Friday, April 27, 2012

Classic Game Seven

Before the game all the cliches came out. You have all heard them over and over. And then they hit the ice and then they treated us to a classic that probably will be run again and again on MSG. It was a big game. The seventh and final game between two desperate teams. One wins and moves on. The other loses and goes home. They shake hands and go their separate ways. Both will have the memories of a great series. Some will be bitter, some happy.

The game had the unlikeliest of heroes. The two goal scorers for the Rangers were Marc Staal and Dan Girardi, both noted for their defensive skills. They each logged over 25 minutes of ice time in a gruelling match where each team gave no quarter and took turns testing each other's mettle and resolve. They also had the unlikely spectacle of two young players, Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider, getting significant ice time and making two key plays.

The first goal saw Kreider force a key turnover that led to Stepan's pass to Staal for the first goal. And then Dan Girardi who missed a wide open shot with Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson nowhere near the net scored the game winner in front off a beautiful pass from Dubinsky, who played hurt most of the night. Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredssson scored the lone Sens goal on a PP to make sure we had agita until the end.

And what an end with the Senators swarming around the net like bees around honey. But we had the likiest of heroes to hold the fort and essentially the game. Henrik Lundqvist stood tall. He was brilliant. He was strong. He was resolute. He was Henrik Lundqvist. In the end he had the look of a warrior, who had been in a war, but had emerged unscathed.

So now Lundqvist and his mates rest, for a day, and then it starts all over in this grind that is the NHL's version of a World War. Its called the Stanley Cup playoffs and our heroes have taken the first in a long series of steps to bringing that silver chalice back home to New York. We are the only team of the four in the Eastern Conference that's a top seed. The other three seeded teams are all gone. What does that mean? It means we have to beat Washington in the next round. It will probably take seven games again but we will prevail.


Chris Neil (Ottawa) and Henrik Lundqvist shake hands after game seven

Rangers and Senators handshake line after game seven

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  • jb said...

    If someone had said before the Ottawa series that Gaborik would have only 1 goal and 13 shots in 7 games, but the Rangers would still win, I would have thought they were addled. He had 41 goals in 82 games during the regular season, one goal every 2 games.

    Gaborik will have to show up sooner or later if they want to keep their run going. Don't disappear now Gabby.

    The Rangers scored a total of 14 goals in 7 games. That's 2 per game, but still won. That's all thanks to King Henrik.

    Boyle was their leading scorer with 3. If he comes back, who sits, Mitchell? Based on his play, I don't think Kreider comes off. From what I've seen and read, Kreider will be playing for the Rangers for a long, long time.

    And our coach disagreeable will also be with us for a very long, long time. I'll have to chew on that for awhile.

  • Luke said...

    A fantastic game with some stand out plays and moments. But for me, one of the highlights came during the post game handshakes.

    The camera briefly showed Neil and Prust shake hands, embrace, and congratulate each other.

    I found it an oddly warming moment. Two players who leave it all on the ice, night after night, behave like sportsmen and are able to embrace each other when all is said and done. I thought it was a class act on both sides.


  • jb said...

    I think the handshake line is a great tradition. I'll never forget Marty Brodeur blowing off Sean Avery's handshake back in April 2008. That was after the Rangers ousted the Devils in 5 games. That's the only time I can remember seeing someone act like a total loser at the end of an NHL series. And of course Marty Brodeur was involved.