Found May 07, 2012 on The Rangers Tribune:
It is one thing to prepare to defend the opposition's plan of attack. It is an entirely different challenge to defend that team's plan of attack when it is a carbon copy of your own. This is the mind-boggling predicament the New York Rangers currently find themselves in four games deep into the Eastern Conference Semifinals.  It was a pre-known fact that the Dale Hunter coached Capitals played a similar style to that of the Rangers, and for the first game of the series, they did just that, but in their own unique way. As we know, the Caps went on to lose that game, 3-1, despite outshooting their opponent and having ample opportunities to score themselves.  For Game 2, though, some minor adjustments were instilled by the coaching staff and now the Capitals looked like the Rangers but with white jerseys. Everyone was selling out to block shots, the defense in front of Braden Holtby tightened up and they used their forecheck as a means of momentum. The Blueshirts were now in a situation where they were caught off guard and not entirely sure how to react to a team beating them at their own game, which ended up happening on Alex Ovechkin's late powerplay goal in the third period.  And maybe, just maybe, it was the two teams going blow-for-blow with the same approach that required six straight periods of hockey in Game 3 to find a winner. It does not warrant a rocket scientist to realize that six periods tied 1-1 means neither club was giving up very much in an extremely tight match-up.  Finally, this past Saturday, the Rangers hit perhaps their lowest point of the series, failing to take advantage of a colossal opportunity to go up 3-1 in the series by instead losing, 3-2, leaving the series tied going into tonight's Game 5 at Madison Square Garden. This particular tilt saw the Rangers defeated at their own game more so than any other, which is a bit worrisome with three, possible only two, games left to play in this series.  The Capitals blocked over twenty shots on Saturday while the Rangers blocked only 7. Huh? New York prides itself on its shot-blocking and the commitment to do so by all players on the team. But to only block 7 shots and allow Washington to get 26 to their 20 for the game sends up red flags. The Capitals have clearly entered the minds of the Rangers by matching them with a symmetrical approach to their own, and it was blatantly obvious on Saturday afternoon at the Verizon Center.  This series is now a best of three games with the Rangers having home ice in two of them. For the second straight series, time is running out on the Blueshirts to salvage their season and make it to the next round, but in this series more so than the previous one, they have an immense challenge ahead of them.  How they react to playing against, well, themselves will determine their fate. There was reportedly much frustration in that locker room on Saturday, and whether that was over officiating or the loss in general, no one knows. Regardless, it needs to be forgotten and this team needs to regroup. They need to get back to blocking shots and grinding down their opponent. They need to get back to being the tougher team to play against and revive their physical game. And most importantly, they need to get back to being a wall nearly impossible to penetrate in the defensive zone.  Because if they don't, the Capitals will first. 

McIlrath Sticks Up For Bourque As Whale Tie Series

After the CT Whale sealed last night's 4-1 win against the Norfolk Admirals with a late empty net goal, which tied their Eastern Conference Semifinals at 2-2, Admiral player Scott Jackson tried to send a message by hitting Ryan Bourque high. Well Dylan McIlrath was not having it and immediately challenged Jackson (at 3:38 mark)... To watch on YouTube, click here.....

Rangers vs. Capitals (Game 5)

The New York Rangers host the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden for Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Semifinals match-up starting at 7:30 p.m. The series is tied 2-2. For a preview go to Yahoo! Sports. Rangers Game Notes TV: NBC...

Rangers shock Capitals in OT after tying it with 6.6 left

The New York Rangers  already have one dramatic victory over the Washington Capitals and last night the Blue Shirts continued to keep Rangers fans clutching their chests. Brad Richards— the Rangers alternate captain— scored an amazing game-tying goal with 6.6 seconds in regulation to send the game into overtime.  Marc Staal— the Rangers defenseman— scored the game winner...

Notes: Why The Rangers Power Play Is Important and More

  Just when I thought the Rangers power play would never get another goal, they got two. And it wasn’t just any two power play goals — one tied the game with six seconds left and the second won it in overtime. What’s funny to me is I was planning to write about the “Curse [...]

The Garden Was Loud Last Night

Pat Leonard at the Daily News has this quote from Ryan Callahan about the atmosphere in the Garden during the final minute..."Twenty seconds left, they're standing up chanting, 'Let's Go Rangers.' That fuels you. That makes you feel good. To be able to get that one for them and hear the Garden explode - I haven't heard it that loud since I've been here...

Green shouts he's back with game-winner

Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green was the finalist for the Norris Trophy two seasons ago. It's something that needs to be cited because the concussion-like symptoms and lower-body injuries not only zapped his playing time -- he missed 81 games the past two seasons -- but made the blue liner an afterthought. Well, at least until his blistering third-period slap shot that...

Knuble Wants To Remove The ‘Asterisk”

from Scott Burnside of ESPN, Somewhere in a safety deposit box in Michigan sit Mike Knuble’s two Stanley Cup rings. He gets them out to show the kids at his summer hockey camp every year. And his own kids, now ages 7, 10 and 11, like to try them on occasionally, feel their heft and marvel at the diamonds. But there’s a reason these rings do not feature more prominently in Knuble’s...

Key players step up for Capitals in Game 4 win

Throughout the Washington Capitals' postseason, their secondary players have been the ones making the big plays. Secondary scoring is indeed very important, but with the exception of Alex Ovechkin, the Capitals' big players remained mostly silent when it came to scoring.Before Game 4, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin, Brooks Laich, and Marcus Johansson, the team's leading...

Partisan Officiating Shouldn't Come as a Surprise

The 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs have been unpredictable from every aspect imaginable. That is, of course, with the exemption of one constant, which has been the despicable officiating and perplexing off-ice discipline that's taken control of series after series in this postseason, or at least attempted to. So the display witnessed Saturday afternoon at the Verizon Center in Game...

The Coach Talks

from Dan Rosen of, After addressing the media for all of 27 seconds and using only 15 words after losing 3-2 in Game 4 Saturday, Rangers coach John Tortorella was a bit more chatty Sunday at the team’s suburban training facility. Tortorella spoke to the media for more than five minutes and handled 11 questions. He talked about trying to get pucks through to the net against...

Connecticut roars back, evens series

Connecticut Whale 4, Norfolk Admirals 1 By Brian Ring Hartford, CT, May 7, 2012 – The Connecticut Whale defeated the Norfolk Admirals, 4-1, Monday night in Hartford to even their Eastern Conference Semifinal series at two games apiece. Game Five will be played Wednesday night at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport (7:00 PM). Scott Tanski recorded the game-winning goal and Kris...

Caps tie series with clutch victory in pivotal game

Alex Ovechkin and Henrik Lundqvist have never made it to the Eastern Conference Finals. One of them will this spring. But it’s getting awfully hard to tell which one. Ovechkin scored his second goal of the series and Lundqvist allowed three goals for just the fourth time in the postseason as the Washington Capitals squeaked out a 3-2 win Saturday over the New York Rangers to...

Video- You Have To Feel For The Caps

A few of the Capitals talked post-game, starting off with Joel Ward who took a 4 minute high-sticking penalty which allowed the Rangers to score both the tying and OT goal.
NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.