ECQF Game 3: Bruins 4th Line Puts Rangers On Brink Of Elimination


If I were in charge of the Rangers, John Tortorella would have been given his walking papers the moment Lindy Ruff became available.  Torts might still get fired before too long, but not until after his underachieving regular season team also became an underachieving playoff team.

May 21, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Daniel Paille (20) celebrates with right wing Shawn Thornton (22) and defenseman Dougie Hamilton (27) after scoring the game-winning goal against the New York Rangers during the third period in game three of the second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Boston won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Boston’s fourth line accounted for both goals in the Bruins’ 2-1 come from behind win over the Rangers that put New York in a deep 3-0 hole in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.  In a game where the officials let the players play and called only 2 power plays all night (both for the Rangers), the rugged Bruins trio of Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton were dominant in the final period.  Thornton provided a screen in front of Henrik Lundqvist that did not allow the Rangers goalie to see Johnny Boychuk‘s point shot to make the score 1-1 just over 3 minutes into the third.  Then with overtime looming it was a weird bounce that created the winner.  A shot from Thornton hit Lundqvist and bounced into the air, landing on the goal line and taking a strange bounce outwards. With Lundqvist searching for the puck, Paille swooped around from behind the net and tapped home the loose puck with less than 4 minutes left.

The Rangers didn’t show much fight back in this game, besides Taylor Pyatt‘s tip in of Ryan McDonagh‘s point shot.  They had some chances, but Tuukka Rask was equal to the task and the Rangers didn’t seem to have much desperation, which leads me to question as to whether or not they want to play for Tortorella any longer.  For his part, Torts was rather subdued after the game, which either means he mellowed overnight, or he possibly sees the writing on the wall and knows his days are numbered.

Has a team ever changed coaches mid-series?

Game 4 goes on Thursday night in New York.