Prosperity has not been kind in the playoffs for the Rangers recently as the numbers are down right ugly.
They have a NHL-record 13-game losing streak when leading a series, while losing 11 straight games immediately after taking a lead in a series. And if that’s not bad enough, in five of their last seven series they have won Game 1 and lost Game 2, not to mention they’ve lost eight straight Game 2s.
So what does this all mean? Despite everything that has gone right for the Rangers in the postseason this year, they continue to lack that killer instinct.
Alain Vigneault has been able to push all the right buttons so far, but this could be his biggest challenge, especially when a very humbled Canadiens team is expected to come out flying tonight (via Newsday).
“We’re going to see a whole different team (tonight),” Brad Richards said, “and we’re expecting a big push from them.”
Dan Girardi added…
“We’re obviously very happy with our effort in Game 1, but we’re not dumb. We know it’s not going to happen again. We can’t be satisfied with that.”
35 years ago, another Rangers team took a 1-0 lead in Montreal after taking down a hated rival the series before. Unfortunately for the 1978-79 Rangers, that Canadiens team regrouped and swept the next four games to win the Stanley Cup.
If the Rangers don’t want history to repeat itself, they need to dig down deep, find another level and get an early lead tonight.
Similar to what we saw with the Penguins, the Canadiens proved in Game 1 if they get down they become more worried about gooning it up than making a comeback. So it’s safe to say a quick start is imperative tonight.