Saturday, May 17, 2014

Rangers Beat The House

The Rangers started the process of getting the House Of Horrors off their back with a stunning 7-2 rout of the Canadiens, taking a 1-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals. It was fitting that Martin St. Louis started the rout with the first goal of the game. If the Canadien crowd wasn't fully silenced it was a few minutes later when Zuccarello put the team up 2-0.

The Canadiens cut the lead to 2-1 with a goal by Bourque while the Canadiens had six skaters on the ice. All four officials missed it. Where is the replay? Oh sorry, only controversial goals. Hey, wasn't this a controversial goal? No problem, the Rangers came back with two quickies from Kreider and Richards. It was all over after that. McDonagh, Stepan and Nash, yes Nash, closed out the scoring.

There were many, many positives besides the big win. Lundqvist won a game in Montreal. The aggrieved St. Louis sparked the rout. Nash scored a goal. Dominic Moore was great subbing for the injured Brassard, injured early, and listed as day-to-day. Eleven Ranger players had at least a point with McDonagh racking up four, 1 goal, 3 assists. Oh yes. Number two son was at the game with his Andy Bathgate jersey. He must have wowed the crowd.

The Canadiens were being heralded for their speed game, but it was the Rangers constantly out skating them and the Rangers controlled the puck and the ice most of the time. The best defense remains the best offense. Goalie Carey Price was pulled in the third and it's up in the air whether it was poor play or an injury suffered when Kreider ran into him.

One note of caution. In the 1979 finals we beat Montreal in the first game, had a 2-0 lead in the second game and then they blitzed us to win the next four games. However, we have now won four straight in rather impressive fashion and I do believe that the tragedy that hit Martin St. Louis has inspired the team to its best hockey of the year. Plus, our young legs are really carrying the team and Ken Dryden is no longer the Canadien goalie.

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