It was 2-0 nothing Bruins. The Rangers had no life, no heart and no passion. And then Tuukka Rask pretty much single handedly gave the Rangers a spark that Blueshirt fans have been begging for all series...
Here's Rask on what happened (via Daily News)...
“I just took a step to the side and what I think there was probably a skate mark or something and my skate dug in it. That’s what it felt like. I lost my balance and the rest is history. It happens to me twice a year in practice, maybe. . . . Just a tough, tough mistake. It looks pretty bad on TV, I bet.”
...i never want to hear a Rangers fan complain about the ice at MSG ever again.
Here's Henrik Lundqvist on the importance of the goal (via ESPN.com)...
“We gained a lot of energy and confidence after that. And the game changed. It really did.”
...more baffling than the actual tumble, was Rask inexplicably pulling his goal stick away from the puck to try and stab at it with the blade instead of just calmly laying the shaft of the stick down and easily blocking the puck from going over the goal line.
...if the Rangers somehow come back and win this series, this goal will be revered as the turning point of the series as the Rangers were dead in the water until this gaffe.
...the win obviously masks what was another inexcusably lackluster start for the Rangers, so I have to question how this team can, again, come out so flat in a do or die game. Let's hope this win inspires them to great things moving forward.
I'll take the goal (kiitos, Tuukka!), but I did feel badly for Rask on that one. That has to just rip a goalie's heart out to watch a puck just dribble right past you. Totally classy how he didn't make excuses for it, either (psst, Capitals: you could take a lesson here).
Rask is not great IMHO - it's amazing what a good solid team in front of you can do to make your goalie look good. Not to misunderstand, he comes up with some amazing saves and he's not a deficient goaltender either but he's exploitable if they make the 2nd half of last game's effort a consistent one
Luck is the just reward of the skillful, as the saying goes.Hags has done a lot of work this playoffs and it was due for him.Also what about Teemu Stepan's steal and goal.Brilliant.Nash's pass and Krieder's deflection/shot-awesome and perfect.Great game, and on to the next game.
Love Kreiders response when asked about being mishandled by Torts:
"Not something I'm worried about or thinking about right now,'' he said. "That's something I don't like to talk about. I think regardless of how people thought the season went for me, I learned a lot. I was surrounded by unbelievable players, unbelievable coaches and staff.''
To me it seemed like even after Rask let that puck go in we were still a bit slow and sluggish. The goal obviously gave us a boost but we still didn't look all that electrified. To me, it wasn't until that Step goal where everyone really got into it. Also, you have to give credit to Torts for switching up the lines a bit during the game, putting Hags Brassard Cally together as well as Nash Step Kreider. The lines brought a lot of energy and each pair looked solid as the game went on.
Looking aside from Rask making a funny, can we talk about the beautiful pass Brassard made to Hagelin to even get him in that position? I mean seriously...he just dropped it right to Hags. That's all I could say as that play happened before I realized Rask let the puck in. The guy continues to amaze me.
I've never seen a stranger goal, either. I'll enjoy the win for what it was, if for no other reason than one of our kids scored the winner, which is a great experience. I've watched all of the other series. If, by some miracle, the Rangers get past the Bruins (and they won't), there are other teams that will skate all over them. For reasons I just don't understand, this has been the season from Hockey Hell. I just hope the team can rebound next year.
I sit right above where the Rangers enter the locker room, so I have a bird's eye view of the players as they come on and off the ice, and I have to say that the boys looked completely defeated coming off after the first period - grim, eyes down, tight. I thought "no way are they going to win this game tonight." The crowd was moribund (which pissed me off. My son complained that I was yelling too much and too loud, but I was trying like hell to get something going in the stands!) Then I couldn't believe what happened right in front of me in the second period. Tuukka falls on his butt, and it felt like about an hour for that puck to go over the line. After that, wow, did things change. The crowd came to life, and so did the boys. As they came off between periods, there were some high fives with the fans, a few, if not smiles, at least more confidence on their faces, and determination in their eyes. After that, I thought, well, maybe we can win this game, or at least make it interesting. It was interesting, all right!
I agree with you, pulling the stick away was worse than the fall itself. The fall can be explained as bad ice, partially blocked shot, etc. But not leaving the stick down....crazy.
@greggray24 You may know I've had my beefs with Torts quite often. Haven't breathed a word all season on how he handled Kreider. His development of younger players has always been one of our coaches fortes and I thought he did a great job. He's turned him into a major leaguer from a minor leaguer in one shortened season. Can't ask for much more than that..