The Things We Can’t Change. Rangers Slip By to Eliminate Penguins.

penguins Rangers Win Series 4-1
Penguinsvs.Rangers
1F/OT2

They say the Stanley Cup is the hardest trophy in sports to win. We don’t need an insider to confirm that after seeing what we’ve seen in this series. 

Are the Rangers as good as their record indicates? Probably not. Was this series as lopsided as the final count dictates? Definitely not. 

You play good hockey, you get to the playoffs. But once you get there, anything can happen. One of those things covered under the umbrella of “anything” includes playing good hockey and still getting your ass handed to you on a platter because you weren’t the better team. Were the Penguins a bad team? Not really. Were the Rangers a better team? Definitely. We can’t be disappointed in what the Penguins put out on the ice, and anyone who tells you otherwise should probably be selling ice cream. Take a step back and realize that this team had a new coach, a new general manager, and about 10 new faces in the lineup from jump street. And with the injuries, the tumult, and the change, we’ll take this showing any day of the week. 

Now is not the time for fear. That comes later. Changes are coming again, perhaps just as broad and sweeping as what we saw last offseason. But for now, take a moment and consider that things could have gone much, much worse. 

Cover photo via Bruce Bennett/Getty Images.  Full recap:

[Read more…]

ECQF: Penguins @ Rangers

2015_Stanley_Cup_playoffs_logoRangers
Penguinsvs.Rangers
1Game 5
3
7:00PM | Madison Square Garden | Pittsburgh, PA | NBCSN, ROOT
Stream Links: Frontrow 
Tickets

The Penguins have to win tonight to keep their season alive. No one cares if they have to do it three times in a row. There is no shortcut to doing that. What needs to happen starts with one win, and that needs to happen tonight.

Jump it for the Game 5 preview. [Read more…]

Dance of the Dead. Pens Dealt Blow, Fall in OT, Trail in Series 3-1

penguins Rangers Lead Series 3-1
Penguinsvs.Rangers
1F/OT2

We’re really torn here.

On one hand, we feel we can’t be mad about the loss (or any of the other ones) because the Pens are playing well, hanging with the team that won the President’s Trophy, and holding the 3rd highest scoring offense in the regular season from doing too much damage, playing with 2 AHL guys and a cinder block on the back end, and without 3 of their 4 best defensemen.  It’s hard to get all dicked off if you look at it that way.  The gameplan was there last night, the execution of it was there, particularly in the neutral zone and D zone, but the result wasn’t.  The Pens deserved better.

On the other hand, they lost and trail 3-1 in the series, needing 3 straight wins against the team that won the President’s Trophy; trailing 3-1 against the team that they just can’t seem to score against (you can chalk a portion of that up to being without 3 of their 4 best defensemen).

As much as we want to be optimistic that they can pull it off, and theoretically it’s possible and whatnot, we’re driven by the necessity to be realistic.  Spare us the “#pensin7.”

Cover photo via Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images.  Full recap:

[Read more…]

ECQF Game 4: Penguins vs. Rangers

2015_Stanley_Cup_playoffs_logoRangers
Penguinsvs.Rangers
1Game 4
2
7:00PM | CONSOL Energy Center | Pittsburgh, PA | NBCSN, ROOT
Stream Links: Frontrow 
Tickets

The Rangers got the best of the Penguins in their barn on Monday night, and now it results in a pivotal Game 4. A win for the Penguins transforms this to a Best of 3, while a loss puts the Penguins on the ropes, mandating 3 straight wins to stay alive.  Not like a 3-1 lead has ever been overturned before, though.

The disparity is a large one, but the task at hand is clear. Must-win not in the literal sense, but in the “literally” sense that white girls use literally every other word, literally.

Jump it for the Game 4 preview. [Read more…]

Reasons to Turn Back. Rangers Grab Lead, Survive Penguins 2-1 to Gain Series Lead.

penguins Rangers lead series, 2-1
Penguinsvs.Rangers
1F2

Did the Penguins play poorly? Not exactly. Did they have their lapses? Yes they did. Did they deserve to win? Probably not. But then again, all those same statements could be aptly applied to their adversary tonight. The Rangers got the calls and the bounces and basically everything else in this one was held equal. Both goaltenders were great, and the Rangers found a way to score one more goal while it took the Penguins too long to get going. 

All in all though, our fingers haven’t moved any closer to the panic button. The Penguins are holding their own. And maybe help isn’t really on the way, but they’re trading punches. And that’s all you can really ask for with a task of this nature. 

We’re not cheerleaders. But with what we’ve seen thus far makes us feel like this bears saying: if you’d given up on this team, what they’re giving you thus far is a reason to turn back.

Cover photo via Gregory Shamus/NHLI/Getty Images.  Full recap:

[Read more…]