Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers - Game Four

Penguins 4, Rangers 2

The New York Rangers lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins by the score of 4-2 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, tonight. The Penguins lead the series 3-1. For a box score, so to Yahoo! Sports.

…i’m throwing up my hands. I have no idea. No idea how a professional sporting team can come out with that kind of effort in a must win game. Zero urgency. Zero desperation. Zero balls. The Flyers must be sitting home wondering how the hell they lost to this sad sack of a Rangers team.

…it absolutely kills me to say this, but, despite yet another pre-season effort by the Rangers, I think it’s time to admit that the Penguins are just the superior team who have big time players who step up in big time games. Which is the complete antithesis of the Rangers whose big time players piss down their leg. If you can even classify them as big time players anymore.

…judging by the fans response to Nash tonight, his performance lack of performance in the playoffs may have done irreparable damage with Blueshirt Nation. At least in the Flyers series he was creating offense and drawing penalties. Against the Penguins, he’s pointless, hasn’t drawn a single penalty and is now costing the Rangers goals. If he can’t spark a miracle comeback in this series to extend their season, we could be looking at the MSG crowd once again chanting “We don’t want you” in the direction of Rick Nash.

…on a related note, I have to assume at this point the Rangers jersey is like Kryptonite to star players. In 62 games with Tampa this season, St. Louis had 29 goals. In 30 games since being traded to the Rangers…three. And tonight may have been the worst performance of his Hall of Fame career.

…you know why the Ducks in 2007, Bruins in 2011 and Kings in 2012 were able to win the Cup despite having power play goalless streaks of 30+ opportunities? Because they were good teams, who were able to overcome that kind of adversity. The Rangers? Not so much. It’s been so bad on the power play in this series they’d be in better position if they would have declined them all.

…25 turnovers and just 15 shots on goal. That’s pretty much all you need to know about tonight’s game or where the Rangers were mentally.

…it’s one thing to be faked out of your jock by Sidney Crosby, but when Lee Stempniak does it, you know somethings not right with McDonagh…

mcdstempniak

…although, his lack of a back check on the Sutter short-handed goal as well as the Malkin blow by behind the net in the third period could have told you that as well.

…a loss in Game 5 would make the hire of AV a sideways move as Torts likes to call it. The Rangers head man has to take the brunt of the criticism for not having his team ready to play tonight. 

…Stepan’s performance this postseason will likely help fill Paul Statsny’s bank account with large amounts of MSG cash this offseason.

…which will be made possible by the all but certain amnesty of Richards. Wonder if the Rangers might think about sitting him in Game 5 to make sure he doesn’t become ineligible for a buyout if injured.

…damn it’s fun watching Kreider fly all over the ice. Got to figure if he was healthy, the Rangers might have been able to dispatch of the Flyers earlier. Then who knows what kind of impact that might have had on this series.

…on a night in which the great Marek Malik retired, it was fitting that Marc Staal paid tribute to him with a spot on imitation of how he used to play defense.

…so Hank what did you think of your team’s performance tonight?…

hankstickslam

…two huge moments in the game were the Penguin shifts immediately after the Rangers two goals. That’s how a team’s supposed to respond to adversity. Destroyed any and all momentum. 

…who knows, maybe Fleury implodes and the Rangers can bring this series back to New York for a Game 6, but seeing the gap in skill level between the two teams tonight, I don’t see it happening. Especially when the Blueshirts give me no reason to believe that they’d be able to neutralize that disparity by outworking the Penguins.  

Highlights…

Post game talk…

Kevin

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