What’s up everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. Sorry for the tardiness with this latest blog entry. I gotta say, getting tweets & emails saying “where’s the blog?” makes it somewhat easier, as I struggle to re-live this terrible nightmare, which was Game 2.
Of course, I also have my “hate” readers, who flock to my twitter account to see what I have to say about Lundqvist after a game like Game 2. Well keep on hate reading and I’ll give you what you want as we continue!
As you know by now, the Rangers dropped Game 2, of their best of 7 second round series, to the Ottawa Senators, losing 6-5 in double overtime. This loss was a kick to the nuts, as Lundqvist blew three separate two goal leads, none bigger than giving up two goals in the final three minutes of the game. With the loss, the Rangers are now 0-2 in the series.
In case you missed Game 1, here was my take on that game:
NYR/OTT Round 2 Game 1 Review: Rangers Need a “My Shiney Hiney” To Pry Their Heads Out of Their Asses, Only Three Players Show Up, Dominating Lundqvist Effort Wasted, Glass > Pavel “Wide-Right” Buchnevich, No Intensity, Ottawa Fans Are A Bigger Joke Than This Game & More
Full disclosure – due to my real life job, I had to listen to the first period and half of the second period on the radio. Let me say this, Dave Maloney is great. I always knew he was great, but having to rely on him for the first 30 minutes of this game was a walk in the park. I really can’t overstate how much I enjoyed his call. With the M$G Networks crew no longer airing any of the playoff games, I am going to mute the TV and listen to his call moving forward.
You guys know how much I can’t stand Joe “Lundqvist was screened and that was a deflection” Micheletti. The radio call yesterday was Dave Maloney and Sam Rosen, which in reality, should be the TV duo. Not to shit all over Joe “My Lundqvist blow-up doll popped, I need a new one” Micheletti, but think about it – why does Joe have the TV job and not Maloney?
Dave Maloney is a former captain and face of the Rangers. Joe “You gotta blame the defenders on that 100 foot goal allowed” Micheletti is a guy who chose to play with the Calgary Cowboys of the WHA instead of the most winningest hockey franchise of all time, in the Montreal Canadiens. This is the guy we’re supposed to entrust for news, commentary, analysis and opinions? A guy who said fuck a winning team, let me go lasso it up in Calgary?
Dave Maloney isn’t just a face you stroll out there and hope he does something passable. He’s really good at his job. He’s better at his job than Joe “Sam, I think the lunar eclipse shielded Hank’s eyes on that one” Micheletti. He’s also passionate about the team, just like Duguay is or like how Keith Hernandez is for the Mets. I would reference Walt Frazier and the Knicks here, but it’s been so long since he’s had something to root for, that I forgot what it sounds like.
Many of you know that I work in construction. Of course, I’m in a union and I’m in a union that protects its members better than the NHLPA does for their members! Two reasons why I bring this up. For starters, many of you whine when I get on Lundqvist. He’s the highest paid person at his job in the entire world. I am not the highest paid person at my job in the entire world. However, if I make a mistake at my job, I could kill someone. I am held to high standards and there is no room for error. That really goes for the entire construction industry, union or non-union. There are too many fatalities in the industry, but that’s a topic for another time.
Now obviously Lundqvist can’t kill anyone doing his job, unless you count inflicting heartbreak, as he casually blows another two-goal lead and costs you another playoff game. Most of you people reading this work hard at your jobs and are held to high standards like me. Not Lundqvist. He has the eternal free-pass for life with some people around this franchise and is rarely called out in the media. On the bright side, at least both of us can pass a drug test, unless his shampoo has steroids in it.
I understand that working in the hockey media is a very dicey job right now. After all, ESPN just laid off their entire division. Reporters can’t risk stirring the pot too much, because they are easily replaceable. We’ve seen it for some time now, as long-time reporters are being fired for cheap college kids. However, most of these college kids are just happy to be there and being around their heroes. That’s why they get into the field to begin with. As time goes on though, you will see less controversial reporters, less hard-hitting interviews and less player accountability. A guy like Larry Brooks is the last of a dying breed. A don’t stir the pot kid who still lives with his parents like a Sean Hartnett, is the new norm.
Since I was at work yesterday and went out after the game, I had time to read what others wrote about this game. Only the veteran Larry Brooks had the balls to call out Lundqvist. Basement bloggers, $10 an hour reporters (That aren’t even flown out to road games) and Hank disciples all had excuses for this loss. It was Staal! It’s Holden! It’s AV! Bottom line, no one on that ice, except for Henrik Lundqvist, can be blamed for giving up a touchdown. It’s good to see someone like Larry Brooks still out there, even if he doesn’t enjoy my sense of humor!
Now the second reason why I brought up my job. My union covers different pieces of machinery. Yesterday I was in a Bobcat doing work. While I was hoping to be out of work and in the bar by 3, it didn’t work out that way. But hey, there ain’t no money like overtime money!
As someone who was frantic, panicky, angry, anxious and gassy, as the clock moved to 3:20PM, the time of puck drop, Maloney calmed me down a bit. It’s hard for me to listen to sports on the radio. I used to as a kid, but in this day and age, listening to games on the radio kind of went out with pay phones and VCR’s. Sure, people may still use a pay phone or a VCR from time-to-time, but only in extreme circumstances. That was me yesterday.
I know I’m going on too much about this, but I really wanted to put over how much I enjoyed Maloney’s work. Obviously, he played off perfectly with Sam Rosen. I felt like I was listening to a diehard fan in the booth. Maloney pulls no punches which I love. He called out Girardi for the first goal. He called out Lundqvist for not making a stop. He called out the team for bad penalties. It’s just refreshing to hear someone under the M$G umbrella call things for what they are.
I will never understand M$G’s restrain policy/gag order on their talent. Does that idiot James Dolan really think I will stop watching the team if the announcers call out the low times for what they are? It happens with every team in every sport. Not one team is perfect all season.
In the highest compliment I can give, by the time I got out of work and into the bar to watch the game, I felt like I hadn’t missed a thing after listening to Maloney for 30 minutes. Kudos sir.
My original plan, after I realized I was going to be stuck at work, was to catch what I could at the bar and then re-watch the game on my DVR. However, I just couldn’t do it. I watched the highlights and goal scoring plays that I missed. However, there are things I notice while watching on TV during a game, which may or may not be important and Maloney wasn’t going to be talking about the non-important stuff. Just wanted to put that out there before moving along.
The Rangers are now 0-2 in the series after yesterday’s loss. I’ve read people talk about the Rangers being swept, starting Raanta in game 3, banishing Holden to Siberia, demanding Marc Staal retire, firing AV mid-series, etc. Here’s my quick take on all the panic going on in RANGERSTOWN:
- Raanta isn’t starting Game 3. You guys know I can’t stand Lundqvist’s contract and I think he is extremely overrated. That said, you don’t bench him after one bad start, especially since he’s been the MVP of the last 7 games played.
- As I said at the start of this series, I would’ve played Glass for the commie and Klein for Holden. The Holden hate I understand. He’s been terrible in the playoffs and is the Rangers biggest liability. I said that was one of my fears going into this series. That said, you can’t blame Holden when Lundqvist is giving up a touchdown. You have to hold your precious Swedish Superzero to some sort of standard. You can’t just credit Hank after every win and then start finger pointing at everyone else after a loss. Especially a loss like this.
- Marc Staal is not going to retire. However, his contract and play on the ice is a major issue that Gorton needs to address. Despite the goal yesterday, the same goes for Stepan. I can’t see how you let Stepan get a NMC this offseason.
- Blaming AV for the loss is silly too. He didn’t give up 6 goals. He didn’t blow every lead. Your boy Hank did. Let’s talk more about AV:
Lundqvist’s first bad game of this years playoffs aside, AV does have to answer some questions. That said, the “FIRE AV” train is something I would never jump on. There are two things fans forget when they talk about AV. For starters, the guy is around the team 24/7. He knows things about this team that we will never know. Secondly, the NHL is like the Black Hand, with secrets being held from fans like the NHL is committing mob hits. We never know the injuries. We never know the line-ups until puck drop. So we just don’t know some information and that’s because of the poorly designed NHL rules & regulations. Shit, we don’t even know what’s a goal, offside or icing anymore either!
With that in mind, here’s something AV has to address. Unfortunately, no reporter asked him about this because as I talked about above, you don’t see controversial reporters anymore:
TIME ON ICE
Nick Holden: 28:11
Marc Staal: 26:24
Brady Skjei: 22:18
Brendan Smith: 20:44
Dan Girardi: 29:35
Ryan McDonagh: 34:23
If you want to blame Holden and Staal for the Game 2 loss, you’re fucking delusional. If you want to blame AV, you’re fucking delusional. However, if you want to say Lundqvist was terrible and Staal, Holden and AV didn’t help matters, I will agree with that.
Like most stats, time on ice can be skewered and twisted in different ways. It’s not cut and dry. For example, a guy could jump on the ice and the guys around him can’t clear a puck, which results in a longer shift. A guy could be on the ice, a penalty is called and he comes off the ice because he’s not on the special teams. Just keep that in mind.
It is no breaking news story that Staal & Holden have been the weak link, defensively for the Rangers, during this playoff run. They’ve been the shits. Not only should they not be the second pair, it’s debatable in the case of Nick Holden, if he should even be playing. Again stats are what they are and how you interpret them, but Holden and Staal had the worst +/- (Both were -2) out of anyone in the game.
In a game where Skjei and Smith were playing so well, why are they taking the backseat to Holden & Staal? I don’t get it, but maybe there is more to it. We just won’t know because being a hockey reporter is not a stable job.
I’ve been saying it the whole time. Just go in the archives. Shit, just go to the main page and read the last few blogs. Tanner Glass and Kevin Klein belong in the line-up. I think down 0-2, AV will make the change, but it should’ve never came to this.
Keep in mind – it’s not all doom and gloom right now if the overpaid goalie could hold a two goal lead.
I’ve talked about why I would go Glass over Buchnevich a million times already. Not going to go into it again, just read the last few blogs. Simply put, Glass brings something no one else does & Buchnevich couldn’t get laid right now in a whorehouse with a fistful of $50 bills. That’s how bad he’s been with shooting the puck on net.
Holden simply can’t play game 3. If he does, every reporter should be fired on spot if they don’t ask AV why Holden is playing.
Of course we must discuss Lundqvist. Some of you IDIOTS, think I’m happy when he loses. While I may laugh and roll my eyes as he gives up a 100′ goal like this one below, from December of this season, I don’t take joy in any playoff loss.
Put it this way, you would rather lose this game 6-0, maybe put Raanta in for a period, move on and chalk it up to “one of those days.” However, the Rangers already used “one of those days” in Game 1. Losing like this is a heart-breaker and just unacceptable. Making things even more frustrating is that Kreider and Stepan finally scored. Skjei had a breakout game. The team was playing well and overcame a sloppy first period. Then Lundqvist found the worst time to take his shit.
In one game, Lundqvist turned Jean Pageau into a name that will always be remembered by Rangers and Senators fans alike. Allowing four goals to Pageau, a guy who only had 12 goals in the regular season, is vomit-inducing.
Maybe I jinxed it. I was talking to my friend Jen, who runs the NY Rangers Hockey Maniacs facebook group. To join, you can visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/NYRangersManiacs/
On an aside, if you’re one of these guys who think that women don’t know hockey, you’re way off. There are many great female fans. Yes, I know some have the “puck-bunny” or wannabe “puck-bunny” reputation, but that’s like saying every Italian sits at home and eats spaghetti all day. I get the stereotype and nothing ever offends me, but reading what some male fans say to female fans on facebook is quite sickening. No wonder they aren’t getting laid. I hope Micheletti lets them use his Hank blow up doll!
Anyway, Jen thinks like me when it comes to the topic of Henrik Lundqvist. He was a great player, Hall of Famer and all that jazz, but he’s overpaid and overrated. We both think the team should’ve kept Talbot and should explore moving on from Lundqvist. That said, we also both agree he’s been the MVP of these playoffs, before Game 2. (I think McDonagh gets that team “honor” for right now.)
We were talking about if a Hank implosion would happen in this series. After all, he was due. As you know, Hank had his worst game of the playoffs yesterday. For as much as everyone wants to do the King rah rah shit, you have your head in the sand if you think Lundqvist can keep up elite play for an extended period of time. The word after the game from the players was “purge” and all you can hope is that the Rangers “purge” this loss and win the next 4.
ESPN box score time:
1st Period Summary
|Michael Grabner (3) (Shorthanded)
Assist: Jesper Fast
|Jean-Gabriel Pageau (2)
|Marc Staal: 2 Minutes for Interference
|J.T. Miller: 2 Minutes for Hooking
|Chris Kreider: 2 Minutes for Elbowing
2nd Period Summary
|Chris Kreider (1)
Assists: Mika Zibanejad, Ryan McDonagh
|Derek Stepan (2) (Shorthanded)
Assist: Rick Nash
|Marc Methot (1)
Assists: Mike Hoffman, Ben Harpur
|Brady Skjei (3)
Assists: Ryan McDonagh, Mika Zibanejad
|Mark Stone: 2 Minutes for Hooking
|Brendan Smith: 2 Minutes for Slashing
|Zack Smith: 2 Minutes for Roughing
|Rick Nash: 2 Minutes for High-sticking
|Derick Brassard: 2 Minutes for High-sticking
3rd Period Summary
|Mark Stone (2)
Assists: Dion Phaneuf, Fredrik Claesson
|Brady Skjei (4)
Assist: Brendan Smith
|Jean-Gabriel Pageau (3)
Assists: Zack Smith, Dion Phaneuf
|Jean-Gabriel Pageau (4)
Assists: Kyle Turris, Erik Karlsson
|Kyle Turris: 2 Minutes for Holding
|No scoring this period
|Derick Brassard: 2 Minutes for High-sticking
|Jean-Gabriel Pageau (5)
Assist: Alex Burrows
|No penalties this period
Due to time constraints and the fact that I only listened, and not watched the first 30 minutes of this game, I’m not going to do my normal goal for goal and period analysis. That will be back for Game 3.
We all know Lundqvist sucked and blew a two goal lead again. However, one play that almost bailed Lundqvist out was in the first OT, where Nash was stick-blocked on a wide open net. Anderson’s bacon was saved from his defense. As far as the game before this play, what else can I say without being repetitive and angry? This team must right this ship now.
Just like everyone else, I am stunned the Rangers are down 0-2 right now. I really thought this would be a done deal in 5. I really don’t think Ottawa is that great. They won Game 1 on a fluke goal and they won Game 2 because Lundqvist finally had his usual collapse after a string of good games. Put it this way – the Lundqvist of Game 1 doesn’t lose Game 2.
That said, woulda, coulda, shoulda means shit right now. The fact is Ottawa is up 2-0. Maybe I’m an optimist or maybe I’m delusional, I just don’t see the Rangers losing this series. I really can see them ripping off four straight wins. That said, every Cup winner gets some breaks along the way and Ottawa got two breaks in this series already (Fluke goal and Lundqvist collapse.)
I really thought the Rangers were better than Montreal. I think the Rangers are a lot better than Ottawa. The feeling out process is now over and it’s time for the Rangers to take care of business. Win the next two at home, handle business in Game 5 and finish them off in another Game 6 at M$G.
While you will see stats like the one I posted above about blowing two goal leads, another stat is that during the AV era, is that the Rangers have come back from many series down two games. Whether it be with Washington, that magical 2014 series with Pittsburgh or whatever, down 0-2, trailing 3-1, I wouldn’t give up hope yet. This specific series could be 3-0 Ottawa after Tuesday and I still think the Rangers will win it. I just don’t see them losing to an inferior team.
In Game 3 I expect and predict the following:
- Klein for Holden
- Hank to have a great game
- Zuccarello leading the charge
- Top 2 D-men delivering and most importantly…
- A WIN
While the current Ranger goalie had a nightmare of a game, how about the person who should’ve been the Rangers starting goalie – Cam Talbot? The Oilers lead their series 2-0 and will have a chance to make it 3-0 on Sunday night. I knew the Oilers would be a playoff team this year, but to make the Western Conference Finals exceeds all expectations. Talbot also proved that I was right two years ago – he’s the better goalie and the Rangers would’ve been better off with him and the money saved.
What a year for Talbot – IIHF Worlds, a shutout in the Gold Medal game, a rare outdoor shutout in regular season, robbed of an ASG because of the “every team must be represented rule”, most wins in the league, breaks Fuhr’s record, one of the best goalies playoffs & now 6 wins from the Cup. Not a bad year. Not bad for someone “who isn’t a starting goalie.”
I’m pressed for time a bit, hence only 4000 words today, ha, and really, I don’t want to relive too much of yesterday’s game. It was a disgrace and yes, the Rangers have to “purge” this. I believe this veteran team knows what they have to do. At least I’m trying to convince myself of that.
Couple of parting shots:
- Mike Milbury doesn’t like PK Subban. The Daily News calls that racist. Ridiculous. Listen, Milbury is an idiot, but he’s not a racist.
- Can the Penguins sweep the Caps? I could see it. This cracks me up:
- Poor Ovechkin never had a chance.
- I’m pulling for the Blues to beat Nashville, just because I think they are the weaker team and want to see the Oilers get them in the WCF. Still, what an amazing run St. Louis is having, considering they were sellers at the deadline. I wonder if Shattenkirk is regretting getting the trade he wanted.
- I still feel EDM vs NYR is inevitable. I’ll take a NYR Cup win and Talbot named as Conn Smythe!
I know there is a lot of panic right now. We aren’t in must-win territory yet. Have faith that these Rangers have rebounded from worse and against better teams. If anything really concerns me, is that the PP once again went 0-4. At least the PK produced 2 goals! See ya Tuesday night.
Again, sorry for going short here, but I don’t have the time I usually do and I am still disgusted with the loss. Purge, baby, purge.
LET’S GO RANGERS
@NYCTHEMIC on tweeter