Marshmallow defense and lousy officiating do in Rangers (TBL 6 – NYR 3)

Yes, that's Brian Boyle - all alone in front - no one near him 12.1.14 (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

Yes, that’s Brian Boyle – all alone in front – no one near him 12.1.14 (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

If you look at the final score and didn’t see the game, you’d say the Rangers must’ve been awful – nothing could be further from the truth.


TBL at NYR 12.1.14 espn

TBL at NYR 12.1.14 espn

Late in the 2nd period, as I sat high above my perch in Section 210, I raised my arms furiously. “Where was the hook on McDonagh!”, I yelled. Seconds later the Lightning knotted the game at 3 and as Vigneault said after, “it was the turning point of the game.”

You see, the Rangers had just finished killing a 5 on 3 penalty and momentum was back in their favor. All it took was a little tug on McDonagh to cause the turnover and the tying goal. Considering how soft the refs were calling this game, that missed one irked me.

Tampa would take the lead in the 3rd period off a terrible slashing call on Marty St. Louis. The Rangers hottest player literally turned to his left and tapped the Tampa player’s stick – 2 minutes – PPG goal – game, set, match.

Sadly, NY dominated play for two periods and were up 22-9 in shots before the parade to the penalty box began. Still, it was only 3-2 Rangers. Lundqvist was not his best last night, but it was soft defense that caused problems too.

By the way, did anyone hit Callahan in front – at all? Or any other Tampa player for that matter? Lundqvist took the heat for his play, but his quote told a deeper story. “We’re not going to win games when I give up four or five goals. We mostly have to look at, why are we giving up the goals?”

Exactly! Why? On the first 2 goals, Hunwick was literally gazing into the eyes of Tyler Johnson and Marc Staal was spun left, right and upside down while Dan Girardi screened Lundqvist in front on Brett Connolly’s goal. And while we are at it – WHO IS BRETT CONNOLLY?

All night, Lightning players waltzed around the offensive zone, checked – sometimes, touched – never.

Alain Vigneault said after the game, “Unfortunately when you are playing against such a strong opponent, you need your A game throughout your lineup and we had a couple of key performers tonight who picked a bad night to have an ordinary game.” A couple is being a little too polite in my estimation.



Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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