The Capitals beat the Rangers on Wednesday
night in what could best be described from the Rangers viewpoint as a
special teams nightmare. . The Capitals and Rangers both came into the
game with record of 1-1-0 with the Capitals coming off a very uninspired
effort which saw them get shutout against Boston in their last game before
taking on the Rangers.
Washington went 4 for 8 on the powerplay
and had over 20 shots while on the man advantage. The Rangers started
Rookie goalie Dan Blackburn for the first time fueling speculation that
the swelling that was hinted at early in the week to Mike Richter's Knee
maybe more serious then what was originally reported.
By the end of the first period the Rangers
were down 3-0 mainly because of the three Consecutive powerplay goals the
Rangers gave up. Blackburn looked shaky and Inept in the first period
especially on 2 out of 3 of the PP tally's. The Rangers rookie netminder
did however shore up his game the rest of the way and only allowed 2 goals
from that point on.
The Rangers cut the deficit to 3-2 and
looked to be climbing back in it on goals by Zdeno Ciger (his first) and
Radek Dvorak. However the Rangers didn't mount any even strength offensive
magic from that point on going scoreless in the third period and lost the
Hmm. Think Mcfly think.. The Czechs looked
good again. If they could get Petr Nedved to convert one of these days on
his myriad of quality scoring chances that line could emerge. That line
combination in particular by far has been the most creative forward line
through the first 3 games.
Radek Dvorak continues to impress with his
speed and scoring. Blackburn didn't fold up the tents after a disastrous
1st period. Malhotra crashed the net that led to Devo's second goal of the
season. Dale Purinton stuck up for teammate Mike York and pummeled Capital
Stephen Peat no questions asked.
Rangers didn't have a shot on goal for the
first 11 minutes of the game. The defense looked horrific. The Rangers
couldn't clear their front of the net. Steve Konowalchuk who is no giant
had his way with every Ranger Defenseman in front of Blackburns crease.
Fleury goal less streak continued to 3 games.
Every defensive pairing played and is
playing with no cohesion or sense of teamwork. Rangers cannot simply score
only 2 goals in a NHL contest and expect to win EVER. Rangers went 2 out
of 3 periods without a goal.
Blackburn-Although defensively abandoned
most of the game he gave up two awful goals in the first period. The first
goal by Sergei Gonchar was slow and stoppable. The 3rd goal also by
Gonchar was a positional mistake with him also failing to stick out his
right pad to stop the puck. However Blackburn recovered his composure
after letting 3 in the first period and didn't let his confidence implode.
Messier-Took two penalties. Played with a
mean streak for third game in a row. Got an assist
Dvorak - Devo buried a shot while Malhotra
was on top of Olaf Kolzig for the Rangers Second goal. Easily the Rangers
Malhotra - Crashed net and was main reason
Devo scored. Had a hit dislodge puck along boards in second period. Needs
to still hit more often.
Ciger - Scored goal had his best game as a
Ranger. Was a success story just because he finally converted for the
first time this year.
Grosek - Played well. Had some chances and
made some nice passes. Notched an assist
Nedved - Blew every quality chance he got
Lindros - Hit the post on a great quick
release in first period. Other than that was invisible
Fleury - Didn't get a goal. Didn't impact
the game much. Not a good performance
Johansson - Had playing time cut a bit
because of all the special teams play. Showed Little of the tenacity he
had displayed in the Rangers first two games.
York - Other then crosschecking Caps goalie
Olaf Kolzig. He didn't contribute much.
Heisten - His best game as a Ranger. Again
since he was non existent in the first two games. Take that for what it's
McCarthy - Needs to bodycheck a whole lot
more. Especially now that he is on the 4th line. He is the only Rangers
forward who is out there to be physical and when he's not he serves no
Leetch - He struggled defensively. He gets
caught trying to erase every mistake made by his partner Berard. The
pairing of Him and Berard defies all logic. Blew a sweet scoring
opportunity in the first period. Which is a rare for Leechy.
Berard - One of the most brutal defensive
performance I have seen in a Ranger uniform since Bruce Bell. He looked
panicky and lost in his own zone. He tackled Chris Simon for 20 seconds
straight behind the Rangers net, which ironically resulted in Simon
getting whistled on a questionable slashing penalty.
Ulanov - Words can not describe how much
this guy is struggling. The giveaways the poor positioning. I think he
even realizes it. He ran around spearing and sticking Steve Konowalchuk
towards the end of the game resulting in him getting a 10-minute
misconduct. His play was god-awful.
Malakov - Second half of the worst pairing
against the Capitals. He was horribly disorganized at the back and added
nothing to the offense. Showed absolutely zero intensity
Karpa - No Punishing hits. Wasn't physical.
Purinton - Protected teammate York.
Received 17 minutes in penalties for his actions. No significant hits
other then the lead left hand he gave Stephen Peat in the 1st period.
Sam and J.D Propaganda Report:
Ulf Dahlen is gritty guy? According to John
Davidson he is. FYI Dahlen is a veteran player who adds offense and a
second line PP guy. He might be gritty when you compare him to some of our
forwards but Ulf Dahlen and gritty have never been synonymous John.
Sam and J.D also gushed about the
feistiness of Barret Heisten. Unfortunately I saw no hard evidence to back
up this statement. I surmise J.D Got caught up in one of his "invent
a story" rants which he basically saves for Rangers 3rd period
garbage time mode.
Bottom Line is even with Richter between
the pipes instead of Blackburn the Rangers still would have lossed this
game. The backline along with its constant awful defensive breakdowns has
absolutely no chemistry.
Steve Konawalchuk could not be moved by any
Ranger defenseman the whole game. In order to win The Rangers need to have
Fleury, Lindros, and Nedved scoring goals. None of them did on Wednesday
night. The Caps are a very good team and they should have beaten the
Rangers and they did.
Even with Jagr leaving with an injury in
the First period Washington still managed to score five goals. The Rangers
need to score whole lot more then two goals a game to be victorious
especially against upper tier teams like the Capitals
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