Sunday, April 27, 2008

Point the Finger at the Mirror

Let us not mince words, not bother with the Crosby Diving debate and in fact place the blame right where it belongs which is in the residents of the Ranger locker room and the coaching staff. The Rangers have now given away 2 games in this series and the margin of error is now down to 2.

Who knows maybe the Rangers like the drama that being down 2 games to none brings but really they made the Penguins look good by how they did not play.

We are not going to buy into this "the Penguins defense was great today" because the Rangers were too busy trying to be pretty with their plays once again. The Rangers went back to their "we want to make the perfect play" instead of remembering that attacking the net is how they win games.

The Rangers had several opportunities to tie up the game including the power play late in the game that they simply failed to cash in. You take the play to the team on the penalty kill not away from it.

0 for 6 on the power play is what doomed the Rangers not the vaunted Penguin defense. Score even once on the power play and this is a different game with a very possible different result.

We will blame the coaching staff as well because the rule of thumb is "when a line has a great shift then get them right back out there" as did first the Gomez line and then the Jagr line did about midway of the 3rd period.

Both had the Penguins pinned into their defensive zone and yet instead of getting them right back out there, the Rangers rolled their lines as normal which killed off their own momentum. Bad coaching move there.

We also think the Rangers made the wrong move putting Prucha in for Orr as Hollweg had done nothing to deserve being benched to begin with when this series started. There is times when you leave well enough alone and the Rangers did not.

Henrik Lundqvist played outstanding on Sunday as he could not be faulted in any way shape or form other than to say he deserved better.

So now we return back to NYC and so many Ranger fans are already planning the team's funeral. It is so sad to see today's Ranger fan as so many lack faith in this team or coaching staff.

What is the saying "the hardest game to win in a series is the 4th one"? Well already several fans are demanding that Renney be fired, that Jagr take his game to Russia among other silly things.

Of course winning changes everything so win game 3 and the naysayers will quiet back down until the next disaster.

So how do the Rangers win Game 3? The answers start by becoming aggressive again. The Rangers have turned passive so worried about Crosby or the Penguins getting the calls. As we have seen the Penguins are going to get the calls so why change what wins for you?

Stop playing on the outside and go right at the Penguins, they can not score if the Rangers are on the attack.

Being aggressive makes everyone pay closer attention to what is happening on the ice, it forces more communication with each other and actually helps give more energy to the players.

Taking the game to the Penguins also forces the Penguins to react instead of being on their own attack. Being on the attack creates mistakes by the other team and you will score off their mistakes.

Basically the key is just that create Penguin mistakes, take advantage of those mistakes and the Rangers will turn the series around.

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