After the Rangers overtime win last night, coach John Tortorella held his usual post-game press conference. This one was a lot different than his previous press conferences, as the coach was very candid and very passionate about his defense of Brad Richards. You can watch the video above for the full interview, but the Richards excerpt is below:
“I think it’s important to spend a couple of minutes on that out of respect to Brad. By no means is this a situation where I take him out where I’m blaming him. I’m playing Brad on the fourth line, he’s playing seven or eight minutes, it’s not good for him, it doesn’t work playing Brad Richards that way. I also feel some other guys have played better so that’s where he is right now in our lineup. It just doesn’t work, I’m not playing him the proper way but I can’t put him on the other lines becausre I think the other lines have stepped up. I look at the fourth line, I’m looking to get some kind of life, some sort of identity on that fourth line and that’s where Brad comes out. You get some fresh legs some enthusiasm.
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Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
The Rangers were able to keep their season going/salvage some dignity last night with a dramatic OT win over the Bruins at MSG. My sister-in-law, who is an ER nurse, was working last night and catching bits and pieces of the game on a hospital TV. Between the third period and OT, she posted on Facebook, “Ok Rangers, I kept my patient alive, you can keep this game alive!”. It was a nice microcosm of the attitude of Ranger fandom, and her defiant faith was rewarded. The Blueshirts still have quite the task ahead, but as they say, “one game at a time”. Since we are heading back to Boston tomorrow, I thought I’d share some thoughts about the game and series in general…
- Henrik Lundqvist was stellar again last night. The funny thing about The King in this series is that he gets blasted for Game 2 (simply due to the number of goals allowed), but I thought he was hung out to dry big time in that game. For me, if the Rangers fall say, one game short, the missed opportunity will have been Game 1. Both of the regulation goals in that game were stoppable, and the complexion of this series could have been very different going to New York.
- As Ranger fans, we tend to focus on our team’s shortcomings in the event of failure. Let’s not forget in this instance, the Boston Bruins are a very good team. They can roll four lines for 60 minutes and have plenty of system depth. We didn’t have a Torey Krug or Matt Bartkowski to slot into the lineup when Marc Staal got hurt. Many fans are going to lament the teams goal scoring woes, and seek to bolster the offense in the offseason, but I think quality depth is the number one priority at this stage. Read more »
One game at a time. Kreider with the OT winner.
Chris Kreider, he of much debate this season, gave the Rangers at least two more days of their 2013 season with his overtime winner. This series is a long way from being over, but the Rangers have a long way to go before gaining significant momentum. Henrik Lundqvist kept them alive through overtime with magnificent saves, and then the kid got himself out of the doghouse. Game Five is Saturday at 5:30pm in Boston.
Bruins 1, Rangers 0
After Kris Newbury takes a pretty boneheaded penalty, the Bruins got a bit of a lucky goal with the man advantage. The Bruins gained the zone and Nathan Horton had the puck at the bottom of the off-wing circle. He passed to the middle, but David Krejci was expecting shot, so he jumped out of the way. He left his stick on the ice, and the pass actually hit his stick and went right back to Horton. Hank was in position for the pass, but not the redirection back to Horton. Horton’s shot went through the legs of a sliding Lundqvist. That’s the type of series it’s been for the Rangers.
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COREY SIPKIN/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
The Rangers are facing a steep climb to get back into this series, but it all starts with one game. As Kevin said yesterday, one shift at a time. If you win each shift, you’ll win the game, and that should be the priority for the Rangers. The biggest news is that Brad Richards is a healthy scratch and Anton Stralman is out tonight with an undisclosed injury. Chris Kreider is also out. Replacing them are Kris Newbury, Micheal Haley, and Roman Hamrlik. If you thought the fourth line wasn’t playing before, just wait til it has Haley and Newbury in the playoffs.
Game 3 goal breakdown
Game 2 goal breakdown
Positives/negatives of Game 1
5 keys for success for the Rangers
Rangers/Bruins second round preview
Five keys for success against the Bruins
Scouting Tuukka Rask and his goaltending style
Previewing the Bruins and their systems/styles of play
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This video is pretty cool, and thought it was worth sharing. It’s the sounds of Round One, which includes some nice little taunts from the players.
During Tuesday night’s game, I noticed the Bruins were finding an easy way to exploit the Rangers aggressive 2-1-2 forecheck early in the first period. The Rangers just seemed a step behind making contact with the puck carrier. While I always prefer a 2-1-2 forecheck and I am glad it is the system Torts has installed, I couldn’t help but think an adjustment needed to be made. Generally speaking, when guys are a step behind, the 2-1-2 becomes very, very risky.
Anyway, so the Bruins were putting on a clinic, creating three quality scoring chances before the game hit the 10 minute mark. I started to think to myself, “Come on Torts, make the adjustment. Drop the third guy back.”
And what does Tortorella do? He makes the adjustment.
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Per Andrew Gross, Brad Richards will be a healthy scratch tonight. Richards was on the ice with the extra skaters following today’s optional skate. For those saying players are never held accountable, here’s your proof that they ARE held accountable.
Not going anywhere. (JOHN TLUMACKI/GLOBE STAFF)
Chris isn’t available to do the musings today, so you’re stuck with me today. Today is game day, although I sense that many have a feeling of dread today. With the Rangers down 3-0, it’s understandable. Winning this series is unlikely, but it has been done before against these Bruins. That was in 2010 when the Flyers came back from down 3-0 to win the series, but many of the Bruins on that team are still on the current team. It’s not impossible.
Of the players still on the roster: Patrice Bergeron, Johnny Boychuk, Zdeno Chara, Andrew Ference, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Adam McQuaid, Daniel Paille, Tuukka Rask, Dennis Seidenberg, Shawn Thornton. That’s 11 skaters, although Krejci was injured for the last four games of that series in 2010.
Of course, the Rangers will need to get some sort of steady defense –difficult without Anton Stralman or Marc Staal– and some sort of consistent offense. The Rangers need to put Henrik Lundqvist in a position to win, which they haven’t done yet this series. If Hank gives up two goals, the Rangers can’t win. That seems to be the case, and it really shouldn’t be. Hank’s been fantastic –aside from Game Two– and you sort of feel for the guy.
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