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Couldn't watch the game live but a couple thoughts from the replay:
1. On the Brass goal it looked like Crosby was trying to cut down the angle for a pass and thought the player up top would cover the Ranger coming down the middle. I could be mistaken but I think Crosby was in proper position keeping Nash to the outside. You expect your goalie to control the shot and rebound from that angle and distance, though in this case Nash's shot was perfectly low and hard and forced Fleury into surrendering the big rebound.
2. If we have any weaknesses at all (besides the PP) it's the difficulty handling the forecheck. Forechecking is an effective way of locking your opponent up in their own end and becomes a key point of strategy both for the forechecking team as well as the team attempting to break it. Teams that give us a hard time use the forecheck very effectively and thereby playing a lot of minutes in our zone and as well cut down our speed moving the puck up ice if they carry the pressure into the neutral zone. This would be a good series for us to really work on strategies for breaking the forecheck before we face teams that use it more effectively
3. Sheppard is a really good player in playoffs from what I recall in SJ. I would like to see him inserted, but Fast gets underrated as a physical presence on the ice because he's not big. He throws a lot of hits and isn't afraid of playing a gritty game. It's hard to take him out of the line up. He's been solid on the 4th.
4. Fleury gets a lot of shit around his playoff performances but for one night he was stellar after the 1st goal where he appeared to be caught by surprise by Nash's quick hard shot. He did his job last night and gave his outplayed team a chance to win.
5. We only had our B+ game last night and clearly we were the more dominant team. The Pens depletion at the blue line really shows. Just keep up the pressure and we can do this quickly. No let up. Killer instinct!!!
17 hours, 31 minutes ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/
Interesting ( upon reading that Stup-bban was not suspended for his vicious 2 handed slash which carried an obvious attempt at injury) that a mere 24 years ago when the term "player safety" was just a funny oxymoron that Graves got suspended for A very similar slash to Lemieux. Now who was it I was debating here on NHL and prejudice???
1 day, 10 hours ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/
You're referring to the man with the big shot and the small brain who was seen yelling something in his skivvies on his way to the locker room? Montreal's hero! May God have mercy on their souls.
I'm out tonight. have an event scheduled that I'm leading so I'll miss all the blog fun but thank god for Tivo. Enjoy
1 day, 13 hours ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/
I think there will be a couple really close tough games, and a couple of convincing wins and at the end of the day we take these guys in 5 - but that's only if we respect what this Pens team can do and not take anything for granted. I would look for Crosby to step it up. He's a baby, mental toughness questionable but he has a lot of pride and knows how to play a mean spirited game and when he's detemined there's no better player in this league. Then they also have Sutter so this gives them 3 really good centers. We've got to try and tie up and frustrate Crosby and play our game and if we do that it should be a pretty convincing victory.
Nashville's been dealt the curse of the backup.
2 days, 4 hours ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/2015-articles/practice-report-415.html
@Gianni74 @betweentheworlds Didn't see that comment. Apologies. Wish he was my high school teacher...
2 days, 4 hours ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/2015-articles/full-season-grades-offense.html
@BrinaGu3 @JoeyKocur A fine display of glaringly dirty play followed by a pathetic act of mental weakness. Montreal's hero - god help those poor heathens...
@Wallace1 The refs are even more entertaining
@ObviouslyItsNotTheTrophyWeWant They called the wrong player on the trip. Richey's looked terrible and a careless high stick that managed to get a couple players on the bench lol
@BrinaGu3 @betweentheworlds Damn, Richards got 2 Predators on the bench with that high stick
2 days, 5 hours ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/2015-articles/practice-report-415.html
Blackhawks / Preds in OT
@JoeyKocur @betweentheworlds Yeah, I saw some of it. Other than a few impressive rushes and forechecks they were pretty much on their heals with no battle level.
2 days, 6 hours ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/2015-articles/practice-report-415.html
@JoeyKocur Ovechkin just needs to scare a few school children tomorrow and it will get the wholeteam fired up
Just caught parts of the Islanders game. Sticks look solid. Caps looked a bit dead. Ovechkin must not have attacked enough virgins and drink enough of their blood last night to sustain himself for the game..
Glass got a D. Not a B. Kind of a long rant based upon a misread, not that your points are out of the ballpark or anything but since the only stat that really matters is the final score, and the decision to play Glass has been made by the coach responsible for our best season point wise in history I'm OK with it even if I don't understand it.
2 days, 15 hours ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/2015-articles/full-season-grades-offense.html
@Say my Name @award @genetics73 No not at all, in fact they are quite compatable in my case. I am deeply odd...
3 days, 6 hours ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/
THIS JUST IN: Latest injury update: Klein's broken arm has actually fully healed but he'll still be out for another 2 weeks so that he can go to rehab and detox from the Hydromorphone prescribed by the NY Rangers medical staff.
3 days, 9 hours ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/
Keep the Nash love flowing. Me thinks he had a nagging injury and it's good to get him out of the line up the last 2 games. He's played well down the stretch but not the force of one he was earlier in the season but playing the right way in all 3 zones and has earned recognition as a top forward in this league. No one knows better than he that all eyes are on him and a big playoff performance is necessary. I think he's going to break out of his post-season funk in a big way. Fleury's gonna have nightmares about sasquatches when it's all done. Nice assessments once again Niell and like the D men grades you nailed it. Nice balance scoring behind Nash from our top 7 r 8 forwards that is how you win. when one guy slumps another guy picks it up. Shit, even Glass gets a passing grade :)
3 days, 13 hours ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/2015-articles/full-season-grades-offense.html
@Better Call CK @Chris M This just serves as another caution to not get overconfident. Thia iss till a good dangerous club with 2 elite centers. The loss of Letang is huge and is even worse for the Pens than it would be for us if we lost McD because A. He is that good and B. the Pens are not deep on the blue line like we are. We should still win but we got to play our best otherwise it could be a long series
4 days, 9 hours ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/
If you're taking into account that we have arguably the #1 D in the league and you are grading on a downward curve then yeah, I largely agree. Good commentary here. thanks Niell. Considering the reputation I've actually been surprised by how solid Yandle has been defensively save a couple bad blunders right after the trade. I agree that Staal is our best defensive Dman this year and he's close to where he was before the injuries when IMO he was approaching elite levels. Hope he stays his course. It must be tough psychologically after 2 concussions and a near loss of an eye. McD, yeah, he's the man. Best of the best. Love for DanG? Love it. I'd add that he also has saved more goals than anyone on plays when the goalie was down and out by my count and he's cut down on those giveaways. Boyle's been solid though not spectacular on both ends IMO, more than I expected from the old timer. Klein is unreal. Hunwick has been very good after early season jitters. He could be a 4th or 5th Dman on a lot of teams. We STOKED on the blue line!
@Better Call CK @betweentheworlds It's MILLER time. actually we have an amazing record when bringin a lead into the 3rd. I'm talking about when we go 3 goals up with a team ripe for the kill and they wind up getting back into the game instead. The Pens are a demoralized team. Their captain is a baby who if he had a strong mind would be the best player in the league - but he's not, and they have a goalie with the "choke" banner hanging from his mask so if he's thinking choke it will happen, but only if we don't let up on these guys.
5 days, 5 hours ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/
I've seen a lot of stupid shit on these boards, shit that has annoyed me, even angered me but this is the first thing I've seen that has genuinely upset me. The nature of my work brings me in contact with a lot of grieving people who have lost parents, spouses, even children. My mom is dead, my brother died. Hockey is just a game people. Life is sacred. Damn!!! Just speechless!
As far as our boys go they have broken a lot of negative patterns the last 2 years but the one thing they still have not conquered IMO is that Killer Instinct. The Pens are a wounded animal. Go in for the kill and don't let up. I don't care if we're 3 goals up. 6 goals up. 3 games up. Punish them. Humiliate them. Do NOT let them gain any of their confidence back, otherwise we may be in for a long series.
@thenyrblogneill @betweentheworlds :)))
6 days, 2 hours ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/2015-articles/rangers-4-washington-2-2.html
@KevinMccarthy One of my favorite Rangers. Hard to believe a hit by Pat Flately of all people pretty much ended his career. Was never the same
I was working today but I turned the TV on for 5 minutes and caught the 1st 2 goals. Great mojo and taking that as a good omen. Who's got some vid on the Glass fight?
@DP_Snotty Be afraid, be very afraid...
6 days, 3 hours ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/2015-articles/rangers-4-washington-2-2.html
@IcyCup @DP_Snotty @saviorself23 How come my adblock didn't block out this ad? Dude, we have the best message board right here and to prove it no one here is foolish enough to take the Pens lightly and assume a sweep is inevitable. This is still a skilled team. with plenty of fire power and we have to play them hard from the opening whistle and not give them a chance to regain any confidence otherwise it ain't gonna be easy.
I turned this game on just in time to see the 2 goals. Got to work now but there's some good mojo. #readyfortheplayoffs
6 days, 15 hours ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/
@Blackshirt Blueshirt Pens still potentially the most dangerous team given the high end talent and should not be under rated or taken lightly but with Cybil in goal and Crosby being emotionally retarded and easy to rattle him off his game I would take it as well. I hope it is Isles vs. Caps. 2 physical teams. Let them bang the shit out of each other.
1 week ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/
@Vkinc74 @DP_Snotty Islanders 3-1 over Crosby, Malkin and Co. Halak stopped 37 of 38 - I'm failing to see any sarcasm?? Poor finish for the sticks but they're still a legitimate good team. and this is the type of win that gives a team a lift going into post season, especially one that has been slumping. I'm thinking if we face them 2nd or 3rd round it will be a nail biter.
@Craptin McDonqvist At least the Sticks have some semblance of class. The Pens are led by whining spoiled superstars. Isles deserve it more
@KevinMccarthy Interesting - for the last several weeks I've been feeling like we'd draw the Sens in the 1st round. Now the odds makers agree with me. I guess that means I'm going to be wrong.
No doubt that will be the tactic used against us. The key to our success is our passing. If we keep our legs moving and our passing is crisp other teams will have a hard time keeping up with us and it minimizes the board work and thereby minimizes the opportunity for the bigger and more physical teams to wear us down.
@BobDunne @betweentheworlds it's unpredictable with injuries and all in the post season but let me go over the checklist with you:
Back up goalie in case God forbid___________: check (got the best in the league)
depth at the blue line: check: (not only do we have a very good 7th Dman, our 8th DMan has shown to be quite competent as well.
Depth up front: check: look's like Ray's little boy is our 14th forward, got Mat Bodie in the wings, Buch signed, the other kids looked good in pre-season.
OK got it covered for anything short of a Tsunami hitting the big Apple. LGR
@ObviouslyFinishingFirstIsGreat Is Tesresa Connor Lorena Bobbit's pen name???
I'm seeing a lot on the boards lately about how Boston and the Kings are the teams to fear the most and I have to say neither of these teams have had good seasons so even if we do get Boston in round number 1 it don't matter. WE are the team to fear in the playoffs. Speed, possession Goaltending and D is the name of the game in 2015. Physical play though also important in post season is secondary now. I'm much more concerned about TB and Montreal,, even Washington and the Sticks more than freakin archaic Boston. Bring them on!!!
@IcyCup @Gorangers0525 I think it depends on what the Dead Wings and the Sens do
1 week, 1 day ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/2015-articles/gameday-thread-rangers-vs-ottawa-2.html
@JoeyKocur I agree with all your assessments. Boyle has def been underaprreciated this year and does so many little things out there that help the team. I might add that some games Fast does play pretty hard edged and throws his weight around out there.
@CK Mcdonaughalds @Wallace1 @betweentheworlds Redden who?
@ObviouslyFinishingFirstIsGreat @betweentheworlds well then, he deserves a raise
@Gorangers0525 I'm hoping they both lose
@CK Mcdonaughalds @betweentheworlds working
@Gorangers0525 lol, can't wait
@KevinMccarthy it makes the sticks sweat so in losing we win
well my last game tonight was kind of like my first this season, preseason. Sort of some Zen like full circle thing. Gonna miss the deranged superstar on Sat. but see ya in the PLAYOFFS!!!! #becausethestickssuck
Who's that kid? oh it's Brassard, nevermind