Holtby Humbled: Rangers beat Caps 3-1

Photo credit: Bruce Bennett

The New York Rangers got the breaks they needed to beat the Washington Capitals in Game One. It seems like nothing went right for the Caps.

The first period was scoreless despite the Rangers dominating early and the Caps buzzing late. A little past halfway in, Artem Anisimov converted a wraparound after Mike Green failed to contain him.  Jason Chimera tipped in a saucer pass from Brooks like before the second period’s final buzzer. Chris Kreider’s slapshot restored the Rangers’ lead as Mike Green signaled for a line change. Brad Richards piled on with a net-crasher. Rangers beat Caps 3-1.

  • Braden Holtby fell back to earth. You can try to explain it away by blaming bad defense (although they were bad), but Holtby didn’t make the stops that this team needed. And against a low-shooting team like Rangers, his numbers took a big hit. A .786 save percentage is… Fleurian. Two goals on four shots halfway into the third period? Letting in a 40+-foot slapshot? We need much better from the goalie.
  • Marcus Johansson was a solid player last round. If there was one flaw we could point out, it’d be his predilection for turnovers during special teams. That unfortunately continued on Saturday and would have led to a goal if not for a superb diving block by John Carlson.
  • Johansson had the chance to redeem himself with a semi-breakaway in the second period. Anton Stralman swept Marcus’s legs out from under him and sent him into Lundqvist (along with the puck and into the net). Depending on interpretation, this play should have resulted in a) a goal, b) a penalty shot, c) a power play, or d) an offensive-zone faceoff. None of those things happened. Dale Hunter, serene as ever, didn’t blow a fuse over the injustice though. Zebras blow. What else is new?
  • The Alexes had some bad penalties in the first period: Alex Semin took a retaliatory slash at Ryan Callahan and Alex Ovechkin tripped a blueshirt in the offensive zone after losing a scoring chance. Semin got into the offensive-zone tripping game early in the third period. None of these offenses were smart, and there’s never a good excuse for a stick penalty so far from your own net. The Alexes should buy the PK unit a steak dinner.
  • Overall, Alex Ovechkin had a stinker of a game. His Corsi score (minus-7) was one of the team’s worst. He fanned on some shots, missed on most, broke plural sticks, and got shut down every time he made his signature move. His ice time rebounded from those eerily low totals from game seven, so what is going on? Eight… not so great.
  • The saucer pass that Brooks Laich fed to Chimera at the end of the second period was a work of art. It careened over the ice to find Chimmer’s stick waiting right in front of Lundqvist. Consider Laich had to know how fast Chimera would skate to place that puck perfectly– that’s the intersection of chemistry and hockey smarts that you find in Brooksy. And how silly are all of us that we get all wistful over a pretty little hockey play?
  • Meanwhile, Brooks Laich went 2 for 10 on the faceoff. Ooooouch.
  • That Chris Kreider kid is faaaaaaaast.
  • Shot totals were pathetically low for both teams: 18 for the Caps, just 14 for the Rangers. And the Caps rang that stupid post– what? 4 times? This series has to open up eventually.

Series record: Rangers 1, Capitals 0

That was bad hockey. Without that exceptional goal from Chimera and Laich, this would’ve been an easy shut out for Henrik. We can complain about the refs and the bad bounces, but this team will need more than luck to win Game Two.

Discipline and pucks on net. Fewer penalties and more shots. Less penalty killing and more net crashing. I just said the same thing three times.

Have a good weekend, everybody. Let’s try to get this one behind us and rally back in number two.

Hehehe. Number two.

  • Guestz

    Effing Comcast and their crappy equipment.  My DVR decided not to record, luckily I turned it on with 18 left in the 3rd.  And then unluckily the CAPS decided to suck and within a few minutes I saw the Rags score twice and Holtby suck nuts.

    They better effing show up on Monday night.  This was ridiculous.

  • meowmix

    It appeared to me that Green had a lousy game. Whether it be shanked shots or poor defense, it seemed that everything that could go wrong did when he was on the ice. Dunno if it was bad luck or what, but I wasn’t happy with it.

  • Crosby Smiter

    What happened to DH and the 4th line? when backstrom was centering knuble and ward we had our best cycles and pressure on net.  i dont recall seeing knuble in the 3rd and saw ward for maybe a shift or two. sure coiner had his thing but i believe he needs to sit for either halpern, who will also be a net crasher or for the younger quicker perry.  and what killed this team was the lack of net presence on that 5 on 3.  when is DH gonna learn that he needs 22, 42, 25, 83 just hanging out sticking their butts right in king henriks face on the pp.  we can beat these rag dolls just like when we dominated them the last game of the season.  and lets hope that Holtby is able to brush this game aside with his not so stellar play and give us a gem in game 2.  it would be nice coming back to the phone booth with the series even although i have faith them coming back from 2 games down.

  • brittany cummings

    On ward,  we’ll get them the next game no time to dwell on this one when do you think Joel will get another goal ? 

  • sean

    We just didn’t get the breaks this game, don’t fret guys it is just game 1…..*ducks from all the things being thrown at me*

  • meowmix

    At the end of his contract two seasons from now. 

  • Jilrene

    Okay, it’s just the first game. Caps are better than this game showed. 

  • Sgt. Hartman

    Okay, sure, the Rangers got Chris Kreider right outta’ Boston College.  But, we have Evgeny Kuznetsov….  We have Evgeny Kuznetsov, right?

  • Jbfugate

    Finally Locher and May manned up and made notice of the lackluster officiating…stigmata notwithstand Holtby blew this game…every goal was a softie. If he had played that way in the first round it would have been a sweep not in the Caps favor.

  • serpent

    Awful game. Looked like Holtby was chugging vodka from that water bottle. Can’t blame this mess on the refs, though they do take a piece of the blame. Broooks/Chimera goal was a work of art.

  • JessHughes

    I read RMNB, win or lose…so you can count that in your statistical analysis.  I had to listen to the game on the radio and Walton distinctly blamed the 3rd goal on #6 and even noted he was paired with Alzner at the time, so it’s not like you could defend Wideman by saying he was covering for a lesser D.  We all knew that Holtby and the crew had at least one stinker in them, this was the best possible time for that.  Now they can come out and PLAY on Monday.  Let’s Go CAPS!!!

  • serpent

    Holtbeast went into his happy place and forgot to get out. Two goals for the Zen Zone.
    Marcus is forceably flown into the King’s royal personage,brings the puck with him. No goal. No call. Zebras fear the Tortle?
    Did the Big Guns arrive without ammo? Brooks and Jason gave a wonderful how to score class and all for naught. Demerits all around for not paying attention.
    It’s a damn,bloody good thing this is only the first game!

  • Lisa

    Caps bad, recap great!

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  • Livia

    When you measure percentage of pageviews after wins vs. losses, I’d like to suggest you use a window of 24 hours or so post-game. I always read RMNB, but after a win, I read it right away to be a part of the giddy mood, and after a loss, I tend to withdraw a bit before returning to the blog the next day. Just sayin’.

  • Hai

    Heheh Brooks Like

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