Dan Blackburn

Rangers v Capitals

Extreme Views by RangerExtreme

The Capitals beat the Rangers on Wednesday night in what could best be described from the Rangers viewpoint as a special teams nightmare. . The Capitals and Rangers both came into the game with record of 1-1-0 with the Capitals coming off a very uninspired effort which saw them get shutout against Boston in their last game before taking on the Rangers.

Washington went 4 for 8 on the powerplay and had over 20 shots while on the man advantage. The Rangers started Rookie goalie Dan Blackburn for the first time fueling speculation that the swelling that was hinted at early in the week to Mike Richter’s Knee maybe more serious then what was originally reported.

By the end of the first period the Rangers were down 3-0 mainly because of the three Consecutive powerplay goals the Rangers gave up. Blackburn looked shaky and Inept in the first period especially on 2 out of 3 of the PP tally’s. The Rangers rookie netminder did however shore up his game the rest of the way and only allowed 2 goals from that point on.

The Rangers cut the deficit to 3-2 and looked to be climbing back in it on goals by Zdeno Ciger (his first) and Radek Dvorak. However the Rangers didn’t mount any even strength offensive magic from that point on going scoreless in the third period and lost the game 5-2

The Positives:

Hmm. Think Mcfly think.. The Czechs looked good again. If they could get Petr Nedved to convert one of these days on his myriad of quality scoring chances that line could emerge. That line combination in particular by far has been the most creative forward line through the first 3 games.

Radek Dvorak continues to impress with his speed and scoring. Blackburn didn’t fold up the tents after a disastrous 1st period. Malhotra crashed the net that led to Devo’s second goal of the season. Dale Purinton stuck up for teammate Mike York and pummeled Capital Stephen Peat no questions asked.

The Negatives:

Rangers didn’t have a shot on goal for the first 11 minutes of the game. The defense looked horrific. The Rangers couldn’t clear their front of the net. Steve Konowalchuk who is no giant had his way with every Ranger Defenseman in front of Blackburns crease. Fleury goal less streak continued to 3 games.

Every defensive pairing played and is playing with no cohesion or sense of teamwork. Rangers cannot simply score only 2 goals in a NHL contest and expect to win EVER. Rangers went 2 out of 3 periods without a goal.

Player Summaries:

Blackburn-Although defensively abandoned most of the game he gave up two awful goals in the first period. The first goal by Sergei Gonchar was slow and stoppable. The 3rd goal also by Gonchar was a positional mistake with him also failing to stick out his right pad to stop the puck. However Blackburn recovered his composure after letting 3 in the first period and didn’t let his confidence implode.

Messier-Took two penalties. Played with a mean streak for third game in a row. Got an assist

Dvorak – Devo buried a shot while Malhotra was on top of Olaf Kolzig for the Rangers Second goal. Easily the Rangers best forward.

Malhotra – Crashed net and was main reason Devo scored. Had a hit dislodge puck along boards in second period. Needs to still hit more often.

Ciger – Scored goal had his best game as a Ranger. Was a success story just because he finally converted for the first time this year.

Grosek – Played well. Had some chances and made some nice passes. Notched an assist

Nedved – Blew every quality chance he got to finish.

Lindros – Hit the post on a great quick release in first period. Other than that was invisible

Fleury – Didn’t get a goal. Didn’t impact the game much. Not a good performance

Johansson – Had playing time cut a bit because of all the special teams play. Showed Little of the tenacity he had displayed in the Rangers first two games.

York – Other then crosschecking Caps goalie Olaf Kolzig. He didn’t contribute much.

Heisten – His best game as a Ranger. Again since he was non existent in the first two games. Take that for what it’s worth.

McCarthy – Needs to bodycheck a whole lot more. Especially now that he is on the 4th line. He is the only Rangers forward who is out there to be physical and when he’s not he serves no purpose.

Leetch – He struggled defensively. He gets caught trying to erase every mistake made by his partner Berard. The pairing of Him and Berard defies all logic. Blew a sweet scoring opportunity in the first period. Which is a rare for Leechy.

Berard – One of the most brutal defensive performance I have seen in a Ranger uniform since Bruce Bell. He looked panicky and lost in his own zone. He tackled Chris Simon for 20 seconds straight behind the Rangers net, which ironically resulted in Simon getting whistled on a questionable slashing penalty.

Ulanov – Words can not describe how much this guy is struggling. The giveaways the poor positioning. I think he even realizes it. He ran around spearing and sticking Steve Konowalchuk towards the end of the game resulting in him getting a 10-minute misconduct. His play was god-awful.

Malakov – Second half of the worst pairing against the Capitals. He was horribly disorganized at the back and added nothing to the offense. Showed absolutely zero intensity

Karpa – No Punishing hits. Wasn’t physical. Why?

Purinton – Protected teammate York. Received 17 minutes in penalties for his actions. No significant hits other then the lead left hand he gave Stephen Peat in the 1st period.

Sam and J.D Propaganda Report:

Ulf Dahlen is gritty guy? According to John Davidson he is. FYI Dahlen is a veteran player who adds offense and a second line PP guy. He might be gritty when you compare him to some of our forwards but Ulf Dahlen and gritty have never been synonymous John.

Sam and J.D also gushed about the feistiness of Barret Heisten. Unfortunately I saw no hard evidence to back up this statement. I surmise J.D Got caught up in one of his “invent a story” rants which he basically saves for Rangers 3rd period garbage time mode.

Summary:

Bottom Line is even with Richter between the pipes instead of Blackburn the Rangers still would have lossed this game. The backline along with its constant awful defensive breakdowns has absolutely no chemistry.

Steve Konawalchuk could not be moved by any Ranger defenseman the whole game. In order to win The Rangers need to have Fleury, Lindros, and Nedved scoring goals. None of them did on Wednesday night. The Caps are a very good team and they should have beaten the Rangers and they did.

Even with Jagr leaving with an injury in the First period Washington still managed to score five goals. The Rangers need to score whole lot more then two goals a game to be victorious especially against upper tier teams like the Capitals

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