It remains difficult to conceive of a team like the Rangers with the likes of Brad Richards and Rick Nash able to muster two goals in a pivotal game. The Rangers has offense has been carried by the second and third lines all post season. No thanks to the big money stars the club made it to the second round. But this opponent, Boston, is not the Washington Capitals. The Bruins feel they are ready for the next step.
“A huge part of our game is trying to use our speed to our advantage,” Bruins left wing Brad Marchand said on NHL.com. “I think our whole team is definitely using that to their advantage right now. All that with chipping pucks in deep, we’re a tough team to play against.”
The Bruins have played complete squad efforts so far this series and their solid defense coupled with a responsive counter-attack has made look New York look foolish at times and downright inept at others.
“They’re a good transition team,” Rangers captain Ryan Callahan said on NHL.com. “They got a lot of speed coming at our defensemen and it’s tough for them to keep their gaps when they’re doing that. They seem to create a lot of their offense off the transition game, so that’s something we need to be aware of.”
But the Rangers are not paid to admire the opposition. They are paid to overcome. And they are not doing that very well.
“It’s frustrating,” Rick Nash said on NHL.com. “That’s when you’re supposed to crawl back into a game or take a lead in the game. We watched all the video, we got all the game plan, it’s on the players now, the guys out there to execute, just as we talked about after the last game.”
Frustrating? Imagine the feeling of the Rangers fan base.
The best summation was that of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
“We gave it to them,” Lundqvist said on NHL.com. “We gave it to them.”
For Rangers bench boss John Tortorella, the game was an issue of mistakes. Quite an understatement if you neglect the lack of emotional response to the Bruins’ team effort.
“We made coverage mistakes,” Tortorella said on NHL.com. “Our second period is where we want to be. We can’t put it in the net. We had multiple chances. We felt really good going into the third, and to have that type of goal go in on just a 2-on-2, it hurts you, it hurts you. Then they’re just going to fill the middle and they’re just going to jam you, so we couldn’t generate much more.”
It gets more and more difficult watching this Rangers team and their lack of commitment to their sweater, their teammates and their fans.