The New York Rangers defeated the Montreal Canadiens by the score of 3-1 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals, tonight. The Rangers lead the series 2-0. For a box score, go to Yahoo! Sports.
…we all knew that the Canadiens were going to come hard tonight, but the question was whether the Rangers were going to be able to survive the initial onslaught. Thankfully the Rangers have the best goaltender on the planet, as he single-handedly kept the Canadiens off the board the first five minutes. Could have easily been 2-0 real quick. I can’t imagine how demoralizing that must have been for the Canadiens to go into the first intermission down a goal after such an inspired start.
…having said that, the Canadiens early push did produce a lead, but the turning point of the game was easily the McDonagh goal 17 seconds later. The Bell Centre crowd was in a frenzy and to take the momentum right back so quickly was huge.
…back to Lundqvist. Game 7 against the Penguins and tonight are the performances against superior teams the King wasn’t providing in the postseason before this year. He’s officially put this team on his back and is willing them towards a berth in the Stanley Cup Finals.
…Rick Nash finally starting to make his detractors shut up. Amazing how much better his entire game looks with a couple of goals sprinkled in there.
…and it’s no surprise Nash’s offensive resurgence has coincided with the return of Kreider from injury. The 23-year old’s speed and strength opens up so much of the ice for a guy like Nash who is normally keyed on defensively. Kreider has also had an impact on the power play as the Blueshirts are now 7-for-23 since his return in Game 4 against the Penguins after an 0-for-36 stretch without him. Having a guy willing to take the punishment in front of the net with the extra man is so integral to its success. The St. Louis goal was the perfect example as Kreider completely screened Tokarski, who had no idea where the puck was.
…speaking of St. Louis, I’ve been watching the Rangers for a long time and I’m not sure I’ve seen a more skilled shot from the slot. Absolute thing of beauty…
…embarrassing display by the Bell Centre crowd who were screaming for a penalty every time a Canadiens player was touched. I never want to hear about them being a knowledgeable fan base ever again.
…back checking clinic by the Rangers forwards in the third period. Busted their tails back to negate numerous odd man rushes.
…for all the good Pouliot does, man the guy takes some stupid penalties.
…got to love the resiliency of this team. They’ve been able to rise above injuries to key players without losing a step the entire postseason. The next guy up has not only been ready, but has played crucial roles in a number of victories. A true testament to the depth of the organization. To which this guy deserves all the credit…
…while the Canadiens started the game fast, I expected a much more physical and chippy game from them. Rarely tried to mix it up.
…at this point it doesn’t really matter who’s on the fourth line, they just continue to get the job done. Tonight it was Boyle blocking shots, Carcillo controlling puck possession and Dorsett dangling…
…nine points (3g, 6a) in the six games for McDonagh. I think that shoulder issue is cleared up.
…so far this postseason the Rangers have comeback from a 3-1 lead for the first time in history, broke an eight-game Game 2 losing streak as well as a 13-game losing streak while leading in a series. Not to mention exorcising all the Bell Centre ghosts. Now they just need to become the first team since the playoffs expanded beyond two rounds in 1968, to win the Cup after playing the maximum 14 games in the first two rounds.
…i’m really trying to quell my enthusiasm, but just the mere idea of this team being two victories away from the Stanley Cup Finals has me absolutely giddy.
…couple of days off to enjoy this Rangers fans before the series resumes at MSG on Thursday night.
Post game talk…