Thursday, June 12, 2014

LUNDQVIST!!!

I said the other day that the Rangers needed to win one for the King and last night they produced with two big plays. No, it wasn't Benoit Pouliot's opening goal off a point shot by John Moore on an expiring power play and it wasn't Marty St. Louis's game winner off some gritty work by Chris Kreider. It was two defensive gems that will live in the lore of Ranger history as this team moves further into the playoffs.

First it was Anton Stralman who stopped and cleared a puck that was dancing along the goal line with Jeff Carter ready to bury it. Then it was Derek Stepan, with the aid of snow, that was generated by the acrobatics of Lundqvist, that hand passed a puck, sitting on the goal line, back to the King. To add another element the coach 'tweaked' his lines a bit. He moved Brad Richards to the fourth line and promoted the dynamic Dominic Moore to center Kreider and St. Louis. That move paid off big with the game winning goal. Nice job coach.

But it was Lundqvist who was the star of the game. Forty saves, count them, forty. The only goal was on a breakaway by Dustin Brown when Dan Girardi broke his stick. After that, it was, thou shall not score on my team. The Rangers were out shot 41-19 and 15-1 in the third period. So if you thought the ice was tilted it was. It was one hell of a game. I saw it at home with number one son, grandson and wife. Number two son was at his usual seat in section 210.

This game was a classic for the ages courtesy of Lundqvist and friends. Is it the start of something big with a big comeback or just a bump in the road for Los Angeles? It says here it's the start of something big and the new revamped lineup will bring us back for game six. No long predictions, one game at a time.

Let's go Rangers!



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3 comments:

  • Jen9400 said...
     

    Now you're talking Pundit! I was so pumped up before the game last night and I honestly felt like that was the best I felt before a game in the entire series but was that a nerve wracking way to win a hockey game or what? I kept telling Jeanine that these games are bad for my health because the anxiety is unbearable. My heart. Oh my heart. But the win left my heart full of pride, hope and excitement. The Rangers are still down 3 games to 1 and I am so excited to see what happens next. We need to just enjoy the ride even though they don't make it easy on us to say the least.

    Henrik. What can we say about Henrik that we haven't said before. He is amazing. He gave us exactly what we needed last night- a stellar performance. Games 1-3 in the series we had every bounce/break go against us. We did uncharacteristic things like blowing a million two goal leads- well maybe not a million but it felt like a million - but last night was different. The tables completely turned. We got the "puck luck" and Henrik did the rest. What Henrik's performance last night does for this team is it allows the Rangers to build their confidence. After Brown scored on the breakaway to make it 2-1 it was hard not to think uh-oh, here we go again. The Rangers played as if they were weathering the Kings storm and they were. The Kings outshot us something like 27-6 from that point forward and Henrik, his crossbar and a little mound of snow answered for us. The Rangers were playing as if they were afraid to take any chances at all and can you blame them? Every mistake we made in games 1-3 turned into some unlucky break or bad bounce that lead to a Kings goal. The shots don't show it but the Rangers worked hard to protect that lead. You know how I hate protecting leads but there are times when it is all you can do and that time was last night. So now our King proved to himself that he is still Mr. Clutch who can shut teams down all by himself. Our players saw hard work pay off and turn into some puck luck of their own. Now the positive thoughts, good feelings and belief in one another that got them here are stirring up again. There is a lot of work to be done to get to where we want to go but I know they can do it. Let's see if they do.

  • Jen9400 said...
     

    BTW- I also liked the line changes. I liked Hags with Nash and Step. Thought Nash looked good even though he wound up missing the empty net. Its ridiculous how few goals he has on so many shots. I like when he uses his body and I feel like the last couple of games he's been throwing some hits and I am hope to see him go to the net and score tomorrow night. Richards doesn't look good at all and he even looks like he's skating in slow mo. I'm wondering if there is more than meets they eye. could he be hurt? The only other change I would make is the change I have been talking about for months and months: Please put Carl Hagelin on the PP. I would love to see it. He's great on the PK- really love him on the PK but he can do both. Why can't he be tried in Brad's spot? Brad is slumping and a lot of times the puck gets by him which creates danger for short handed opportunities so Hags with his great speed and his PK experience might be really good there. Come on coach, do it for me, please!

  • jb said...
     

    Why did Vigneault wait until game 4 to put Rickety Richards on the 4th line? Should have happened before game 3. Last year in the playoffs Richards was a health scratch. I think he's hit the age where a long season just catches up with him and he hits a wall. I think if AV can forget his loyalty to Richards he should bench him in favor of Carcillo. Certainly, at the least, agree that getting him off the PP would be a most logical move.

    I too am just so happy the Kings didn't get to prance around on Garden ice with the Cup. I think one of the Rangers, Stephan?, said that thought made him sick. Ditto.

    Hank is just so reliable that he gives this team a chance to win every time they can score 2-3 goals. It was a love/hate situation watching the Rangers trying to hang on and preserve the win, with their "prevent" defense. Loved Lundqvist standing on his head, but hated the tilted ice. Allowing the Kings to hang around in your end too long just invites a send off to summer vacation. Lucky last night, but they have to figure out a way to maintain a 3 period effort to keep the puck deep in the Kings end.

    Can't wait for game 5 and to see if the Rangers can put a little more pressure on the Kings.