Friday, May 16, 2014

Original Six: Rangers over Les Habs In Seven

Would you believe that the Rangers are in the Final Four? Or as they say in college hockey, The Frozen Four. Imagine, thirty teams in the NHL and the Rangers are one of four still around. OK, you technocrats, one in five, we have to wait for tonight's west coast closer to decide the fourth team. But when that's over, three of the four teams will be original six teams. It says here that it will be Rangers-Blackhawks for the Cup.

An original six matchup for the Cup. Number one city, USA, vs number two city, USA. Broadway vs State Street. New York Bay vs Lake Michigan. The Big Apple vs The Windy City. Getting ahead of myself? Yes. But when you dream, dream big.

The battle for the Eastern Crown should be just that a battle. The Pundit's founding fathers wanted me to pick the Rangers in six, winning it on home ice. I opted for seven for a couple of reasons. Number one. The Rangers don't do anything easy and six games would be easy. Number two. Past history against the Canadiens, especially in Montreal has not been good to the Rangers. Number three. Lundqvist has a goalie opposite him that is also a big time goalie. Carey Price has given the Rangers fits over the years.

The last time, Henrik won in Montreal was March 17, 2009. That's over five years ago. 2009 was not a particular good year for the Pundit. He had his 'conversation' with The Stealth, started dialysis and had a triple bypass. Also, the Rangers had lost eight straight at Montreal, prior to this season being out scored 30-7. So we forget the past and move on like we did against Pittsburgh, after we were down 1-3. Forget the past, move on to the present.

Lundqvist is tied with Crawford of Chicago with a .931 save %. Price is at .928. GAA has Lundqvist at 1.99 and Price at 2.15. No banana here. Should be quite a duel. PK Subban is 6th in scoring in the playoffs with 12 points. Brad Richards is 17th with 9 points. Thomas Vanek is 8th in goals scored with 5. There are three Canadiens and three Rangers with four goals each. So on paper this looks like an even-steven match up that is going to pivot on one goalie rising to the occasion.

Forget the House Of Horrors, forget past performances. The Canadiens have won 24 Cups, the last one in 1993. The Rangers have won 4, the last one in 1994. Lundqvist has to out play Price. Lundqvist's task is more daunting as he will face more fire power than the Rangers have shown. Notice, I said have shown. The Rangers have more potential that has not shown up yet. Nash, Kreider, Stepan and don't forget St. Louis.

St. Louis will be playing before a hometown crowd in Montreal. In deference to the NHL's schedule the funeral for St. Louis's mom will be held on Sunday. There is a game Saturday and a game Monday. The entire Ranger team will be in attendance at the funeral, as it should be.

So there you have it. Rangers in seven. Lundqvist out playing Price, ever so slightly. Martin St. Louis scoring the winning goal in a seventh game Ranger win 1-0. As I've said. When you dream, dream big. What's that other line. When you go, go first class or stay home. The Rangers are going first class and will charge into the Windy City to meet the defending Cup champs, the Blackhawks. Chicago will continue to be the number two city.



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1 comments:

  • Scott said...
     

    Mike, when Kreider was picked in the 1st round, I was p'd off. He was a New England prep school kid and (I think) 16 or 17. nFelt better when I saw his skills on YouTube videos but he was 5 years away. He's big, strong, fast, a scorer and mature (Prust's hits today). Feel foolish now.
    Also remembering last year when Torts has problems with Zuccarello and benched him and I think screwed up Kreider's start in the NHL. I wonder if Torts' game systems and snarling attitude kept the Rangers from more success in those years.