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Canadiens 3, Rangers 1 (Habs 2-1)

The New York Rangers lost to the Montreal Canadiens by the score of 3-1 in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal match-up. Montreal leads the series 2-1. For a box score, click here.

3 Goats

1st Goat – Playoff games at MSG. (The Rangers have lost six straight playoff games at MSG while being out scored 21-4)

2nd Goat – MSG crowd (I’m sure the Rangers lackluster play was a big reason, but MSG crowd was in preseason form tonight).

3rd Goat – Preparation (I don’t care what anyone says, this team was not ready to play this game.)

Post Game Cocktail Recommendation

With every Rangers player not named Lundqvist being virtually invisible tonight, let’s go with an Invisible Man.

Photo of the Game

We can’t figure it out either, Chris.

Where’s The Passion?

How I expected the Rangers to start tonight’s game…

What we got…

The shock I felt watching the Rangers physicality the first two games is nothing compared to how flummoxed I am about their lack of passion tonight.

This is the playoffs!!!!! I’ve seen more intensity from my son’s t-ball team. It’s an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to compete for the Stanley Cup and the Rangers played with the urgency of a Sunday morning rec league team. Inexcusable.

Sadly, this game was very reminiscent of last year’s embarrassment against the Penguins. Gut check time for sure.

Hey Hanna…

The Rangers didn’t deserve any breaks tonight, however, with the Canadiens leading 1-0 in the third period, the refs missed this blatant penalty on Nash…

And of course, just seconds later, Shea Weber put the game out of reach…

After the goal, I was fully expecting Nash to pull one of these…

Missed Opportunities

When you’re unable to generate much offense, it’s imperative that you take advantage of the few chances that present themselves. Unfortunately, the Rangers missed two absolute tap-ins…

Mini Recap

How I felt after this one…

What the hell happened to all the bad blood and hatred we witnessed in the first two games? Tonight was down right peaceful. No post whistle scrums. No chippiness. Nothing. It was like the first two games didn’t happen and the two teams were feeling each other out for the first time.

For as awful as the Rangers were, the Canadiens didn’t play all that desperate either. While Lundqvist was forced to make some sparkling saves, somehow, despite the Rangers putrid play, I didn’t think Montreal necessarily dominated the game. I still feel the Canadiens are very beatable.

Before the series, I felt that the Rangers would be playing right into Montreal’s hands by attempting to bang bodies with them. And while the Blueshirts proved me wrong for the first five periods of this series, I wonder if it’s finally catching up to this team as their play has been lackluster for the last four periods plus overtime. Might be time to add some more offense by inserting Buchnevich and possibly Clendending.

Anyone in front of Carey Price yet? Let me check. Nope.

Undisciplined penalty from Zuccarello who was otherwise uncharacteristically quiet tonight. I wonder if Gallagher is getting Zucc off his game.

I thought only Holden gave the puck away. I guess that’s a team wide thing.

Stepan, Zibanejad, Hayes and Lindberg have combined for just 3 points (all assists) so far this series. So much for the Rangers having the advantage up the middle.

Lundqvist staring at his teammates in the locker room postgame…

This power play is close to entering Mike Sullivan territory.

I’m not sure if it’s Vigneault or the players, but when Claude Julien made the proper adjustments to clog the neutral zone, the Rangers didn’t counter. Very rarely did they get the puck deep. And when they did, it wasn’t with much purpose.

While Zibanejad continues to look lost, Derick Brassard continues to score clutch playoff goals…

17.3 seconds from a 2-0 series lead to now down 2-1.

Still plenty of time to retake control of this series, but they need to find their game and find it quick.

Remember to follow me on TwitterFacebook & Instagram or e-mail me at nyrfan94@yahoo.com.

34 thoughts on “Canadiens 3, Rangers 1 (Habs 2-1)

  1. As for the lack of chippiness, I think Montreal was aware of our sleepwalking ways at the Garden and thought “why be physical and wake them up?” Hard to believe, but we would be better off with all 7 in Canada.
    We are squandering a great effort by Hank.

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  2. I don’t think the complete absence of passion and will to compete is emphasised enough. A class action against the Rangers/MSG for criminal deception would be in order. I mean, they did advertise this as a Stanley Cup play off game……
    Absolutely unforgiving team effort. Do not understand how at this level, this can happen. I really don’t get it. Any bonus received by the players for making the playoffs should be forfeited and given to charity. Including some of us fans that now suffers from post regular season depression syndrome (PRSDS).
    A meldtown is a meltdown but this is worse…..

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  3. Watching the game last night and total lack of passion and production from the Rangers has me thinking that the only way Rangers will win the cup again is if they have one of top 3 elite league centers. When i see how crosby Malkin, Mcdavid play it makes me wanna cry that we have Stepan and Zib. They were totaly lost this entire series. No mr.clutch on this team.
    Series are still open but if they don’t start playing better it will be over too quickly

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  4. Now that the heroin has worn off… and I’m off the phone with the Suicide Prevention Hotline let me add my 2 cents. Firstly as usual Kevin we saw much the same things.. especially that part about the Canadians being beatable tonight but from the opening faceoff you could just tell we didn’t have it. If not for the play of Lindqvist this wouldn’t even have been a hockey game. We did not even look like a professional team much less a playoff team.

    I could write so much but in the interest of time let me just address a couple key points IMO. Firstly after last game I said we either win or lose this series in the neutral zone. Tonight we lost. Secondly and stupidly on the coaching staff physical play is how you work around the nets, not how many hits your team has. Yes a lot of body checking can wear a team down but there is an art to it and it shouldn’t be done indiscriminate. Take the hit when it’s there and pound anything, especially a D man (preferably named Shea.. thanks Tanner) behind the opposing goal line retreats my a dump in. When you hit indiscriminately just for the sake of saying “see, we can play rough too” you often take yourself out of position and wind up with one less forechecker, or lose an odd man rush opportunity, which is important to note being that we had neither tonight. Then you cease to play as a unit of 5 or “close the gap” which against this team is a must, and you wind uo puttng extra miles on your wheels. The Habs are looking like the better team simply because they’re not wasting motion and playing simple direct hard hitting hockey and battling their way into the trenches while we scramble to get back into position and on the offense missing players who could be rushing the net. . I guarantee every Ranger player has logged at least a half mile more skating distance than the Canadians and what happens! By game 3 we look slow. Passes don’t click. Mental errors, turnovers etc. we had no passion because we were dog tired! I’ts not rocket science. A coaches job is to get the most out of his players and when you break formation just to get in a few extra hits you wind up working hard, not smart. The difference between these 2 teams is that they’re better coached than we are IMO. That is all. The good news is that since we didn’t break a sweat, and not a single fan will have a hoarse voice tomorrow we should have our legs back for game 4. There is no need to point my fingers. They all sucked tonight ( except maybe Brady). Since I do believe in momentum swings getting that last goal could be a good catalyst for Tuesday. I wonder when AV will pair McD and Skjei? Klein had 4 turnovers and barely through his weight around. So much for that idea. G had 3 turnovers. In the 1st period our team had 10 and they had 1. Control the neutral zone. Don’t go out of your way to hit someone and break formation (unless your name is Tanner) and our speed, skill and transition, which is superior will give us the best chance to win the series. Anyway I’ll look forward to reading all the reactionary Rangers suck comments tomorrow… oh, and happy Ester/Passover everyone

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  5. Henrik Lundqvist was once again and will always be the Rangers best player when he is uniform. Can’t help but to feel bad for the man.

    When your fourth line is your best line for the THIRD GAME IN A ROW you have serious problems.

    If AV is thinking about installing Buchnevich in the lineup it should NOT be at the expense of Tanner Glass. Glass has played fine. He hasn’t been the issue.

    I suppose we’ll see Steven Kampfer or Holden comes back on Tuesday. Klein started off bad, got better, then got bad again.

    Overall last night wasn’t on the defense in my opinion. The offense did nothing whatsoever.

    MSG was pretty loud during the anthem and at puck drop. Then the Rangers started playing and gave the crowd nothing to cheer about. Two quick icings early in the game and I heard grumbles.

    And for us out of the NY market both the color commentator Ray Ferraro and Jeremy Roenick of NBCSN just absolutely, and deservedly so, lambasted the Rangers effort last night.

    Time to responfd boys. If you have it in you anyway.

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  6. First let me own up to calling out Hank all season long and expecting more of the same. He has been the only player to show up for 60 mins a night.

    Other than that, pleasant surprises continue to be Vesey and Girardi. Lindberg has been playing back to the form he showed in his rookie season.

    I thought that playing physical would be an issue down the road and it’s rearing its head now in just the third game. You can’t be a speed and finesse team all season and then think you can flip a switch and be a team of bone grinders. Whereas it’s nice to see Skjei reach down and find his jewels finally, we are not served by him taking himself out of position to deliver a crunching hit. McD actually looks lost half of the time. Klein took a while to get up to game speed, but I’d put him back in Tues night.

    Didn’t we have the most explosive group of wingers at one time this season? Where’d they go?

    Beuller? Beuller?

    I posed the question on Twitter regarding Girardi perhaps playing himself out of a buyout … sure his play is better right now, but he’s still not playing anywhere near the value of his cap hit. $5M+ for a third line dman is not a value based decision. The defense continues to be an issue and it still desperately needs to be attended to in the off-season.

    As for the crowd, I dunno, I can’t hang folks for being silent while the team is playing with no sense of urgency until the final 4 minutes of the game. It’s one thing if they’re flying all over the ice and taking shots left and right and simply being denied by Price standing on his head. It’s another thing to suit up and basically have an f-ing ice capades practice. The Junior Rangers could have put up more of a fight.

    Someone explain to me how the hell this team can play so well on the road and so … pathetic at home. It’s not simply bad games, they’re allowed a handful in the course of the season. It’s the lack of passion and drive. Their captains are shit, let’s be honest. McD does not have their rapt attention. Stepan isn’t even the best center on the team, how the hell is he a captain? Girardi and Staal have been the worst defensemen for the past two seasons more often than not, how is the rest of the team supposed to react to that? The littlest guy on the team is the one most likely to lose his shit in a timely manner or jump to the defense of anyone else on the team. Kreider, Kreider, wherefore are thou Chris Kreider? Run Price already and move on. It was YEARS ago and you were tripped. Stop playing like a 220 pound bitch.

    I said it last year, there’s no one on this team that can get them fired up, they have no mental endurance. Great in spurts, but nothing sustainable. That is as much their fault as “professional” athletes, but part of that lands on the coaching staff as well. It absolutely blew my mind that they extended Vineault mid-season.

    It’s a miracle my tv has survived this long.

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  7. team still looked stung from 17 .9 sec goal & OT loser ….Fri
    up the middle is our weak spot .. Zbad ? Step? Hayes ? OMG couldnt get Radulov
    off puck for 3rd?
    Not out of it in no way …must counter with adjustmensts in lineup
    liked Klein for Holden no time for feelings … not playing good enough ..sit

    tues line up Step zuccc krieds
    Zbad J T Nash
    Oscar Grabs Fast
    hayes vesey buchny
    Attitude is going to have to change ..
    Must get our forecheck on track …..chance must be made
    Krieds 1st period ..slids off stick ?

    2-1 we gottem right where we want em …..
    no time for tears ..get back to HARD work & keep the bang parade
    results are right around the corner ..L G R

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  8. Once again, AV is outcoached by competition. Let’s see Tampa Bay game 5 and 7 two years ago(shut outs at home), last year Pittsburgh, this year. AV makes NO ADJUSTMENTS. Power play is all about coaching & system. We have plenty of offensive talent yet cannot enter zone or do anything but shoot from the point. Does not work. There will be no changes except this AV clown trying to take a speed team and make them play like the LA Kings. What kind of team are we???? It makes no sense. BTW don’t tell me the playoffs are all about physical. Penguins just skated rings around us/everyone else last year.

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    1. “BTW don’t tell me the playoffs are all about physical. Penguins just skated rings around us/everyone else last year.”

      Exactly, a physical team can’t hit you if you’re not there. Power is not the counter to power, speed and precision are.

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      1. Just saw that we lead all teams in “hits” for the playoffs. Great!! That’s are game….NOT!!!
        We are exhausted due to this change in how we play. Absolute stupidity.

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  9. What happened to that fast, fun, exciting, dynamic offense? It’s like they ceased to exist once the second half of the season rolled around. And I get that the opposing teams up their defensive play for the post season (well at least teams not named Rangers), but honestly to not be able to generate anything other than the occasional clear sighted wrist shot against Price for nearly 5 periods now is mind blowing. I’m not nearly as surprised by our defensive ineptitude since that has been on display for the past 2 years. The only bright spot is Hank who has certainly redeemed himself from daring to have an average regular season for the first time in 12 years. Well the 4th line is a bright spot too. Despite all this I refuse to give up hope so LGR!!!!

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  10. I’ve been saying for years forget winning the cup with AV as your coach and your supposed best players being Stepan and Nash. This just isn’t a winning combination. At least Nash is getting older and shows good effort at times. Stepan is nothing but a low level #2 center. Trading Brass our most clutch player was complete stupidity as Zbad looks totally lost out there. With all that said Hank keeps them in virtually every game and gets abused after the losses the last few years for the lack of offense and defense that is played in front of him. Its his fault that he earned a big contract for producing. It’s incredible that we could be up 2-1 with this cast of emotionless characters playing for our team. Thank You Hank for allowing me to have a good routing interest all these years in spite of the crap they surround you with.

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    1. I don’t get the logic of trading away your best playoff performer. By the numbers Step looks pretty good. Someone would have taken the bate and he makes more money.. I though Zibanijad was going to be a nice addition early in the year but he’s been dead weight since. Just like our GM before this one appears to think with dry numbers ignoring the intangibles of character. But anyway AV’s facial features reminds me of someone with Down’s Syndrome. Let’s see what adjustments he makes.. or not. We should be able to best these guys

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      1. Zib played best centering Buch and Kreider. Pure coincidence that Kreider also played better on the line as well … as did Buch. They were arguably one of the top lines in the NHL, then Kredier gets injured and they’ve never been put back together for more than a handful of shifts since then.

        Zib – Kredier/Buch
        Step – Nash/Zucc
        Hayes – Vesey/Miller
        Lindberg – Fast/Grabner

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      2. Totally agree. If this coach had any imagination he’d reunite that line for this game. What does he have to lose? It’s not as if any other combo has worked in this series

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  11. Game 4.
    Kreider – 6 hits in the first 10 min
    Girardi 5
    Glass 8
    Not to try to pound the Habs into submission but to get something going.
    After that, the team is on fire and have 3 shots on goal after 45 min play….. ok, maybe it does ignite something.

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  12. I’d say that the biggest problem is how the rangers are built. We’re a small and fast team. Think about all of the commentary we got in the preseason “nash is slimmer, hayes lost 15 lbs” we’re slimmer, which means are faster and have less muscle. Muscles that we use for being able to take hits. I don’t care what the stat sheets say, we’ve gotten hit a lot harder over two games than we would playing many other teams. We just can’t take it. The way we won game 1 was getting hit and playing through it. We just kept playing our game, getting sticks in the way, and stopping passes, but we can’t keep that up after the abuse we’ve gotten through three games. It’s unsustainable. We’ve been hitting back more, but it isn’t going to help. We’re out-muscled playing a team that’s designed to SLOW TEAMS DOWN by out-muscling them. We’re a good team, but paper loses to rock when the rock is sitting on top of the paper.

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    1. I think we’re laying down some pretty punishing hits as well. I think the problem is more about us trying to hit too much, wasting steps, then not getting in on forecheck because we’ve over extended on attempted checks while they keep the gap close, take only those hits that are there and not wAsting energy. So we wind up being gassed against a bigger team and as each game progresses they get more and more traffic in front of Hank as we get less and less in front of Price. We still need to stand guys up and pound D men on the dump ins but not break formation to go out of the way to pound bodies. Just work the neutral zone, play the game we’re built for and go to work and we can still beat them.

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      1. I’d say some of the rangers are hitting, like kreider, some of the D, and glass. I’d agree that we are doing it too much. Agree with the rest too. Hopefully the boys review the tape and AV can adjust.

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  13. What the actual f*** is going on in the other blogs with people calling for Antti to start the next game? Is this some sort of absurdist nihilist joke that I’m just not getting? Kevin, I’m relying on you to make sense of it for me because I’m literally at a loss (heading to the liquor cabinet as I type…).

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  14. I don’t believe the hitting has much to do with us being worn out. Three years ago we played twenty-something playoff games and were still kicking against L.A. This year, two battles and a pillow fight. We played Sunday in the Garden like we always play Sunday in the Garden. We weren’t worn out, we didn’t compete. We need some leaders to step up and to get some pucks to the net with a net-front presence. It’s the playoffs!

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    1. I agree that it’s not wearing them down, but I just don’t think they’re built to play that brand of hockey and it’s taking them off their game.

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    2. I wouldn’t say the hitting alone is wearing them down, it’s more the extra steps involved in forcing hits that aren’t there and scrambling to get back into the play. When playing a bigger more physical team economy of motion is important. Just play your game, stand guys up and take the hard hit when it’s there. In game 3 we were clearly slower and not executing compared to games 1&2. I don’t think it was lack of effort. Everyone in the playoffs is trying as best they can. It looked to me more of a matter of exhaustion from trying too hard in games 1&2 to be too physical but I think after the lackluster game 3 they’re more rested and they just have to go out there, play as a unit of 5, win the neutral zone and play simple direct hockey now.

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