Thoughts following Game 1

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• I’ll admit, it was really disappointing to see the Flyers strike first after such a dominant chance/possession showing in the first period by the Rangers. Hartnell’s hit on McDonagh that directly lead to McDonald’s goal was the stuff nightmares are made of. Fortunately, the Flyers abandoned the hard, forechecking physicality in favor of stupid stick penalties.

• Philly looked to have a bit of whiplash from the Rangers’ three scoring lines. Clearly, their priority pre-game was to shut down the St. Louis-Stepan-Nash line, but every time they turned their attention there, they got burned by Zuccarello or Richards or Hagelin.

• The first two periods were something of a microcosm of the Rangers season: tantalizing chances, high possession and yet no goals. Ray Emery made some half-decent saves, but it would have been really nice to be up 3-1 in the first or second.

• There really wasn’t a weak link the lineup last night. I thought all three defensive pairs acquitted themselves well, and the forward lines looked balanced and moved the puck exceedingly well. Read more »

BSB playoff live chat

 

Special pre-game chat reminder

Welcome to the playoffs, BSB’ers!  By popular demand, I will be hosting a pre-game chat on this first round eve for about 30 minutes.  Stop by around 6:15pm to fill up the queue, and we will chat from about 6:30pm-puck drop.  Hope to see everyone there.

Scouting the Opposition: Steve Mason

Mason

With the newly implemented playoff system, this year’s playoff matchups came into focus a bit quicker than they have in recent seasons. I remember the past few years writing multiple scouting posts depending on how the Rangers ultimately finished in the standings. This year, however, it’s only down to Philly and Columbus as potential opponents. I’m going to lead off with Steve Mason, and if Columbus jumps the Flyers in the standings, I’ll just hijack one of my colleague’s slots next week to scout Bobrovsky. Coin flip at this point.

The format remains the same, Stance, Crease Movement/Depth, Equipment, Puck-handling ability and Exploitable Weaknesses. Let’s get after it…

At this point, most of us know the book on Mason: Rookie of the Year winner, future superstar turned reclamation project for the Flyers. No one really knows that happened to him after that first season in Columbus that wrecked his confidence, but he has rebounded significantly in his first season in Orange and Black, and was rewarded with a slightly pre-mature, slightly ridiculous 3-year/$12.3 million contract.

Read more »

BSB live chat 4.11.14

 

Friday chat reminder

Sorry about missing last week, but I’ll make it up to you today in a pre-playoff chat.  Make sure to stop by at 11:45 to fill the queue, and we’ll get going at noon sharp.  See everyone this afternoon!

Rangers waste opportunity in Calgary, lose 4-3

Gerry Thomas/Getty Images

The Rangers saw their five game winning streak snapped in addition to having their lead on the Flyers for 2nd place in the Metropolitan Division trimmed in a bitterly disappointing loss to the Flames in Calgary tonight, 4-3.  This one saw Martin St. Louis kick in his would-be first Rangers goal, Henrik Lundqvist surrender a super soft game winner, and Kari Ramo make some huge saves before all was said and done.  It wasn’t all bad for the Blueshirts, however.  They created tons of chances, and the 4th line again looked fantastic.  It’s just tough to swallow a loss against a team like the Flames.  Onto the goals…

1st period

Rangers 0, Flames 1

After some nice work on the forecheck, Derek Dorsett pursued the puck into the zone and took and ill advised penalty behind the play.  As the penalty wore down, McDonagh and Derek Stepan found themselves both collapsing as the Flames entered the zone.  This gave Curtis Glencross the space to drift into the high left slot and blasted a shot over Hank’s left shoulder.  Although the light went on and both teams reacted as if the puck had gone in, it had actually hit the post.  On the ensuing scrum in front, Joe Colborne banged in a rebound for the early lead.  Read more »

Thoughts heading to Calgary

www.timesunion.com

As often happens, my esteemed colleagues here at Blue Seat Blogs have comprehensively covered the vast majority of the pressing Rangers issues of the day, so I’m going to meander through some various thoughts as we approach tonight’s matchup with Calgary.

  • Tonight’s game has trap written all over it.  The Flames are terrible and the Rangers have won five in a row.  With a playoff spot looking more and more secure, it’s my biggest concern that these easy points could slip away as the team looks ahead.
  • With that said, this is a quality test for AV and the team’s leadership to keep the squad focused on the task at hand.  Home ice in the first round is still attainable, and they just need to look no further than the LA Kings of 2012 to see what a massive hot streak entering the playoffs can do for a team’s Cup aspirations. Read more »

BSB live chat 3.28.14

 

Friday chat reminder

Happy Friday to everyone out in Rangerland.  Only have about half hour to chat today, but makes sure to stop by a 11:45am to fill that queue, and we will get going promptly at noon.  See everyone there!