Game 7 Recap: Rangers 2 Flyers 1

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Finding themselves in yet another do-or-die Game 7, the Rangers saved their season with a solid performance against the Flyers. Just 24 hours after a Game 6 shellacking in the City of Brotherly Love, the Blueshirts played a determined disciplined game in front of a raucous non-corporate, fired-up true MSG crowd.

After an evenly played scoreless first period, the Rangers played their best period of the season in the second. The NYR dominated Philly in the middle frame, outshooting the Flyers by a whopping 15-8. If not for the brilliance of Steve Mason, the Rangers could have scored five on the Flyers. Instead, they settled for two.

Spark plug Dan Carcillo, inserted back into the lineup after a two game hiatus, played another solid game and made his coach look like a genius in the early moments of the period. Mats Zuccarello curled with the puck along the weak-side wall and whirled the puck on his backhand zipping some gorgeous sauce through to Flyer defenders and onto the tape of a net-crashing Carcillo to give the Rangers the lead at 3:08.

The Rangers doubled their lead on a second gorgeous pass, this time by Derick Brassard. From almost the same spot as Zucc, D-Brass sent a pass to a streaking (and clothed, not that kind of streaking) Benoit Pouliot for the deft put back. The Pouliot goal at 11:46 sent the MSG crowd into pandemonium. The Rangers continued attacking Philadelphia and could have easily left the period up five, but settled for 2-0.

As the third period started, the desperate Flyers blitzed the NYR, but the Blueshirts withstood the Flyers attack. Philly drew to within 2-1 at 4:32 when Jason Akeson followed up his own rebound with a quick snapper that eluded Hank and the Garden crowd into a panic.

made the pass of the year

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Game 6 Recap: Flyers 5 Rangers 2

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With a 3-2 lead and the chance to end the series in Philadelphia, the Rangers were amazing for the opening five minutes of the game. Then, Benoit Pouliot took a stupid holding penalty on Claude Giroux (embellishment surprisingly uncalled) and everything went to hell.

Wayne Simmonds got his first (of many) on the power play at 7:08. Scott Hartnell sent a wild shot on net that hit Simmonds skate just outside of the crease. As Simmonds went to try and corral the puck around Henrik Lundqvist, he lost control of it and bounced (bad for the Rangers, but lucky for Philly) off Ryan McDonagh’s skate directly back to the Flyer forward for an easy put back.

The Rangers left the ice after twenty minutes, down a goal, with the early momentum they had gained swinging to the Flyers.

Only good thing from the whole night.

Only good thing from the whole night.

Early in the middle frame the Flyers got lucky again when Simmonds struck for the second time at 1:32. Dan Girardi made an absolutely terrible play with the puck at his own blueline. Rather than clear the puck out of danger, Girardi curled back into the zone where was stripped of the puck by Brayden Schenn. As Schenn skated to the net and attempted to fake a shot on Lundqvist, he lost the puck directly to Simmonds all alone on the doorstep for the easy tap in and Philadelphia found themselves up 2-0.

At the expiry of another useless Ranger power play, Hank got caught in between and the Blueshirts got burned. Mats Zuccarello fell down in the Philly zone and Braydon Coburn chipped the puck out of the zone. As the bouncing puck skipped into the Rangers zone, Lundqvist came out to play it and then as backed into the net as it slowed down. The indecisive move gave Erik Gustafsson a breakaway and he scored five hole for the 3-0 lead. And at that point, the game was over.

Then late in the second on the power play, Simmonds completed the hat trick. Jakub Voracek curled around his weak side circle and sent a shot/pass on net of Simmonds tape and past hank for the 4-0 lead. Though they got several fortunate breaks, Simmonds was in the right place to get the breaks. The power forward put on a clinic in going to the net (hai, Rangers, hai!) and was rewarded for his efforts. Good things happen when you crash the net. Simmonds did and got three cookies and a shitload of hats.

Going to the net. Getting cookies.

Going to the net. Getting cookies.

In the final stanza, with the game decided things got weird. Vigneault pulled Hank for Cam Talbot which was a good move. But for some unexplained reason, Alain Vigneault pulled Talbot with over four minutes left in the game which was a stupid move. When the Rangers couldn’t get out of their own zone and gave the puck away, Claude Giroux had an easy empty netter and the Flyers had a 5-1 lead.

Brian Boyle won an actually fight-no slapping involved and that was weird.

The Rangers did eventually get on the board beating Mason for a couple of goals, one by Carl Hagelin and one by Zuccarello (both by going to the net) which may help their mindset in game seven. But who the hell knows with this frustrating team.

Boyler legit won a fight. That has to be a good sign, amirite?

Boyler legit won a fight. That has to be a good sign, amirite?

The Rangers power play is now 3 for 29 (and 0 for 20 in the last 4 games) and looking equally as bad, or even worse than Sullivan/Tortorella Era unit. To succeed in the playoffs, teams need three things: goaltending, special teams and health. The Blueshirts have two of those ingredients right now and the lack of the third is killing them.

This is it for Rick Nash, who despite early reports actually did play in the game and was not a healthy scratch. If the Rangers lose game 7 and the big winger and his 1 goal in 18 NYR playoff games goes goal-less yet again, he will go down as a colossal bust. If he breaks out in a good way, with a goal or two, he might actually be a Rangers hero.

So once again, in what seems like an annual ritual, the New York Rangers find themselves in a game 7 against an opponent they should have dispatched much earlier. After beating Wasington (twice) and Ottawa, the Rangers game 7 luck is bound to run out, let’s just hope it is not tomorrow at MSG.

Everything goes out the window tomorrow, boys.

Clean Slate, Grab it!
LET’S GO RANGERS!

Clean that slate boys and grab it! You too Arneil. Get that PP back.

Clean that slate boys and grab it! You too Arneil. Get that PP back.

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Game 5 Recap: Rangers 4 Flyers 2

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In a pivotal Game 5 matchup, the Rangers continued their post-season dominance of games that start at 12 noon. In a series that has featured sloppy play and less than playoff-level intensity, the Rangers dominated the Flyers to take a 3-2 series lead.

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Game 4 Recap: Flyers 2 Rangers 1

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Sometimes it is tough to be a Rangers fan. Yes, the Rangers have made the playoffs seven out of the last eight seasons, and that is way better than being a fan of a team out of the playoffs, but man they frustrate. The Blueshirts took the ice in Philadelphia for game four against the Flyers and blew a golden opportunity

The Rangers, should arguably have swept the Flyers now find themselves tied 2-2 in a three game series.

The game started well enough for the Blueshirts as they dominated Philly for much of the first period. The NYR outshot the Flyers 16-5 in the first and seemed to have their way with their rivals. For the third time in the series, the New York club got on the board first. At the expiry of an early penalty, Brian Boyle fed Dominic Moore and the Rangers fourth line center sped up the left wing and fired a high shot off Flyers returning starter Steve Mason. Moore than grabbed the rebound and wrapped it around and in the short-side Mattea style to give the Rangers the lead.

That's it boys. Another good start!

That’s it boys. Another good start!

But despite being out played, Philly answered back four minutes later on a tricky, planned play. Jason Akeson intentionally threw a shot wide of Henrik Lundqvist that caromed off the end boards directly to a streaking Matt Read that Read was able to tuck short side as Hank slid over.

Tricky bastards!

Tricky bastards!

In the second, the Flyers began to slow the Rangers down a bit, and with Dominic Moore in the penalty box, the Philadelphia squad grabbed the lead. The New York PK, that had been so good in the series, got a bit sloppy. As the puck came to Brayden Schenn at the point the NYR left Jakub Voracek all alone in the high slot. Schenn sent a soft shot/pass that Voracek deflected under the crossbar for the 2-1 lead.

And that was the ball game.

Down on his knees with not a single blue sweater in sight.

Down on his knees with not a single blue sweater in sight.

The Rangers did manage 37 shots, but they didn’t really test Mason. Facing a goalie in his first start since a concussion, the Bluehsirts didn’t really bother to crash the net. They also didn’t go to school on the fact that Mason, who is a big goalie, was on his knees for most of the game. But more importantly, and much more worrisome was the fact that the Rangers power play looked awful. The man-advantage unit, that looked so good in game one looked so bad in game four. The PP threw up a fat goose egg going 0-4, managing a single shot on a third period 4-on-3 in which they mostly stood statue-still as they pretty much just wheeled the puck around the perimeter. As we have said, since this page started, teams that go deep into the playoffs: goaltending, special teams and health. The Rangers had two of those things tonight and the third, their special teams play, let them down.

The Rangers, who despite the two wins in the series, and despite the fact that they could have won all four games, have not really played that well, now find themselves in a best of three where anything can happen.

They need to be better and need to get the power play going. They also need Rick Nash to show up. While the 7.8 million dollar former Rocket Richard Trophy winner does have four assists in the series, he has no goals in the four games and only one single goal in 16 playoff gams with the NYR. They need Nash get hot and fast. Nash played possessed the last two minutes, but as usual in the Spring, came up empty.

It’s a new, short series now with the first of three at MSG, Sunday high noon.

Let’s go Rangers!
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Game 3 Recap: Rangers 4 Flyers 1

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The Rangers bounced back from their collapse in Game 2 with a solid road win in the City of Brotherly Love. Anticipating a chippy match with the Flyers, Alain Vigneault inserted agitator and former Flyer fan favorite Dan Carcillo into the lineup and the move paid off.

For the the third time in the series, the NYR struck first. Just 3:54 in, Martin St. Louis sent a pass to Rick Nash on the strong-side wing and Nash threw a high shot on Ray Emery. The Flyers goaltender gloved the puck but didn’t catch it and the rebound came right to a wide open Derek Stepan, who buried it for the game’s first goal. Most goals come from the five feet in front of the net and Step, as he has been doing of late, went to the net and got the cookie.

The Rangers top line struck again at 10:24. Nash sent a pass to Dan Girardi at the point and G flipped a soft, low shot on net that St. Louis tipped over Emery for the two goal lead and the Blueshirts found themselves in the exact same situation from game two.

"Hey Marty, I'll pop the first and you get the second, cool?"

“Hey Marty, I’ll pop the first and you get the second, cool?”

And just like in game two, the Flyers answered back. On a sloppy play, as the Rangers came out of their own zone, Claude Giroux picked off Ryan McDonagh, knocking down the Rangers defenseman and creating a three-on-two. Giroux fed Jacob Voracek, who hit a streaking Mark Streit for the nice finish on the play.

Also like in game two, the Rangers headed to the second period up 2-1, but unlike in game two, the Blueshirts got the critical third goal. At 5:17 of the second, Carl Hagelin worked the puck to Brad Richards and B-Rich hit Giradri at the point, where the Ranger defenseman rocketed a slapper past Emery to put the Rangers up 3-1.

Big goal G!

Big goal G!

Refereeing hockey games is hard. Very hard. But the officiating in this series has been atrocious. There were three incidents that really stood out in this game. The first was on the Streit goal. The second happened when Jacob Voracek mugged Carl Hagelin, yes Hagelin, off a face-off. Voracek cross-checked Hags in the head and then proceeded to throw at least four and possibly five punches that connected with the Ranger enforcer winger. Hags pushed back at Voracek so that justified his two minute minor for roughing, but astoundingly Voracek also received a two minute minor for roughing. And nothing else. The last and the most egregious was the Carcillo fiasco. Skating across the blueline, and nowhere the puck, Carcillo was clobbered in the head by a blind-side shoulder from Matt Read. The cheapshot somehow managed to go un-noticed and unseen by all four officials on the ice. On the ensuing shift, a furiously back-checking Carcillo made a great defensive play, lifting the stick of Read as the puck squirted away. Amazingly, Carcillo was given a hooking penalty and almost awarded another as he berated the ref on the way to the box.

As the penalty expired, Carcillo raced out of the box, joining Brian Boyle on a two-on-one. The big softie feathered a beautiful pass and Carcillo, kind of missed it, but managed to chip it through Emery’s five-hole to give the Rangers a 4-1 lead and spark, perhaps the best goal celly of the year. Carcillo slammed his stick against the glass and skated directly to the wall taunting the Philadelphia fans, putting an exclamation point on the victory.

Fight Hags? Seriously? Were MSL and Zucc not available?

Fight Hags? Seriously? Were MSL and Zucc not available?

Henrik Lundqvist was solid in net stopping 31 of the 32 shots he faced. The King was steady if not spectacular, providing a calming backbone for the Ranger defense. Hank is on his game and that is a very good thing for the Rangers.

The Rangers penalty killers, led by the unsung Brian Boyle (yes he can’t score and can’t fight,) killed off all five Flyer power plays and were a huge factor in the match. The Blueshirts will have to be more disciplined as the series moves on, but if they do find themselves in the box, the PK will be solid.

The road warrior Rangers played a great road game and with the win have regained home ice advantage in the series. They will need to play with even more intensity and more discipline in game four. A win in that game would give them a serious stranglehold on the series.

Back at it for game four in a month on Friday night.

Let’s go Rangers!
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Game 2 Recap: Flyers 4 Rangers 2

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With a glorious chance to go up 2-0 on the Flyers in front of raucous Easter Sunday MSG crowd, the Rangers laid an egg. The early game on national television was the perfect opportunity for the Blueshirts to put Philadelphia in serious trouble. And after the Rangers went up 2-0 early it seemed like they would do just that. But the NYR took the pedal off the gas and let up.

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Game 1 Recap: Rangers 4 Flyers 1

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The New York Rangers opened the 2014 Stanley Cup Tournament at the World’s Most Famous Arena with a matchup (their 11th in the post-season) against their long-time rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers. Playing in front of an actual fired up crowd, as opposed to the usual regular season corporate audience, the Blueshirts looked to come out and set the tone against their neighbors to the south.

And set the tone they did, outplaying the Flyers for much of the first. Yet, as has been the case so many times this season, the Rangers gave up the game’s first goal. On the Flyers first shot of the match at 7:28, newly-signed Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald sent a slapper on net that deflected off Martin St. Louis high in the zone and sailed in over Henrik Lundqvist shoulder. Behind the Rangers net, Scott Hartnell banged Ryan McDonagh off the puck (can you tell McD was a bit rusty?) and sent a pass to MacDonald at the left point and as St. Louis skated out to block the shot if tipped off his stick and changed direction from a low shot to a high shot and Hank had no chance.

Down a goal early on home ice, the Rangers didn’t crumble. The Blueshirts answered back with some extra effort from their Extra Effort Award winner. Marc Staal pinched along the strong side wall and sent the puck into the corner where Benoit Pouliot outworked Braydon Coburn and took the puck to the front of the net where he lost it in the slot, but directly to Mats Zuccarello. Zucc fired a shot on net that Ray Emery kicked back into the slot and The Oslo Magician™ blew by Sean Coutourier and backhanded his own rebound by Emery five-hole, tying the game at 10:53 of the first.

Zucc is fired up!

Zucc is fired up!

The Rangers outplayed Philadelphia in the frame and closed the period outshooting the Flyers 14-6, but tied at 1-1.

The middle frame was a more closely played affair. Lundqvist stopped all eight shots he faced and Emery turned aside all nine NYR shots.

Heading to the final frame, the game could have gone either way. Despite holding the advantage in play, a fluke or a bad bounce and the Rangers could have found themselves down in the series with home ice surrendered. When Ryan McDonagh was whistled for high-sticking 46 seconds in, the Flyers had a golden opportunity to potentially steal the game. But the NYR PK (without McD) didn’t allow the Flyers single shot and seven minutes later the game changed.

This was the turning point and the PP made them pay.

This was the turning point and the PP made them pay.

Flyers rookie Jason Akeson threw a booming hit on Carl Hagelin at center ice, but as he finished his check, he swung his stick around and blasted Hagelin in the mouth, cutting him and earning a double minor for high-sticking. With, the Garden crowd energized at the PP opportunities, the Rangers man-advantage unit went to work.

Derek Stepan carried the puck into the Flyers zone and hit St. Louis at the blueline where MSL gave the puck back to Step along the left wing wall. D-Step continued the puck to Rick Nash behind the goal line and the big guy wheeled a backhand pass to St. Louis in the slot. MSL’s shot hit off Kimo Timonen’s skate and caromed directly to Brad Richards in the off-wing circle and B-Rich clobbered a slapper high short-side by Emery to give the Rangers the lead.

The Rangers PP unit cashed in on the second half of the double minor with some more excellent puck movement. Richards threw a d-to-d pass across the blueline to McDonagh and the Rangers MVP faked out Coutourier with a Brian Leetch inside-outside move. McD sent a back-door pass to St. Louis that Marty touched to Richards at the point. B-Rich then blasted a shot/pass to a wide open Stepan on the doorstep and the center buried it in the gaping net sending the fired-up MSG crowd into hysterics.

With 4:08 remaining, the Rangers made it 4-1, again led by Richards. After Timmonen rang one of the post, Richards cleared the rebound to Jesper Fast and took a return pass breaking out with Fast and Hagelin. Richards cut across the blueline, around a falling Brayden Schenn, and send a shot on Emery, that was kicked out to an uncovered Hagelin for the easy put back.

That's right Chief, send them out to thug it up. So the PP can keep burying you.

That’s right Chief, send them out to thug it up. So the PP can keep burying you.

Down three and with only one shot on goal in the third, the clearly frustrated Flyers started their typical goon tactics but the Rangers didn’t bite. Zack Rinaldo was up to his usual tricks and Captain Claude Giroux slashed at everyone in blue and even swung his stick at Dominic Moore’s head for some unknown reason. Giroux was obviously flummoxed by the suffocating defense of McDonagh and Girardi and the swarming presence of the Moore-Boyle-Dorsett line. The Blueshirts will need to keep that pressure on the Flyers best player as the series moves on, and they’ll most likely have to keep their heads up against the stick-swinging star.

There are three ingredients needed for a successful playoff run: health, goaltending and special teams. If the Rangers can survive, the beating and cheapshots they are sure to take, the have the goaltending and the skilled pp to make a very deep run.

Brad Richards, the beaver-toothed former superstar who we love to hate, had an excellent game. He was decent at even strength and was money on the power play. B-Rich had a big game in a big spot, and hopefully he continues to for the next two months.

Huge. B-Rich was huge.

Huge. B-Rich was huge.

Lundqvist had a relatively easy game and the defense gave Giroux and the skilled Flyers forwards nothing. McD was a bit off his game. He looked rusty and fought the puck a little bit, but he will surely benefit from getting his legs under him in the W.

Right now, one game in, things look pretty good for the NYR. However, the Stanley Cup isn’t decided after the first game and the Rangers will need to build off their strong play in the opener. Despite how well they played, the NYR were a bad bounce away from losing this game all the way into the third period and a poor effort, or a bad bounce in game two and the Blueshirts could find themselves tied and lose home ice advantage. Game two is critical. The Rangers need to put this one away and come out with the same intensity on Easter Sunday.

Let’s go Rangers!
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Playoff Preview: Rangers vs. Flyers

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After an 82 game slog, the playoffs are finally here!

With a balanced offense, solid defense and the King in net, the Blueshirts enter the tournament poised to make a run at Lord Stanley’s Cup, but first must get through the Philadelphia Flyers in what is sure to be another classic chapter in the long Rangers Flyers rivalry.

To preview the Patrick Metropolitan Division series, Rangerface posed some questions to the experts. Reade from New York Rangers Memes, Vin from True Blue – I am a Ranger and Bryan from Blueshirts Nation run some of the most popular NYR sites on Facebook. With over 17,000 faithful Blueshirt followers between the sites, these guys know the Rangers. Here is their (and our) take on the first round.

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Who do you think will be the most important player in the series?

Reade: The most important player in the series will be Brad Richards. If he can stop making ridiculous mistakes, the team will really benefit and his linemates will rack up more points.

Vin: The most important player of this series is going to have to be Henrik Lundqvist.

Bryan: Henrik Lundqvist.

Rangerface: The most important player will be Derek Stepan. Step, despite his terrible skating is so smart offensively and generates so much offense. If he can click with Nash, or St. Louis good things will happen.

Hank. Like Vin says, it all stems from Hank.

Hank. Like Vin says, it all stems from Hank.

Rangerface has been writing all year that the Blueshirts biggest weakness is their lack of an answer to the physicality of the bigger teams like Philadelphia and Boston. Will the Rangers be able to hold up against the Flyers physical play?

Reade: Oh yes. Remember, the Rangers acquired former Flyer Dan Carcillo for a series just like this. He is ready for a physical series.

Vin: The Flyers are always tough! They definitely bring a ton of physical play and grit! But I think we will be able to match that play with Daniel Carcillo, Derek Dorsett, Kevin Klein, and even Dominic Moore.

Bryan: If the Rangers keep the puck deep in the Philadelphia zone and generate offensive zone time and pressure, I think the Flyers physical play will get them in trouble as they’ll be forced to take bad penalties.

Rangerface: Hope so.

Carcillo (along with Dorsett) will be key in this series.

Carcillo (along with Dorsett) will be key in this series.

What kind of impact, if any will Carcillo and Dorsett have on the series?

Reade: They can add some 4th line scoring if needed. These guys will add tons of fuel to the series.

Bryan: They are both great scrappers but I don’t think they will have an impact in the series. I don’t think thats the Rangers plan.

Rangerface: They have to be willing to stand up to the bigger tougher Flyers who will be hitting McDonagh and Staal every chance they get. They also have to hit everything in orange while staying out of the box as both are prone to taking stupid penalties.

Who scores more goals Brian Boyle or Rick Nash?

Reade: Nash.

Vin: I’m gonna have to say Rick Nash hands down.

Bryan: Rick Nash.

Rangeface: Boyle has 6 goals in 33 playoff games while Nash has 2 goals in 16 playoff games (1/12 with the NYR.) If Boyle outscores Nash in this series, the Rangers are in trouble! Nash gets hot and pops 4 goals.

If Boyler finds the net more than Nasher, the NYR are in trouble.

If Boyler finds the net more than Nasher, the NYR are in trouble.

What do you expect from Martin St. Louis?

Reade: I expect Martin St. Louis to keep doing what he has been doing. Despite him only scoring one goal since he came to New York, the team has done so well. I expect MSL to score 2 goals and add four assists in the first round.

Vin: I expect St. Louis to be the veteran he is and bring tons of leadership and knowledge about post-season play to the table. I also expect him to keep contributing like he’s been since coming over from the Lightning.

Bryan: I expect great playmaking and several assists in the series verse the Flyers but I don’t expect to see any goals from MSL.

Rangerface: Martin St. Louis will break out in a big way, especially on the power play. MSL, might just be the best small guy to ever play the game. Ranger fans will finally get to see that this post-season.

MSL: Ready to finally breakout on Broadway!

MSL: Ready to finally breakout on Broadway!

Who or what do you think will be the biggest surprise?

Reade: The biggest surprise will be Henrik Lundqvist. In a good way. Expect him to come out in game 1 and be a brick wall.

Vin: I think the biggest surprise is going to come from the NYR is their ability to roll four consistent lines against the Flyers! I think they will get contributions from all four lines and the D as well.

Bryan: It will be a huge surprise if Ray Emery plays like a brick wall.

Rangerface: The biggest surprise will be Anton Stralman scoring a couple of big goals.

"If B-Rich..."

“If B-Rich…”

Finish this sentence: “If Brad Richards….”

Reade: If Brad Richards stops making stupid decisions the team will possess the puck more in the offensive zone giving him, and them, more scoring chances.

Vin: If Brad Richards can be the Brad Richards that hoisted the Cup in 2004 and lead the Rangers with some much needed goals, then I can see this hockey team giving all other teams trouble.

Bryan: If Brad Richards scores a hat trick i will give away Rangers apparel!

Rangeface: If Brad Richards shoots another puck from the point into a defender’s skates, I’ll eat John Amirante’s wig!

Finish this sentence: “I’ll be shocked if…”

Reade: I’ll be shocked if we look like the 2013 “John Tortorella Style Rangers” where we score few goals.

Bryan: I’ll be shocked if Brian Boyle is the MVP in Round 1.

Rangerface: Rick Nash doesn’t have a big impact on the series.

Will McD and Girardi continue to shut down Giroux?

Reade: Of course, Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh got signed to long term extensions for a reason. Expect them to be fearless defenseman throughout the series and stifle Giroux.

Vin: Giroux and Philly are going to have a lot of problems going up against McD and Girardi.

Bryan: They have both been solid for the Rangers all year. Mac moreso than G but they are both strong and tough. Im not worried.

Rangerface: Giroux is so good, but so are McDonagh and Girardi and Staal as well. I think Giroux will get his pointsm but mostly on the power play. I think McD shuts him down at even strength.

Shutdown D. Let's shut down G!

Shutdown D. Let’s shut down G!

What three things will have to happen for the Rangers to win the series?

Reade:
1. A good power play
2. A good penalty kill
3. Be the first team to score in OT!

Vin:
1. Score some goals
2. Have a strong defensive presence.
3. Henrik has to be Henrik.

Bryan:
1. Lundqvist has to be at the top of his game.
2. The Blueshirts have to play solid defensive shut down hockey.
3. The big guys Nash, MSL, etc. need to step up.

Rangerface:
1. Scoring, lots of it. Especially from the big guns.
2. Hank must be the best goalie in the world.
3. The Rangers don’t get physically abused by the Flyers.

What three things have happen for the Rangers to lose the series?

Reade:
1. The Rangers will be low scoring like the Tortorella Rangers.
2. Hank will have to struggle.
3. Giroux will have to be the player he has been this season.

Bryan:
1. Rangers collapse defensively.
2. The Blueshirts struggle offensively.
3. The Rangers take too many bad retaliatory penalties.

Rangerface:
1. The Rangers get physically abused by the Flyers.
2. Hank is mediocre.
3. Nash and St. Louis are invisible.

Prediction?

Reade: Rangers in 5.
Vin: Rangers in 6.
Bryan: Rangers in 5.
Rangerface: Rangers in 6.

Let's see this for times in the next two weeks boys!

Let’s see this for times in the next two weeks boys!

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Game 82 Recap: Canadiens 1 Rangers 0 (OT)

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With the Rangers locked into the second seed and a matchup with the Flyers, they travelled up to La Belle Province to take on the Canadiens in a completely meaningless game.

With Ryan McDonagh, Martin St. Louis and Dan Girardi watching in civies, the Blueshirts lost the game in OT, but escaped the match unscathed. A point that was hugely important with the playoffs days away.

Despite, a barrage of 41 shots on Carey Price, the Rangers couldn’t squeeze one past the Gold Medal winning keeper and were undone when Raphael Diaz gave the puck away to Brian Gionta in the extra session. Gionta was awarded a penalty shot after he was taken down, and though he deserved better, Cam Tablot was beaten on the backhand by the Habs diminutive captain with a backhander.

The Rangers played well, but didn’t score, they showed some heart and no one got hurt. And now, the NYR head to a match up with the hated Flyers relatively healthy with the lone exception being Chris Kreider, who may hopefully be back for round two.

The playoffs are here and it’s the most wonderfully time of the year!
LET’S GO RANGERS!

Double D, getting his mush ready for Simmonds, RInaldo and the rest of the Flyers.

Double D, getting his mush ready for Simmonds, RInaldo and the rest of the Flyers.

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Game 81 Recap: Rangers 2 Sabres 1

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In the last game of the regular season on Garden ice, the Rangers eked out a 2-1 victory against the 30th place Buffalo Sabres. The game was an odd contest with wildly different periods, but all in all, a bit of a snoozer.

The opening stanza was painfully boring with both sides offering little and the Rangers throwing up two goose eggs on their twin power plays.

In the middle frame, the Rangers embarrassingly (for Buffalo) outshot the Sabes an incredible 18-1! Yet more astoundingly the Rangers found themselves trailing 1-0 as Buffalo scored on their only attempt of the period. Defenseman Mike Weber threw a shot (if you call if that) on net that hopped a few times across the ice (like a roc on a lake) before Drew Stafford tipped it by Henrik Lundqvist. The Blueshirts eventually drew even when Derick Brassard, Mats Zuccarello and Benoit Pouliot hooked up on a nice goal in the waning seconds of the period. Zucc tossed a nasty backhand pass to Pouliot on the strong side and B-Poul zipped one off the post by Buffalo 5th string goalie Matt Hackett and the NYR were tied heading to the third.

Who new Nasher had a cannon?

Who new Nasher had a cannon?

And the third was as wacky as the earlier periods. Buffalo outshot the Rangers 11-3, but the NYR got the game winner on their third and final shot of the period. With the clock ticking down and just 102 seconds left, Derek Stepan, Martin St. Louis and Rick Nash hooked up for a gorgeous game winner. Step fed MSL just inside the blueline and with Nash streaking up the off wing, St. Louis put a pass on a tee. The Rangers big winger tattooed a one timer past Hackett and the NYr were on their way to a victory in the final regular season game at MSG.

It was an odd kind of lackluster game with a pre-season feel to it. Understandably, the Blueshirts with a playoff spot already clinched, kind of ran through the motions against a far inferior club. They did manage a win that locked up home ice in the first round (not sure if that is a good thing) and they escaped the game with no injuries.

With a now meaningless game in Montreal on Saturday, expect Cam Talbot back in net and a bunch of healthy scratches.

The playoffs are coming!

Let’s go Rangers!

No doubt the King is back, but he'll need that jersey back for the playoffs.

No doubt the King is back, but he’ll need that jersey back for the playoffs.

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