Quick and Dirty Series Preview

Nobody volunteered to write this for me, so I am going to just do a quick and dirty series preview.

Forwards

Montreal has the three best forwards in this series between Max Pacioretty, Alex Radulov, and Alex Galchenyuk.  Now, each of these three comes with a bit of a question mark.  For Pacioretty, it’s the high stick he took in yesterday’s practice.  I have a feeling that he’s fine, but if he were to miss any time, it would be a tremendous blow to the Canadiens. For Galchenyuk, it’s Claude Julien’s deployment that is puzzling, as he is trying to push Galchenyuk’s buttons (think AV putting JT Miller on the 4th line) at this time of year.  For Radulov, it’s a question of performing in the NHL playoffs. We all can remember his behavior while a member of the Nashville Predators led to him being made a healthy scratch and NHL pariah for a few years before this recent return.  It seems like all of that is behind him now, but he still needs to show that he can play in the NHL playoffs.

Rounding out the rest of Montreal’s forwards are the Erik Christensen-esque 1st line center of Phillip Danault, surprising Paul Byron, the disappointing but still pesky Brendan Gallagher, the whiplash injury waiting to happen Tomas Plekanec, the talented rookie Artturi Lehkonen, and then a lot of grit and sandpaper. There are some good parts here, but if the big three aren’t producing, it’s unlikely that any of the remaining forwards will be able to help carry the load.

For the Rangers, it’s definitely more of a committee approach.  We have a lot of players that typically are not strong playoff performers, most notoriously Rick Nash, but there are so many lines that can contribute offense that we should be able to match lines or roll lines, whichever AV prefers, without any fear of being outmatched over the course of the game.

While I think Montreal’s depth at forward is being underrated around here, I still have to agree with the general consensus.

Advantage: Rangers

Defense

Montreal will have the best defenseman in this series in Shea Weber. Even if he’s not what he used to be, even if he’s not what he was at the beginning of the season, he’s still an absolute force and huge minute eater.  Also, as a team in the playoffs we have been vulnerable to shots from the point as we collapse around the net. Weber can make us pay for that.

The remainder of the Montreal defense has been criminally underrated around these parts. Andrei Markov is still a solid puckmoving defenseman that’s not a total liability in his own zone. He’s probably the third best defenseman in this series.  Jeff Petry is a solid puckmover and the addition of Jordie Benn to stay at home while Petry plays offense has really stabilized Montreal’s second pair. Nathan Beaulieu is a streaky player on both ends of the ice. His pairing with Nesterov has been working well for the Canadiens recently to the point that they are rarely liabilities. Emelin being injured is a blessing in disguise.

The Rangers defense is terribly overrated. Ryan McDonagh is great and has been having a very strong season.  Brady Skjei is an excellent puck mover and his skills will be needed to help generate offense and keep the puck out of our zone t oeliminate the grinding game that Montreal’s bottom six will try and play. By the same token, I think Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, and Brendan Smith are going to be liabilities in this series.  These guys simply cannot get the puck out of the zone and Montreal’s bottom six is going to play a chip and chase game and grind them down, forcing these guys into turnovers (penalties in Smith’s case) all series long.  Girardi handles the puck like it’s a grenade. Holden has shown flashes in both directions this season, so I’m not sure which way he will go.  Recently, his play has been poor.

Despite the conventional wisdom that the Rangers have the superior depth on defense, I just think the inability of our defense to play the puck is such a tremendous liability that I can’t agree.

Advantage: Montreal

Goaltending

Both goaltenders had rough starts to the season.  However, in Price’s case, once Montreal switched coaches, Price’s game stabilized and he returned to his form as one of the truly elite goaltenders in the NHL.  He historically has dominated the Rangers, especially in Montreal.  The one real exception to this rule was game 1 of the 2014 ECF, where he was being beaten even before he got hurt. The Rangers forwards are going to have to be willing to get to the dirty areas of the ice to screen him, make deflections, and force price to make difficult saves or this is going to be a very short series.

In Lundqvist’s case, there was a stretch of about three weeks before he got hurt where he started to consistently play like his old self, but has struggled to regain that form since he returned from injury.  He has also historically struggled in Montreal, the 2014 ECF notwithstanding. He’s also historically been a tremendous playoff goaltender, the 2014 Stanley Cup Final and last season’s playoffs notwithstanding.  There’s also a significant chance that we see Antti Raanta in this series, maybe even to start a game if Lundqvist spirals out of control.

While history would make me lean towards Lundqvist in the playoffs, if you think he’s suddenly going to be vintage Lundqvist after the season he just had, you’re just wishing. Wish in one hand, Doodie in the other, and see which one gets filled first.

Advantage: Montreal

Special Teams

Montreal’s power play should be much better than it is, given the personnel on the roster. It has been particularly anemic since March 1, running at a near league worst 10.5%. Even so, Weber’s blast from the point might cause problems for us given our traditional defensive strategy of giving away the shot from the point, especially if one of our guys gets hurt trying to block one of those shots.  Given the struggles of the Rangers’ PK over the past two months, this could be the deciding factor of the entire series.

The Rangers’ power play actually finished ahead of Montreal’s buoyed by a strong start, and more importantly, a strong finish to the season (26.5% since 3/1, good for 5th in the NHL). They will need to maintain that good form because Montreal’s penalty killing has been excellent over the past month, running at an absurd 86.7% since March 1st.

The old adage is that a good PP might win you a game, but a bad PK will definitely lose you games. I tend to agree.

Advantage: Montreal

Coaching

If Michel Therien was still the coach of the Canadiens, I wouldn’t even write anything here and just give the advantage to the Rangers. But Claude Julien is an excellent coach, having bested Alain Vigneault in the 2011 Final. He definitely fixed the Montreal PK, even if the PP still needs some work. That said, some of his forward deployments are puzzling, and he hasn’t had much success in the playoffs since 2013.

AV has demonstrated that he has the pulse of this team. His addictions to Jesper Fast and Tanner Glass aside, I have generally agreed with all of his forward deployments.  His choices on defense are constrained by a lack of talent, especially on the right side. While there have been diminishing returns in the playoffs each of his first three years here (SCF, ECF, ECQF), and while his ability to adjust in-game is questionable, I think he is still one of the best coaches in the NHL.

Advantage: Rangers

Intangibles

The Rangers are a battle-tested group of hardened veterans. Even most of the kids are veterans. They will need to draw upon that experience in order to offset what I perceive to be the deficiencies in their defense, between the pipes, and at the top end of their forward lineup.

The Canadiens have Andrew Shaw and then a lot of guys who haven’t really been deep in the playoffs. There are still some members of the 2014 team that made it to the ECF against the Rangers, but by and large those are the most experienced players on the team. I also think that they may be distracted by the Kreider-Price incident, and given the grit and sandpaper in their lineup, they might get distracted trying to be physical for the sake of being physical and give away the series as a result (think Penguins-Bruins from 2013).

Advantage: Rangers

Prediction: Montreal in six.

255 thoughts on “Quick and Dirty Series Preview”

  1. I got a doodie….re-post

    The answer to some questions may happen tonight. Certainly after the series we will more.

    Can AV out coach julien?
    Will skjeL and trs be able to win any wall battles?
    Can hank perform close to price?
    Will not adding playable forward grit at the deadline hurt this team?
    How much of a facade was the first 15-20 games offencively?
    Is this team more than a one trick pony?
    Can they win that important draw or make that timely save?

    LGR!!!

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  2. Claude Julian’s defense, with a Price as a goalie, in Montreal. Tough out for the Rangers.

    Rangers are in trouble, if Hank is 2-8 in his last 10 gams at the Bell Centre. What is going to give him the big edge in this series? Rangers lost all their games against Montreal this year.

    I guess that’s why they play the games.

    #Let’sGoRangers

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Doodie
    Nice break down. Agree on everything except the last two. I don’t see AV out coaching julien. I also haven’t seen the rangers with many intangibles all season (critical face off/critical timely saves etc), I don’t think they all of a sudden get them.

    Really hope I’m wrong on both, LGR!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Done deal Norm. At least for tonight. AV being suckered into a style of game that does not suit the Rangers. The way to win this series is to say, these are my skill guys, try and stop them. Not, you’re playing King, and Ott, well than here comes Tanner Glass. Screw King, and Ott. If you make them try to keep up with our skill guys, they will fail and be out of there lineup the next game. SKILL WINS.

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  5. I think the problem wasn’t that we didn’t add grit, it’s that we didn’t add a puckmover to our blue line. The puck goes into our zone and we can’t get it out unless a forward comes back to get it and skate it out.

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  6. Great stuff, Artist Formerly Known as Doodie–thanks for these updates and the write-up. You appear to be on top of your game!

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  7. Grit, speed, no matter. The problem has been that we usually play pick-up hockey like we haven’t practiced in four months. Say it with me – plan, strategy, execution, parade, plan, strategy, execution, parade.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I agree, BDL, though there’s something to be said for Buchnevich not having earned the spot during end-of-season auditions. Here’s hoping AV is trying to sucker les Habs into expecting Glass and then sneaking in some offense instead. If not, Glass needs to focus on playing good D and keep getting to the net at the other end. Something might bounce off him. And I thought that Klein won the last few rounds over Smith, barely, but neither really impressed. Smith scares me a bit with his dumb penalties, and Klein has the better playoff experience. All that said: Go, Glass! Go, Smith!

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  9. Playing Glass means absolutely nothing. If the 12th forward on this team is going to be the difference between winning and losing they are in much deeper poo than realized. He is not there to fight anyone, but to play physical and protect Fast for AV(I keed, I keed..) Like the 4th line with Oscar, Fast and Glass.
    .
    Butch is going to be a solid offensive forward in this league, but he is NOT there now and has not done much as the ice surface has shrunk in March.
    .
    The BIG question mart IMHO is Hayes who has proven to shy away from contact and lack compete on the wall. His post ASG performance has been adysmal. AV protects him until he can’t (last season POs). He demotes Miller, people complain Grabner has regressed, but the guy in the middle of those two has played like ca-ca.
    .

    Liked by 3 people

  10. 5 highest cap hits on team.
    Which one will perform to their contract in the POs? (actually players are only compensated for reg season so….)
    Henk
    Nash
    Step
    Staal
    Girardi
    .
    Will any of them?

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  11. Going to repeat what I said in the last thread.
    Glass is the safe play. When you play it safe, chances are, you lose. I would much rather play a guy who can break the game open with a great play,than a guy who is more likely to have the great play made against him.

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  12. Agree, SN, with the 12th-man debate. It’s a positive, though, that the only real quibble with the forwards involves the last spot. I imagine Habs’ fans worrying a bit more about the subject at their end.

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  13. Good morning, boneheads!
    Great work, Doodie.
    I strongly disagree on defense. Klein would be playing in Montreal before Benn and Beaulieu. Also, you’re highly underrating Staal

    Liked by 1 person

  14. King and Ott play forward. I think the Habs will be playing them against Step/Zucc or Zika/Nash.
    The D needs to worry about NYR forwards.

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  15. Vesey in the D-zone could be a problem. Staff will be watching him closely, I bet, to see if he’s able to step up after a lo-ong rookie season straight out of Compton college.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. The Habs has trouble scoring this year. Julien has propped up the back end. Could be some low scoring nail biting affairs…you know.. Rangers PO Hockey!

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  17. All five years I lived in New Hampshire I had to listen to Clode (as everyone referred to him) talking about his love for the heavy game, eh? Hard to watch if you were a Bruins fan but effective when it worked. Very good coach of the soul-destroying, clogging school, would love to see the Rangers skate by it for the sake of the game, and, of course, that the superior way of life (NYR) emerge victorious.

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  18. I was talking about a 4th line match up. Grabner on the 4th line going against King and Ott on the Habs 4th. Of course with Glass in the lineup, Grabner in not on the 4th line.

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  19. tonights refs

    ian walsh and dan o halloran

    rangers 16-17 record walsh 4-0 o halloran 2-2
    habs 16-17 record 2-2 walsh o halloran 3-3

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  20. don’t see how montreal has 3 best forwards in this series or the best defenseman….give you Pacioretty on the forward side

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  21. I think Buchnevich will play this series at some point. His offensive play has dipped significantly lately, so playing him top 9 is a risky proposition since he is easy to knock off the puck. Once he is on the 4th line, he can’t be effective. I don’t think AV is playing it safe, I think he’s trying to create the best lineup based on the recent performance.

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  22. LOL, Captain. I also think V-easy is much more playoff ready in terms of handling the physical stuff.

    Rangers better get pucks behind their D men when nothing’s there, and away from Price on the dump-ins, instead of the fancy-boy play-forcing. Or they will pay dearly.

    WWAGD? indeed.

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  23. Anxious to see how Zibanejad plays in tight, playoff type games. If he can continue winning FOS, and contribute offensively, this group of centers will be miles better than Montreal can dress up.

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  24. Nash – Do it now or live forever with the ignominy, rightly or wrongly deserved.
    This 4th line will bang and work. And we need some of that.
    No reason we can’t beat these suckers.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. There are always “ifs”. Except we tend to discuss more “ifs” on our side. I believe if there are no “ifs”, meaning everyone on both teams plays to their full strength, NY wins this series. And probably in short fashion.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. ilb, yes, I’d agree with that, but that would ignore an entire season’s worth of performance from Lundqvist and our defense. Multiple seasons in Girardi’s case. And a season and multiple playoff appearances for Nash.

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  27. I’m a little amazed at the number of posters here (that I think have pretty good hockey knowledge), are acting like the early season rangers are what this team is. I really hope I’m wrong, but I think that was more mirage than fact. I think they are going to need to grind out wins, not all star game hockey wins. I just haven’t seen this team or coach able to do that.

    I really hope it becomes an all star game on the ice like many of you think it will.

    LGR

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  28. If the Rangers try to grind it out, they will lose. They are not built that way. They have to do it with speed and skill. And yes, that means play like they did the first 20 games. There advantage is in there depth up front. Not in there ability to grind it out.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. I don’t know who would rip Graves’ style of play.

    Quick story. Bridget Wentworth grew up in NJ, a Devils fan. She absolutely hated Graves, would curse him when the Rangers played the Devils. She became a sportswriter and eventually was assigned to cover the Rangers. …

    where she met Graves for the first time. And she immediately thought, “Oh my God, I am going straight to hell.”

    Liked by 4 people

  30. when I say grind, I mean win puck battles, take what’s given, be difficult around their own net … not that they have to be the physical initiators. Obviously.

    But, if you recall, the Rangers were the aggressors in the first two games vs. PIT last year, and could have won both. They were right in that series until the third period of Game 3.

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  31. And the grind I am referring to is style of play. Cycling, instead of attacking with speed. Sitting back in the neutral zone and there own end. They need to be on the attack all game. I do not by any stretch think they are soft.

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  32. They need to get the puck out of their zone, quickly. Think Pittsburgh last year just flinging it out and letting their faster skaters win footraces. Because if their big forwards start working our defense down low, the puck will stay in our zone a long time.

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  33. Well, if Julien cuts off the neutral zone and the Rangers try to play fancy through it and over the blue line when nothing’s there, they will be out quickly. They have to make the Montreal D-men turn and go get the puck at times, if not often, during this or any other series they play.

    When they were scoring five goals a game off the rush, they were still getting pucks deep when the situation called for it.

    Liked by 3 people

  34. Shaw, Gallagher – One’s 5’10, 160,the other is 5’8, 175 and either one or both will kick our ass out front. Sad. Grip up, boyos!!

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  35. If I recall correctly, they out hit Pitt by a wide margin in game two. And Kreider comment was, the reason we out hit them was because we didn’t have the puck much.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Of course I realize that Carp knows more than all of us put together, but it’s fun tweaking him now and then. 🙂

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  37. Rangers D need to move the puck up and out of the zone quickly by making accurate and clean passes to the forwards. That and take the shot and stop with the extra pass nonsense. More times than not, that extra pass is a turnover.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Wow, what a stat by valley cat…price has faced 250 “clear sight” shots since julien took over and allowed 4 goals on those shots.

    Lesson here…get in the crease boys!!! Screen, screen, screen!!!

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  39. What’s with all this Manichaean analysis, doctors? No team is going to win by grinding and grinding alone. And no team is going to win with speed and speed alone. Youse need both, for crying outside. You dump and chase and cycle when that’s what the D gives you, you hit them with the stretcher when they’re out of position, you transition in the neutral zone when you can. It’s absurd to say the Rangers have only one way of scoring, unless you’ve missed the season. 256 pretty-boy goals? Hardly.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Carp
    I’m strictly referring to people who think the beginning 15-20 games THIS season is what this ranger team is. I think it is similar to previous seasons, not the first 15-20 games of this season…that’s it.

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  41. I know I promised to get back into the swing of things in terms of Ranger Ramblings, but it is still a tough slog trying to get back into the swing of things. I can’t promise that there will be additional previews this season – mainly because I am not so sure there will be additional rounds of Rangers playoff hockey. Nonetheless, I just posted a new edition of Ranger Ramblings featuring my Rangers-Canadiens Playoff Preview: http://www.rangerramblings.com/2017/04/12/rangers-canadiens-playoff-preview/

    I was going to submit it to Our Fearless Leader, but truthfully I wasn’t sure I was doing it until today. I decided that my work could take a backseat 🙂

    I managed to crowbar in plugs for Carp’s fine columns over at MSG and for the fine establishment we have here!

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Wick, just like people who think CBJ from the 16-game winning streak is the real CBJ, or the Canadiens from the last 16 game or whatever thinking those are the real Canadiens, or the unbeatable Bruins from the last two weeks …

    It’s part of their season. The Rangers aren’t likely to score five goals a game, or in any game for that matter. Nor are they as bad as the team that played the last 4-6 weeks of meaningless games.

    They play 82 for a reason. Then add ’em up.

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  43. Also re graves, I was being facetious because he wasn’t the most fleet o foot, and you know, to some here speed is all that matters 😉

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  44. Carp
    You don’t have to tell me that, I’m agreeing with you, it’s some of the other chuckleheads that need to be reminded

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  45. Carp,

    I like the way you describe the 82 game season. Kind of makes me feel a bit better going into the playoffs and backs me off the ledge. Thanks for that 🙂

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  46. Well, the NHL and its fine officials don’t really punish head shots. Just taps to the gloves and minor interference.

    So I just tried to go back to the old blog to see what my preseason predictions were. And it’s all gone. The bastards. Only goes to 2014.

    I think I picked Caps over Hawks. But I really don’t remember.

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  47. LOL Carp,

    After the little kid fake lights the ice on fire and we’re down 2-0 6 minutes into the game…. that’s likely where I’ll be…😉

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  48. Norm
    Not in the least bit. I just want to make sure everyone goes into the game tonight with the proper set of realistic expectations. No reason to have a bunch of freaking out going on (but as fans I’m sure it will happen).

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  49. Yes ledge is open. Though let’s be honest not like 2014 2015. We aren’t a cup contender so eventually we’ll lose prob in about 8 days

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  50. On a great news note, gord miller is calling the game tonight on nbcsn!!! Only way it would be better is if it was bob cole!

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  51. Tickets purchased for game 7. Fly up Monday Burlington drive hr and half to Montreal sleep in hotel in Burlington Monday night, work in Vermont Tuesday and come home first thing Wednesday.

    By way cheaper game 7 tix in Montreal then my seats at msg

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  52. If the rangers win tonight, I think it can absolutely change the series (I picked mtl in 6 or 7) and it wouldn’t shock me in the least to see the rangers win the series then.

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  53. Very interesting note from Hayes about being recruited by BRAN BOLE even though BOLE was leaving the team.

    “Now, I’ve known Kreids for a while — he’s also from outside Boston and went to BC — so he was pretty straight up with me about the city, the fans and the media. But it was all good stuff. And Brian Boyle … this guy was leaving the Rangers and he still had so many positive things to say about the organization. He explained how Alain Vigneault was a fair and honest players’ coach and liked offensive players who commit to defense.”

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  54. Tanner Glass – “I’ve told the boys in the room not to worry. I’m putting them on my shoulders and I’m carrying them home. I’m known as Big Game Glass for a reason”

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  55. Torts – “Dubi, I want you to ******* beat the **** out of that ******* crybaby Crosby every ******* chance you ******* get. Smack the ******* snot out of his ******* nose. I want his ******* body in a ******* bag after game ******* one.”

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  56. Why your team won’t win the Stanley Cup.

    “New York Rangers: Granted, they had a better-than-expected regular season. But the Blueshirts still have the same Achilles’ heel: there’s just no way they can make a deep run with that defense. Other than Ryan McDonagh and maybe Brady Skjei, who is trustworthy back there? Who can make a positive contribution on a consistent basis? Who doesn’t need to be sheltered? Who still has gas left in the tank? You’re struggling to answer, and for good reason. The Rangers finished the season in an 8-9-4 tailspin. Even if Henrik Lundqvist is good, they’re gonna find it tough to make a run. And Lundqvist has not been good.”

    http://nhl.nbcsports.com/2017/04/12/bulletin-board-material-why-your-team-wont-win-the-stanley-cup-5/

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  57. LOL Doodie… Silicon Valley season 4 starts April 23rd!

    btw, any “Twin Peaks” fans here? It’s coming back for season 3 on May 21st on Showtime! CANNOT WAIT!

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  58. Twice as sweet as sugar, twice as good as salt. And if you get TJ hooker, it’s nobody else’s fault. Don’t do it!!

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  59. That’s awesome, SN! Twin Peaks is by far my favorite series of all time. I love all of Lynch. Can’t wait to see what he has next for us! Interestingly enough, last Laura Palmer’s words on screen were “I’ll see you again in 25 years”! …and here we are, 25 years later!

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  60. DA DA DA! Seinfeld! The best opposite of funny show evah! 😀

    Jerry is a comedic opposite of genius genius!

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  61. I remember that year, Therrien would badmouth Subban all the time, yet Subban played like the final two and a half minutes of that game.

    Too bad the Canadiens fired Therrien. It helped keep them bad.

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  62. I was in the building for that game and it’s the loudest that I’ve personally been present for. I can’t imagine what it was like in the “good ole days.” I remember wringing my hands with the rally towel as we watched the clock tick down in the third period. I couldn’t believe it really was happening.

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  63. I was just gonna say the same thing, Doodie… Therrien helped keep them down. A very close friend of mine lives in Montreal and he said that people in Canada absolutely hate Therrien… can’t wait for the Rangers to win yet another series against Monteal so I can continue rubbing it in his face…

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  64. Wow, what I bold prediction by the doctor. Next he’ll tell us by the end of game 7 at the latest, someone will win the series 😉

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  65. I predict a full ledge after a goal against. Even if the Rangers are up 5-0 and it’s 25 sec to go.
    I also predict a ton of Russian swear words and floor pacing tonight after my girls go to bed.

    Liked by 3 people

  66. SN

    I rewatched it again recently too… still the best. Did you watch the “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me” the film? You absolutely must if you haven’t.

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  67. Never watched Twin Peaks … but now I wish I had.

    1-1 after 2, 2-2 after 4, 3-3 after 6.

    We should get a pool going on which foof will be first to say so-and-so stole home-ice advantage. Most of the writers on this side of the border have learned. Most of the broadcasters haven’t.

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  68. So if HL took a shot like Gardner did today, would he straighten his hair before crawling back to first? Gotta give Gardy props for not collapsing until after making sure he was safe.

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  69. Anyone else looking to join the bracket:
    NHL.com/bracket
    League Name: Pozy Bonehead League
    PW: Pressboxbuch (case sensitive)

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  70. Carp, I’m willing to bet doubles at walter’s that it’ll come up tonight if the Rangers take game 1. Milbury or Keith Jones or that clown that sits beside them and looks like he’s fresh out of broadcast school.

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  71. 3CP – I can’t remember if I saw the movie; possibly parts on cable. Prequel, right? Wasn’t there another movie as well recently.

    I’ll go ask the lady with the log.

    Liked by 1 person

  72. Although you have to admit that the Rangers do not usually fair well in Montreal. That’s a pretty legitimate home ice advantage. Not like the Garden where if you wanted the crowd to cheer you’d have to send text messages to everyone in the 100s and request such actions.

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  73. So who are the guys that needs to elevate their game for the Rangers to win? Lundqvist for starters would be on that list. Probably the 3 centers, Nash (as usual) Zucc Mcd, Girardi..so basically the entire team. ok then..

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  74. I’m going to make a bold prediction and say the Rangers will not win 7-2 tonight like the did in game 1 in 2014….I feel confident about this one..

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  75. Interesting comment–I’ve noticed that reaction here from time to time this season when a Ranger gets hit hard. There’s less of a distinction between it being “clean” or “dirty”, and we head straight to, “Wow, Fast just got clobbered and nobody has his back!” Used to be you’d take a hit to make a play. Now you take a hit to see if your teammates have your back?

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  76. NBCSN team is Gord Miller and good ole chicken parm himself, Ray Ferraro. I love Ferraro in a broadcast. Miller is just an average Canadian play by play man, which is to say he’s better than most American ones.

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  77. So we are going out in a bit. DVR again. Mrs notices that I’m a little preoccupied. “Oh, I understand, honey, it’s playoffs. How many games do they have left to play?” “Between 4 and 28”. “What does that mean? ” “That’s what the blog seems to predict “

    Liked by 4 people

  78. That one, sure, I agree. But I’ve noticed plenty of non-goaltender stuff, and taking a hit to make a play is the act of making yourself vulnerable. (But I know the ones you mean, hits to the numbers against the wall and the like.)

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  79. Love the chicken Parm! (even if Messier didn’t) I’d like to see MSG stick Glenn Healy in the broadcast booth, give him large amounts of espresso and see what happens.

    Liked by 1 person

  80. 4ever, I love that feeling of nausea that’s currently filling up the fundus of my stomach. It’s a mix of nerves, neurosis, rage and excitement. #bleedingblueinspring

    Liked by 1 person

  81. Doogay said the coaches asked Nash to be a defensive forward this season which is why he only scored 23.
    .
    Need to turn off the volume and go to my safe place.

    Liked by 1 person

  82. That’s nothing, SN. I could swear I just heard Valley say “if the Rangers score more points I think they could win this series.”

    Like

  83. Valley Cat was talking about facing Rad in KHL – WTF?
    .
    Then Squeaky Gianone interviews Staal and he sounds like a Xanax addict

    Like

  84. Oh, hey, ilb. Didn’t see you there. Going out with the family soon? That’s nice. I’ll be sure to leave you alone and not interrupt with any entirely accurate and not made up information about the game.

    Like

  85. Staal doesn’t need xanax. you always sound like that after 16 concussions. He’s starting to look like Stretch Armstrong with that hair

    Like

  86. I’m totally OK with lines and pairs – that what Rangers have. The only concern, considering this season’s bad “habit” – first 10 min. of the 1st game. If withstand it, they will be OK.

    Like

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