Okay all of you who thought the New York Rangers played a good game against the Ottawa Senators in game four of their series could you please stand up and tell us why? Wait we actually have somebody willing to say the Rangers play well so please, to the podium and tell us why?
Seriously coach you are only kidding yourself if you think anyone believes that the team played well. You can say the team played well for about 6:10 of the first period but after that the Senators out Rangered the Rangers.
Just like the rest of you, we are at a loss to explain why this team can go from good to bad as if you were flicking a light switch. Once the Rangers scored their second goal of the game rather than go for the kill when they had Ottawa on the ropes; they just stopped using what was working.
They went from 2 for 2 on the power play to 2 for 7 by the time the game ended. Not joking but how do you stop using what was working almost to perfection when you are given that many chances?
It's almost as if the Rangers don't know how to finish off a team when they get that chance. If they had pressed the attack they could have chased Anderson to the bench but they didn't and there is no valid reason to excuse it.
And sorry a one seed that is okay with being tied 2-2 to the eighth seed is only kidding themselves. If you're okay losing two games in overtime then you're doing something wrong.
Tonight the Rangers addiction to shot-blocking did more to help the Senators gain confidence then disrupt their play. Yes shot-blocking can be good in helping the team play defense but when you go overboard trying to block shots then you wind up like the Rangers just hurting themselves.
Shot-blocking can take you out of position for a play, it can also screen Henrik Lundqvist when you miss on the attempt. But getting back to John Tortorella's belief that the team played well and it becomes a dark comedy because "we played well other than the bad penalties."
Coach you got out-coached, Paul MacLean out-coached you by making sure even after his team was down by two goals that they did not panic. Instead they turned the tide and pretty soon instead of the Senators who were scrambling all over the ice it was the Rangers were back on their heels.
If a team is a reflection of their coach's personality then kudos to Ottawa for being calm, cool, and collected. The Rangers were especially in the third, playing helter-skelter and it cost them.
At the very least the Rangers should be up in the series 3-1 but instead now the series is the best of three against a team that thinks it can beat you. Now rather than playing for their season on Saturday, the Senators have turned the tables and put all the pressure on the New York Rangers.
Does anyone think that the Rangers if lose game five on Saturday that they can still win the series? It's a fair question to ask of the team that makes it very hard for their fans have full confidence in them.
Nobody wants to write these kind of articles but you have to because the team rather than giving you a reason faith and hope; leaves you honestly wondering if the team can beat Ottawa? You don't want to say it but if the Rangers failed to get out of the first round then this season for all the good that happened will be a giant disappointment.
The Rangers burnt an entire year of Chris Kreider's entry level contract so he can play all of six shifts and 3:29. What did we miss that caused Kreider to be used or should we say not used in game four?
This is an honest question here as to us it looked like in the first period that the Rangers only used eight forwards at even strength (using Stepan for special teams). Ottawa was able to keep their regular rotation of players and it may not show up in game four but if the series goes seven games then the Senators are going to be the fresher team.
When we looked at the stat sheets there is only one Ranger who actually you can say played well and that was Brad Richards. John Tortorella said one thing that was actually legitimate and that was they need to get more players involved.
But the only way that going to do that is if they can get players to know what exactly is their role at that particular shift? Set your lines Coach and let them play not change them from shift to shift.
The post game press conference lasted all of 100 seconds, not one member of the media called Tortorella on his remarks. In a way we understand why because if you call Tortorella for saying the team played well then odds are instead of an answer you will get verbally abused or if lucky Tortorella will just curse couple of times and walk off.
It's part of how Tortorella responds when he knows that rightfully that both he and the team blew an opportunity to put the Senators into a huge hole. Instead the Rangers guaranteed that Ottawa will get another home game which helps their finances.
One last question and that is how does the team that recorded 109 points with the best record in the Eastern conference have such a fragile psyche?
A friend quipped that when he saw the Rangers practice schedule for Thursday (day off) that he knew the team is in trouble. After the first period he said the Rangers wanted to get a head start on their day off so they stopped playing.
If they're not careful they might have a whole lot of free time on their hands.
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