The shots in Game 3 were 32-15. In favor of the Rangers… who lost 3-0 to go down 3-0 in the series.
By this time, any serious hockey fan knows that Jonathan Quick has career numbers that are better than average… but not elite. That being said, when he’s on, he’s on. Quick reminds me of Jim Craig in Miracle. When Craig Patrick tells Herb Brooks that the netminder’s (copyright Doc Emrick) game has been off recently, Brooks scoffs and says, “Have you ever seen him when his game’s on?” Perfect parallel to Quick. For one, they’re both American, which is the most important characteristic for anyone ever. Second, Quick is unstoppable when he’s on, like tonight, most of these playoffs, and all of the 2012 playoffs. When he’s off? Damn. All that you need to see for an example of Quick’s game being off is the first 3 games of the playoffs this year.
Henrik Lundqvist might be the best goalie in the world, but he, nor anyone, is a match for Quickie when his game is at top level. Tonight was a great example, and the Rangers had no chance when King Henrik also decided to pull a Jonathan Quick from the first 3 2014 playoff games.
The Rangers are screwed. Sure, it’s possible that Lundqvist could stand on his head for 4 games while Quick decides to play badly for no reason again… but no. Just won’t happen. The 2010 Boston Bruins might have lost 4 in a row when being up 3-0, but the Kings are too mentally tough to let that happen, and I’m not the kind of guy to use that narrative often.
The worst part about the Rangers losing this series is the impending summer of every talking head with a pulse questioning Henrik Lundqvist because of 2 bad games, despite the fact that the Rangers might not have made the playoffs with a league average goalie, let alone the finals. Also, the LA Kings and Chicago Blackhawks will now have 2 Cups in 2 Finals appearances since the lockout. If the Bruins win next year, they’ll have 2 Cups in 3 Finals appearances. That means that they’ll take the top spot in the three-headed monster that has been the Kings, Blackhawks, and Bruins of the past 5 years. It would be kinda cool if the same 3 teams won the Cup in 6 seasons, and if the 2008 and 2009 finals had the exact same teams, if for no other reason than to make statheads’ brains explode over the lack of parity.