Game 1, Eastern Conference Quarter Finals
Rangers at Canadiens -7:00 PM MSG, NBCSN (if you’re out of town), 98.7 FM. Online streaming is available on nbcsportss.com or the NBC Sports app (cable subscription required and may be blacked out locally).
The playoffs are finally here. After watching three weeks of a second preseason, our heroes finally play a meaningful game. All of the talking is over. It’s time to see how the many “ifs” are answered. You can read my preview on the previous thread. You can read Carp’s preview here.
This is the first legitimate “Go Time” post that we’ve had in probably three months. Clearly, this is an HAV.
Tonight’s probable lineup for the Rangers, via Matt Calamia (@mattcalamia):
Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello
Jimmy Vesey-Mika Zibanejad-Rick Nash
Michael Grabner-Kevin Hayes-JT Miller
Tanner Glass-Oscar Lindberg-Jesper Fast
Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Marc Staal-Nick Holden
Brady Skjei-Brendan Smith
The big news of course is that Kevin Klein and Pavel Buchnevich find themselves as healthy scratches in favor of trade-deadline acquisition Brendan Smith and late season AHL call-up Tanner Glass, respectively. While I’m not a fan of either Smith or Glass, I would imagine both guys are on short leashes, Smith in particular. Henrik Lundqvist obviously gets the start. Here’s hoping he can find his old form.
For the Canadiens, Max Pacioretty, who had to be helped off the ice during yesterday’s practice after taking a high stick, seems to be recovered and will play. Slow footed Alexei Emelin will be out with an injury. Talented young forward Alex Galchenyuk will start on the 4th line, but will see PP time. Carey Price obviously starts in goal.
For those of you watching on channels other than MSG (i.e. NBCSN), I hope you aren’t sick of seeing Kreider crash into Price in 2014, because you’re about to see it more times than you’ll care to remember, broken down frame by frame like the Zapruder film. Kreider’s leg goes back, and to the left. Back, and to the left.
I’m sure MSG will show it a couple of times as well, but definitely less.
Don’t forget to tell everyone you know and to follow me on Twitter @rangersreport2. And don’t forget to vote!