The New York Rangers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins by the score of 2-1 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals to advance to the Conference finals, tonight. For a box score, so to Yahoo! Sports.
…all season long we complained about this team not playing with heart. Not playing with emotion. Not being a very hard team play against. And it took them being down 3-1 against the mighty Penguins to become the team we always hoped they could be. Might be one of the greatest three game spans I’ve witnessed from a Rangers team. So proud of the guts these guys displayed.
…i’ve always been one of those Rangers fans who’s given Lundqvist a hard time for not being able to put the Rangers on his back in the postseason and get them past a superior team. No more. In my book, this guy has solidified himself as one of the greatest goaltenders to play this sport. 80% of that game was in the Rangers zone and he absolutely stole it for the Blueshirts. Also helps when he has velcro on his jersey.
…Brian Boyle was literally everywhere tonight. If that performance didn’t convert the Boyle haters nothing will. The first Rangers goal scorer in last three Game 7s are Asham, Carcillo & Boyle. You never know who’s going to step up with season on the line.
…God dammit Richards, why do you keep making me not want the Rangers to buy you out? 7-0 in Games 7. You think he’s loving this playoff run? Just check him out jumping up and down like a little school girl as the clock ran down.
…one assist on an empty net goal in the series for Nash. He better buy the entire team dinner, because if the Rangers lose that series he’s boo’d out of MSG on opening night next season.
…with the season on the line, the Rangers defense held Crosby and Malkin to a combined two points (both by Malkin) in the final three games of the series. It was a complete team effort as they just collapsed on them as soon as they entered the zone. A long way from the Western road trip to begin the season, huh? Helped that McDonagh was able to finally find his game.
…while they didn’t get on the scoreboard tonight, the Penguins didn’t have an answer for the Poo-Brass-Zucc line all series. Damn, they’re all going to get paid this summer.
…back in 2012, the two seven game series leading up to the Conference Finals destroyed the Rangers physically, but because Vigneault has been able to consistently roll four lines this postseason, it shouldn’t be an issue with this team going forward.
…who would have thunk it back in November? Conference Finals for the second time in three years. Just let that sink in Rangers fans.
…you never like for a personal tragedy to become a rallying cry for a team, but the way the Rangers were inspired by the strength St. Louis showed in the face of adversity made this win that much sweeter.
…how ironic is it that the much maligned Rangers power play ends up with the series clinching goal. BTW, the Penguins ended the series 1-for-20 with the extra man.
…this win validates Sather’s decision to fire Torts last season. There were numerous times during the regular season and the postseason, where Vigneault’s calming influence had a positive impact on the entire team. He was the perfect coach to deal with a lot of turmoil this year.
…speaking of Sather, the guy takes a ton of crap from Rangers fans, but the depth moves he made last summer and during the season (Pouliot, D. Moore, Carcillo, Klein, Diaz) have been integral to the Rangers success.
…wasn’t all positive as by advancing to the Conference Finals, the Rangers will now have to forfeit their first round pick in this year’s draft to the Lightning as part of the trade for St. Louis. So worth it.
…tonight wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination as the Penguins completely dominated puck possession, but who am I to complain about the first team in Rangers history to comeback from a 3-1 deficit.
…luckily, the Bruins/Canadiens series is still going because with the way the Rangers have been screwed by the schedule makers this postseason, Game 1 of the Conference Finals would have probably been tomorrow afternoon.
…House of Horrors or best team in the East? Pick your poison Rangers fans.
Post series handshake…
Post game talk…
Crosby golf pic courtesy of reader Tim Del.