Photo credit: New York Post/Reuters
They may not be mathematically eliminated from playoff contention yet, but with the way they’ve played all season long, that five point lead the Bruins hold on them for the final playoff spot looks more like 15. The Rangers squandered a huge opportunity to gain ground in the playoff race as they fell 2-1 to the Boston Bruins yesterday afternoon on national television. Now, they may have to make their playoff push without the help of Ryan Callahan, one of their better players for the season. Callahan left the game after he collided with Boston’s hulking defenseman Zdeno Chara in the second period.
As has happened so many times this season, the Ranger’s dismal power play reared its ugly head again. With Chara off the ice for a double minor, the Blueshirts couldn’t manage to get a shot on goal. I’ll rephrase that another way: In four minutes of having a one-man advantage, the Rangers couldn’t make Bruin’s goalie Tuuka Rask work for his money. Instead, they wasted ours. Even Ronnie from the Jersey Shore would’ve been able to get “one shot, bro” against the Bruins. The Rangers also had a 5-on-3 advantage for 11 seconds and didn’t manage a shot on net as well. It was only 11 seconds, but still. The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” When will the Rangers realize that by putting pucks on the net, one of them is bound to go in?
It wasn’t only the power play that struggled, there were many communication lapses all over the ice that it was hard to tell if the Bruins were playing against the New York Rangers or the New York Mets. The first of Boston’s two goals came at 16:36 of the second period when Miro Satan, who the Ranger’s left wide-open, took a left-circle feed from Andrew Ference and slammed it home. Satan was left alone, wrote Larry Brooks of the New York Post, after Marc Staal drifted to the opposite side of the net. Chris Drury was late picking up Satan, but the captain perhaps was covering for Ryan Callahan.
Boston’s second goal, and the eventual game winner, came when Dennis Wideman back-handed a shot from the left circle past a screened Henrik Lundqvist. Who provided the screen? None other that Lundqvist’s own teammate, Olli Jokinen. That's a hard one," said John Tortorella. "I'm upset about the second goal, too - we have our coverage and some player gets glued in on the puck who shouldn't be."
So much for the “Game 7” mentality the Rangers talked about before the game. Henrik Lundqvist, who can’t be blamed for how this season has gone so far, did his best yesterday in making 29 saves, including a penalty shot save on Danny Paille. When asked whether it would be an effort to stay positive from here on out, Lundqvist replied, "It's been an effort the last few weeks to stay positive and see good things."
Yes ladies and gentleman, this is the team that Glen Sather put together. I never thought I would say this, but I hope the Rangers miss the playoffs this season. If they somehow make it, they’re not going to get past the first round. All it would do is put more money in James Dolan’s pocket and justify him keeping Sather around for another year. In order for the upper management (or mis-management) in the Rangers organization to wake up, they need to be hit where it would hurt the most: in their wallets. It’s absurd that they would ask some season subscribers for $3,600 for tickets for all four rounds of the playoffs. Since they have done so, the Blueshirts have only won one game. It’s going to be okay though. In a few short weeks, Opening Day will be upon us!