Rangers Have The Mental Toughness for Postseason Success

In the postseason, mental toughness is just as important as talent level. Sure, someone might be able to put up 60 points during the regular season, but when the lights shine brightest does the player crap down their leg or embrace the moment.

It’s how average players become household names and great players become legends. Conversely, the big stage has caused some of the most revered athletes to shrivel like a raisin and earn the moniker of a choker.

Thankfully, the 2013-14 Rangers seem to have a core group who seek out the spotlight instead of run away from it.

Brad Richards, tied for the team lead in points in the first round with 2g, 4a, on playing in a Game 7 (via Metro)…

“This is the greatest thing about what we do. There’s no other feeling in your life that’s going to duplicate what a day like this is — what it means if you win especially on home ice. These opportunities only come along so often. There’s going to be some day when this whole team will be retired and sitting back, wishing we had another day like this where you could get ready for a big game in front of a sold out Madison Square Garden.”

Martin St. Louis, tied for the team lead in points in the first round with 2g, 4a, after last night’s Game 7 win (via New York Post)…

“It’s what you play for. You play for this time of year, and to keep going is great.”

Dan Carcillo, two goals in just three games vs. the Flyers, on relishing the big moment (via New York Post)…

“I’ve always liked the big stage. When I was younger, the more people watching I played harder.’’

Dominic Moore, 2g, 1a and 57% on faceoffs in first round, on wanting the pressure (via New York Post)…

“I love pressure games and pressure moments. I kind of look forward to them, so when the opportunity comes, I want to embrace it.”

…these are the kind of guys I want on my team when you go into the battle. You can’t succeed if you’re afraid of the moment. Welcoming the challenge, not only helps your game, but it also rubs off on the guys who my be leery or inexperienced in the pressure cooker that is the NHL playoffs.

Here’s Mats Zuccarello on the importance of a guy like Carcillo…

“He’s won the Stanley Cup before. He’s one of those guys you look to for experience in the locker room and he’s a guy that steps up every time he’s on the ice.”

…while the Rangers are likely going to be viewed as huge underdogs in their series against the Penguins, having guys in the locker room who are confident in their skills and ability to raise their level of play when the pressure is taken up a notch will have a huge impact on the rest of the team.

…knowing that the Rangers have a core group with this mindset, has me more confident than ever that they can take down the mighty Penguins in this series.


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