I feel like I already summed up the entire game in one tweet: oh no, the tired Rangers couldn't beat a significantly more skilled team...they must be the most awful, garbage team ever.
I wrote that after reading responses of Ranger fans after the game. The refs were not against us this time...except that bullshit call against Cally. I would have been less upset if it was just a complete noncall...Crosby says he got caught up with Cally in a battle and Cally says it was a slew foot -- every time I watched it, it looked like a slew foot...but I am incredibly biased toward Cally and this goes without saying.
Torts was playing with the lines all game...I don't know why he thinks that will increase the skill level. In the end, the Rangers didn't lose because of lack of work, they lost because the Penguins are incredibly skilled. They had shots, while many went wide or high, a lot of those were forced that way by the Pens defensemen. Our three/four most skilled players were the most effective in the game - our King in the net, our Slovakian Sniper, and our top shutdown defensemen (when Marc and Danny are a pair, they count as 1). Marc stayed on top of Crosby for the most part.
The odd man rushes definitely killed the second period, but they didn't know how to fix it. In 2 weeks when the Rangers head back to Pittsburgh, maybe they'll know better.
As for the lines: I thought I was going to love Steps with Dubi and Cally, but there wasn't enough of it to judge - I did like Brian with them because he has the same gritty, yet skilled style of play. I also think Steps and Gaby have amazing chemistry and need to be together and I liked Aves with them. Aves has been showing that he's more than a pest lately and he's incredibly skilled...he was one of few I noticed tonight carrying the puck into the offensive zone rather than trying a dump and chase. Dump and chase doesn't work against teams like the Pens.
DZ had a decent game as well. He was on the puck when he had to be and there was a lot less of him watching the puck go past him at the point.
I don't think the Rangers played badly at all...I just don't think they had the energy in them to outplay the more skilled team and that's all there is to it.