Tired Rangers likely missed last, best chance to bottle Caps
Napoleon met his Waterloo.
The New York Rangers will find out tonight if they have met their Waterbottle.
Their tightly wound coach,
The impossible-to-miss irony is Tortorella had scratched
Of more concern to Sather should have been the
So now Tortorella, who runs one of the best benches in the NHL, will be tested to find a way to ratchet up the play of a team who won three of the first four in the series but dominated only in the opener. For one thing, the Rangers look like they are running on fumes. For another, the Rangers took a huge blow when a first-period cheap shot by the Capitals'
Betts is one of those players most noticeable by his absence. Along with
After Betts dumped a puck into the Capitals' zone and wheeled to skate toward the bench, Brashear nailed him from the blind side. At first viewing, it looked like an elbow. In the NHL announcement that Brashear had been suspended for six games -- one for bumping
While on the subject of motivation, Tortorella is going to let
Meanwhile, Washington coach
Washington fell behind 3-1 in its opening round series to the Flyers in 2008 and wound up losing Game 7 in overtime at home, but this is a more mature team. The Capitals still occasionally fumble around defensively, but they rarely panic. After an embarrassing Game 1, Norris Trophy finalist
Tortorella says all the pressure rests with Washington, but he is a clever enough fellow to know that he must make amends for his enforced one-game absence. Maybe his meltdown won't be remembered as long as Watergate, but Waterbottle-gate will long haunt a team that should have taken out the superior Capitals when it had a chance.