by Patrick Hoffman on 05/09/12 at 10:00 AM ET
As I mentioned in my previous blog, this is the attitude that the New York Rangers need to have going into tonight’s Game 6 against the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center.
After winning a thrilling Game 5 in overtime on Monday night at Madison Square Garden, the Blueshirts are one win away from advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1994. With that said, if this series has shown anything, winning tonight at the Verizon Center is not going to be easy.
While the Capitals did lose Game 5, they were extremely close to winning that hockey game. Had Capitals’ forward Joel Ward not taken that four minute high-sticking penalty very late in the third period, it could have easily been a 2-1 Capitals’ victory and have the Rangers playing for their playoff lives.
Much like they did on Monday night, the Rangers will need to once again throw puck after puck at Capitals’ netminder Braden Holtby. While it may have been on the power play, this is exactly how the team scored both the tying and game winning goals in Game 5.
Secondly, the Rangers need to stay away from the penalty box in the third period. It hurt them in Games 2 and 4 and nearly hurt them again in Game 5 when Rangers’ forward Mike Rupp took a careless hooking penalty that led to a John Carlson power play goal.
Lastly, the club just needs to go out and play a good road game. For the Blueshirts, that includes blocking a lot of shots, not taking lazy/bad penalties, and timely goal scoring.
I know that all of you are going to be restless and on pins and needles waiting for this game to start. Remember though, you should take the same attitude that the team will more than likely be taking tonight and that is one game at a time.
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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.