Tuesday, April 24, 2012

True Grit

Grit: Firmness, unyielding courage: stamina: fortitude.

Rangers forward Brandon Prust and Ottawa's Chris Neil dropped the gloves in the first period of game 6
Brandon Prust vs. Chris Neil

Yes, the Rangers were all that last night and then some. But it took the 'old warhouse' Brendon Prust to spark them. The Senators had a 1-0 lead thanks to a three player screen in front of Lundqvist and the good guys seem to be going nowhere. Chris Neil was making Scotia Bank Arena into his own personal playgound. Prust had seen enough and challenged the tough guy. If this was a ten rounder Neil would have probably won 7-3. But it didn't matter and the Ranger bench came alive, the players that is, the coach is another story.

The comeback was amazing. Stepan got his first ever in the playoffs, in front of the net no less. Richards rifled a rocket past Anderson and rookie Chris Kreider continued his climb into the Ranger future with his first NHL goal, in the playoffs no less. And the Rangers had a seemingly safe 3-1 lead and had tied the series. However, and there always is a however in the NHL, the hockey gods in Toronto did not see Chris Neil 'kick in' the puck and the score was 3-2 with 38.4 seconds remaining in the contest. In this age of diversity the NHL may be looking to combine with the World Soccer Association. Whatever.

Lundqvist was livid, as he should be, but the goal stood and the Rangers hung on for a hard fought win that tied the series at 3-3 and the finale is Thursday night at MSG.  As usual Lundqvist was magnificent and carried the team until Prust woke them up. You would think after 82 regular season games and five playoff games the team would be constantly awake, but these are the Rangers and thank God, many times, for Henrik Lundqvist, the greatest Ranger goalie.

Players Post Game 6 Comments:

Lundqvist comment:
“When it’s goalie interference and a kick and they still call it a goal, it scares me. It’s such an obvious play, I’m still upset… It looked like someone wanted them back in the game…It’s an absolute joke.”
Ranger Fan comment:
“Ottawa's the last Canadian team left in the playoffs, and the decision on that @#$% goal was made in Toronto. Just a coincidence ???”

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  • Luke said...

    Well said Pundit. The performance followed the Ranger blueprint set this season, now we just need to sustain it for a prolonged period of time. I guess “prolonged” is the key word there!

    Absolutely beautiful to see the team rise to the occasion after Prust put his body on the line. I’m not sure how long he can keep putting himself through that kind of punishment though?

    Good to see Hank speaking his mind after the game, I think he has every right to be upset. More than the kicking motion, how is it not goaltender interference if you’re using your stick to push the goaltender out of the paint?!?!?!?


  • Section 335 said...

    What makes me sick is that Neil can give Boyle a concussion and threaten to give MDZ a concussion, and that is okay. However, Hank speaks his mind and faces a fine. The NHL has become the WWF.

    Game 7 and the Rangers will be playing against the Senators, the refs and Toronto - GO RANGERS!

  • jb said...

    I now hate Ottawa, thank you Chris Neil.

    A behind the scenes photo of the folks diligently working at the NHL war room in Toronto.
    Not too encouraging.

    The Rangers played 82 regular season games to get this 7th game at home. It's go time.

  • Andy said...

    Why is everyone bitching about the neil goal? He didn't touch it with his skate, he was knocked into lundqvist and hank slammed it home with his glove.

    Don't turn into some whiner like your coach or brodeur, Hank, please.

    You won the game, you avoided elimination on the road, maybe you should channel the whines into energy for thursday.

    Good bounce back, props to the refs for handing us a terrible 5 on 3. Here's to hoping they bring it back to the garden

  • jb said...

    There are several problems with the Neil "goal".

    I think the net cam gives the best view of what happened. This youtube replay shows how Neil got his stick on Lundqvist's left hip and then pushed/spun him out of the crease. Also notice now Neil has both hands on his stick so he can put all his weight behind moving Lundqvist out of the crease. Looks like a clear case of goalie interference to me. The NBC analyst also calls it too.

    I've watched the netcam replay numerous times in slow motion and freeze frame and it looks to me like Neil kicked it in. The puck was not moving to the net until his skate wacked it. Lundqvist does not hit it with his glove, rather he reaches for it after Neil kicks it.

    I think Lundqvist has a right to complain, because they missed the interference and the kick. If they can't get this right in a game 6, then you do have a right to question the integrity of their decision making.

    Anyone else see Lundvist slam it home with his glove?

  • Jen9400 said...

    At first I thought the puck was going in anyway and I was busy talking about what an idiot Neil was for kicking it because it was sure to cost them the goal. Wrong and wrong. When I saw a slowed down version of it I realized that Henrik's glove was there and he would have covered it had it no been kicked. Now I want to look at it again because JB says Henrik slammed it home with his glove but I didn't see that. Henrik said he was going to cover it. Kick or no kick Neil can't be there interfering with Henrik and I have never seen Henrik get as mad as he was, I mean he gets mad but that was REALLY MAD so I have to figure Henrik is right. I loved it! If the stupid league fines him so be it. Money well spent for Henrik!

  • jb said...

    I was quoting Andy above, who said, "hank slammed it home with his glove."

    I disagree with that and was simply asking if anyone else saw it the way Andy did, because I saw it get kicked in.

  • Andy said...

    Jesus Christ JB cool down.

    I watched it just as many times as you did pal. Neil made the kicking motion, but did not TOUCH the puck with his skate.

    Hank saw the lose puck, tried to grab it and it squeezed out. If you think Neils stick made a 250 pound man plus his goalie equipment "spin" you've never laced up.

    all the goalie interference talk was caused by Girardi pushing Neil. Look at it however you want, it doesn't give the rangers an excuse to act like 4 year olds like their coach does. It's over and you still have game 7 to worry about. That was my underlining point.

    And by the way, the nbc announcer said he had a kicking motion but did not touch the puck.

    Thanks for calling me out on the slamming thing tho, that's pretty class

  • Jen9400 said...

    That NBC video was great JB thank you for posting it. I see what you are saying about Henrik's glove but I am not sure that it slams it home. On some of the replays it looks almost as though Neil misses the puck as he tries to kick it but it also seems to me like the puck picks up speed so he must have touched it. That video also clearly shows that Neil's stick is into Lundqvist and Henrik is certainly right about interference. Neil is absolutely being pushed but he is also using the push to his advantage big time. He planted reasonable doubt and got away with one like OJ except luckily for us it didn't turn into double murder lol!

    On the game. The start was gut wrenching for me. I didn't want them to be going into the summer with all that regret because they didn't leave it all on the ice in the first round. These guys have so much heart and character they don't deserve that type of end to the season. When Prusty stepped up and fought Neil for everything it was just like thank you, thank you, thank you! The man literally fought to save the game, our pride, our season, and for his best friend Brian Boyle who was abused the entire series until he was knocked out of it. No thanks to our coach, as Pundit said he's another story. This was all about the players. The heart of Prust motivated our boys to win. It was a terrible start with a terrific middle and a controversial ending complete with exclamatory explicits from the King who for once wasn't hung out to dry by his teammates. Does the man ever get to end a game without complete and utter frustration? Let's hope we are on the right side of the handshake on Thursday night. I think we will be, after all I did say the Rangers in 7 at the start.

  • Jen9400 said...

    oh Andy said it. I was posting when you replied.

  • Jen9400 said...

    Whoa whoa whoa Andy who are you calling 250 lbs? Henrik is about 185 lbs of sheer perfection!!!!! Then you add the equipment.

  • Andy said...

    lol ok, 210lbs. Try moving, or spinning that with a hockey stick in game time action.

    I did once. Didn't work. Then I got jumped. :)

  • wes said...

    You know its playoff time, everyone is ready to drop gloves.

    I think Neil's skate caught some of the puck as he swung his foot. And I think it was the combined momentum and weight of both Girardi and Neil transferred through Neil's stick that pushed Lundqvist out.

    But its a moot point. we won. Be happy.

  • Andy said...

    Wes-Exactly! that was my point from the beginning. We won a HUGE game and all I see is lundqvist bitching about a moot goal. I don't want him turning into a tortorella whiner.

    Get your heads on straight boys and let her rip one more time on thursday!