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Posts Tagged ‘Shootout’

We won people!  We got rid of the skills competition!

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In a game that could have locked up 5th place as a lowest possible finish, the Rangers came out and went 0 for 8 on the Power Play and also gave up a shorthanded goal while on a 5-on-3 advantage. Seriously.

The Rangers still managed to force a shootout, but quickly fell behind 2-0. The Rangers managed to fight back to even the shootout at 2 goals apiece. (After Sjostrom punched in the 2nd shootout goal, MSG was in a frenzy). But, the Islanders scored a 3rd shootout goal in their 4th attempt and that was that.

I’d run through the playoff scenarios, but Steve Zipay aleady did a pretty good job, so I’m just going to copy and paste what he said here:

Some of the Rangers permutations.
A regulation win against the Devs gives them fourth and home-ice advantage.
A regulation loss could put them in sixth against either Carolina or Washington. A point or an overtime win or a Boston loss to Buffalo gives them fifth and a visit to Newark. A Bruins win and a Rangers loss in regulation would give Boston fifth place because the Bruins own the tie-breaker.

There you have it. I’ll be watching the Final Four tonight but keeping a close eye on the Bruins/Sabres game. If Buffalo wins, the Rangers can’t finish lower than 5th place.

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Maybe I’m missing something here… but why in the world would a team choose to shoot first in the shootout? I don’t get it. More on this game later today.

Ok, I thought about this one a little more.  And, I still don’t get it.  I see the point that if your team scores first then it puts the pressure on the other team to match.  Ok, point taken, but let’s be honest, it’s a stupid point.  There’s a reason the home team in baseball gets last licks.  It’s an advantage.  Shooting last in a tied shootout is like having the opportunity to hit a walk-off homerun.  There is no reason for a team to relinquish that position.

As for the game itself, it really kills me to lose a game like this.  The Rangers had a nice comeback to get the game tied, but I felt that the Rangers fell behind in the first place because they had no puck luck at all.  The Rangers definitely outplayed the Islanders for the entire first period, only to give up a fluky late goal off Rozsival’s skate.  The Islanders 3rd goal was also kind of fluky.  Lundqvist struggled to play the puck (thanks to the stupid trapezoid rule) and after the puck popped around to the front of the net, the Islanders simply threw the puck towards the net and it trickled in off a deflection through Lundqvist’s legs.

Lundqvist did not look sharp for a lot of the game.  Don’t get me wrong… I think he played well, especially in the shootout, where he made some awesome saves — the right pad save on Comrie was pretty unreal.  I’m just saying that for most of the game he didn’t look particularly sharp.   As a goalie, I can tell you that there are times where you just don’t feel as sharp as you would like.  Maybe you’re fighting the puck a little, or maybe your head is not in the game.  Whatever it is, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re playing poorly, but when fluky goals are going in off the inside of your skate or trickling in through your legs, you’re not playing your best.

Is it me, or does Backman look a little overmatched on defense?  He was out of position on several occasions, and that was just on Rangers in 60.  Plus, there was a play late in the 2nd period where he threw a blind pass behind his own net that went directly to an Islander and led to a scoring chance.  I’m not impressed with his play so far and I’d rather see Strudwick for a few games, at least until Backman has had more time to practice with his new teammates.

The Rangers penalty killing gets an A+ for this game.

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Next Rangers game: Saturday, February 16 vs. Buffalo.

The game will be in (and on) MSG, and while 5-hole does not have tickets for this particular game, we are glad to have the extra opportunity to hear Joe Micheletti do his patented play-by-play of instant replays!

Stay tuned for a preview of the game coming Thursday or Friday, in which we will break down the game for you so you can impress your girlfriend with your amazing hockey knowledge. Hmm, I guess you could call this a preview of the preview…

Also in the next issue: Jaromir Jagr starts back-checking on every shift!

Long layoff between games. In the meantime, check out this shootout video from Brian Leetch night. The sound is messed up in the beginning but it comes back.

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