Truthfully, the Caps were the fresher team and that's part of why they cameback to pull out a hard fought 3-2 overtime win over the Rangers earlier today in the nation's capital.
However, this was another one of those games the Blueshirts should've gotten two points in instead of the annoying brownie point. How many times can they outshoot opponents and not cash in on power plays? In case you're wondering, they took a collar finishing a deadful 0-for-6 on the man-advantage. Why not just decline it? That would make it easier for fans to watch.
Just how costly was it? In a game they controlled outshooting the Caps 33-24, their damn PP was the difference because the opportunistic Caps managed to go 2-for-3 including lethal defenseman Mike Green's OT winner just 23 seconds into the extra session.
To be quite frank, the Blueshirts have only one PP unit now. That would be the more North American one featuring leading scorer Scott Gomez, the sizzling Chris Drury (sixth goal in last seven) along with Nigel Dawes and defensemen Fedor Tyutin and Daniel Girardi.
The Euro-overpassing unit featuring non-leader Jaromir Jagr, Michal Rozsival, Martin Straka, Petr Prucha and Brandon Dubinsky was just brutal wasting precious seconds. It was pretty easy for the Caps to kill off time when clueless coach Tom Renney stuck them out there. Why bother making a change? Right.
And is it his novel concept to stick stonehands fourth liners Blair Betts, Ryan Hollweg and Colton Orr near the end of the PP? Geez. This team is run so ass backwards, it's no wonder they're treading water just trying to stay afloat and make a third consecutive postseason while lesser opponents such as the Caps and Bruins continue to work harder and netting impressive results.
If they do make the cut, it's only going to because the East sucks. Mediocrity is what Gary Bettman wanted and he sure is getting it. Call me a traditionalist but I'd prefer getting no points for losing in OT.
Why reward a loser? For the same exact reasons these brainwashed stripes waved off a perfectly legit tying goal by Wings' defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom with under a minute left in a whale of a game on NBC between the NHL's best and the Ducks.
Such is the nature of the rules. If you caught the couple of Ranger games this weekend, then you know exactly what I'm referring to. The soft calls which have no business being in the game. It's gotten stupid.
I'm embarrassed to be a fan of this sport. That's how much they've dumbed it down. It doesn't help that my team continues to underachieve with Jagr managing no points in the last seven games. How is that possible?!?!?!?!?! I got into a heated argument with some fans earlier this season about what No.68 has become. They didn't want to believe it and labeled me a "non-Ranger fan." LMAO...who's laughing now?
Sadly, no one is these days. Nobody feels sorry for this heartless team. I see Drury and Gomez putting a heck of a lot better effort in than Jagr or Rozsival, who suddenly is making me long for Marek Malik back in the lineup. Dawes and Dubinsky always put a good effort in and Ryan Callahan looks all the way back finally.
Is it the coach? Do they need a tougher one? There's only 23 games remaining. Less than anyone else. The next one isn't till the following Saturday which means teams are going to finally make up ground on our team who could be out of playoff position when they take to the ice again.
I haven't really said much about the game which they didn't play badly in. Problem was Alexander Ovechkin played for the opponent and once again impacted the game, factoring in on every Caps' goal. His hard work setup the tying Boyd Gordon marker with 15 seconds left in the second. AO also notched the primary assist on Green's 15th- a blast which unfortunately went off Marc Staal past a valiant Steven Valiquette, who in his second straight start finished with 21 saves.
Problem was Olie Kolzig was better garnering first star with 31 stops including highway robbery on Sean Avery, sliding across to rob the Rangers' first goalscorer of a sure second one in the third.
Congrats go out to Olie The Goalie for becoming only the eighth netminder to play in 800 career games. He certainly came up large in lifting his team back into first in the topsy turvy Southeast.
Props again to Lenny for providing some excellent coverage the past couple of days. All your hard work is very appreciated. I only wish our team could work just as hard and consistently as you do.