Penguins-Rangers: It's Shutout City as Pittsburgh Goes up 2-0
This recap is written by a Pens fan, lacks objectivity, and "completely trashes the opponent."
If you have no sense of humor, or have an affinity for the Rangers, push the back button, read a Caggiano article, and peacefully resume your daily jobbings without the influence of the proceeding comments.
Here's a thought: The New York Rangers lost a game because they were outplayed! I know, shocking, isn't it?
Sure, Caggiajokeo and fellow Ranger writers are going to point a finger at the quick whistle that disallowed the goal that would lead the Rags to late game salvation....or would have just led to the Penguins scoring on the following possession.
"What if's" are wonderful. The problem is, they never materialize.
If the Rangers could score a goal on a power play more than once in the series, the officiating crew might not have to go home and tell their wives that the city of New York is blaming them for another loss.
The opening minutes of Game 2 looked a lot like Game 1. The Pens were buzzing, and Lundqvist kept shutting the door. Both teams had early power play chances, but neither could get much of anything going.
Just under 14 minutes into the game, Crosby was protecting the puck down low in the offensive zone. As Sid angled into the corner, Ranger D-man Paul Mara clutched Crosby's shoulder, and gave him a quick shove to the ice. A penalty was called.
Every commentator calling the game agreed that the right call was made. The city of New York was most likely more up in arms about the call than Sean Avery was last weekend when his Starz Movie Channel blacked out midway through Rent.
Jaromir Jagr proceeds to tell Crosby to "stand up," a comment to which Sid most likely replied, "I do, when I pee, untuck your shirt, joke."
The teams jobbed around some more and the first period ended deadlocked at 0, with Lundqvist once again looking sharp between the pipes.
The second period brought more of the same tight checking, dump-and-chase type of hockey game. The Penguins got their fourth power play of the night on a hooking call against Chris Drury, and the fourth time would prove to be the charm.
Early in the power play Hossa and Malone had more chances to score than Sean Avery at a GAP in San Francisco. But neither one of them remembered the day their dads taught them to lift the puck off the ice, and nothing happened.
Evgeni Malkin took the puck along the left boards, drove to the corner, and shuffled a quick pass in front to Jordan Staal. Jordan made Momma proud by going top shelf over the shoulder of King Henry.
Mr. and Mrs. Staal have a tough choice on the sod farm in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Cheer for Jordan's goal, or hang their heads in shame at the "one hand on my stick" effort of sibling Marc in front of Lundqvist. Either way, Pens lead it 1-0.
The Pens went into (as much as I hate to say it) New Jersey Devil mode shortly after the Staal goal. They employed the 1-2-2 trap and completely bottled up the Rangers.
Fleury made the saves when he had to, which wasn't very often. Second period ends, 1-0 Pens.
The third period saw more of the same shutdown hockey from the Penguins, frustrating Jaromir Jagr to the point that he actually debated shaving his horrendous excuse for facial hair during a TV timeout.
He then thought, at least I can grow facial hair—eat it, Crosby.
The Rags would get some more power play chances, and finally get some bodies in front of the net.
Then, a puck goes between the pillows of MAF, the ref loses sight of it, the puck squirts out, goes into the net, Caggiano has a stroke, Tom Renney kisses someone, but the goal is waved off, the referee had blown the play dead when he lost sight of the puck (which again, is what the ref is supposed to do).
Was it a quick whistle? Probably. Would it have even mattered if the Rangers scored on one of their six other power plays? No.
If Jaromir Jagr could still take charge of a game and carry his team to a victory, would the Rangers be forced to pin the blame for consecutive losses on a call in the third period? No.
If Scotty Gomez and Chris Drury decided to show up for two games in a row and maintain possession through the neutral zone, would the Penguins have won this game? Probably not.
But in all of that, the only thing that has any bearing (besides the bedroom activity of Renney and Avery, but that's a different kind of "baring") is the final score.
The Penguins won this game. They have not lost a game in these playoffs. Until someone finds a way to beat them, nothing else really matters.
They've won 4-0, they've won 5-4, they've won 2-0. No matter what type of game it is, the Penguins have done the most important thing that any hockey team can do: find a way to win.
Rangers: 0-7 on the PP. Lundqvist: 30 saves on 31 shots. Solid.
Avery went all Adam Graves on Sid with the slash to the hands early in the game. He then disappeared until the final seconds of the game when MAF put his stick between Avery's legs and Avery moaned in pleasure, then quickly jabbed at Fleury to cover up his mistake.
Adam Hall added an empty-net goal to cap off the night. Hall got 9:38 of ice time tonight, and really played solid alongside Staal on the PK.
Fleury stopped 26 of 26, but wasn't really tested. Give it up to the Pens' defense, namely Hal Gill for once again shutting down Jagr.
The scrum at the end of the game really sets the tone for the opening minutes of Game Three. Both teams should be fired up.
It should be an interesting Game 3 Tuesday at the Garden. If the Pens can win there, they can win anywhere.
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