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Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington

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Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington

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256Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington - Page 18 Empty Re: Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington on Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:09 am

Cap'n Clutch


Co-Founder
Co-Founder
As poorly as the Rags have played over long stretches it just goes to show how important a star goalie really is.

257Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington - Page 18 Empty Re: Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington on Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:23 pm

PTFlea


Co-Founder
Co-Founder
Ovechkin played 29 minutes. :****:

258Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington - Page 18 Empty Re: Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington on Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:28 pm

PKC


All-Star
All-Star
Lundqvist has been otherworldly.

259Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington - Page 18 Empty Re: Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington on Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:29 pm

Cap'n Clutch

Cap'n Clutch
Co-Founder
Co-Founder
Anyone else saying a little prayer that Leclaire can be a game and series difference maker like King Henrik?


_________________
"A child with Autism is not ignoring you, they are waiting for you to enter their world."

- Unknown Author

260Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington - Page 18 Empty Re: Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington on Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:01 pm

davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star
Lundqvist and Luongo...the two goalies who have been absolute thieves in the playoffs so far.

With the series now 3-1 Rangers, the Caps are going home knowing home ice hasn't been an advantage.

IMHO chances are they'll rally to win that one...but maybe not.

261Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington - Page 18 Empty Re: Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington on Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:05 pm

SensFan71


All-Star
All-Star
Cap'n Clutch wrote:Anyone else saying a little prayer that Leclaire can be a game and series difference maker like King Henrik?

well I am not sure if we should put that unfair assumption on him already, he is going to be solid yes, but to expect him to be a game breaker right out of the gate is asking a bit much methinks. I rather make sure the team remains or gets accountable in their own end (whatever the case may be)

262Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington - Page 18 Empty Re: Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington on Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:49 am

davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
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The view from The Big Apple, from the inimitable Stan 'The Maven' Fischler:

Rangers: Three Down; One to Go

A no-V (as in victory) for Ovie

Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington - Page 18 Fischler_46x46 Posted on Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at 11:15 PM
by:
Stan Fischler GAME ON!

Alex Ovechkin's goal stick finally came out of hiding.
But the rest of his Capitals buddies had better open their eyes — and goal sticks — by Friday night or else Bruce Boudreau's team will find its path to the Stanley Cup has turned into The Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

The Capitals get one more chance to stay alive on Friday night in the Nation's Capital but their chances of revival have turned from slim to skinnier thanks to Henny Lundqvist and his Merry Band of Upsetters.

This was quite evident on Wednesday night at a tumultuous Garden once early goals by Paul Mara and Chris Drury had assigned Lundqvist the job of damming up Washington offense. Apart from Ovie's early third period goal he did his job in spades.

"It was a very big battle," says the somewhat embattled goaltender. "The penalty-killers came up big for us. My defense did a good job taking care of the middle. Right now it's very important and we have to come out just as hard on Friday."

Lundqvist further enhanced his playoff reputation with no less than 19 middle period saves that essentially cemented the win, although the visitors persisted throughout the final segment.

From goaltending to defense, the Rangers turned Washington's offense to a near-washout while the Blueshirts penalty-killers — Blair Betts in particular — were nonpareil against a heretofore mighty power play.

A late — and foolish — third period penalty by Sean Avery could have ruined the party but the PK nullified Washington's PP sending the Capitals home shorn of a game plan that would top John Tortorella's suddenly Cinderellas.

Although he didn't score, Brandon Dubinsky played a solid, all-ends game and assisted on Paul Mara's first goal.

"Guys stepped up and won the battles," says Dubie. "We tried to take care of the puck and keep all the shots to the side."

Naturally nobody on the New York side would dare suggest that the series is over, but what other conclusion can a rational observer make if neither Nik Backstrom, Alex Semin nor Mike Green could dent the Rangers net?

Green, who entered the first round as a favorite to win the Norris Trophy — on his offense not defense — has looked as ordinary as a third-stringer.

Simeon Varlamov, Washington's rookie goalie, had put fear in the hearts of Rangers fans after shutting out the Blueshirts in Game Three but he betrayed his inexperienced on Chris Drury's winning goal by misplaying a soft shot by the captain who seconds later converted the rebound. The Caps doom was thereby sealed.

"The Caps came real hard at the end," says Drury, "but we did enough to get the win. We need to play Game Five like we're down three-to-one in the series."

Of course, we'll hear the usual platitudes about a series not being over until it's over but Washington's sextet simply has run out of solutions to the Rangers persistent play in moments when heads-up hockey is most needed.

One could conjecture whether Tortorella has out-coached Bruce Boudreau and the only conclusion, based on the three-games-to-one Ranger advantage, that the answer is affirmative.

The Washington coach could not sufficiently free his sharpshooters while Torts' defenders — forwards as well as D-men — deflected enough deadly shots, leaving Henny to take care of the rest of the rubbish.

Is it to soon to celebrate? Of course. But, unless Backstrom, Kozlov, Semin, et. al. quickly stop auditioning for Rip Van Winkle, the horns can be taken out of storage.

"Our penalty-killing was fantastic," sums up Tortorella. "Dubinsky and Callahan have played real well for the entire series defensively and offensively. We have a very good goalie and he has to continue to be very good.

"It was very important to get off to a good start and we did that. It took us the whole sixty minutes to win."

A victory in Capsville also would provide the Blueshirts with some much-needed breathing room before opening the second round; unless Ovechkin rapidly invents a hat trick stick.

But the way Lundqvist is playing goal these nights, that would be SOME kind of trick!

263Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington - Page 18 Empty Re: Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington on Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:58 am

SeawaySensFan

SeawaySensFan
Franchise Player
Franchise Player
Cap'n Clutch wrote:Anyone else saying a little prayer that Leclaire can be a game and series difference maker like King Henrik?

I'd sooner ask the Big Guy to make sure His team has everyone pulling in the same direction and making a consistent effort so Leclaire doesn't have to be a difference maker.

264Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington - Page 18 Empty Re: Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington on Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:26 am

davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star
SeawaySensFan wrote:
Cap'n Clutch wrote:Anyone else saying a little prayer that Leclaire can be a game and series difference maker like King Henrik?

I'd sooner ask the Big Guy to make sure His team has everyone pulling in the same direction and making a consistent effort so Leclaire doesn't have to be a difference maker.

What is Pascal Leclaire doing on a Rangers-Caps playoff thread?

:KJK:

265Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington - Page 18 Empty Re: Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington on Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:46 am

davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star
The view from Washington DC:

Last Chance for the Capitals
A Year After Nearly Coming Back From 3-1 Deficit, Same Difficult Task Looms

By Barry Svrluga, Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, April 24, 2009

After the few Washington Capitals who skated yesterday at the team's Arlington training complex came off the ice, they removed their sweaty pads to reveal red T-shirts that left little doubt about what they consider an acceptable outcome to this season. On the back is the silhouette of a man hoisting aloft a familiar oversized chalice, all stenciled underneath unambiguous words: "Our Goal Now."

That would be the broad picture, because the group that will assemble tonight at Verizon Center believes a Stanley Cup championship is a realistic possibility, considering the youth and talent of the team's core. But such wide-angle views aren't permissible at this moment, not while trailing the New York Rangers three games to one in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, not while facing goalie Henrik Lundqvist in tonight's win-or-be-done Game 5, not while a season filled with expectation and accomplishment could end.

"Desperation," is how forward Brooks Laich described the team's mind-set.

"We're one game away from elimination," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "So we have to play with a sense of urgency that we've never played with before."

A year ago, in the franchise's first playoff appearance since 2002-03, the Capitals faced exactly this same scenario, falling behind the Philadelphia Flyers by the same three-to-one margin. They hosted the fifth game at Verizon Center -- and won.

They traveled to Philadelphia, where they won Game 6. They hosted the seventh and deciding game, and lost -- but barely, after taking a penalty and allowing a power-play goal in overtime.

So the easy parallels are all there.

"We've been in this position before," defenseman Mike Green said.

But there are, too, significant differences between this year and last. Start, first, with the opponent. The Capitals have averaged 12.5 more shots per game than the Rangers. Twice in Wednesday's deflating 2-1 loss, Washington rang shots off the frame of the goal.

There is still the sense that, as star winger Alex Ovechkin said, "We lost three games, and I think we played good in those three games -- but one guy beats our team."

That guy, of course, would be Lundqvist, who has held the Capitals -- who scored the third-most goals in the NHL during the regular season -- to eight goals in four games, more than a goal-and-a-quarter less than their average during the regular season. When they faced this deficit a year ago against Philadelphia, the Capitals had to overcome more than just one player.

"Last year, I think we were playing against a team that it was more about their hockey team than about their goaltender," Laich said. "This year, I think their goaltender is really the star of their team. Last year, the Flyers were a big, physical strong team. And the Rangers, they're the same thing. But last year was more of a shootout."

Laich believes the Capitals didn't truly start playing their best brand of hockey in last year's series until they faced elimination. "We just almost played carefree," he said.

But that was when this team was the newcomer, the squad that roared into the playoffs with a final-month push that culminated with a Southeast Division championship, secured in the 82nd and final regular season game.

This year's team led the division comfortably by the holidays and was more frequently mentioned as a potential Eastern Conference champion than a first-round out. The dynamics are different.

"Coming off last season and falling short, I mean, there's big expectations this year for us to go on, with the season we had," said Green, who led all defensemen in goals and points during the regular season, but has just two assists and a minus-3 rating in the playoffs. "But in the playoffs, anything can happen."

Including overcoming a three-games-to-one deficit -- though it has happened just 20 times in 229 instances. Ovechkin, who scored his first goal of the series in Wednesday's third period, yesterday conducted an odd, unscientific poll to gauge how his team is viewed right now. He surfed the Capitals Internet message boards and found a level of distress among fans, one that accompanies teams that expect to play deep into May.

"They say, 'Okay, what's next?' " Ovechkin said. " 'What do we have to do? Trade him? Build new team?' It's kind of interesting situation."

These Capitals, though, won't be blown up, regardless of whether they lose tonight or force Game 6, which would be Sunday in New York. The team did not make any moves at the trade deadline this year because its core -- one that includes Ovechkin, Green, Laich, forwards Alexander Semin, Eric Fehr and Tomas Fleischman, goalie Simeon Varlamov and defensemen Milan Jurcina and Jeff Schultz, all 25 or younger -- could remain together for years to come. There are supposed to be chances beyond tonight, chances deeper in the playoffs.

But there's one other thing this group learned from last year's playoffs: Losing, even after coming back unexpectedly, isn't fun.

"We all know how it felt to lose that game in Game 7 last year," Green said. "We don't want to have that this year. It's such a long season and such a lot of hard work that it'd be a shame to have that happen."

Ovechkin, for one, all but refused to acknowledge it as a possibility. "We still have three games," he said defiantly.

He then assessed, for perhaps the final time this season, the men in the locker room around him. This year, unlike last, they are seasoned by a rollicking playoff series. Producing a run that doesn't duplicate that experience, but improves on it, is impossible without a win tonight.

"We don't give up," Ovechkin said. "This is our group of guys. They just fight for each other; it don't matter what. We play hard. . . . Right now, we're in a position: No mistakes, no excuses."

266Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington - Page 18 Empty Re: Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington on Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:56 pm

davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star

Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington - Page 18 NyrNY Rangers 0, Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington - Page 18 WasWashington 4


Final
New York leads series 3-2
7:00 PM ET, April 24, 2009
Verizon Center, Washington, DC

Rookie Varlamov posts second shutout of series as Capitals rout Rangers

WASHINGTON -- Thanks principally to Matt Bradley -- yes, Matt Bradley, not Alex Ovechkin or another of Washington's stars -- the Capitals get to keep playing this season.

Bradley scored his first two playoff goals, Ovechkin added a highlight-reel tally, rookie Simeon Varlamov posted his second shutout of the opening round, and the Capitals beat the New York Rangers 4-0 in Game 5 on Friday night to avoid elimination.

The seventh-seeded Rangers, who played without Sean Avery, lead the best-of-seven series 3-2 heading to Game 6 in New York on Sunday.

Alexander Semin also scored for No. 2 Washington, and the Rangers pulled goalie Henrik Lundqvist after two periods, replacing him with Steve Valiquette.

267Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington - Page 18 Empty Re: Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington on Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:43 pm

Sp00nz

Sp00nz
Rookie
Rookie
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AO1TuEp8eqI

Ahhhhh! This could easily be the most beautiful goal scored in the 08-09 playoffs.

268Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington - Page 18 Empty Re: Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington on Sat Apr 25, 2009 1:01 am

PKC

PKC
All-Star
All-Star
Sp00nz wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AO1TuEp8eqI

Ahhhhh! This could easily be the most beautiful goal scored in the 08-09 playoffs.

There is a ridiculous amount of talent required to pull that off...wow. That's all I can say.

269Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington - Page 18 Empty Re: Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington on Sat Apr 25, 2009 1:07 am

davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star
...unreal...jaw dropping...and Ovie NEVER quits.

"We don't give up," Ovechkin said. "This is our group of guys. They just fight for each other; it don't matter what. We play hard. . . . Right now, we're in a position: No mistakes, no excuses."

270Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington - Page 18 Empty Re: Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington on Sat Apr 25, 2009 3:16 am

PTFlea

PTFlea
Co-Founder
Co-Founder
Sp00nz wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AO1TuEp8eqI

Ahhhhh! This could easily be the most beautiful goal scored in the 08-09 playoffs.

If he hadn't done it a dozen or more times before, I'd say that was pure BS luck, but the diddler's done it so many times before, that's it's clearly not BS. Unreal. :KKK: Ahhhhh!

271Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington - Page 18 Empty Re: Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington on Sat Apr 25, 2009 7:35 am

asq2

asq2
All-Star
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Some great goals from Semin and Bradley as well in that game.

Caps got it done, but can they do it on the road, especially after so much undoubtedly went into this effort?

272Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington - Page 18 Empty Re: Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington on Sat Apr 25, 2009 7:54 am

davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
All-Star
asq2 wrote:Some great goals from Semin and Bradley as well in that game.

Caps got it done, but can they do it on the road, especially after so much undoubtedly went into this effort?

It all comes down to who wants it more.

273Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington - Page 18 Empty Re: Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington on Sun Apr 26, 2009 7:16 am

davetherave

davetherave
All-Star
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Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington - Page 18 WasWashington at Round One: NY Rangers @ Washington - Page 18 NyrNY Rangers

GAME SIX, STANLEY CUP EAST QUARTERFINAL
RANGERS LEAD SERIES 3-2

2:00 PM ET, April 26, 2009
Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

NBC/TSN

Capitals-Rangers Preview

NEW YORK (AP) -- A tossed bottle and a squirt of liquid by Rangers coach John Tortorella landed New York's bench boss in hot water and on the sidelines for Game 6 against the Washington Capitals.

Tortorella received a one-game ban from the NHL on Saturday night for squirting water into the crowd and then tossing the bottle over the glass at Washington during New York's 4-0 loss Friday night in Game 5 of the first-round playoff series.

The hard-edged coach who preaches discipline will sit out on Sunday when the Rangers try for a second time to eliminate the Capitals. New York took a 3-2 lead into Game 6 on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

"While it is a difficult decision to suspend a coach at this point in a playoff series, it has been made clear to all of our players, coaches and other bench personnel that the National Hockey League cannot -- and will not -- tolerate any physical contact with fans," league disciplinarian Colin Campbell said in a statement.

Tortorella declined to comment on the incident Saturday after practice but seemed to think he would be coaching on Sunday.

"As far as that situation, I've been asked not to comment on that by my boss," Tortorella said.

The Rangers voiced their displeasure in a brief statement issued by team spokesman John Rosasco.

"We disagree with the suspension and will have no further comment," the club said.

Assistant coach Jim Schoenfeld will likely lead the Rangers on Sunday and could be helped behind the bench by members of the Hartford Wolf Pack coaching staff. The Wolf Pack, the Rangers' top affiliate, were eliminated from the AHL playoffs Saturday.

At 6:33 of the third period, Tortorella got into a verbal confrontation with a fan behind the bench. A video replay showed the coach heaving a green water bottle into the crowd. Tortorella then grabbed forward Aaron Voros' stick and held it high, waving it in the fan's direction.

The replay didn't show whether anything was thrown at Tortorella, but he used a towel to wipe off his suit.

The timing was a bit ironic because Tortorella scratched noted pest Sean Avery from the Game 5 lineup Friday because of a lack of discipline. Avery took a pair of senseless penalties late in New York's 2-1 win on Wednesday that gave the Rangers a 3-1 series lead.

Now they have one shot on home ice to advance to the second round for the third straight year while the Capitals will be trying to force a Game 7 back in Washington on Tuesday.

Tortorella wouldn't say whether Avery would return to the lineup. The Rangers could certainly use his fire and energy, especially with a crowd that will be ready to celebrate a series victory.

"We have to take charge," goalie Henrik Lundqvist said. "The last home game, we played really well in the first and set the tone for the game. It's something we have to try to repeat. Try to enjoy it, but we definitely have to be focused and take care of business."

Lundqvist had a rare bad game on Friday, yielding four goals on 14 shots before sitting out the third period of the Game 5 blowout.

He has allowed four goals in each of Washington's wins in the series, but let in only four total in New York's three wins -- including a 1-0 road victory in Game 2.

"I feel a lot fresher today than I did after the last home game. That was an intense game," Lundqvist said Saturday. "I know what I have to do. I have to play my best. I know that. It's no secret. As a team we have to play our best if we want to beat this team. Washington is good."

Alex Ovechkin is starting to regain the scoring touch that led him to an NHL-best 56 goals during the regular season. He has scored in each of the past two games, including a highlight-reel tally Friday that gave the Capitals a 4-0 lead in the second period.

"We know we can score and we have to do it," Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom said. "Of course he's a good goalie, but we're a good team, too, and if we're going to beat him we're going to have to score. That's the key.

"We won, we survived another day. They're still up 3-2, but we're on our way back."

Tortorella said it will be the responsibility of the entire team to keep Ovechkin in check, especially because his line plays so much and stays on for extended shifts.

It is not a matter of just shutting down Ovechkin because the Capitals have other potent forwards such as Backstrom, Alexander Semin, and Sergei Fedorov.

Now Washington might also be feeling confident that Lundqvist's invincibility no longer exists.

"They shouldn't," Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky said. "Hank is the best in the world and will continue to be.

"It would be nice to hopefully get a couple (of goals) and alleviate some of the pressure. Regardless, we know he is going to bring his best game for us and we have to be prepared to do the same thing in front of him."

The Capitals have outscored the Rangers 12-7 and outshot them 170-119 -- leading Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau to compare Washington's statistical domination to the 1960 World Series when the New York Yankees outscored the Pittsburgh Pirates 55-27 but lost the series in seven games on Bill Mazeroski's home run.

"It's kind of weird," Backstrom said. "I don't know what to say, it's just weird."

The Capitals will have to weather an early rush from the Rangers on Sunday as New York tries to feed off the crowd and grab an early lead.

The Rangers failed to rise up to the intensity and passion the Capitals displayed in a desperate Game 5.

"No, I wouldn't say we matched it," Tortorella said. "Going in, you know that's going to be their best game of the series. ... I don't think we were lying down. We're a team that is still trying to get into our identity of our game."

But time is running out. The Rangers don't want to face elimination on enemy ice in Game 7.

"We're up 3-2 five games in and we have a home game," Tortorella said. "We're right where we want to be."

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