Jagr Mullets
WEEKLY PREVIEW: We face division rival Bathgate in the first round.
GAME #1: 


Devon “don’t call me Jonathan” Toews is in the press box with a mysterious ailment for the first game. Will his absence be felt?

Not really. The game is a defensive battle, but ultimately the Rangers win it 2-1.

GAME #2:


Toews dresses for this one, and the opposite effect happens – we’re tied 3-3 and heading to OT!

Unfortunately Chris Kreider (I don’t like him in real life either) scores at 10:32 of extra time to give Bathgate a 2-0 series lead.

WEEKLY SUMMARY: Once again we lay a big fat egg in the playoffs. It’s not over yet, but the fat lady sure likes her scales…

Bill, I’ll send a separate COA file to you for games 3 and 4.

Bathgate Rangers
WEEKLY PREVIEW: After a surprising sweep at Jagr for games 1 and 2, the Rangers return home with much higher hopes than they had when the series began. Can the fortunes of the openers continue or will the Jagr juggernauts wake up and smell the Cup? Mullets can be fiesty!
GAME #3:


Are you kidding me? 32 seconds into the game Svechnikov scores (2) and just like that it’s off to the races. Then just past the halfway point of the 1st, Carlo goes off for hooking and Svechnikov scores his 2nd goal of the game (PP) and it’s 2-0 Mullets! Reimer has his head down. Rangers did try hard in the opening 20 minutes (15 SOG to show for it, but Markstrom stopped them all). And Reimer faced an onslaught of 20 shots on goal and apart from the 2 Svechnikov tallies, he stopped the rest. 2-0 Jagr after 1.

It’s the Cup, 2-0 should be good. 2nd Period. Jagr draws an early penalty, but has no problem shutting it down. But the Rangers finally break through as Vrana (1) fires a slap shot that Markstrom gets a piece of but not enough and it’s 2-1 Jagr with 9 minutes left in the 2nd. Rangers fans awaken and 4 minutes later they are rewarded with a Hagel goal (3) goal on a deflection and the game is tied! 2-2 after 2

3rd Period, fireworks? Well Kaprizov starts the period by hooking Tavares. On comes the Rangers PP and Kreider beats Markstrom top shelf on a nifty wraparound and it’s 3-2 Bathgate! 1st lead. 5 minutes later as a penalty to Tkachuk expirers Zibanejad and Panarin set up Kreider for his 2nd goal of the game and it’s 4-2 Bathgate! 4 unanswered goals, what is going on? Rangers fans delirious. Clock ticks down, 2 minutes left, 2 goal lead. Rangers give up possession with 1:45 to go and off skates Markstrom. Toews works it into the Rangers end, to Letang, to Bergeron over to Tkachuk – shoots, low, and it gets past Reimer and GOAL!! 4-3 with 1:13 to go. Oh, the fans have turned from glee to oh crap, just like that. Timeout Jagr. Inside a minute, Jagr still pressing – and Matthews shoots, 31 seconds left – GOAL, he gets it past Reimer’s glove. WAIT A MINUTE – it’s going to Toronto (Toronto, what happened to Jackson MI) for review. They are taking a long time………referee moves to center ice. GOAL STANDS! Tie game and guess what, we’re going to OT for the 2nd straight game as Jagr pulls the 2 goal comeback in the final minute 13!

OT starts with Rangers winning the faceoff, but Jagr steals the puck. Kaprizov to Matthews for the one-time – Reimer saves and hangs on. Then Kaprizov wins the faceoff – again to Matthews – shoots – oh what a save by Reimer. That had game over all over it. He freezes it. Faceoff in Bathgate end won by Rangers. Siegenthaler works it up ice, to Kreider who gains the zone – 3 on 3 – to Sanheim, to Zibanejad, back to Sanheim who fires a slap shot – oh man, what a shot, glove side low and it beats Markstom – GOAL – RANGERS WIN IN OT, go up 3-0!! 1 minute of OT.

Rangers pull out and impressive (but almost disastrous) comeback win. And they make life for Markstrom tough with 48 SOGs to 39 for Jagr. Lots of chances, so even though there were 9 goals in the game, the goalies actually were stellar.

3. BGR – Zibanejad 3 assists
2. JAG – Svechnikov 2 goals
1. BGR – Kreider 2 goals (and he increased the level of hatred the Jagr coach has for him).

GAME #4:


Game 4 – who would have thought Jagr was facing an elimination game, and so early. But it is Jagr, so nothing should be taken for granted. After all, Jagr won 7 of the 10 regular season meetings and by a wide 41-26 goal margin. But the Rangers did win 3 of the last 5 of those regular season tilts….

This time it’s the Rangers scoring first as Bathgate and Kreider take advantage of Tkachuk interference penalty and score 9 1/2 minutes in. Then with 3 1/2 to go in the 1st, Pionk and Sanheim set up Zibanejad for a big goal and a 2-0 Rangers lead. But Jagr is not throwing in the towel and they are still trying to make a statement in the 1st period. With a couple of minutes remaining, Sheary brings one in over the line drops it for Giordano – shoots – GOAL, his 1st and the 1st for Jagr in game 4 and it’s 2-1 Bathgate as period one comes to a close.

Moving to period 2 and the Mullets come out with a ferocity designed to control everything – and they dominate play in the 2nd. And it pays off early as Tkachuk scores 5 1/2 minutes in to TIE the game at 2-2. But 2 minutes later, defenseman Travis Sanheim fires one at Markstrom and it gets past him for his 2nd goal of the series and a 3-2 Rangers lead. They want to end it, here and now! But Jagr has other plans – the intensity continues and once again the Mullets draw even when Lindholm deflects a Tkachuk shot past Francouz with 3 1/2 to go and it’s 3-3 and that’s how period 2 ends.

So – onto period 3. Will the series end here? Will it go to a 3rd straight OT? Will Jagr rise from the ashes? Well things start out a bit shaky for Bathgate. Pionk is whistled for cross checking less than 2 minutes into the period. It came after a nasty Sheary hit on Hagel – only the Pionk hit was seen. Jagr working it on the PP and their 3rd SOG – by Svechnikov – gets by Francouz and Jagr has their first lead of the game! 17+ minutes left in regulation! Then we have a long period of back and forth, pushing and shoving, hitting, checking, blocking and a tie game. Until a Lee shot with 6:34 WAIT – it hits the post and Markstrom is able to catch the rebound shot. Then Zibanejad wins the faceoff in the Mullets end, Kreider scarfs it up, to Provorov, back to Mullet nemesis Kreider – shots – rips right past Markstrom – GOAL! But wait, it’s going to Toronto – was their interference? NO – GOOD GOAL, Rangers tie it up with 6 minutes to go. Now it really gets tense – Jagr fighting to stave off elimination, Rangers looking to get one more goal! Nearing 2 minutes to go and Jagr sends it into the Bathgate end, the teams change up. Taveres gets it on the boards, over to Panarin, he clears it – but IT’S OVER THE GLASS – 2 minutes delay of game. OH – man, it was deflected, you could hear me in the stands arguing that one. But the refs huddle and the penalty stands. 2 minutes to go and Jagr has a PP! Well – Jagr PP – smelling blood and it doesn’t take long to capitalize. Miller takes the faceoff, Kaprizov gets it, he plays it to Letang, they are setup nicely – he returns it to Kaprizov who winds up, fires – GOAL!!! Jagr takes the lead with just under 2 to go. And then they control the rest of the game, Reimer couldn’t even get out of the net until the final 16 seconds. And Jagr lives to play some more!!

Jagr played the more physical game outhitting Bathgate by a 22-9 margin and outshooting them 37-29 SOG. Rangers won the faceoff battle, but some costly penalties – especially the last one – lead to 2 Jagr PP goals and THE WIN!

STARS (Jagr coach won’t like this)
3. JAG – Giordano 1 goal 1 assist
2. JAG – Lindholm 1 goal 1 assist
1. BGR – Kreider 2 goals

WEEKLY SUMMARY: So after Bathgate winning 2 at Jagr, the teams split at the Garden and it’s back to Jagr for game 5! What’s in store?????

JOHN – new coach file for game 5 coming shortly!

Jagr Mullets
WEEKLY PREVIEW: Down 3-1 vs Bathgate, can we stay alive?
GAME #5:


Chris Kreider (I really dislike that guy IRL and in MWHL) scores his 6th and 7th goals of the series. But Auston Matthews’ OT game winner 29 seconds in seals the 4-3 Mullet win.

Scoring Summary
Per Time Str Team
1 4:56 EV JAG Hedman (1), assisted by Kaprizov (3) and Svechnikov (2)
3 2:37 PP BGR Kreider (6), assisted by Carlo (1) and Panarin (6)
3 6:09 EV BGR Kreider (7), assisted by Zibanejad (5) and Carlo (2)
3 8:27 EV JAG Matthews (3), assisted by Hedman (4)
4 :29 EV JAG Matthews (4), assisted by Toews (1)

Star 1: JAG Matthews 2 G
Star 2: BGR Kreider 2 G
Star 3: JAG Hedman 1 G, 2 Pts

GWG: Auston Matthews

Notables: BGR Skinner 37 saves
JAG Matthews 22 faceoffs won, Bergeron 16 faceoffs won

WEEKLY SUMMARY: Down 3 games to 2 and we head to Bathgate for another nail-biter. We’re GTG with these results; may the hockey gods smile upon us.
Bathgate Rangers
WEEKLY PREVIEW: Game 2 – Elimination game 2 for Jagr! Can Bathgate avoid a major collapse and regain it’s games 1 through 3 mojo? Can we avoid OTL
GAME #6:


Bathgate mulls over some changes needed to stop the Jagr juggernauts – hmmm, we’ve struggled with defense all year, let’s try the Archie Bell and the Dells “Tighten Up” and modify our game plan. Will it work or backfire.

1:48 seconds into the game and maybe it’s backfiring as Lindholm deflects another Tkachuk shot and the Mullets are quickly in the lead 1-0! But then Kaprizov gets fiesty. At 6:17 he gets nailed for roughing after a Markstrom save. After a Jagr clear on the PK, Rangers regroup. Tavares takes it on over the line, to Buchnevick, shot, blocked by Hedman. Tavares with it again, to Buchnevich – quick shot and it beats Markstrom stick side low to tie the game. Rangers defense is still holding and Kaprizov is still playing outside the rules and is nailed for tripping – his 2nd penalty in the 1st period. Rangers on the PP again and Markstrom is leading the defensive effort. Kick save on a Panarin shot. Stones him on his next shot. 3rd shot – SCORE (3rd times always a charm, isn’t it?). Panarin’s 1st of the series (assisted by Kreider). And it’s 2-1 Rangers with 6:27 to go in the 1st. Then more defense! Lots of shots in the 1st, 12 for Jagr, 13 for Bathgate and the 2-1 Rangers lead is on the board at intermission.

Period 2 – Jagr doesn’t want to start golfing and the come out hot and heavy in the 2nd firing 21 shots on Reimer, but with the defensive changes, most of the shots are long range and well seen. Not all though, but Reimer plays way over his head and stops all 21 shots. [Note: both goalies actually are downgraded for this game: Markstrom plays at 7.9; Reimer at 6.6] As the Rangers play the shoot if you want, just don’t get close, it limits their attacking as they only fire 5 shots on Markstrom, but with a 2-1 lead and Reimer dancing in the net, they felt ok. OK – you would two if you get an insurance goal 3:27 into the period and that’s what happens when Hertl gets his 1st of the series – HOW, he deflects a KREIDER shot past Markstrom! 3-1. A couple of minutes later, Giordano gets nabbed for checking from behind and the Rangers PP goes back on the ice. And after their 1st line fails to score, the 2nd unit comes on ice and for the 2nd time Tarvares sets up Buchnevich for his 2nd PP goal of the game (and the Rangers are 3 for 3 on the PP!!!!!!). And it’s 4-1 Bathgate with 35 minutes left to play! Plenty of time for the Juggernauts!

Plenty of time…..

Plenty of time…..

But no – they can’t solve the revised Bathgate pressure – Rangers don’t worry much about offense and Reimer is majestic between the pipes and he doesn’t give up another goal since that real early one in the 1st and the Rangers win it 4-1 and knock off Jagr!

3. Panarin 1 goal
2. Reimer 44 saves
1. Buchnevich 2 goals

WEEKLY SUMMARY: Rangers parlay a balanced team in to a 4-2 series win against Jagr. Except for the finale, they were all 1 run games, 3 going to OT! Congratulations to John on a great season and thanks for taking it easy on us in the 1st two games at your ice palace – that was the difference!