First of all, the Rangers played their worst game of the series. Inconsistent defensively, 15 shots offensively. Fatigue mentally and physically? Maybe. Pens are flat-out a better team right now, though, as I wrote in the main story tonight.
Here's Brad Richards on the boo-birds:
“Does it upset me? Yeah, it upsets me, it upsets everybody in the locker room,” Richards said. “We’re not 15th in the league, we’re in the second round of the playoffs. But that’s my opinion. I understand sports and where it’s all at and so does (Rick Nash) and so does everybody in here. But it’s not just him, it’s not just one person. It’s the whole team. We didn’t play tonight and for one or two guys to get booed, that’s frustrating as a team.”
Fans are frustrated too, but it does seem that in other cities, there's more support. I'm not questioning the right to razz the players. It's the fans who are paying some big money for tickets, which gives them some right to vent.
But having said that, it's got to be irritating to players who hear awfully loud and steady support from the home crowd in other rinks. On the other hand, New York fans are pretty restless, and deservedly so.
Couple quick stats: Faceoffs? Rangers won 18, lost 31.
For a puck possession team, those are signs of a severe flaw.