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Entries with the tag: 2012 stanley cup playoffs

Can They Do it?

This is something that many Los Angeles Kings’ and New Jersey Devils’ fans are wondering when it comes to tonight’s Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final at the Staples Center.

What these fans, along with those in the hockey media, are wondering is if the Devils can come back from a 3-0 series deficit to tie the series and force a Game 7 at the Prudential Center on Wednesday night. If you are a Kings’ fan, you have to be just a tad bit nervous considering what the situation is now.

In the Kings’ first three games, the team squeaked out the first two with overtime wins and then came through with a convincing 4-0 win in Game 3. After that, however, it has been all about the Devils.

In Game 4, the Devils got clutch goaltending from future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur and a veteran-like game winning goal from rookie Adam Henrique en route to a 3-1 win. At the time, many fans probably thought that this would be the only Devils’ victory of the series considering that heading into Game 5 at the Prudential Center, the Kings were a perfect 10-0 on the road.

That perfect record was snapped last night as the Devils came up big with 2-1 victory to close the series to 3-2. Both goals came off of strange plays as on the first one, Zach Parise cashed in on a rare Jonathan Quick playing the puck mistake while the Devils’ second goal, scored by defenseman Bryce Salvador, went in off of Kings’ defenseman Slava Voynov.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, adam+henrique, bryce+salvador, jonathan+quick, los+angeles+kings, martin+brodeur, new+jersey+devils, slava+voynov, zach+parise

Terrible Power Play Hurts Devils in Game 3

When it comes to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, special teams play is always key.

There could be times when a team need a big power play goal to get the lead, tie the game or blow the game wide open. At other times, a team needs to kill a penalty to preserve the lead, preserve a tie and to at least stay in the game.

Last night in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Los Angeles Kings and the New Jersey Devils, the Devils did neither. Ultimately, it cost them the hockey game as they lost by a score of 4-0 and are now just one loss away from being swept and losing out on the Cup.

In last night’s tilt, the Devils’ power play went 0 for 6. They had some good looks on Kings’ netminder Jonathan Quick but either Kings’ defensemen were able to get in the way and block shots or Quick was there to make the save when he needed to.

Not only were the Devils not able to score on the power play, but the team had a 5-on-3 advantage for a minute in the first period and could not put the puck in the net. At this point in the hockey game, the score was still 0-0 and had the Devils been able to execute, it could have ended up being a much different hockey game.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, adam+henrique, david+clarkson, ilya+kovalchuk, jonathan+quick, los+angeles+kings, new+jersey+devils, patrik+elias, travis+zajac, zach+parise

Flames’ and Postseason Thoughts with Lee Snowden

Lee Snowden, one of the best hockey Tweeters out there, was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to give us his thoughts on the Calgary Flames, what has happened this postseason and of course, his Stanley Cup Final Prediction.

PH: What do you think of the Bob Hartley hiring by the Calgary Flames?
LS: Obviously, Jay Feaster is familiar with Bob. Hartley has had success at every level in hockey. Most recently winning a championship in the Swiss league with Zurich. Feaster has made it very clear the Flames goal is to get back in the playoffs, and an experienced coach like Hartley is a good first step. 

PH: How do you think that Bob Hartley can make the team better for next season?
LS: Maybe just a complete culture change. This team has been under the ‘Sutter influence’ the last 9 or so years. My thinking is a new attitude and identity will be the key to turning things around here.

PH: Besides the coaching change, what other moves do you see the Flames trying to make this off-season?
LS: Nothing too drastic. I think similar to what they did last summer. A few small trades could be expected. Continue to make solid draft selections and give the youngsters every opportunity to make the big club. No doubt free agency will be looked at to fill out some areas with a bit of depth.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, @snowdennhl, calgary+flames, lee+snowden, twitter

Tough to Take

If you are a New York Rangers’ fan, this is most likely what you are feeling regarding what happened to the team tonight.

The New Jersey Devils ended the team’s hope of getting to the Stanley Cup Final by beating the Blueshirts 3-2 in overtime on a goal by rookie Adam Henrique tonight at the Prudential Center. It is certainly disheartening considering the way the Rangers played in this game.

With the exception of the first period, it seemed like the Rangers dominated this game. They outshot the Devils 35-29, forechecked hard, had a lot more puck possession and were once again able to overcome 2-goal deficit to tie the hockey game and put a a major scare into their Hudson River rivals.

Unfortunately for the Blueshirts, it was only a scare they put into the Devils and not the victory. With their playoff lives on the line for the fourth time this postseason, the Rangers were not able to overcome a 3-2 series deficit for the right to play a Game 7 at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night.

With that said, one has to wonder what it would have been like had the Rangers turned in better first period performances in this series. Time and time again, it seemed like the Rangers got down early and were forced to play comeback hockey. While the team was not terrible tying up hockey games, it is a tough way to play in the postseason and unfortunately, the Blueshirts learned that the hard way.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, adam+henrique, carl+hagelin, chris+kreider, derek+stepan, martin+brodeur, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, pete+deboer, ryan+callahan, ryan+mcdonagh

All on Lundqvist

From Sean Hartnett at WFAN.com:

Alone stands a masked man in white.  He is the last line of defense.  His duty is to guard his post from an army of onrushing soldiers dressed in red with the mark of the demon across their chest.

Henrik Lundqvist, the man that Rangers fans call ‘King Henrik,’ is faced with the task of not only keeping goals out of his net, but not allowing the tremendous pressure placed upon him to seep into his consciousness.

Click here for more great stuff from Sean.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, sean+hartnett, wfan.com

Here We Go Again

That’s right folks. Tonight, the New York Rangers will take part in their third Game 6 and second in which they are down 3-2.

The team’s opponent, the New Jersey Devils, are playing for the right to represent the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup Final. While they have not been perfect in this series, they have played good enough to beat the Blueshirts three times, including twice in a row in Games 4 and 5.

For the Rangers, none of this should come as nothing new. They have had their backs against the wall multiple times this postseason and each time, the team has come through with a win.

With that said, there is something that definitely feels different about this series. While Rangers’ fans are confident that their favorite team will come out victorious not only in Game 6, but in this series, there is a certain uneasiness that is present.

It could be the fact that the Devils have won two games in a row or it could be that the Rangers have yet to put a full 60 minutes together in this series. Whatever it is, it is something that the Rangers need to figure out before they get down to business tonight.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, brad+richards, henrik+lundqvist, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers

Devils’ Late Goal Sinks Rangers’ Comeback Efforts

At the end of the day, it does not matter how many goals you allow as long as you are the team that has more when the final buzzer sounds.

In tonight’s Game 5 between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden, it was Devils’ forward Ryan Carter’s goal with less than five minutes to go in the hockey game that lifted the Devils to a 5-3 victory. The Devils’ defense may not have been great but in the end, it was their offense that got the crucial goal to give their team a 3-2 series lead.

For the Rangers, it was the things that happened both early and late in the game that hurt them the most. In the first period, the Devils scored three goals on six shots (Stephen Gionta, Patrik Elias, Travis Zajac) to go up 3-0 less than 10 minutes into the hockey game. Then, in the third period, Carter scored the Devils to put them up 4-3 after the Blueshirts had gotten themselves back into the game and that was followed by a Zach Parise empty net goal with 1:32 to go in the hockey game.

Had it not been for those 15-minutes, this could have been a Rangers’ victory. Even when the club was down 3-0, they did not quit and battled hard to tie the game as they got goals from Brandon Prust, Ryan Callahan and Marian Gaborik.

The team was also able to take advantage of a somewhat shaky Martin Brodeur (25 saves) to get back into the hockey game. With that said, Brodeur battled to the end and made the big saves late in the third period when it mattered most and more importantly, he put his team one victory away from a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, brandon+prust, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, martin+brodeur, michael+del+zotto, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, patrik+elias, ryan+callahan, ryan+carter, stephen+gionta, travis+zajac

Some Nasty Moments in The Rangers/Devils’ Rivalry

From Patrick Hoffman at Sportsnet.ca:

One of the greatest things about pro sports is the rivalries.

The NHL, like all other leagues, is built on a plethora of great rivalries. One of these rivalries is continuing its epic history in this year’s Eastern Conference Finals.

Of course, this is between division rivals the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils. This rivalry has produced a ton of great regular season and playoff games, goals, saves and memories.

In addition to the great parts of this rivalry, there has also been a fair share of the nasty. Dirty hits, wild fights, plenty of jawing and an overall hatred of each other makes the Rangers-Devils rivalry one of the fiercest in the NHL.

Click here for more.

Monday night’s game at the Prudential Center brought this rivalry to the forefront of the sports world. So it only seems logical to take a look at some of the nastiest moments this great rivalry has created.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers

Looking for Answers Tonight in Game 5

Coming into tonight’s Game 5 between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden, it appears that there are more questions than answers regarding the state of the Blueshirts after their 4-1 loss in Game 4.

While the Rangers were not exactly dead in their loss in Game 4, the team certainly was nowhere near its best. The club spent too much time in the penalty box, was outworked, outhustled and outshot and offensively, were too quiet to generate quality scoring chances against future Hall of Fame netminder Martin Brodeur.

Obviously, the team said all the right things both after the game and after yesterday’s practice but one has to wonder what the team is really thinking. For example, what is Rangers’ defenseman Michael Del Zotto thinking after his terrible performance in Game 4 in which he was the main cause of the Devils’ second goal by Travis Zajac and was also benched by head coach John Tortorella?

Another question that needs to be answered tonight is regarding the team’s offense? Where have the likes of Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards gone? While it is not fair to put all of the pressure on Gaborik and Richards to perform, these are the only two guys on the Blueshirts, with the exception of team captain Ryan Callahan, that can produce and put the puck in the net on regular basis.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, john+tortorella, martin+brodeur, michael+del+zotto, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, travis+zajac

The Script Remains The Same

This appears to be the case for the New York Rangers as the team dropped Game 4 at the Prudential Center to the New Jersey Devils by a score of 4-1.

For the third straight series, the Blueshirts will go into Game 5 tied with their opponent. While this probably should not have happened against both the Ottawa Senators and Washington Capitals, the Rangers certainly deserve this fate after the way they played tonight.

The Blueshirts came out extremely flat in the first period and paid for it. The Devils picked-up two goals (Bryce Salvador and Travis Zajac) and were outshot 12-9 in the process. Had it not been for the strong play of Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist (26 saves), the period could have been much worse for the Blueshirts.

The team also racked up 41 minutes in penalties. While it was good to see the Rangers play a physical brand of hockey, spending that much time in the penalty box does not help anyone and only takes your best players off the ice for an extended period of time, something the Rangers cannot afford to do on any given night.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, bryce+salvador, henrik+lundqvist, martin+brodeur, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, travis+zajac, washington+capitals, zach+parise

Time to Go Off Script

For the New York Rangers, this postseason has been a story of deja vu.

There have been many similarities in each round from the number of games played, to the goal scorers in each game as well as the general outcome of each tilt. While this is certainly interesting, it is time for the Blueshirts to go off script.

In each series, the Rangers have taken a 2-1 series lead into Game 4 only to lose both times to the Ottawa Senators and Washington Capitals, respectively. In fact, only once in this whole postseason have the Rangers been able to win two straight games and that was back in Games 6 and 7 of their first round series against the Senators.

The Blueshirts are coming off a game in which they were badly outplayed by the New Jersey Devils, except for a portion of the third period when they got two quick goals from Dan Girardi and Chris Kreider. Luckily, the team got a terrific 36-save performance from their goaltender Henrik Lundqvist as he made extremely timely saves against the likes of Ilya Kovalchuk, Zach Parise, Travis Zajac, Adam Henrique and others.

The Rangers were also very lucky that the goal posts were on their side on Saturday afternoon. The Devils hit four of them and had at least one gone in, it could have been a much different hockey game.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, adam+henrique, brad+richards, chris+kreider, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, ilya+kovalchuk, marian+gaborik, martin+brodeur, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, travis+zajac, washington+capitals, zach+parise

Prust Suspended for Game 4

From NHL.com:

It appears as though the New York Rangers will be without Brandon Prust on Monday night.

Multiple media outlets are reporting that the rugged forward has been suspended for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final against the New Jersey Devils after his hit on Anton Volchenkov during the second period of Saturday’s 3-0 win at the Prudential Center.

Volchenkov was carrying the puck along the boards and chipped it out of the zone when Prust landed an elbow to the back of Volchenkov’s helmet. Volchenkov, was down on the ice for almost a minute afterward, but was able to continue playing.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, anton+volchenkov, brandon+prust, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers

Prust to Have Hearing Tomorrow

From NHL.com:

New York Rangers forward Brandon Prust will have a hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety on Sunday morning after connecting with the head of Anton Volchenkov during a 3-0 win against the New Jersey Devils in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday.

Volchenkov was carrying the puck along the boards and chipped it out of the zone when Prust landed an elbow to the back of Volchenkov’s helmet in the second period. Volchenkov was down on the ice for almost a minute afterward, but was able to continue playing. No penalty was called on the play.

Click here for more on Prust.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, anton+volchenkov, brandon+prust, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers

Lundqvist Stonewalls Devils’ in Game 3 Shutout

Once again in this year’s postseason, New York Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was the story for his hockey club as his 36-save performance help shutout the New Jersey Devils in Game 3 at the Prudential Center by a score of 3-0.

Much like in Game 1, except with a lot more shots in this afternoon’s tilt, Lundqvist stopped everything the Devils threw at him in the hockey game. He was especially good in the first period when he stopped several odd man rushes and made a terrific glove save on Devils’ sniper Ilya Kovalchuk in close.

Lundqvist also made several big stops in the middle frame to keep the game at 0-0 in the third period. The Devils outshot the Rangers 15-9 in that period but again were not able to put one past the “King”.

Then, in the third period, the Blueshirts found a way to put pucks past Martin Brodeur, who, like Lundqvist, was also have a solid game between the pipes for his hockey club. Rangers’ defenseman Dan Girardi put the team up 1-0 on the power play just over three minutes into the third period when a Brad Richards’ face-off win ended up in the back of the net off a Girardi snap shot that beat Brodeur stick side.

Two minutes later, the Rangers found the back of the net again when rookie Chris Kreider deflected a Ryan McDonagh shot past Brodeur for his fifth of the postseason and a 2-0 Rangers’ lead. While the Rangers did not generate a lot of offense all game long (22 shots), they were able to score two goals 1:57 apart.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, chris+kreider, dan+girardi, ilya+kovalchuk, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators

Heads or Tails?

That is what this Eastern Conference Finals series is between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils because picking which team will advance to the Stanley Cup Final is like flipping a coin.

On one side, you have the No. 1 seed Blueshirts. These Rangers work hard, block a lot of shots, play physical, get great goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist and yet, have not been able to take control of a series for three straight rounds.

On the other side, you have the No. 6 seed Devils. These Devils have speed, know how to put a net front presence in front of Lundqvist, have many two-way players, and have a future hall of fame netminder in Martin Brodeur.

This is why it makes perfect sense that heading into this afternoon’s Game 3 at the Prudential Center, this series is tied up. In Game 1, the Blueshirts rode a three goal third period and the perfect goaltending of Lundqvist to a 3—0 shutout. In Game 2, the Devils fought hard all game long, used deflections to beat Lundqvist and got great goaltending from Brodeur.

For the Rangers to win this game, a number of things need to happen. For starters, the Blueshirts need offense. Guys like Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards, and Ryan Callahan need to start scoring like they did in the regular season.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, brad+richards, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, martin+brodeur, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan

An apology

Obviously, I am taking quite a beating for the article I wrote regarding the New Jersey Devils and their No Blue campaign.

For starters, I did not mean this as an offense to any Devils’ fans. This was an opinion article and one that may be I should have written very differently.

I guess what I am still having trouble understanding is why an organization, that has had attendance problems in the past, would want to keep a group of fans that has done a lot to make the Devils’ profitable during the course of the rivalry. In fact, many people call the Prudential Center MSG South or even reference it as another home game for the Blueshirts.

I can understand that the organization wants to have more of their fans in the building rather than having a bunch of Rangers’ fans. In fact, that is admirable and one that will more likely help home ice advantage.

With that said, that is still money that the team is turning down. I guess that is all I was trying to say.

Again, I am sorry if I offended anyone.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers

What are The Devils Thinking?

From Patrick Hoffman at Sportsnet.ca:

For their Eastern Conference Final with their Hudson River rival New York Rangers, the New Jersey Devils have gone ahead and launched a “No Blue” campaign to help enhance their home ice advantage at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.

This campaign is designed to keep Rangers’ fans out of the Prudential Center during the Eastern Conference Finals and get more Devils’ fans in the arena to support their hockey club.

On one hand, it is understandable for a team’s fan base to do whatever it takes to root on their favorite hockey team and utilize home ice advantage to the best of their abilities. On the other hand, this campaign is absolutely ridiculous and when you think about it, embarrassing for an NHL franchise.

What does it say about your franchise that you are still trying to get your own fans into your barn for a playoff game? In most other NHL cities, it is easy to get fans into a building for a Stanley Cup playoff game and have it sell out.

Click here for more.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers

Rangers Fail To Take Control for Third Straight Round

This is starting to become a familiar story for the New York Rangers in this postseason as the team finds themselves tied with their opponent after two games for the third straight round.

This opponent, the New Jersey Devils, went into Madison Square Garden and played a solid road game in earning a 3-2 victory to even up the series. The Devils got timely goal scoring, got another good game from their goaltender Martin Brodeur and did a good job of closing the door late in the third period to get the big victory.

For the Blueshirts, this was once again a game that they could have won. Rangers’ rookie Chris Kreider scored his fourth goal of the playoffs on a power play that gave the Rangers’ a 2-1 lead with just over 8 minutes left to go in the second period.

With the way Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist has been playing this postseason, one might think that would be enough to get the Rangers a victory and a 2-0 series lead. That did not happen as the Devils’ scored with just over two minutes to go in the second period to tie it (deflection by Ryan Carter) and a goal 2:31 in the third period (David Clarkson) to get a lead they would never relinquish.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, chris+kreider, david+clarkson, henrik+lundqvist, jim+cerny, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, martin+brodeur, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, ryan+carter

Time To Take Control

This is what the New York Rangers need to do tonight in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Finals series with the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden.

With the Blueshirts coming off a 3-0 victory in Game 1 and the 1-0 series lead, the Rangers should try and do everything they can to take control of this series. Through the first two rounds, it never felt like the Rangers had the series well within their grasp and while this series is in no way easy for the team, they should be able to grab control of this series in a hurry if things go their way.

For starters, Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist is more than just on top of his game. While he did not face as many shots (21) as Devils’ Hall of Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur (27) did, Lundqvist made the big saves when he had to and was especially good in the second period when he made 10 saves, many of them of the difficult variety.

Secondly, the team has its forechecking game going again. This was evident on the team’s first goal by Dan Girardi when Chris Kreider got to the puck first and fed Girardi for the one timer and it was also apparent as the team won many puck battles along the boards.

It should also be mentioned just how good the Rangers’ defense has been in their last two games. The team held the Devils to just 21 shots in the game and 4 in the last period on Monday night in Game 1 and in Game 7 on Saturday night against the Washington Capitals in the third period, they held up the likes of Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom, Brooks Laich, Marcus Johansson, and Mike Green and gave them very little room to maneuver or shoot the puck.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, alex+ovechkin, alexander+semin, brooks+laich, chris+kreider, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, marcus+johansson, martin+brodeur, mike+green, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, nicklas+backstrom, washington+capitals

Rangers Take Game 1

If you are or have been a fan of either the New York Rangers or New Jersey Devils for the past 20 years or so, than Game 1 between the two clubs in the Eastern Conference Finals was a very familiar story.

The Blueshirts were able to come away with a 3-0 victory thanks to third period goals from defenseman Dan Girardi, fresh out of college winger Chris Kreider and Artem Anisimov and solid goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist. For the Rangers, it was the fifth time that the team has shutout the Devils in the postseason as Rangers’ great Mike Richter shut out their Hudson River rivals once in 1992 (Game 4), once in 1994 (Game 2) and twice in 1997 (Games 2 and 4).

This was a typical Rangers’/Devils’ game. There was lots of tight checking, lots of blocked shots, and with the exception of the third period, not a lot of goals were scored. It was like a regular season game except for the fact that this is now the Conference Finals.

For the second time in as many games, the Blueshirts outplayed their opponent in the third period. The team forechecked hard, threw plenty of pucks on Devils’ Hall of Fame netminder Martin Brodeur (25 saves) and were able to not only get the first goal of the game, but they followed it up with an insurance marker just a few minutes later.

Rangers’ rookie Chris Kreider was involved on both goals. On Girardi’s goal, it was Kreider who carried the puck into the Devils’ zone and was able to feed Girardi, who was coming off the bench on a line change, with the puck who buried one past Brodeur’s right pad.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, artem+anisimov, chris+kreider, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, martin+brodeur, mike+richter, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers

Battle of the Hudson Part 6

For hockey fans in New York and New Jersey, the Eastern Conference Finals could not be a more perfect scenario.

Tonight, the Eastern Conference Finals get underway between the No. 1 seed New York Rangers and No. 6 seed New Jersey Devils. This will be the sixth time the two Hudson River rivals go at it in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with the Rangers winning four of the five series’s.

The Blueshirts are coming off their second Game 7 victory of the 2012 postseason as they were able to finally knock out the Washington Capitals in the postseason after failing to do so in 2009 and 2011. The Rangers came through when they needed to and showed that when they are under a ton of pressure to win a hockey game, they can come through with flying colors.

Across the river, the New Jersey Devils just shocked the No. 5 seed Philadelphia Flyers by beating the Broadstreet Bullies in just five games. The Devils’ defense was tremendous in shutting down one of the top offenses in the league and are now in the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since the 2003 season when they won the Cup.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, henrik+lundqvist, martin+brodeur, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, washington+capitals

That Old Feeling: Rangers Advance to Conference Finals to Take on The Devils

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.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, brad+richards, henrik+lundqvist, martin+brodeur, michael+del+zotto, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, washington+capitals

Why the Rangers Will Win Tonight

When it comes to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, there is nothing like the excitement, nervousness and other emotions that come to life in a Game 7.

Tonight, the New York Rangers and their passionate fans will be experiencing all kinds of feelings when they take on the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden.

For both the Rangers and Capitals, this game marks the second seventh game of the postseason that they will be participating in. The first time around, the Rangers were able to beat the No. 8 seed Ottawa Senators by a score of 2-1 while the Capitals, the No. 7 seed, were able to beat the No. 2 seed Boston Bruins in overtime by the same score of 2-1.

While the Capitals’ have had success against the Rangers in Game 7’s before, this year will be different and for the first time since the 1996-97 season, the Blueshirts will be headed to the Eastern Conference Finals. Here are the reasons why:

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, boston+bruins, brad+richards, henrik+lundqvist, marc+staal, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, tampa+bay+lightning, washington+capitals

Quiet on The Offensive Front for the Blueshirts

As everyone knows, goals are at a minimum in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

With the exception of the first round between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers, there have been many low scoring games in this postseason. This is due to tighter defenses, players diving all over the place to block shots and great goaltending.

While these things have certainly been a factor for the New York Rangers, they are not the only reason why the team’s offense has been very quiet in their second round series with the Washington Capitals.

For starters, the Rangers are not getting any secondary scoring. Guys like Ruslan Fedotenko, Brian Boyle, Brandon Prust, Derek Stepan, John Mitchell, Carl Hagelin, Mike Rupp, and others have all been stymied and have not been able to put the puck in the net.

This is a problem because it ends up putting a ton of pressure on the likes of Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, and Ryan Callahan to put the puck in the net. While it is right to expect them to be able to put the puck in the net because of what they accomplished in the regular season or in past postseasons, that does not mean that they can come through whenever the team needs them to.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, brad+richards, braden+holtby, brandon+prust, brian+boyle, carl+hagelin, derek+stepan, john+mitchell, marian+gaborik, mike+rupp, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, ruslan+fedotenko, ryan+callahan

Game 7 It Is

With their 2-1 loss to the Washington Capitals in Game 6 at the Verizon Center tonight, the New York Rangers now have to prepare themselves for their second straight series with a Game 7 on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

This should not come as a surprise given the way the Blueshirts played tonight. There was not enough urgency, some sloppy play in their own zone and overall, it did not look like a full team effort tonight.

It also did not help that the team was put behind the eighth ball just over a minute into the hockey game when Capitals’ captain Alex Ovechkin scored a power play goal. Just 1:13 into the tilt, Capitals’ hard-working forward Jason Chimera was taken down by Rangers’ defenseman Anton Stralman, which led to the Capitals’ power play and ultimately, the 1-0 lead.

Chimera was a factor on his team’s second goal as he picked up his fourth goal of the postseason. This is a player that plays hard all of the time, has terrific speed, and has shown that he has some offensive skill, something that the Rangers’ pluggers need to start showing like they did during the regular season.

The only player that seemed to show up tonight for the Blueshirts was goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist made 21 saves in a losing effort and did everything he could to give his team a chance to win a hockey game.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, alex+ovechkin, anton+stralman, braden+holtby, henrik+lundqvist, jason+chimera, new+york+rangers

One Game at a Time

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.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, joel+ward, john+carlson, mike+rupp, new+york+rangers, washington+capitals

Rangers’ Power Play Comes Through When It Matters Most

The New York Rangers power play for what seems like the first time all year long was a huge factor in their 3-2 overtime victory in Game 5 against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden.

Rangers’ defenseman Marc Staal scored a power play goal just 1:35 into overtime to take a 3-2 series lead. For the Rangers, the play was simple as they won the face-off back to the point and Staal just put the puck on net, which is what a team is supposed to do when they have the man advantage. 

However, this game looked like it was going to end up a 2-1 Capitals win. However, Capitals’ forward Joel Ward took an ill-timed high-sticking double minor with 22 seconds to go on Rangers’ forward Carl Hagelin.

The Blueshirts were able to capitalize on the first part of the power play with 6.6 seconds to go when Brad Richards scored off of Callahan’s third shot past Braden Holtby to tie the game up. For now at least, this goal will go down as Richards’ biggest goal as a Blueshirt.

When overtime started, the team still had over a minute to go on the power play and again, the team was able to come through. If there was ever a time for the team’s power play to start clicking, it was this game. On both goals, the team threw plenty of pucks on Holtby, which again, is something that a team is supposed to do on the power play.

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Feeling The Pressure

This is something that the New York Rangers have to be undergoing as the team gets set for its Game 5 tilt tonight with the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden.

While the Blueshirts were the top team in the Eastern Conference, Atlantic Division and one of the best teams in the entire league, it has not been an easy postseason for this hockey club. Rather, it has been one where the Rangers, just like they had to in the regular season, have had to prove that they can handle tough situations, play comeback hockey and win games when it matters.

The team will be in that same kind of situation tonight for Game 5. Based on the way this series has been played so far, it has the makings of another seven game series for the Blueshirts and one that could end up proving to be difficult to win because the way the Capitals are playing.

The Capitals are essentially playing “Ranger hockey”. They are blocking a lot of shots, playing physical, breaking up a lot of passes in their own zone and capitalizing on mistakes made by the opposition.

In turn, the Blueshirts will need to figure out a better way to beat that system. This means finding ways around shot blockers, putting more pucks to the net on Capitals’ netminder Braden Holtby, crashing for rebounds, creating traffic in front of the net and being patient with the puck.

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Late Penalty Hurts Blueshirts Again in Game 4 Loss to Capitals

Much like it did in Game 2 at Madison Square Garden, a late penalty taken by the New York Rangers turned into the game-winning goal for the Washington Capitals in a 3-2 win in Game 4 at the Verizon Center.

This time, the culprit for the Blueshirts was Carl Hagelin. Hagelin took a two minute slashing penalty and Capitals’ defenseman Mike Green took advantage and ripped a slap shot past Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

For the Rangers, this game was a tale of two different teams. On one side, the Rangers’ played like a team that would rely on its goaltender Lundqvist to make timely save after timely save as well as a team that had no offense to supply.

On the other side, the Rangers played like a club that was willing to go to the net, get goals from the dirty areas and play disciplined hockey. Unfortunately for the Rangers, neither of these teams prevailed as the series will now head back to the Garden for Game 5 tied at two games apiece.

On the bright side, the team got a great performance from Artem Anisimov. Anisimov, who had been quiet for much of these playoffs, picked-up a goal and an assist and was more than present in this hockey game.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, artem+anisimov, carl+hagelin, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, mike+green, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, washington+capitals

Keep Pushing Through

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.

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Gaborik Comes Through in Triple OT

There was no doubt that going into last night’s Game 3 between the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center, Blueshirts’ 41-goal scorer Marian Gaborik was having trouble putting the puck in the net.

Well, that changed last night and did so in very dramatic fashion. Gaborik scored a goal in the third overtime off a nice feed from Brad Richards to give his hockey club the 2-1 victory and a 2-1 series lead.

For the Blueshirts, it was their first triple overtime win since 1971 when they defeated the Chicago Blackhawks at Madison Square Garden on a goal by Pete Stemkowski. The win also marked the Rangers’ first victory at the Verizon Center in the playoffs since Game 2 of 2009.

This was a game that could have gone either way. Both teams certainly played well enough to win but because Gaborik was able to come through and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was able to make one more save than Capitals’ netminder Braden Holtby, the result turned out to be in favor of the Rangers.

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Similar to 1994?

From Patrick Hoffman at Sportsnet.ca:

For Rangers fans, 1994 was the year the team broke the dreaded 54-year Stanley Cup drought by beating the Vancouver Canucks in seven games. It was a year to remember as the team set many single season franchise records and ruled the rest of the National Hockey League.

If this sounds similar to what a particular team accomplished this season, it should because it just so happens to be the 2011-12 version of the Blueshirts as well. While the Rangers did not finish atop the NHL standings this season, they certainly accomplished similar things that the 1994 club did.

For starters, in both 1994 and this season, the Rangers won the Atlantic Division and finished first in the Eastern Conference. In 1994, the Rangers finished the regular season en route to their division title and perched at the top of the Eastern Conference.

This season, the Rangers were just as good as the 1994 team was. The Blueshirts finished the regular season with 109 points and captured their first division title since, you guessed it, 1994.

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  Tags: 1994, 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, new+york+rangers

In for the Long Haul

Based on the way the first two games have gone between the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers, it appears that this series has the potential to be a long one.

Heading into tonight’s Game 3 at the Verizon Center, both teams find themselves tied at one game apiece. The Blueshirts took Game 1 by a score of 3-1 while the Capitals fought back and won Game 2 by a score of 3-2 to even up the series.

Neither team won their games in convincing fashion in this series. In Game 1, there were 32 shots combined between the two clubs and in Game 2, it could have gone either way.

For the Rangers, this should not come as a surprise. In their first round series with the Ottawa Senators, the Blueshirts and Sens found themselves tied in the series after Games 2, 4, and 6 before the Rangers came through with a victory in Game 7.

Tonight, the Rangers need to make sure that they do everything they can to not let the Capitals take over the series. While they have not exactly been firing on all cylinders, the Capitals do have an offense that is capable of exploding and controlling hockey games, something the Blueshirts need to try and prevent both tonight and in Game 4.

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Rangers Come Up Short

That is what the New York Rangers did tonight in their 3-2 Game 2 loss of the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden.

After battling back from a 2-1 deficit on a goal by Ryan Callahan, Capitals’ team captain Alex Ovechkin scored the game winner on a power play with less than 8 minutes to go. The power play was a result of a holding penalty taken by Rangers’ forward Brad Richards.

With the win, the Capitals were able to even up the series at one game apiece as both teams will now prepare for Wednesday night’s Game 3 at the Verizon Center. The Rangers do not exactly have to go back to the drawing board but they must find more ways to make life difficult for Capitals’ goaltender Braden Holtby.

To beat Holtby, the Rangers need to do a better job of driving to the net and creating traffic in front of the net. On the first goal of the game, Richards drove to the net and was able to put a Marian Gaborik feed into an empty net. On the second goal, Rangers’ defenseman Michael Del Zotto’s shot from the point was redirected by Ryan Callahan a few feet outside the crease before getting by Holtby.

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Focusing on Round 2

The New York Rangers will be doing just that tomorrow afternoon at Madison Square Garden as the team begins its second round series against the Washington Capitals.

For the Blueshirts, this playoff match-up has no surprises. The two teams met in both the 2009 and 2011 postseason and both times, the Capitals came away with the series victory.

The main difference is the seeding of these two clubs. The Rangers finished in the top spot in the Eastern Conference while the Capitals took the seventh seed.

For the Rangers to be successful in this series, the team will need to once again play “Ranger hockey”. The club will need to be all over the likes of Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom and Brooks Laich. As such, the Blueshirts should be prepared to block a ton of shots this series.

On the other side, the Rangers’ big offensive players need to step up and produce. Marian Gaborik really needs to start scoring some goals while others like Brad Richards, Ryan Callahan, Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider must continue to find ways to generate offense.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, alex+ovechkin, alexander+semin, brad+richards, braden+holtby, brooks+laich, chris+kreider, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, nicklas+backstrom, ottawa+senators, ryan+callahan, washington+capitals

Blueshirts Off to the Second Round

For the first time since the 2007-08 season, the New York Rangers are off to the second round after defeating the Ottawa Senators by a score of 2-1 in Game 7 at Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers played “Ranger hockey” by blocking a ton of shots, playing physical, getting timely goal scoring and big-game goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist (26 saves). It was a style that they need to play tonight in order to win this tilt and luckily, the Rangers were able to implement it perfectly.

For starters, a lot of credit has to be given to the Rangers’ defense. Not only did they block a ton of shots and break up many passes, but they also helped score the only two goals of the game as both Marc Staal and Dan Giradi were able to put the puck in the net in the second period.

The line of Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan and Ryan Callahan also had themselves a terrific game. While he has only played in five NHL games, Kreider is showing that he belongs in the NHL. He has speed, he has size, he has strength and soft hands, all skills that will make him a very, very, good NHLer.

Stepan, after not scoring a point in the first five games of the series, finished up the first round with 5 points (1G 4A). He is playing with a lot more confidence and is getting a lot of scoring chances playing with Callahan and Kreider.

Callahan played like a captain should always play. He played hard, physical and was able to help this team get into the second round of the postseason.

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What the Rangers Need to do to Win Game 7

While the NHL regular season does not mean much when it comes to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, there are things that a team did during the regular season that helps when it comes to playing in hockey’s second season.

This is the case when it comes to the New York Rangers. Tonight, the Rangers will host Game 7 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Ottawa Senators. It is the Rangers’ first Game 7 at Madison Square Garden since they won Game 7 against the Vancouver Canucks in 1994 in the Stanley Cup Final.

The Rangers were extremely successful in the regular season and the three games they won in their series against the Senators because they played “Ranger Hockey”. Ranger hockey is something that team head coach John Tortorella came up with and it has worked to a ‘T’ when implemented correctly.

For starters, playing Ranger hockey is all about having a team first mentality. This means that playing a physical brand of hockey and blocking shots are almost mandatory and when the Rangers have won in this series, they have done both extremely well.

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Rangers Play Their Game to Extend Series to 7

When the New York Rangers play within themselves and play their style of hockey, they are an extremely tough team to beat.

The Blueshirts proved that tonight by beating the Ottawa Senators by a score of 3-2 in Game 6 to tie the series up at three apiece. The two teams will have two days off before meeting on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden for a Game 7.

The Rangers played the game the right way tonight and the way that they played all season long. They were able to capitalize on their power play opportunities, got good performances from the likes of Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider and were able to hold onto a two-goal third period lead. These are the things that made the Rangers successful in the regular season and proved tonight by playing this style of hockey, they can win games when they need to and when it counts.

There is a lot to be said about the play of Kreider. Kreider came to the Blueshirts after winning a National Championship with Boston College and has done nothing but stay in the lineup and show that he can play in the NHL.

Tonight, Kreider picked-up his first career Stanley Cup Playoff goal, a game-winning goal, in an extremely meaningful game. For the Blueshirts, tonight’s tilt was a do or die situation and Kreider came through looking like a veteran rather thank a rookie playing in just his fourth NHL/playoff game.

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Playing for their Playoff Lives

That is the position the New York Rangers have put themselves in after losing Games 4 and 5 to the Ottawa Senators, giving the opposition a 3-2 series lead.

Based on the way the 2012 postseason has gone so far, nothing should come as a surprise. Heck, the Vancouver Canucks, Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins, three of the league’s best teams, have already been eliminated.

Another top team in the NHL has a chance to be eliminated tonight. If the Rangers lose tonight at Scotiabank Place, their terrific regular season will have meant nothing.

Throughout the regular season, the Blueshirts were a team that never gave up. They were able to protect leads, make comebacks late in third periods and played with a never say die attitude.

The Rangers will be playing for their playoff lives tonight and will need to have that same mentality that made them so successful in the postseason. If they don’t, it’s off to the golf course for a way too early offseason for the Blueshirts.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, carl+hagelin, craig+anderson, daniel+alfredsson, detroit+red+wings, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins, vancouver+canucks

Rangers In Serious Trouble After Being Shutout in Game 5

Being that the New York Rangers were shutout 2-0 tonight by Craig Anderson and the Ottawa Senators in Game 5, that could be the understatement of the season.

The Rangers did a much better job tonight of getting pucks on net and crashing for rebounds but Anderson turned away all 41 shots that were thrown at him for his second career shutout. The Rangers are now just one loss away from elimination in what would be an extremely disappointing end to the Blueshirts’ season.

It is clear that the Blueshirts are struggling to score goals when it matters in this series. While Brad Richards had more than a handful of shots on goal, he was not able to put the puck in the net when the team needed him the most. Guys like Marian Gaborik, Derek Stepan, Ruslan Fedotenko, and Brandon Dubinsky were all kept quiet and for a team that needs other players to step up and score goals, that is not a good thing.

The team’s power play also struggled tonight. While this is nothing new for the Rangers, the team’s power play was given a chance to succeed late in the third period but the club failed to generate a quality scoring chance and were not able to tie the game up and finished 0-4 on the night.

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Evened Up

That is exactly what the first round Stanley Cup Playoff series is between the New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators after last night’s 3-2 overtime victory for the Senators.

The Rangers let an early 2-0 lead slip away as well as a 2-1 series lead and now, they will head back to Madison Square Garden for Game 5 tied up thanks to Senators’ forward Kyle Turris, who scored the game winner in overtime for his hockey club. Everyone knew that this series was not going to be easy for the Blueshirts and right now, the team is proving just that.

With that said, the Senators are doing everything right when it comes to their game. They are throwing plenty of pucks on Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist,l creating lots of traffic in front of the net, playing a physical brand of hockey and for the most part, doing a good job of allowing their netminder Craig Anderson to see the puck.

What’s concerning is the Rangers’ inability to hold a lead in this series. They struggled with it in Game 2 and now again last night, something that they did not do much of in the regular season.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, craig+anderson, henrik+lundqvist, kyle+turris, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators

Just Win

When it comes to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the only thing that matters is winning hockey games.

It does not matter how you do it, if it was ugly or easy or if you were outplayed. The only thing that matters is subtracting from that number 16.

Tonight, the Rangers will look to cut their number to 13 as they get set to take on the Ottawa Senators in Game 4 tonight at Scotiabank Place. Should the Blueshirts win tonight, they will be able to close out the series in Game 5 on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

With Blueshirts’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist in the zone, the team will need to find a way to provide more offensive support for their superstar netminder. The “King” had to be perfect on Monday and the team was lucky he was as they scored just one goal (Brian Boyle) the entire game.

Players like Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, Ryan Callahan, Derek Stepan and Brandon Dubinsky need to start producing. These guys were shut down by the Senators in Game 3 and have been quiet since their performances in Game 1.

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A Look at the Rangers’ Postseason with Neil Keefe of WFAN.com

The great Neil Keefe, blogger/writer/podcaster extraordinaire for WFAN.com, was kind enough to take time out of his very busy schedule to give us his thoughts on the New York Rangers’ postseason thus far.

PH: In general, what are your thoughts on the Rangers’ play this postseason?
NK: The Rangers have played solid through their first three games. I think we all knew going into the postseason they might have trouble against the Senators with the way their styles of play match up, and that has certainly been the case. The Rangers dominated Game 1 before blowing a lead in Game 2 and losing and then winning Game 3 despite being outplayed and outshot. The Senators could very well be the team with the 2-1 series lead after we have seen, but they’re not, and that’s all that matters.

PH: How do you think Rangers’ captain Ryan Callahan has elevated his game during the postseason both as a player and captain?
NK: Callahan’s game has been pretty much the same to me as it was in the regular season, which means he’s playing at a high level. I wrote a few weeks ago how Callahan just seems to have the scoring touch and even though he doesn’t always score the prettiest goals (actually he pretty much never does), the puck always finds his stick in front of the net and then he usually finds the back of the net even if he doesn’t look great doing so.

I think Callahan’s leadership can be seen in the way that he plays the game. The “C” belongs on his jersey and his work ethic and intensity represent his role and the Rangers’ style of play perfectly.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, neil+keefe, new+york+rangers, wfan.com

What is Shanahan Trying to Do?

From Neil Keefe at CBS New York:

Does Brendan Shanahan think he’s doing a good job because he makes videos to explain the infractions and the punishments he determines for the infractions? Because, if anything, the videos make his decisions look even more nonsensical. At least when Campbell was recklessly throwing around suspensions (or sometimes a lack thereof), there wasn’t video evidence of him narrating plays so we could see inside his inconsistent mind.

In Game 2 of the Rangers-Senators series, Matt Carkner dressed with the mission of fighting Brian Boyle and getting physical with Erik Karlsson, and I have no problem with Carkner dressing for this purpose. But when Boyle decided he wasn’t going to fight Carkner on the first attempt, Carkner decided he was going to fight anyway and sucker-punched Boyle and then continued to punch him as he went down to the ice. In the process, Brandon Dubinsky went to the aid of his defenseless teammate and was given a game misconduct for not allowing Carkner to finish a job that could have ended Boyle’s season or maybe even his career.

Carkner was suspended one game for a pre-mediated attack (which once again I don’t have a problem with since its part of the game, but square up or take care of it in the correct setting), but an attack against a guy who didn’t square up with him and led to Carkner doing what he was set out to do anyway. One game! Here’s what Shanahan said in his NHL.com video review of Carkner’s infraction.

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  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, brian+boyle, carl+hagelin, matt+carkner, neil+keefe, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators

Should Have Been Different

That can be said when it comes to tonight’s New York Rangers’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators in Game 2 at Madison Square Garden tonight.

After tying the game on a Nick Foligno goal with just over five minutes to go in the hockey game, the Senators went onto to score just over a minute into overtime on a goal by Chris Neil to tie the series 1-1. Given that the Rangers have always played well with a lead heading into the third period, this was not the way they wanted to end the hockey game.

For the most part, the team seemed to sit back in the third period tonight. The Senators outshot and outscored the Rangers in the final frame and seemed to keep the puck deep in the Rangers’ zone for long periods of time.

The Rangers’ power play also hurt them in this hockey game. Although the team did score once on the power play tonight (defenseman Anton Stralman), they were not able to cash in on their three other opportunities, including a five minute penalty to Senators’ defenseman Matt Carkner.

The Senators were also successful tonight because they were able to match the Rangers’ physicality throughout the game. The Senators finished their checks, took the body at all costs and made it feel like that it was an absolute war on the ice, which is what Stanley Cup Playoff hockey is all about.

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Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, anton+sralman, matt+carkner, new+york+rangers, nick+foligno, ottawa+senators

Lundqvist Enjoying His Time in New York

From Ken Baker at NHL.com:

Lundqvist, who is 30 and entering the Stanley Cup Playoffs after his most statistically remarkable regular season (1.97 goals-against average .930 save percentage), says, “I’d like to play another ten years, maybe more. But, with injuries, you never know. That’s why you just have to enjoy the moment.”

The latest moment for the Swede to soak in will come Thursday in the opening game of New York’s first-round series against the No. 8 seeded Ottawa Senators.

Lundqvist’s moment-savoring approach to his sport was on full display Monday as he prepares for the matchup. In an hour-long, fast-paced practice in which head coach John Tortorella barks throughout—and goalie coach Benoit Allaire dissects his star pupil—the All-Star goalie does what all elite athletes do: make the difficult look easy.

Click here for more on the “King”, Henrik Lundqvist.

 

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, henrik+lundqvist, new+york+rangers

An Overly Optimistic Look at The Blueshirts

The following is a piece on the New York Rangers’ playoff hopes I contributed over at Liam Maguire’s Ultimate Hockey web site.

I was probably being too optimistic but nevertheless, I believe it is a good take on the Rangers this season:

To win the Stanley Cup, hockey teams must win a lot of games, pull together and play the right way, sacrifice their bodies and be willing to do anything to make things happen.

This season, no team in the NHL embodied the above mentioned things more than the New York Rangers. The Blueshirts have won the most games in regulation this season and they did it in pretty amazing fashion.

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Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: 2012+stanley+cup+playoffs, new+york+rangers

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