One shift at a timeMay 22, 2013, by
Only three teams in Stanley Cup Playoff history have climbed back from a 3-0 deficit to win their series. That’s the tall task that now faces the Rangers after they fell to the Bruins on home ice in Game Three, the team’s first loss at Madison Square Garden since March 24th. Things are looking awfully bleak and it certainly seems unlikely that New York will become the fourth team on that list.
Boston has been doing a lot of things well and has played much better than many expected. The Bruins’ defense has given the offensively challenged Rangers no time or room to operate, Torey Krug has added a new dimension to Boston’s attack, and the Bruins’ fourth line has abused New York in all three games.
And not much has been going right for the Blueshirts. The Rangers have had a difficult time generating offense at even strength and have been abominable on the power play (again). The team’s stars – Rick Nash, Brad Richards and Dan Girardi, specifically – have struggled mightily. And key injuries to Ryane Clowe and Marc Staal have crippled New York’s ability to get traffic in front and contend with Boston’s depth.
So how can the Rangers still save their season?
At this point, it will take a miracle, especially with another key defender, Anton Stralman, possibly lost for the series. But all John Tortorella can do is show his club highlights of the Flyers’ comeback against the Bruins in the 2010 Eastern Conference Semifinals and advise them to take Game Four one shift at a time.
The Rangers must get bodies in front of Tuukka Rask and get shots from the point and they must find a way to keep Boston from doing the same to Henrik Lundqvist. They also need their stars to step up and they have to find a way to cash in on some power play opportunities. The Blueshirts haven’t given us much reason to believe that any of those things are likely, but they’ll need to change that if they hope to play beyond Thursday.