We did a lot of things the right way. We were able to do that, so. . . now we get ready for the next one. The fourth one is always the most difficult, so . . ."
from Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star,
In hockey, you tell yourself you earn it, and most of the time you do. You fight for pucks, you fight for position, you skate until your legs fill with water. You take sticks to the face, to the back, to the legs, to the gut. Your knees crumple, your shoulder pop, your ribs break, you bleed. You hold onto the puck, play smart, play hard, play well. You take painkillers, you play. You fight for this. It’s the only way.
And then a puck bounces one direction and not another, and none of it matters. The New York Rangers flew all the way across the country and left their margin for error in Los Angeles, and they couldn’t afford to get unlucky. They were unlucky in Game 2, too, just enough, and that meant they had to have Game 3. They lost to the Los Angeles Kings, 3-0. They trail in the series, 3-0. They might deserve better, but like Clint Eastwood once growled, deserve ain’t got nothing to do with it.
“At some point you’re going to need some puck luck, and we don’t have any right now,” said Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, after the Rangers outshot L.A. 32-15, and lost. “It feels like they have all of it. We always talk about how you have to earn that puck luck, but I think we are working really hard and doing a lot of good things, but when they score goals like that . . .
“It doesn’t matter what you think you deserve out there. You just have to find ways to win games, and that’s what they have been doing. We can sit here and say we’ve played really well, but at the end, it's about finding ways to win, and we haven’t done that.
If you missed it last night.
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About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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