Change Is Coming As Rangers Breakup For Summer

Yesterday, the 2015-16 Rangers met up for the final time as they packed up their things and headed to their longest summer break in five years. While recently break up day quotes have been nothing more than players saying they will be better next year, this years’ final day had a different vibe. This year, things were a lot more questionable than definite.

Let’s start with the biggest news. Unless you had absolutely no internet access yesterday, you heard about the blow up from Dan Boyle directed at New York Post writers Larry Brooks and Brett Cyrgalis. While Cyrgalis wasn’t in attendance, Brooks was and things got a little heated. Of course there was video which you can see here. For those who don’t want to watch, the transcript can be found here.

I’m not going to rehash the entire thing as everyone has seen and heard it. Was Boyle out of line? Maybe that situation wasn’t the best place to completely lose his cool. But I’ve always been taught to treat others with the same respect you would want to be treated with. There is no question Boyle has received very little respect from many in the NY media so if he felt like returning the favor on his last day speaking to them, fine by me. Especially when one of the writers in question felt the need to respond and then apologize after he was called out by fans everywhere for his original response.

Somewhere, John Tortorella read about what happened and smiled.

**********

Moving on, the next player to speak was Dan Girardi who confirmed what anyone who had any common sense had already figured out – he missed three games during the playoffs due to injury. What was that injury? A concussion stemming from the hit he received from Brian Boyle.

To me, it was clear as day that was the injury and I was actually shocked to see him back for game 1. After seeing how that game went, it was no surprise when Girardi admitted he didn’t feel right as the game went on and that the symptoms returned after the game. I’m still not sure how he was able to come back for game 5 but he did say he felt fine during and after the game so hopefully the concussion issues are behind him. But you never know with head injuries. (I’ll save that rant for another time.)

Girardi also confirmed what many had suspected – that the crack in his knee never fully healed.

“If I could go back, I’d probably try and take more time off, but a lot of you guys know I’m not that guy who’s just not going to play. Missing whatever I did — six games — was already a lot for me.”

I plan to hold him to that quote next year when he inevitably tries to play through another injury received early in the season. Speaking of next year, Girardi told reporters he was confident this year was a one-time thing and that he can and will be much better next season. When asked if he thought that would be with the Rangers, his response was “Well, I think so.”

And that seemed to be the trend in the quotes I saw coming out of the room. Everyone saying “I think so”. Reading between the lines, you could tell the players aren’t sure what to think but are aware changes are coming.

For instance, when Henrik Lundqvist was asked if the team could contend again next year, he replied “I think so”. Lundqvist has been the most vocal saying while he knows change is coming, the organization shouldn’t “overreact”.

Lundqvist-tweets

If there is anyone who will take the way the season ended the hardest, it is Lundqvist. And if there is as much change as everyone is assuming, he might be the only one untouchable (assuming he doesn’t ask for a trade himself).

Returning to injuries for a moment, Lundqvist said that there was no lingering issues from his eye injury, although he almost wished there was so he could blame his performance on that. All due respect, I would prefer to accept he played bad then be worried about his eyesight. Rangers fans already have to deal with that with another player.

Captain Ryan McDonagh finally admitted what his “mysterious upper body injury” was – he broke his right pointer finger. I actually thought it was a lot worse than that but I guess that explains why he was able to come back as quickly as he did. He won’t need surgery but the finger does need a few more weeks to completely heal.

Actually, for the first time in years, no one needs surgery unless there will be random injuries coming about in the following weeks.

Also for the first time in years? Rangers players are eligible to play at the World Championships and three will be going – Brady Skjei will be representing the Americans, Derick Brassard is joining Team Canada and Mats Zuccarello is expected to join Norway’s team. (As of this writing, I don’t believe that is official but it sounds like he is going.)

Everyone else is headed home. Will they back next year? Individually they want to think so. But since Vigneault said even the coaching staff isn’t guaranteed to be the same, I think the players know that this year, no one is safe.

 

(Photo: Melissa Andus)

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The Day After: Rangers Go Out With A Whimper

It’s been almost 24 hours since the Rangers season, one that started with so much promise, quietly ended. Maybe we should say mercifully ended. The last week hasn’t been pretty.

I know a lot will say the entire season hasn’t been. There were definitely more ups and downs this year than the past three or four years. But while many will say they saw this coming and that the entire season has been horrible, there were still good moments.

But what there wasn’t was that push back that we are so used to seeing. That sense of belief and pride that no game is ever over until the final buzzer officially sounds.

Yesterday started well – a goal for the good guys just one minute into the game. (Off a shot from a much-maligned defenseman no less.) And after that, the Rangers didn’t sit back. They looked like they knew their season was on the line. Then the Penguins tied it on a missed defensive cue (again). But 45 seconds later, the Rangers regained the lead and it looked like just maybe the team we wanted to believe still existed actually did. A penalty 7 seconds later followed by a goal tying the game and the hope was gone.

The Rangers did play the remainder of the period and managed to keep the 2-2 tie going into intermission. But we all know what second periods are for this team. Even through the good years, they were a point of contention. It took a little over five minutes for the Penguins to take the lead and you just saw the season end. You saw the players shoulders slump, that there wouldn’t be another push back. The team had nothing left to give.

I’ve seen a lot of people say the fact they’ve played a lot of hockey shouldn’t be an excuse. It’s not. It’s a fact. Every person within the hockey world calls the regular season a grind. Well going into this year, the Rangers had played five regular seasons in a four year span. That’s a lot of hockey. Their bodies don’t get a chance to recover. And mentally, it drains you. Honestly, I’ve been drained from watching so much hockey the past few years that I’m kind of glad I get an extra month off. If I feel that way, I can’t imagine how the players feel.

As I said after game 4, it doesn’t hurt. It partially doesn’t feel real but there’s been no tears shed or anger or despair. It will be strange not seeing the Rangers play in May or June but hopefully this allows them to come back stronger next year, whoever is left.

Everyone is saying this is an end of an era. It might be. I have no idea how this team will look in September. Like everyone else, I’ll try to recap the season that was and discuss who should and shouldn’t return. But until then, I’m going to look back on another season with a smile. Yes this season wasn’t as fun as years past but this is still my team and I’m still proud of the 101 points they fought for and earned. One year this post will end with a celebration picture. It isn’t this year. Maybe next season will be the one.

 

(Photo: Melissa Andus)

Rangers On Brink After No-Show In Game 4

All night I heard people at MSG say this was the worst performance they had ever seen in a playoff game. I immediately reminded them of games 3 and 4 versus these same Penguins back in 2014. The games everyone has blacked out of their mind because of everything that happened after them. I remembered them being horrible. But I came home and read my recap from that game 4 and laughed. Because everything I wrote that night (which you can read here) is what I feel like writing tonight.

The difference is there is no miracle coming this time. Or I sincerely hope there isn’t as I don’t want any of these guys to go through what Marty St. Louis did during that series.

Getting shut out by the Penguins is nothing new. They did it twice during that series and numerous times over the years in the regular season. What bothers me about tonight’s game wasn’t the score. It was the performance, or lack thereof.

There are a lot of ways to lose. Would I have felt better if they deserved to win and lost? Possibly, because at least I would have some glimmer of hope that they weren’t going out on a whimper. And then they would’ve lost with pride. Yes it’s still a loss but it’s one that you can hold your head up and say “we tried”. They can’t do that tonight. There was no pride in that performance. The Penguins scored just 1:09 into the game and the two teams could’ve gone home at that point. The Rangers basically did.

Two years ago, I wrote the following:

So I know the next question is how do we fix it? Honest answer is I have no idea. I really don’t. But I don’t see the cohesiveness and closeness that I saw of teams in the past. I don’t see that “we are one” mentality that says they are going to go all the way. I don’t know who or what the problem is. My guess is they know what it is in the room and in the organization. I hope they fix it over the summer.

I could’ve written that same paragraph tonight or at any point this season. The motto for this years’ playoffs is “family”. The players talk about how close they are and that the team is like a family. I see it off the ice in interviews they’ve done and events they’ve attended. I haven’t seen it on the ice at all and I most definitely didn’t see it tonight.

It was individual players on the ice for 60 minutes. I’m honestly shocked they didn’t take a too many men penalty or play 20 seconds with only four guys on the ice. I don’t even know how many times I watched a Rangers player pass the puck to a teammate who had no idea pass was coming nor knew puck was near them after it happened. I don’t know, maybe the entire team is playing with head injuries and it’s not just the mainstay on the blue line that was in the press box tonight that has one.

I really just don’t know what to say anymore. You will see a lot of people saying “I told you so” because stats and charts predicted this would happen. It predicted it would happen three years ago too so congrats to them for finally getting it right, I guess.

In past years I would be upset or angry after a game like I witnessed tonight. Instead, I sat in my seat in MSG (the same seat I’ve sat in all year and every year since the renovation) and laughed. I was actually laughing the entire game. I thought it was so I didn’t cry but as I left the building, I realized it was because it was the only emotion I could find. And once the game was over I had no emotions left. Nothing. On my ride home I felt completely empty as if I just lost a close friend or family member and wasn’t ready to process they were gone. This team as we’ve known them for the past few years is gone. This emptiness we feel probably won’t go away any time soon. But when it does, it is going to hurt a lot. I guess we really are a family after all.

 

(Photo: Melissa Andus)

Rangers Can’t Find Offense In 3-1 Loss

This series has been strange. Typically I can easily recap a playoff game. For the second time in three games, I can’t.

I can easily write about the third period and how the Rangers seemed to drift through the final twenty minutes as if a goal would just miraculously appear for the home team. I’m not sure the Penguins played much better but they did manage to stifle any offense the Rangers attempted to muster. (To be fair, there wasn’t a lot in the final frame.)

And then there was the game winner. As I watched Dan Boyle and Keith Yandle collide in the defense zone, I had no words. You expect miscommunication like that from two guys who haven’t really played together, not two guys who were paired for 19 playoff games last year. But they collided, Matt Cullen said thank you and even though there was plenty of time, no one had a feeling the home team would get the equalizer. And they didn’t.

I guess I’ll try to do this one backwards as that was basically the third period. In the middle frame, you could almost see where this was headed. The Rangers didn’t play a poor second period, but having only 13 shots through two periods against a rookie goaltender returning from injury and having had only one practice in almost two weeks was nothing short of pathetic.

The good news is they did get on the board first. (Well officially, but more on that in a moment.) Just 22 seconds into the period, Chris Kreider rubbed Hornqvist along the boards and was called for boarding. He questioned it, the fans questioned it but to the box he went. (To be honest, from my vantage point, it looked like a penalty that is called when officials are actually calling penalties but it was on my side of the ice so I didn’t have the best look.)

Just 17 seconds into the penalty, we had a goal…from Rick Nash. No really, Nash scored. Watch:

https://www.nhl.com/video/embed/nashs-shorthanded-goal/t-280310054/c-43611003?autostart=false

That was some shot and got the building alive. Surprisingly the Rangers were able to kill off the rest of the penalty after that. Not surprisingly, they weren’t able to build any momentum off of it.

The Rangers did have two power kills over the first half of the period but weren’t able to do anything with them. Then with one minute remaining, Marc Staal lost Carl Hagelin and took him down to the side of the Rangers net. Am I surprised Staal lost Hagelin? Not in the least and neither should anyone else who has watched the Rangers for years. The hook, as they called it, was a little light though and many believed the ex-Ranger took a little bit of a dive. Again, I just saw him go down so I’m guessing the official saw the same thing I did.

When you play with fire, you’re bound to get burned and the Rangers did as there was a goal 18 seconds in. This time it didn’t go to the team in the penalty box and we had a tie game.

But what about the first period?

Well neither team really came out flying but both had some chances. Then halfway through the period, Marc Staal took his first penalty of the game. With time winding down, Conor Sheary high-sticked Dominic Moore and drew blood leading to 4-on-4 and then an extended power play for the home team. (It was honestly the best thing Moore did all game. I usually don’t like to call out individual poor performances but Moore didn’t have a great game tonight.)

Shortly into the power play, Chris Kreider scored. He actually missed on his original shot but somehow found the rebound and buried it behind Murray to give the home team an early lead. Or so we all thought. Immediately Mike Sullivan was at the edge of his bench calling for the officials and I knew we were in trouble. The Penguins were challenging that the play was offside. It was and we were back to 0-0 and the Rangers proceeded to have over three minutes of power kill time.

Side note: I understand why these challenges were put in place and while I do want to get the calls right, I’m not sure these plays are what the league intended the rule to be. (It was the right call.) That said, the part that gets me is how many goals we’ve seen called back due to minute offside plays. How many past goals wouldn’t have been goals if this rule was in place before this season? And how many of these goals will still be goals when they change the rule next year?

Anyway, the Rangers killed the power play and the rest of the period which led to a scoreless game after one.

And now back to the end and a couple of stats that caught my eye:

17 shots. That’s how many pucks the Rangers put on rookie goaltender Matt Murray. I could probably write 1,000 words on why that is not good but let’s just say, that was not good.

12:56. That was the amount of ice time Marc Staal received, least amongst defensemen. I understand he hasn’t been great in the series and was having another iffy game but that’s ridiculous. Somehow Crosby was still invisible most of the night.

71. The number of hits in this game with the Rangers once again having the edge, 41-30. It’s no secret these two teams hate each other but if this series somehow goes the distance, the Capitals will be saying thank you.

2-1. That’s the hole the Rangers now face. Is it insurmountable? No. And that’s what they said after the game. They didn’t play poorly tonight, at least not in the sense of what we’ve seen from them this year. But they need to play better. They need to get that playoff intensity and play with it every night. We saw them have it game two. Here’s to hoping they find it in game four.

 

(Photo: Melissa Andus)

Rangers Use Late Second Period Push To Tie Series

There aren’t really must win games at any point unless your team would be going home with a loss so I’m not sure I could say today’s game was a “must win” for the Rangers. But it was probably as close to one as there could be without saying it was one.

The injury situation for both teams was well-known (Ryan McDonaghDan Girardi and Marc-Andre Fleury out, Henrik Lundqvist and Evgeni Malkin back in) so let’s just get straight to the game.

With the Rangers shorthanded on defense and the Penguins adding firepower, the visitors came into this game with one idea in mind – if you can’t beat them, then beat them. Through the first twenty minutes, every Ranger made sure to finish their checks (and shockingly didn’t take themselves out of position to do it) which led to this:

I’ve always held the belief that you don’t want to be the team that hits more as it means you have the puck less. For some reason, it felt pretty even through twenty even though the hits were 22-4. Maybe that’s because Henrik Lundqvist looked like himself and therefore the score was still 0-0.

Of course that didn’t last long as the teams started the middle frame at 4-on-4 with Hornqvist and Mats Zuccarello in the box. I guess Zuccarello liked it there as he went right back in ten seconds after he came out, only this time he went alone. There’s only so much teams can do against the Penguins power play and the home team had the lead. And then the home team took over and it started to look like it was going to be a long remainder of the afternoon.

Then with seven and a half minutes remaining in the period, the Rangers tied it as J.T. Miller found a pinching Keith Yandle for the put home. Exactly 18 seconds later, this happened:

https://www.nhl.com/video/embed/brassards-go-ahead-goal/t-280291404/c-43547003?autostart=false

The Penguins challenged saying Derick Brassard was offsides. Only one problem? He had control of the puck so that wasn’t possible. The officials agreed after watching on their little TV screens and the Rangers had their first lead of the series.

Thirty seconds later, the Rangers were given a power kill. The worst part of it? None of the guys on the ice after two minutes realized the penalty was ending and Bryan Rust had a breakaway out of the box. Fortunately it was Rust and not one of their superstars. Even more fortunate was Lundqvist made the save.

With a little over four minutes remaining it was Miller again, this time finding Zuccarello to make it 3-1 Rangers. In less than five minutes, the Penguins went from looking like an unstoppable team to looking like…the 2015-16 Rangers.

Miller couldn’t keep up the good period, taking a bad penalty shortly after the third goal. Somehow the Rangers killed it to take the two goal lead into the third.

I expected a push from the Penguins while the Rangers attempted to sit on their heals for the final twenty minutes. Instead, I got a Chris Kreider goal 39 seconds into the period to make it 4-1. It happened because of a horrible turnover by Daley in front of Zatkoff but it wouldn’t have if the Rangers hadn’t pushed to get the puck in the zone in the first place.

Then came the third period I expected. Was it as bad as other times this season? Not even close. But did I feel for even a moment that the game was under control? I still don’t feel that way and the final buzzer already sounded.

To put the third period in perspective, the Rangers got into some penalty trouble, leading eventually to a 4-on-3 and a Penguins goal to make it 4-2 with over 14 minutes remaining. I wish I could explain what happened over those 14 minutes other than all of New York holding their collective breath.

I do know the Penguins realized that the officials had swallowed their whistles and took full advantage. First it was Kunitz with a dirty slash to the back of the leg of Marc Staal. The officials apparently missed it but Kevin Klein didn’t and came to the aid of his defense partner leading to Kunitz and Klein both receiving seven minutes in penalties. (I’d say that was a win for the Penguins.)

A couple minutes later, Derek Stepan went back for the puck to negate an icing and was shoved into the board by Ben Lovejoy. The officials missed that one too as Stepan laid on the ice and the puck went up the other way. Stepan eventually made it back to the bench, stayed there for a few minutes and then headed to the locker room for the concussion protocol he has to know all to well by now. I’m guessing he passed as a few minutes later he was back on the bench.

But through all that, the Rangers rock was a rock as Henrik Lundqvist refused to let another puck past him and the series heads to New York tied.

And I should feel confident with that as the Rangers really did play 120 decent minutes of hockey in Pittsburgh. I’m just not sure how much longer this will last. I also expect Fleury back on Tuesday and while Zatkoff was admirable on Wednesday, he wasn’t great today. (Basically, he was today what Antti Raanta was on Wednesday – he didn’t cost his team the game but he most definitely didn’t win it for them.)

While the Penguins hope to get Fleury back, I’m sure the Rangers hope to get some defensemen back. Both Brady Skjei and Dylan McIlrath filled in admirably but the Rangers won’t win if they are permanently in the line up. (I did enjoy the NBC crew continually mentioning the Rangers “two best defensemen” were missing.) We’ll see if we get any updates on either over the next couple of days. Until then, at least we know we won’t be seeing handshakes in Madison Square Garden this week.

 

(Photo: Melissa Andus)

Girardi Conundrum: When Agenda Doesn’t Agree With Logic

Mention the name Dan Girardi around Rangers fans this season and 9 out of 10 times the reaction won’t be positive. It’s no secret the usually steady defenseman has had a difficult season. There is no one, not even his biggest supporters, who can sit with a straight face and say he’s played well. (I know, I’m one of them and I can’t do it.) But just because that is fact, doesn’t mean that is always the only issue.

Yesterday, Alain Vigneault announced that after missing practice Girardi would miss game 2 with an injury. When asked if it was an upper or lower body injury, the coach replied:

That sounds about right as I honestly believe Girardi is dealing with multiple injuries at the moment. (And I won’t even begin to guess how many he attempted to play through in game 1.)

Unlike previous years, we know for sure he had a knee and a hand injury earlier in the season. Did those ever fully heal? Who knows. Then he fell awkwardly into the boards roughly 10 days ago. There was tons of speculation as to what he injured at the time but never any clarification. Whatever it was caused him to miss the final two games of the regular season and only practice once in a 7-day span. Could that have aided in his performance earlier this week? Probably.

But therein lies the problem. It “aided” in his performance. There’s no one who can confidently say he would’ve played better if he was healthy. Which led to a clear opening for everyone to push their new agenda and assume this scratch is actually a healthy scratch disguised as an injury.

Wait…Vigneault hiding a healthy scratch? First of all, there is no reason for him to do that. Secondly, I don’t for even a second think that he is. Why would he? This is the playoffs. You put out your best players. If a long time player in the organization isn’t your best player anymore, you don’t play him. No explanation needed.

But that is basically what fans and media assumed yesterday. Yes media too, as the implication was there from the Rangers beat writers to the national analysts assigned to cover this series – Vigneault was saying he was injured so the longtime Ranger could save face. Which is a disgrace to both Girardi and Vigneault.

I know Girardi is a guy who plays through everything so as soon as he is out, people start questioning things. Usually those questions are something along the lines of “is he dead?” or “what hospital is he lying unconscious in?”. For years it has always been “he has to be really injured” if he’s missing a game. Which is why I can’t wrap my brain around the fact people are now saying there’s no way he’s injured. I can’t wrap my brain around the fact that we, as a fan base, are throwing logic and reason out the window because it doesn’t fit this years’ or this moments’ agenda.

He’s hurt. Is it something in years past he would’ve tried to play through? Probably. And he would’ve done a horrible job with the reaction being a mix of “he should have sat and healed” to “I give him credit for trying but he didn’t really help in doing so”. This time they are forcing him to sit out and actually heal and instead of being happy he is doing what everyone wants, they assume there is some hidden agenda behind him sitting out. The man can’t win. And after everything he’s given us the past decade, I feel he deserves to be treated better than this.

We aren’t talking about a player who misses a handful or more of games every season. We are talking about one who has both figuratively and literally given his mind and body to this team for the past decade. It’s why he’s been called a “robot” or “not human” and nicknamed an ironman. Should someone like that be thrown under the bus and labeled a healthy scratch during the most important part of the season? Ideally, you don’t want to do that if you can help it. But should that same player not be given the benefit of the doubt that he is actually injured, especially when we have video proof showing he has to be?

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this is a healthy scratch disguised as an injury. But there is no way he (or Vigneault) deserves to have everyone assume that. After all he’s given us, he deserves respect. And respect would be everyone (fans, media, analysts) saying “I hope he’s okay.” But nowadays there’s no logic in sports. Only agenda.

 

(Photo: Melissa Andus)

Lundqvist Hurt As Rangers Drop Game 1

There are games, especially in the playoffs, where I know exactly what I’m going to write as soon as the game ends. It’s been almost 12 hours since the final horn and I still have no idea what to think about last nights’ game one.

Seeing Jeff Zatkoff come onto the ice for warmups with Tristan Jarry as the backup both excited and scared me. The Rangers should have been able to take full advantage of that but we all know how the Rangers play against backups and backups to the backup. Surprisingly, they tried. And these didn’t look like typical Rangers shots where everyone knew they weren’t going in. But, because the Rangers have no luck against backups, Zatkoff saved everything. Then disaster struck.

And this is where I don’t know how to judge this game. Antti Raanta was not the reason the Rangers lost game one. But losing Henrik Lundqvist is never a good thing. And once again, he was taken out by friendly fire.

I have nicknamed Ryan McDonagh “Captain Murder” because he (accidentally) hurt two of his own teammates. So I guess Marc Staal is now “Assistant Captain Murder”? I don’t know, I just know that the injury looked really bad and I’m just glad he was able to get up and attempt to stay in the game. Although I think we can all agree he shouldn’t have.

The first goal, to me, looked like miscommunication. I don’t know if Lundqvist couldn’t see it or was afraid to try and leave the net cause of the eye issue but Dan Girardi didn’t seem to expect what Lundqvist did. That led to a scramble and a few seconds later what felt like a back-breaking goal.

But it wasn’t as the Rangers didn’t wilt in the second period, which was a pleasant surprise to see. Of course things are never easy so again with time winding down, a flubbed point shot led to a breakaway by the Penguins captain and Raanta had no chance. (I would say he was the only one you wouldn’t want in that situation but with the Penguins, I can probably list a few others.) That was probably the back breaker.

And then our old friend Carl Hagelin tried to help us out. He really tried as early in the third period, he decided to swing his stick at the face of Kevin Hayes and in doing so, drew blood. (I’ve always joked Swedish blood brings the Rangers luck because in past playoff series, when Hagelin has drawn a double minor, the Rangers always score on the ensuing power play so just hoped the opposite worked as well.) At the same time that happened, Ian Cole felt the need to cross check Eric Staal in front of the net. Somehow, although after seeing the other calls in the game I have no idea how, the referees caught both and the Rangers had a full two minute 5-on-3 plus an additional two minutes of 5-on-4.

(Side note: The first two calls of the game against Viktor Stalberg were atrocious. The first Penguins penalty might have been worse. There is no way that wasn’t a make up call as I still have no idea what they called Eric Fehr for.)

Anyway, back to the power play. That was the game. And by some miracle, the Rangers scored on the 5-on-3 when Dan Boyle found a wide open Derek Stepan to get the Rangers on the board. They still had 2:58 of power play time remaining at that point. Get one more and we have a game. Instead a complete brain fart by Miller, Boyle, Yandle, Nash and Eric Staal led to a shorthanded goal against and the game was over. (Honestly, calling it a brain fart is putting it nicely. Even Vigneault commented after the game how bad the play was.)

I can sit here and say the team pushed to get back in the game. They didn’t not try but almost everyone knew it was over. I say almost everyone as Derek Stepan tried to will his team to victory by getting his second of the game with nine minutes remaining. But there was only so much Stepan could do and game one went to the Penguins.

Am I worried? I’m worried about Lundqvist. I’m not sure the Rangers have a chance in this series but they will have even less of one if he is out. The only positive I see now? In the past six series between these two teams, the team that won game one as won the series. That has to change at some point, right? And considering since 2012 the Rangers are 2-2 when losing game one of a series, now is as good a time as any for that to happen.

 

(Photo: Melissa Andus)