Well that kinda sucked, huh? The Penguins were up in the series 3-1 and at that point it really didn't look like the Rangers belonged in the playoffs. Oh how the times have changed. I guess when you think about it the result shouldn't be all that shocking. I don't mean that in the fact that the Penguins have flamed out in the second round or earlier in many playoff seasons since their 2009 Stanley Cup but that this is how the playoffs are. The Rangers beat the Penguins pretty easily in game one and then the Penguins came back and dominated games two through four. The Rangers then came back and dominated games five and six before winning game seven.
I don't really think the Penguins played very bad hockey tonight. They came out strong and all it took was one awful series of events and they were down 1-0. They got the goal back in the second but then the Rangers took control of play after that. The Rangers got a power play and scored. The Penguins had a power play and didn't.
Henrik Lundqvist won this game, and the series. Even when the Rangers were losing he was rock solid. Before the Rangers finished off the Rangers I told one of my buddies that I wasn't sure I wanted the Penguins to face them because Lundqvist was that good. Tonight was that reason why. The Penguins brought it and Lundqvist was better.
I think it is wildly stupid for people to suggest that players "weren't trying" during this series. Even during games five and six. It's an easy thing to say with no basis. Sure they might seem disinterested but I would be willing to bet that all the guys on the ice, for both teams, care a shit ton more about the game than any fan does.
Just in case you were curious, Evgeni Malkin is not getting traded.
The real takeaway from this is that there is anticipation of big time changes for the Penguins. Dan Bylsma might not be back next year and whether you agree or disagree with that (I am not sure how I feel) we will probably see a new bench boss. For all the talent the Penguins have that they need to be better than this. I would expect to see some other changes but that will come later after the team is done doing whatever it does following the season.
Most seasons end in disappointment and this one is another one of those for the Penguins. Only one team is going to be happy at the end of the year and here is hoping that happens next year. Until then, Lets Go Bucs.