by Patrick Hoffman on 05/13/12 at 12:33 PM ET
I am sure that this is something many of you New York Ranger fans are getting after the team defeated the Washington Capitals in Game 7 last night to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they will take on the New Jersey Devils.
Obviously, this is similar to 1994. While it did not take 7 games in 1994 to knock out the Capitals in the second round, the Rangers still came through with the win to advance to take on Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils.
18 years later, Brodeur is still the man between the pipes in New Jersey and has three Stanley Cups on his Hall of Fame resume. With that said, the Rangers team he will be facing this season is much different than the one he faced as a rookie in 1994.
Back to the Blueshirts. The Blueshirts have shown time and time again this season that when they need to win, they get it done.
Last night, the Rangers played “Ranger hockey” and got timely goal scoring, great goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist, played great defense, got in on the forecheck, blocked a lot of shots and won the game. This is what made the team so successful in the regular season and when they have played this way in the postseason, they have been able to come through with a victory.
In the timely goal scoring department, Rangers’ nine-year man Brad Richards scored just 92 seconds into the hockey game to give his club an early 1-0 lead. Then, in the third period still up by that same 1-0 score, defenseman Michael Del Zotto made it 2-0 before the Capitals answered with a goal of their own.
Not enough can be said about the play of Lundqvist in last night’s do or die situation for the Blueshirts. The “King” made 22 saves on 23 shots and was especially good in the second period in making 11 saves when the Capitals were pressing for the then tying goal.
The team’s defense was extremely good last night. They were back to blocking lots of shots, played physical and did not give any of the Capitals’ offensive guns room to make plays.
Ultimately, the team played the way they needed to to win a hockey game. That is something you need to do in the playoffs to play for the Cup and right now, the team finds themselves just eight wins away from lifting hockey’s Holy Grail.
Certainly getting a familiar feeling, eh?
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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.