The Weight Of Expectation

Game Four of the New York Rangers’ series with the Washington Capitals promised to be something better than the previous, if only because you figured the blueshirts would come out with more push.  

It seemed in the first period of the game that the Rangers were ready to play, they were aggressive and flying all over the ice.  The only thing that I noticed however was that Washington was that they were putting good shots on net and making Lundqvist work, I didn’t think the Rangers made Holtby work as much.  Sure he made saves but they didn’t seem to be big saves in the first period.  

After the Rangers took the lead in the second, they let themselves go completely.  A mental breakdown that caused two turnovers leading to two Caps goals.  After the light switch flipped off they suddenly had to turn it back on and it almost happened but Holtby made a great save on Hagelin’s penalty shot attempt.  

The Rangers tried to dump shots on net but they were what I’ve termed typical Ranger playoff shots: wide, blocked, high or weak.  Or they just try to be so cute that the passes get intercepted so easily and turned away.  

I don’t know if it’s over yet, I’m on the fence, yes I know they are down 3-1. Coach Vigneault wouldn’t come out and say he was surprised that they were down 3-1 which surprised me.  In the press conference he kinda looked like a beaten man, who knows that he can only do so much to get goals out of a team.  Only one defenseman has a point in the series, so much for that Keith Yandle trade but again I guess that comes back to the expectations that this team is living under.  Not only are they sitting under the 3-1 rock but there’s a giant stone that says “hey you were the Presidents’ Trophy winners.  Oh and we expect you to win the East.  Plus there’s all these fans in New York.  The New York media.” 

 Look at all that expectation.  But I guess that’s what professional athletes deal with only its amped up even more for any team in New York, cause it’s the bright lights of Broadway baby and the city carries with it its own weight of expectation.