Saturday, April 25, 2015

How Swede It Is

The Brännvin must be flowing in Sweden today as two local boys made good. Boy, did they make good. First, Lundqvist won another 2-1 game, again in OT. This is four 2-1 wins. In five games the King gave up 8 goals. The Pens 'elbowed' in the  only score off of him. Second, the speedy scraggly-haired kid, Carl Hagelin, scored the game winner in OT adding his name to other OT winners that have been series enders. Anyone think Matteau, Matteau, Matteau? And Adam Graves, both against the Devils.

So the Rangers await the winner of the Caps/Islanders game six at the Island today. The Caps are up 3-2. This game was another trench like game. Think of this. The Pens goalie, Marc-Andre Fleury gave up 11 goals in five games, had guys named Crosby and Malkin on his team and yet lost four of the five games. So the first step toward the ultimate goal has been taken and the Rangers get a mini rest to heal all wounds.

Speaking of wounds, Zuccarello was hit in the head by a McDonagh slap shot, left the game and his status is in doubt. Hopefully it is not a concussion. If it is the Ranger depth will be put to a test. It would give an opportunity to James Sheppard. He could step up. He is a tough kid.

I will now have to live through the playoff season with the knowledge that number one son correctly predicted the first round, five games. I think it's a first. However if he continues his 'hot streak' two things will happen. The Rangers will win the Cup and I will have a dozy of a summer. Hope he is right.


Empire State Building wears Ranger colors after game 5 win

Twitter / @NYRangers:
Who has two thumbs and is headed to round 2?! #NYR

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Trench Warfare

How else to describe last night's game. It was wall to wall battles. Checks, hits. You want hits. The Rangers piled up 42 hits, the Pens 28. The only place to avoid a hit was sitting on the bench. This was grandson Nicholas type of game. Battle along the boards. Battle in front of the nets. Battle. Battle. Trench warfare.

The Rangers win in OT, 2-1, gives them a 3-1 lead heading into MSG Friday. Teams with 3-1 lead in playoffs win over 90% of the time. However, remember last year we came back from a 1-3 hole against the Pens and won the series. So there is always a however.

Kevin Hayes scored his first playoff goal and what a beauty, poking one past a prone Fleury, who was good again, to send the Rangers into ecstasy. The other Ranger goal, Brassard, was also scored on a scrum in front of Fleury, to tie the game. This is scrum hockey, trench warfare.

The Rangers have won three games with identical 2-1 scores. They have scored nine goals in four games. The Pens have scored seven goals in four games. The big outburst was game two with a 4-3 Pens win. The Rangers can't score and their power play sucks. It was 0-2 in the game, 2-17 in the series. It may yet be the death of them.

Number one son predicted the Rangers would win this series in five. It could be a long summer if he gets this one right and the remaining series right. The Rangers win. I'll take it. Right now it looks like Lundqvist on his game, the D strong, scrums in front of the nets and battle, battle, battle. Trench warfare.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Rangers Gutsy Win

Well, the Rangers woke up. The coaches woke up and the result was a gutsy, gritty performance for the NHL's leading road team and now the Rangers have a 2-1 series lead. It was two big plays, outstanding D and excellent goaltending that silenced the chippy Pens and their home town crowd.

This game was not for the feint of heart.

The Rangers caught the Pens in a line change and Hagelin blew one past Fleury for a 1-0 lead on a beautiful pass from Yandle.  In the second period Staal shot the puck to the right of Fleury off the boards and there was Kreider to poke it in for a 2-0 lead. Dan Girardi, who excelled on D all night, got a second assist on both goals. So the D racked up four of the six points the team would be credited with.

The Pens stormed back in the third where they threw everything they had, 13 shots, plus Sydney Crosby's elbows, to score their one goal, Hornqvist, to make for a very exciting and nervous finish. Its amazing that a guy with Crosby's past problems  would go head hunting, on McDonagh. Its also amazing that the refs wouldn't call a penalty. Wonder why the guy is probably the least respected super star in the game.

The stars of the game were many. The D, led by Girardi was outstanding all night. Even Boyle was good and tough. Lundqvist was great despite being harassed, hit and taunted. The O led by Hagelin and Kreider were great and the fourth line was absolutely terrific all night. The refs, as usual, stunk. The NHL have the worst officiating in all of sports.

Now it's on to Wednresday when the Rangers have a chance to make a big step forward and put a lock on the series. Should be another good one. Not for the feint of heart. What was Dan Carcillo's line? "It's a man's game."


For an excellent photo/vidclip recap of the game visit the Pensblog and their #hardparty:

End of Game 3 scrum behind Rangers net, Rangers win 2-1
End of game scrum

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