After dictating most of the play in the first period against Tampa last night, the Rangers held a 1-0 lead coming out of the first intermission and had to be feeling good about their chances of coming away with a victory.
But that all changed just 59 seconds into the frame, when Ryan Callahan was penalized for an apparent high stick on Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop…
However, upon further review, the infraction was actually caused when Tampa defenseman Eric Brewer lifted the Ranger captain's stick (via New York Post)…
“The play was dead so I’m not really holding my stick too tight, and even Brewer apologized and said it was him. It’s a tough one to take.”
Add in a Bishop dive that would have made Greg Louganis proud along with a referee who was obviously not paying attention and Callahan found himself guilty by association.
And as is always the case after a dreadful call, Victor Hedman tied the game for Tampa on the ensuing power play.
…i hate making excuses, but it's amazing how often the Rangers have been on the wrong end of a controversial call this season. From the three "distinct kicking motion" goal reviews to the numerous early whistles negating goals to a late whistle resulting in a tally against Talbot. The refereeing against the Blueshirts has been brutal this season.
…the best referees are never memorable, and unfortunately I'm noticing the guys in the zebra outfits way too often this season.
Even with the phantom penalty, the Rangers were still tied and had plenty of time to take the lead back. Right? Wrong. As just nine seconds after the Hedman goal, this happened…
According to Alain Vigneault after the game, the goal was a result of a set play that Tampa frequently uses, which he had warned the team about that morning (via New York Post)…
“It’s something that we talked about [Tuesday] morning and showed on video. They did the exact same play three shifts before, as a matter of fact.”
Immediately after the goal, MSG Network's John Giannone pointed out that it was the angriest he had seen Vigneault on the bench this season.
…i don't blame Vigneault for being irate. The coaching staff takes the time and effort to create a scouting report and apparently the players just ignore it.
…two steps forward, three steps back for Del Zotto. It's a lot easier to forgive physical errors, but not recognizing a set play that was covered that same day is unacceptable. Moore deserves some criticism on the play but Kucherov came from Del Zotto's side of the ice and deserves the majority of the blame.