We all know the Rangers are infatuated with playing Game 7s. They apparently don’t enjoy winning playoff series any other way. In fact, they’ve lost a mind-boggling 11 consecutive playoff games when leading a series. That’s got to be some kind of record.
Having said that, the Rangers seem very cognizant of the need to end this series as quick as possible which Brad Richards explains (via Blueshirts United)…
“We have an opportunity to win a game and close out a series, so it’s important to try and get it done right away. Every day is a new day, the games are different. You don’t want to put anything into chance in a Game Seven. You’d rather just do it now, and we can move on.”
Here’s Henrik Lundqvist on the mindset his team needs to have tonight…
“With the playoffs it’s a mind game, it’s about controlling your mind. In a game where you can close a team out you don’t want your mind to start to think too much. It’s going to be the same thing for them. It’s about controlling your emotions and staying in the right place mentally.”
Meanwhile Ryan McDonagh discussed the team needing a killer instinct…
“It’s a term that gets used a lot. It’s tough to put into words exactly, but you understand there are going to be pushes and surges in the game with how desperate they’re going to be, so you have to get through those surges and then when you have an opportunity to strike you have to make them pay.”
…whether it’s lack of a killer instinct or not having the right mindset, I’m pretty much sick of the Rangers needing seven games to eliminate their playoff opponents. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing more exciting in sports than a Game 7, but I’m not sure my heart or liquor cabinet could survive another one.
…also, with the Canadiens, Bruins and Penguins moving on in six game or less, it’s paramount that the Rangers disperse of the Flyers tonight. I know Torts ran the 2011-12 team into the ground by only rolling three lines and five defensemen, but having to play back-to-back seven game series in the first two rounds that postseason took its toll on the Rangers in the Conference Finals against the Devils. The Blueshirts can’t have a repeat of that formula if they expect to seriously challenge for the Stanley Cup this season.
…was shocked by the lack of emotion and physicality from the Flyers in Game 5, but with elimination on the line, I expect a much more desperate and ornery team in orange and black tonight. Which, based on the Flyers undisciplined ways in this series so far, might be exactly what the Rangers are hoping for.