When the puck crosses the goal line, everyone starts looking for who was at fault for allowing it. It was Michael Del Zotto’s fault because he turned the puck over. It’s Stu Bickel’s fault because he missed his assignment. It’s Henrik Lundqvist’s fault because he needs to stop every single puck.
And if the Rangers lose a game, like they did the other night, the finger pointing and second guessing begins. Someone didn’t play hard enough or was lazy or didn’t score an important goal. And John Tortorella didn’t make the right line combinations.
But if the Rangers win, there is no praise for the coach and the choices he made. And the usual scapegoats don’t get praise when they make a good play.
What’s funny is if you do point out a favorite has been playing below their normal standard — like Ryan Callahan or Marian Gaborik — and the entire world comes out and verbally assaults you for daring to question them.
Either way, the blame game really needs to end and there has to be some sort of trust. Every player makes mistakes and every player makes good plays. They wouldn’t be here in the NHL if they didn’t make good plays. And there has to be trust rather than coaching from the stands.
This team has gotten here for a lot of reasons this season, and it’s been a team effort from the coaches to the forwards to the defensemen to the goaltender. Everyone has contributed. They win and lose as a team, and that’s what makes these Rangers special.
So stop blaming one or two players for something and enjoy the ride, whether it goes beyond Saturday or not.
Please stop Alex Ovechkin
Watching Alex Ovechkin during Game 6 was frightening. He looked possessed to me. We can analyze his goal a million different ways on how he could have been stopped too. But the fact of the matter is he’s an elite athlete who has the potential to take over a game.
Obviously part of the game plan should be getting the puck into the Caps net, but they need to be ready for Ovechkin too. I’d be shocked if he didn’t show up Saturday night.
But it’s a precarious situation for the Rangers too. They can’t focus everything on Ovechkin because the Caps have other weapons too. It’ll be interesting to see how they stop him.
More on MacLean’s first responders comments
I do think there is a bit of a cultural gap in what caused the fuss over Ron MacLean’s comments before Game 6 of this series, including my own outrage. While I do take some offense to what he said, I do want to just wasn’t thinking.
But the statement MacLean issued yesterday where he basically did not back down from his comments made me further offended. And the fact he and others have said his comments were “taken out of context” is coming across like we’re stupid and didn’t watch the whole video. He’s continuing to stick his foot in his mouth and make a bad situation worse.
All MacLean had to do was say “I truly was coming from a good place with my comparison and didn’t mean any harm. My apologies if I offended anyone.” If he did, all of this would go away. But he hasn’t, and that’s what continues to be bothersome.
- RN Notes: Kreider or Nash; Gaborik Debate; Importance of Faceoffs (nyrnation.net)
- Officiating Is Killing Hockey But Stop Blaming It For Losses (nyrnation.net)
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