Even though there was every indication that this should have been a relatively easy series for the Rangers, it hasn’t been. Such is playoff hockey. The Flyers won game 4 in Toronto Maple Leafs fashion; two bounces and a goalie standing on his head. It happens and it sucks for the Rangers. They peppered Steve Mason with 37 shots yet were only able to convert once. They opened the third period with the worst 4 on 3 power play this basement blogger has ever witnessed. They had every opportunity to win the game, should have won the game, but didn’t.
Mason is the Flyers playoff hero. How uncomfortable of a thing to say.
So here we are in a new three game series. The dangerous thing for the Rangers is the Flyers have managed to scrape by on hockey being weird and have yet to actually play their best game. Their best game may never come, as the Rangers speed and skill is beyond the comprehension of the Flyers defensemen. But if it does, the Rangers will teeter dangerously close to a stunning first round upset.
What needs to change?
Stop shitting the bed on the power play. After being responsible for the game one win, the Rangers power play has been a non-factor. For the most part, so has the Flyers. But their power play scored tonight and the Rangers didn’t. We knew special teams would likely decide the outcome of the series prior to the start. The Rangers power play has been effective for the most part in terms of possession and zone time, they just haven’t generated quality opportunities in sufficient quantities to give themselves the best chance at banging one home.
Houston, we have a Rick Nash problem. Or do we?
Rangers fans sure think we do. Nash has 4 points in 4 games. His line at times was not great tonight, Nash himself in particular. But it’s a long series and prior to tonight’s game, Nash and his linemates drove the pace and were big factors in all three games. So go ahead, bitch and moan about Nash. It feels self-righteous and rewarding. But it’s a long series and lets not crucify the guy for one bad game in four.
So on we go to game five on Sunday afternoon.