Folks, I’m going to be honest with you. There is no reason to hit the panic button quite yet. I know this is very alarming for several people, because people are so romantic when the team wins and so mentally unhinged when the team loses, but I promise you don’t need to freak out.
As a team ventures deeper into the murky waters of the playoffs, they’re destined to meet teams that also deserve to be there. Though people may have dismissed the Senators as a hard hitting, slow team (ahh, the good old Chris Neil days), the team now is far from that. Their defense is not well established, but they make plenty of adjustments and play Erik Karlsson —who, if he is injured, as a robot is not affected — damn near 30 minutes a night.
All of this being said, the Rangers still have more depth. They just have to get out of this pattern of playing like a bunch of clowns before getting their you know what together.
For starters, don’t take three penalties right off the bat. The Sens power play is good. The Sens took 21 shots in the first period of Game 1. For those of you who are angsty about the Karlsson game winning goal, go back to your local community college and take a statistics course. Hell, go to the statistics wikipedia page. Even though Henrik Lundqvist is a blessing, you can’t expect him to stop every single shot he faces and allow him to face 43 shots on goal. Get in their lanes, cut off their passing. Bing bang boom.
Additionally, more than one of those calls was avoidable. The Rangers took delay of game, too many men, and very basic holding penalties, all of which did not need to happen. Brady Skjei appeared to be a little lonely because he wanted to just hug every single person in red on the ice. Taking two — two! — penalties for hooking and holding is excessive. Skjei is a rookie facing his second playoff series, so some adjustment time is expected, but these are avoidable penalties.
The funny part is that Ottawa wound up taking more penalties than the Rangers, but due to the volume in the first period, many fans seem to believe that the team couldn’t get their footing. While this is fair, this game to me was a typical situation where the adjustments were made on one side (Ottawa) and not made on the other side (Rangers). Repeat after me: this is an easy solution. The Rangers have more depth. The Rangers could win this series. They made adjustments against Montreal and it proved successful.
With all that being said, it’d be a bore to dissect the Senators’ lines since they change frequently. What is of note is that they play a fairly tight, defensive-minded game, and if you allow them to take shots, they will pepper them against Henrik Lundqvist all night. Certain players — calling Kevin Hayes and Ryan McDonagh — need to be better in the second game, but that’s almost expected at this point. Each round, and each game, has its own heroes.
Lets brace ourselves for some afternoon hockey today kiddos."Gearing up for Rangers - Senators Game 2",