by Patrick Hoffman on 05/05/12 at 10:00 AM ET
This is exactly what the New York Rangers need to continue to do as they prepare for this afternoon’s Game 4 against the Washington Capitals.
Just three days ago, the Blueshirts pulled off a triple overtime win on a goal by Marian Gaborik. It was a goal that Gaborik needed to score, which will hopefully get him going, and it was a win the Rangers needed to prove to themselves that they could win at the Verizon Center in the playoffs after struggling to do so since Game 2 in April of 2009.
While the Rangers were able to come away with a big win in Game 3, that does not mean that they can take this afternoon off. It may not seem like it to some of you but believe it or not, this series is similar to the team’s opening round series against the Ottawa Senators. Like the first round, the Rangers split their first two games with the Capitals in this round and like in Game 3 against the Senators, the Rangers were able to come away with a victory against the Capitals in Game 3.
With that in mind, the Rangers need to take advantage of the 2-1 series lead they have now and use it to get a 3-1 series lead after this afternoon’s game. Of course, one can point out that the Rangers blew a 3-1 series lead in 2009 but this is a much different Rangers’ hockey club than the one that was on the ice three years ago.
Now that Gaborik was able to put one in, it is time for others to start following suit. Carl Hagelin needs to start putting more pucks to the net while players like Artem Anisimov, Ruslan Fedotenko, and Brian Boyle need to start producing to take the pressure off the likes of Ryan Callahan, Brad Richards, Derek Stepan and even Chris Kreider.
The pressure may be on the Capitals to win this afternoon but believe it or not, there could be more on the Blueshirts. While the team has been tied after four games before, this is not the kind of battle that they want to engage in with an explosive Capitals’ hockey club that has the guys to produce.
All the Rangers need to do is continue pushing and fighting through because when they do that, they win hockey games.
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, artem+anisimov, brad+richards, brian+boyle, carl+hagelin, chris+kreider, derek+stepan, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ruslan+fedotenko, ryan+callahan, 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 email@example.com.