Thursday, May 10, 2012

How bad do they want it?

Just like any other New York Ranger fan; we too are at a loss to really figure out how the New York Rangers could play as poorly as they did in game six against the Washington Capitals.

You would've thought that coming off the big win in game five when they rescued themselves from almost certain defeat that the Rangers would have looked to finish off Washington once and for all. Yet from the very beginning of the game, it was Washington who came out wanting it more than the Rangers did.

One can honestly say that this game was over as soon as Alex Ovechkin scored his goal. The Capitals were a step faster, playing a much smarter game and they did what they had to do in order to win.

Where were the Rangers? Pretty sure that we were not the only ones wanting an answer to that question because if you look at John Tortorella's body language; he wants to know too,

1:17 of the post game press conference for the coach? Can't blame him because how many different ways should we expect him to say "we sucked tonight"?

The knee-jerk reaction is to point the finger at the coach and say he was out-coached but that would be unfair to do to him. As much as we may not like him, John Tortorella was let down by his own players and we doubt there was anything that Tortorella could do to prevent this.

No point fingers at the players as while Henrik Lundqvist kept the score respectable. Something is very wrong when Mike Rupp is playing the most effective hockey.

So now, thanks to TV, we have to wait until Saturday night to wonder which New York Ranger team is going to show up. if anyone does know, please be kind enough to share this information with John Tortorella because we doubt he knows.


While Washington's Dale Hunter was enjoying a win, the junior team that he co-owns with his brother Mark was also winning as their London Knights use the same defensive tactics that the Washington Capitals use to defeat the Niagara IceDogs 4-1 in game four of the OHL Finals.

Ryan Strome (NYI 2011 1st) and Mitchell Theoret (NYI 2011 7th) were held scoreless as the Knights moved to within one win of the OHL Championship with a 3-1 series lead. We would give London a lot of credit for holding Strome to just two assists in the series, but Strome's goalscoring disappeared before the series started.

Now with just 2 goals in his last 14 playoff games Strome is once again looking at questions about how he handles playing in high-pressure situations. This is the second straight year where Ryan Strome has "disappeared" when his team needed him the most.

Mitchell Theoret nobody really expected him to be a scorer so he can get away with not scoring, but come Friday night in London if they don't score their seasons over.

Still we do have to wonder if this shot-blocking craze is getting out of hand because now we're seeing junior teams using it in the playoffs and is it good for hockey?


Steven Fogarty (NYR 2011 3rd) and his Penticton Vees were facing their own elimination game at the RBC Cup badly in need of a win in order to advance to the semifinals. The Vees have been struggling to score since starting play in the cup round-robin.

The Vees after 3 games had just 5 goals scored; a disappointing stat for a team that would be scoring 5-6 goals in just about every game. Wednesday night the Vees were facing the Portage Terriers of the Manitoba Junior hockey league.

The Vees were playing their final round-robin game and with a win could clinch a spot in the semifinals, but a loss just might've eliminated them. For two periods of this game, the Vees could not figure out how to get a puck past Terriers goalie Shea Cooper and entering the third were trailing 1-0.

The Vees tied the score with an early goal in the third but then had to kill off to penalties including a bad high-sticking minor to Fogarty. Fogarty made a rare bad play taking a penalty in the offense of zone but he got bailed out when a Terrier did the same thing 40 seconds into Fogarty's penalty.

Fogarty though made up for the bad penalty when on the shift after leaving the penalty box Fogarty set up teammate Logan Johnson for the go-ahead (and eventual game-winning) goal at 8:51. It was Fogarty's first point in the tournament and it could come at a better time.

The Vees went on to win 3-1 and clinched a spot in the semifinals on Saturday.

(Ranger logo- New York Rangers)

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