by Patrick Hoffman on 04/19/09 at 02:20 PM ET
Many hockey pundits and analysts figured that the Washington Capitals’ offense would dominate the New York Rangers in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. However, with two games in the books, the Blueshirts are up 2-0 with the next two games at Madison Square Garden.
Surprised? I’m actually not because I’ve written before that if the team could shut down the Caps’ big guns and get timely goal scoring against the Caps’ suspect goaltending, this team would have a chance win.
Through two games, the Rangers have gotten 67 saves (on 70 shots) from their star netminder Henrik Lundqvist, lots of blocked shots by forwards and defensemen alike, and timely goal scoring from their young guys (Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan). For the Rangers, this spells s-u-c-c-e-s-s.
So, what can the team do to make sure that they start closing door on the Capitals? Well, for one thing, continue to shut down Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green. These four supply a lot of the Caps’ offense and by taking them out of the picture, you put yourself in a position to win.
Secondly, continue to let Lundqvist see the puck. If he can see it, he’ll stop it and through the first two games, he’s stopped all but three, which he had no chance on.
Lastly, the team still needs to get more goals. In Game one, they picked up four against a shaky Jose Theodore but yesterday, they were only able to get one against Caps’ backup netminder Simeon Varlamov.
If the Rangers can continue to do these things as well as the little nuances of the game, they could be in great shape after Game three at Madison square Garden tomorrow night.
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: alex+ovechkin, alexander+semin, brandon+dubinsky, henrik+lundqvist, mike+green, new+york+rangers, nicklas+backstrom, ryan+callahan, simeon+varlamov, washington+capitals
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.