|The story of tonight’s game in two words|
What’s up everyone and welcome to another blog here on DOINOW.com. Based on the feedback I’ve received, it seems we have some new readers here, so here’s the usual intro for once:
You can check out the archives and previous blogs on the right hand of the site. You can also use the search button there to search for topics or players. You can also follow my live tweets on the right hand of the site. As always, you can submit feedback on twitter at @NYCTHEMIC or email me at BULLSMC@aol.com. The comment section is still kind of wonky, so the best way to submit feedback is on twitter or email. You can also join the DOINOW.com Sports Page on Facebook at:
As always, don’t forget to try the new lobster bisque soup at the Bold O’Donoghue’s in East Rockaway, don’t cough & fart at the same time, try the new Jack Daniels Fire, don’t drive & drive and always & I mean ALWAYS, use “In Cam We Trust” as your personal mantra!
The In Cam We Trust thing doesn’t need to be explained to regular readers of these pages. For the new readers, I’ve been a huge Talbot fan from day one. We will never know how he would’ve done if he was the starting goalie for the Rangers in this year’s playoffs. He could’ve had 8 straight shutouts or he could’ve been blown out of the water every game. We’ll never know. What I do know is that every time I’ve worn my Talbot jersey during a Rangers playoff game, they’ve won. I tried wearing my MSL, my McDonagh, my Beuekeboom, my Nash jersey, and for whatever reason, the Rangers didn’t win those games.
Like many of you, I’m superstitious when it comes to sports. For the rest of the run, the #33 jersey will definitely be worn on Wednesday and hopefully until late June!
|My friends Brian Miller & JEFFREY are insanely jealous about my Camemorabilia!|
Going into this best of 7 series with the Washington Capitals, I expected the Rangers to win in 6 games. I thought predicting the Rangers in 6 was showing respect to the Caps. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine the Rangers being down 3-1 in this series. After the Rangers did fairly well this season offensively, I also didn’t think the Rangers would have 13 straight playoff games with each game being decided by one goal. No wonder I drink so much during this time of year!
The Rangers have now won 7 out of 11 playoff games this season by one goal. They’ve lost 4 of those 11. The results of these games could go either way, every time. In tonight’s game 6, it was the first time the Rangers dominated the scoreboard, but of course, nothing is easy with this team. The Rangers let the Capitals right back into it, almost as fast as it seemed like the Rangers would run away with it.
|Many Miller Lites have been consumed watching this team!|
If you’re reading this, you already know the final score. You are only reading this for a different opinion and perspective. This isn’t a newspaper cut & dry report. This is my emotional roller coaster recap. I don’t need to tell you how big this do-or-die Game 6 was. After allowing the Caps to put the Rangers on the brink, down 3-1 in the series, the Rangers have now stormed back to force a Game 7 at MSG.
I must go back to the superstitious stuff. We all have our “things.” A lucky jersey. A lucky T-shirt, hat, underwear or whatever merchandise you put on. Maybe you sit on the couch one way. Maybe you go somewhere to watch games. We just all have something that makes us think that it will bring a victory. For me right now, it’s the Talbot jersey. I’m also believing in the reverse-jinx crap. I didn’t think the Rangers would come back down 3-1 last year, so I’m thinking that now, hoping since I was wrong last year, I will be wrong again this year. The psychological bullshit and games we play with ourselves, is just that – bullshit.
As fans who do not play these games, as we are mere spectators, nothing we do, whether if we wipe our asses only three times in hoping for a hat-trick, not washing clothing or sitting in a specific Indian style, will change the outcome of the game. Games are won or lost on the ice and not with whatever silly mumbo-jumbo we convince ourselves brings us good blueshirt fortune.
That said, I’m still doing the reverse-jinx thing and wearing my Talbot jersey on Wednesday!
|Kreider, and not Lundqvist, should’ve got the Broadway Hat tonight, in my opinion|
The Rangers had an absolute miracle when they won Game 5 on Friday night. Kreider got a late goal, with 90 seconds left, as Hank approached the bench. 11 minutes later, Captain McDonagh won the game in overtime. The win saved the Rangers season.
Going into this Game 6, there would be more adversity, as the game was on the road, in Washington. The Caps wanted blood and wanted to put this series away at home. The Rangers were trying to force a Game 7. What we saw for the first twenty minutes, was the Rangers pushing their will all over the Caps, while the Caps seemed resigned to a Game 7. However, for the rest of the game, despite a two goal flurry in the early minutes of the third period, the Capitals were hellbent on closing the game out.
Chris Kreider, who has been the MVP, offensively, for the Rangers thus far, scored the first goal of the game 40 seconds into the first period. What was so impressive was that the Caps were all over the Rangers to start the game, the puck broke loose, and Kreider was left alone with the puck. Kreider skated up to the net, shook a defensmen with a beautiful move with one hand, then beat Holtby stick side.
1-0 immediately for the Rangers, before the fans in their seats could settle down. What a huge way to kill a loud building.
The Rangers continued their offensive outburst in the first period. While there wouldn’t be any more goals until the end of the period, the Rangers had numerous chances to take a multiple goal lead. Fourth line centerman Dominic Moore had two chances to score, with Kreider also closing in on another goal. However, the Rangers couldn’t beat Holtby, but were all over him.
The Rangers got some huge puck luck at the end of the first period, when Brouwer roughed up Hagelin with 3 seconds left in the period. Who would’ve thought, that with three seconds left, not only would the Rangers win a faceoff, but that Kreider would score with less than a second left in the period? It wasn’t like the Ward game winner in Game 1, but it was enough to drive the Capitals nuts.
2-0 Rangers, in their best period all series.
|Despite getting four goals, the Rangers made you sweat out this victory|
After Kreider scored his second goal, you felt on top of the world. However, the tide turned real quick.
I think these stats alone will tell you what you need to know:
Lundqvist – 42 saves on 45 shots
Holtby – 24 saves on 28 shots
So after a 20 shot explosion by the Rangers, they quickly imploded just as fast as Washington was able to turn it around.
Jason Chimera quickly scored, 28 seconds into the second period, off a deflection, to make it 2-1. For as great as the Rangers were in the first period, you were back again to clenching your asshole. The Caps got all over the Rangers quickly to start the second and there was a ton of traffic, but for Lundqvist to give up a goal 28 seconds into the period and 29 seconds after the Rangers made it 2-0, was depressing.
|Can Lundqvist get a shutout in this postseason?|
The Rangers were outshot 28-8 in the final 40 minutes of the game. Lundqvist played excellent. I think at one point, the Rangers didn’t have a shot for 15 minutes. Hank played out of his mind. However, for as great as he’s been in these playoffs, I still think he’s overpaid in the salary cap era. That’s always been my biggest knock on him, and again, not going to do go through the whole spiel, go read my old blogs for my reasoning. There is too much to get into tonight to rehash that.
Lundqvist, despite the early goal, played extremely well for the rest of the second period. 2-1 at the end of two periods.
Nothing is ever easy with the Rangers, so imagine my fucking shock when both Rick Nash & Dan Boyle scored early in the third period. Pigs were flying. Hell froze. Jews & Muslims were hugging. Scientology was real. It was just unbelievable.
Rick Nash finally got the monkey off his back 54 seconds into the third period. What a game, that featured goals in the opening minute of all three periods. Nash was assisted by Brassard & MSL. I was hoping and thinking MSL would have a big game on Mother’s Day, but it just wasn’t meant to be. He still played well, but hasn’t been a factor for the Rangers like he was during last year’s run.
|Photo Credit: NYRMemes on FB|
I was really hoping Nash’s goal, that made it 3-1 would be the game winner. After all, you thought it would be the insurance goal, with the way the Lundqvist has played all playoffs. However, Lundqvist, who did face a ton of more shots than usual, got too comfortable with the lead and allowed the Caps to come back.
We all know the Nash & A-Rod comparisons. There are differences. For starters, A-Rod did have a great playoff series once (2009 ALCS) and won a championship. He’s also a huge dick and a cheater. Nash hasn’t had that huge playoff series nor has he ever been a dominant factor in a game for the Rangers. I was really hoping he would get his day in the sun here, but Lundqvist made the Rangers sweat out a three goal lead like his name was Halak.
Boyle would score four minutes later, with a blast from deep. It would turn out to be the game winning goal. So if you had Dan Boyle and Game Winning Goal in your pool, you should probably run out and play the lotto right now too. 4-1 Rangers.
|Holtby picked a bad night to have his worst night of the series|
Caps netminder, Braden Holtby, has been phenomenal all series. Until tonight, he had the second highest save percentage in a playoff series, in the history of the NHL. However, even when the Rangers mustered up only four shots in the third period, half of them went in. The Rangers were scoring and held a 4-1 lead, with a little more than 15 minutes to go. As fast as Ranger fans could celebrate a lead, again, you got real nervous, as Kuznetsov beat Hank, on a shot that Hank usually stops 99/100 times.
4-2 Rangers, with 12 minutes to go.
Even with the 4-2 lead, you thought there was no way Hank would give up another one, because of how great he’s been. Well that wasn’t the case. Hank gave up another soft goal, this time with Joel Ward beating him, with 9:30 left on the clock. Not only was the difference another one goal in a Rangers playoff game, now the Caps were rocking and could potentially close out the series.
For as great as Lundqvist was during this game, making extremely tough saves, he gave up two very soft goals. When the Rangers needed him the most, and after all, he demanded to be the highest paid goalie in the league, profits off a “King” nickname and all the other stuff I’ve said countless times here on this blog, he let the Caps come right back into this game. Instead of shutting the door, the Caps, who use the “Rock The Red” slogan, were lighting red lamps on Hank. For someone who demanded 10% of team payroll and to be the highest paid guy in the league, I expect him to not make a 3 goal lead evaporate.
So once again, Ranger fans felt like Sharon Stone at the end of “Casino” while watching the last 10 minutes of the game take place.
|Lundqvist bailed out Sheppard tonight|
For as angry as I get with Lundqvist for giving up two cheap goals, he really clamped down for the rest of the game. He complains about his guys not scoring for him, but when they do, even four goals looks like it wasn’t enough. Does he really just want the one-goal differential record? It’s amazing how much better he plays in close games than with a huge lead. Does he really want that stress? You would think for a guy who cares about his hair so much, he wouldn’t. That shit will turn gray after a game like tonight.
The Caps, sensing blood like Jaws, were all over the Rangers to close the game. Lundqvist denied and denied. Unfortunately, with 2:44 to go, Sheppard got called with a questionable delay of game/tossing the puck over the glass. Whether you agree with the call or not, bottom line, it was a bad play by Sheppard.
So now the Caps would have nearly three minutes of a man advantage to close the game.
The Caps, who couldn’t score on the first minute of the powerplay, did what Jack Capuano wouldn’t, and pulled their goalie, giving the Caps a 6 on 4 advantage. What did they have to lose? I still don’t get why Capuano didn’t pull Halak in Game 7.
With 1:44 to go, the Caps were 6 on 4. The Rangers had several opportunities to clear, but kept fucking it up. Lundqvist’s number was called on and he was remarkable. The penalty expired and the Rangers had to hold on for 44 seconds.
The Rangers wouldn’t pick up an empty netter, but they did pick up two clears and an icing. Lundqvist, again, for as bad as he was for giving up the soft goals, was just incredible in making sure the three goal lead wasn’t blown. It’s remarkable how many two goal leads Hank has blown in the last few years of the playoffs. Just look at last years Cup Finals alone. Maybe he really wants these one-goal pressure cookers!
Eventually, with 8 seconds left, the Rangers got the clear they needed and the game was over. Rangers win 4-3 and Game 7 is now necessary.
|After taunting Lundqvist by saying “All Series”, the Rangers have held Ovi from scoring goals|
So we all know where we go from here. Game 7. This is what Lundqvist is paid to do, right? No excuses.
You will read a ton of stats and numbers about Game 7’s, Rangers vs Caps Game 7 histories, Lundqvist’s Game 7 numbers (A meaningless stat to me, since it means he lost 3 games already) and team performances in Game 7’s. It’s all nice, but meaningless come May 13th, inside of MSG. I don’t care what happened in previous years, nothing from the past affects this Game 7 on Wednesday.
The big news after the Rangers win is Alex Ovechkin promising that the Caps will win Game 7 and they look forward to Montreal or Tampa. It wasn’t exactly a Messier or Ewing guarantee, but it is bulletin board material.
Ranger fans are already jumping down Ovi’s throat. However, I don’t blame him. He is watching his team blow another playoff run and could see his team lose another series, where they were up 2-0 or 3-1. What does he have to lose, especially with the last two outcomes and the way Game 5 ended? Why not try to light a fire under his team? At the same time, you hope the Rangers want to shut him the fuck up too, especially for that big hit he put on McDonagh late in the third period.
For the Rangers, the two big questions are this:
– Can they keep up the scoring they got in Game 6?
– Can Lundqvist be lights out?
If the answer to both of those questions are yes, it will be a very easy game 7 for the Rangers. However, with the way this series is going, I’m expecting a quadruple overtime game & a quadruple bypass for me!
As far as who has the advantage, as much as I hate to say it (because I think I’m jinxing it, but I already told you why jinxes mean nothing at the end of the day), I think the Rangers have the advantage. They are the hotter team, have all the momentum and will be playing at home. If this means anything, the Capitals played 7 games in the first round, as opposed to the Rangers 5. However, with the 72 hours in between games, you wouldn’t think rest would even be a factor in this game 7.
The Rangers have done the 3-1 comeback before. Can lightening strike twice? Will the Rangers draw the Lightning in the ECF or will the Rangers just go home with a bunch of what-ifs?
Bottom line, on Wednesday night, we will be writing another chapter of Rangers history. Will we be talking about another heroic game 7 moment from a blueshirt or talking about if Lundqvist will ever win a Stanley Cup? No pressure boys!
Big shoutout to everyone at the Bold tonight who made tonight fun, especially Scott Burke! (It’s ok to use his real name, because everyone else blows up his spot by saying his full name all the time!)
GREAT WIN TONIGHT, CONGRATULATIONS BLUESHIRT NATION
LETS GO RANGERS
WE WANT THE CUP
@NYCTHEMIC on the twitter machine