Rangers at Canadiens… It’s Go Time!

Game 5, Eastern Conference Quarter Finals

Series tied at 2-2.

Rangers vs. Canadiens -7:00 PM MSG, USA, 98.7 FM. Online streaming is available on nbcsportss.com or the NBC Sports app. Be warned, it’s not Gord Miller and Ray Ferraro anymore. It’s Chris Cuthbert and… Pee air.

The Rangers bounced back in a big way in game 4, putting forth an effort that would have seen them sporting no less than a 3-1 advantage had they put it forth over the entire series.  That being said, they still only scored 2 goals, the PP is still 0 for the series, and Stepan, Hayes, Zibanejad, Miller, and especially Kreider have to be much better.

I’ll be watching tonight’s game on a delay because of parenting responsibilities. Doesn’t RR Jr. know that it’s the playoffs!? I didn’t even edit this part from the last game.  Clearly, this is a HAV.

Tonight’s probable lineup for the Rangers, via Brett Cyrgalis (@brettcyrgalis):

Jimmy Vesey-Derek Stepan-Rick Nash

Chris Kreider-Mika Zibanejad-Pavel Buchnevich

JT Miller-Kevin Hayes-Mats Zuccarello

Michael Grabner-Oscar Lindberg-Jesper Fast

DEFENSE

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi

Marc Staal-Nick Holden

Brady Skjei-Brendan Smith

The big news of course is that the Rangers are sticking with the lineup that won the last game, including rookie Pavel Buchnevich, who acquitted himself well in his first career NHL playoff game.  Hopefully Kreider and the rest of the zero goal club get in gear for this game.  Not much else to say here. Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.

For the Canadiens, defenseman Alexei Emelin will return to the lineup in place of Brandon Davidson.  The 6th defenseman has been a huge hole for the Canadiens in this series, and while Emelin isn’t much, he’s got to nbe an upgrade over what they’ve been getting.  The Canadiens are not expected to make any changes from game 3, having found more balance in their lineup. I’d say Emelin should beware of Kreider, but with the way Kreider has played, there are no worries about going close to the goal, especially with any type of speed or authority.  No changes are expected among the forwards, but I’ll update if the line rushes show a different look.

The vote totals, while improving, remain very low. For 700ish comments, we only had 27 voters. Please still take the 10 seconds to click three names and vote.

Don’t forget to tell everyone you know and to follow me on Twitter @rangersreport2. And don’t forget to vote!

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662 thoughts on “Rangers at Canadiens… It’s Go Time!”

  1. I don’t know why I cling to that pet theory, Carp. Surely you would have heard a little something by now if I were correct. And I did notice that Dolan laughed-off Torts’ comments at the Presser. It’s just that it was so sudden and unexpected. I thought Slats and Torts were on the same page right up until the beheading.

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  2. Can anyone imagine in their wildest dreams Nasher saying to Cary Price, “All series, baby!” ?? Uh, no. Matter of fact can’t imagine any one of our guys with the balls.

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  3. coos, I disagree. Relatively big onions: Glass, Giradi, Smith, McD at certain degree and Italo-Norwegian kid, of course. As a matter of fact, for later, they are so unproportionally big, that I’m always worried he will be thrown of course by centrifugal force when he turns in speed.

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  4. Topo makes me nervous. Of all our guys, he’s the one who will happily crack your ankle if you aggravate him enough and he will end up in the cat box.

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  5. 420 in the houwseeeeeeeeeeeeeee NEW YORK RANGERS Tonight!!!!! Lets gog oggo gog og go go gog ogog gogooo!!!

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! LETS GO LETS GO!!!

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  6. Good evening all!!! LGR!!! I’m all fired up!

    Dear boys, please win this in a fashion that makes for good hockey but does not kill me. Mama love….

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  7. Well that sucked. Not sure why HL couldn’t stop that. And Staal brain cramp. Why were we turtling from the opening drop? Way to little time in O zone. THE = AWOL

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  8. Just a brutal play by Staal. Turns it over then does not cover the guy coming around the net. Ugh.

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  9. Staal with a puck had clear passage on left side of the board, but by some stupid reason decided to turn around facing opponent with zero speed. Loosing puck was so obvious…

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  10. Are the NHL refs/linesmen actually professionals? Or do they just pull them off the street?
    Norm’s boy Fast putting team on his back

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  11. Sweet to score SHG Despite of Staal and referees decision to give this game to Habs, but what with Rangers inability to simply throw a puck out of zone while PK?

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  12. Oh crap, mama that good period comment wasn’t directed at you. hadn’t even seen your post before I wrote that!

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  13. I don’t care what anyone says. Staal might’ve created the opportunity but Lundqvist is at least half responsible for that first goal. You’ve gotta stop a wraparound. That’s pretty much never a good goal for the goalie.

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  14. Leaving the Staal-Holden pair together despite their struggles is one of those maddening decisions AV makes sometimes that become unbearable to watch. I understand his thought process but look at what’s happening man!

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  15. Hank is off tonight. For the first time this series the Rangers are probably going to have to carry him in a game. Anyone think that’s happening in this one?

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  16. SN have to disagree, both goals on HL. The first one no way should he let in, regardless of Staal failure to clear. The 2nd no matter how much Salmon Joe looks for deflections, I didn’t see any and HL had a clear look at it.

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  17. Subway isnt that bad to be honest..

    I wouldn’t know; I don’t eat sandwiches made by strangers. My trust in mankind only goes so far.

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  18. Jeez. The Hank bashing is a little over the top. Yes he should have stopped the 1st one but the 2nd one was an uncontested shot from about 15 feet away with traffic in front. Not on Hank. And are we already forgetting his excellent saves on their 4 other Habs high danger chances? He’s fine. We need our D to be better.

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  19. Screened on 2nd – sharp wrister from prime scoring area.
    1st need to see again – so mad at Staal for play I may have gone blind with rage for a moment or two.

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  20. Announcers don’t want to say it– a theme’s a theme–but while both goalies had great stops early, none of the three goals go in if they’re at their best.

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  21. Anybody think 3 of the top 5 teams in the league would be out in the first round? Pitt or Columbus had to go plus probably Minnesota and Chicago. It’s not final yet but the high probability is there for it. Wow.

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  22. I’m not giving up on this game yet, but I am giving up on Kreider, Stepan, and Haze! At least Miller is trying!

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  23. Habs strategy is to pound the D – with no penalties called save for 4/20’s stick holding and the phantom trip – it will work.
    .
    80 NHL on ice officials – over 60 are Canadian

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  24. Norm I just think blaming that 2nd goal on Hank is asking for him to be superhuman. Sure if he was lucky or playing out of his mind he might have stopped it. But he cannot be expected to stop that shot.

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  25. We’ll be alright. The first half of the year we were a 2nd period team, the second half a third period one. We were never known as a good first period team.

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  26. And just fyi, my problem with Subway is their absolute bullcarcarcillo truth in advertising ….

    My cable is also freaking out and scaring me……

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  27. No it wasn’t Norm. He could’ve lifted his stick, stick checked him without breaking his stick or just boxed him out. Yes, it was better than a goal, but not a good penalty.

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  28. I think Norms 801 pretty much sums it up, though I add that just because somebody calls a goal on the goalie does not equate to “bashing”.

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  29. If this was a regular season I’d be hoping AV would at least be thinking about using his timeout if this continued. Unfortunately it’s the playoffs and with goal challenges hinging on having it, we won’t be seeing that too soon.

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  30. This is just like Game 2 OT. Habs dominating and we’re just waiting for them to score and put us out of our misery

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  31. I hope Gorton is watching how having guys that can shoot from the point really does make a difference. Nice to have on. Oh, I guess we have Kjei.

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  32. The guys who have done it for them in the regular season:

    Haze
    Kreider
    Miller

    …just aren’t getting it done in the playoffs

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  33. That was pretty close to charging. Habs are getting away with murder while the Rangers chase the puck all over the rink.

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  34. i too think kreider is playing hurt. the last few weeks of season he went off looking hurt more than once

    some of that stuff we’ll find out after elimination

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  35. Rangers chances to do some damage to Habs in this game are foggy. I would give tonight’s Kreider for 2 half smoked Russian cigaretts…

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  36. This is painful to watch. The playoff experience this team is suppose to have is not showing at all.

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  37. The Panthers looked better in the playoffs last year than this team has the majority of the playoffs so far. That’s at least 5 horrible periods so far. Not bad periods…horrible ones.

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  38. It is amazing that in the WWE/NHL, where they always even up penalty calls that THIS game is lopsided with us having more than MTL. Go figure.

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  39. Kreider very shy, avoiding contact constantly. Wouldn’t be surprised if he’s carrying an injury, and if so good for him for skating. But I’d rather see Glass than him right now.

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  40. Nash had a really good game last game. Probably his best of his Ranger PO career. He needs to elevate, too.

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  41. Nice goal! Look at the where they score from… most of the goals they score on Price are around the net… how the fugg they dont crash the crease on every shift?!

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  42. You just might rather be the Rangers right now. Canadiens have poured heart and soul into this one and they’re tied. Nice job by Skjei sniffing that one out. And Nash is an absolute stud.

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  43. Kreider didn’t look hurt for one shift. No contact though.

    I screamed for that goal. If we can beat the crowd, the refs and all the uncalled head shots, this could be a monumental night.

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  44. LOL that it was a defenseman who figured out that if we want to score we need to be in the crease! Thank you Brady for going where most of our forwards have feared to tread!
    And, oh yeah, thank you Hank for keeping it close…

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  45. Salmon Joe have been horrible for a while now. Personally, Sam bothers me more. Way too many “excuse me’s”

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  46. This got me LOLing…

    “If you’re an adult celebrating 420 today I can almost guarantee your credit score is around the same number.”

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  47. You all know I have mama love for our sexy boys and youse guys, but man, I always ask myself during playoffs…why? why have I done this to myself!!?????

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  48. It would be nice if in our team, saturated with such talents and skills, someone time to time could hit a target and not constantly miss it by 10 ft. Miller disappoints too, – I expected more from the guy, who most believed, is built for PO

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  49. Series should be 3-1, with the Rangers gunning to win it all in this OT & advance to the next round. Instead the difference in this series now is razor thin

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  50. Everything always seems to go wrong for the Rangers in OT maybe just maybe tonight will be different!

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  51. How about we give a shout out to Dan Girardi – playing his ass off as a first pair defenseman, when so many of us would’ve had him as #6 or #7 D.

    Great stuff, Girardi!

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  52. Olga- I’m officially hungover at this point. Threw a retirement party for one of the journeyman on my job… on a bender and ubered home in time for game. Haha

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  53. OUTPLAYE ’em bad , the better team won . Next game , we take them out to the barn and shoot them.

    RANGERS WIN RANGERS WIN RANGERS WIN!!

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  54. Habs looked tired in 3rd and OT. No real pressure outside of Gallagher line at times and the Patches breakaway.
    Glad Kreids got the assist. All line drives in the box score.

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  55. Bring the forks to MSG , cuz the RANGERS will be sticking it to the Habs and sending them to the golf course . Speaking of golf course , you hear about the fire over there today? Flames every where!!

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  56. Wow. We found our game in OT. Great pass by THE and finish by Ziba. And that Girardi hit on Shaw was delicious.

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  57. Watching Step and Hayes in-zone tonight. Rock-freakin’-solid. My three stars: Hank (duh), Girardi, Fast. Honorable Mention: the whole damn rest of the team. Man, they were good. As were the Habs in the first two. Gotta give them credit for that sustained push, even if they ran out of gas in the end.

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  58. Condolences to Olga with the phenomenal sensation – Hawks earliest exit. What a shame. No Rangers – Hawks final, no firing GMs. On a positive side – can concentrate now on Rangers games, if of course, interested.

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  59. Vintage Girardi tonight. He’s been abusing Shaw the last two games. Good for him.
    Let’s wrap this up at home and avoid game 7 in Montreal

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  60. This game was RIPE for the taking. Montreal blew their wad in the 2nd period…. and they looked tired in the 2nd half of the 3rd. We dominated that OT. If we lost, I would’ve chucked my remote thru the TV.

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  61. Nice win by the boys tonight.

    It was REALLY encouraging to see Kreider and ZPack come alive in the OT.

    Nice to see the opposition try to sit on a 2-1 lead, and blow it at home no less.

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  62. Wow! What an OT period they played. Holy smokes! If they can play like that consistently we can beat anyone. Hank kept
    them in (naysayers be damned) and then they just dominated the 3rd and OT. I’m so happy for Kreids and Zib. They needed that lucky bounce!

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  63. New York rangers earned that win…played physical in the OT, didn’t sit back, took the body, created their own puck luck!!!

    Woo hoo

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  64. Holy Shishkabob!!
    What a game!!
    Goals from:
    Fast
    Skjei
    Zibinijad!! (BGZ?)

    If Stepan had scored I think the blog would have exploded!

    Tough to only pick 3 stars.
    McDonough, Zibinijad, Fast, Lundqvist, Girardi, Smith

    Buchnevich, Skjei, Zucc and Lindberg were all very good.

    In the 2nd period, I was saying if Kreider’s hurt, don’t dress him next game. Then he slowly seemed to get more involved in the 3rd and was better in OT. Step and Hayes were better, but still hesitating.

    Let’s go back to MSG and end this! No 3-3 after 6!

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  65. I thought Stepan was better, then in the third mtl starts what would become an odd man rush and instead of putting his head down to try and catch up to eliminate the odd man rush, Stepan just glides (backglide?) into the d zone and mtl gets a primo chance….so stamp boy it is.

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  66. Carp
    Did you just see the empty net goal by arviddson? If so, correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t there a time in the not so distant past in the NHL where if you put it in the empty net like that you’d get you aasen whipped before you made it to your bench?

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  67. So I’m sorry but I’m going to be the one to do it. It’s fine really, I’m used to taking some abuse around here…
    Are we going to acknowledge Holden’s boo boo that was centimeters away from sending the Habs in 2 on 0? 🙂

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  68. Lmao Carp, the captain gets so much abuse from La Greca. They have sound clips of his yelps and screams on the Kay show. All in good fun I’m sure

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  69. Holden comment was tongue in cheek Carp. He also came close to scoring in the third and was wide open near the slot at one point when Miller was behind the net but couldn’t get the puck to him

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  70. Just hope TSA let’s Zika back in the country for game 6. Girardi must has made a deal with the devil to get 10 years back. Still winding down from the OT. When is the last time then won two in a row in the playoffs?

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  71. The OT wasn’t physical at all, relative to the game at any rate. Montreal couldn’t keep up. Especially on the last rush. Benn Pylon A. Pacioretty Pylon B.

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  72. Forward depth, not pure speed, had everything to do with the OT pace. The ott line for mtl looked like hagelin and grabner out there (that almost Holden blue line giveaway was an example of that lines pace). Kreider (while always speedy) and his line mates had the freshest legs along with the Lindbergh line, no shock deep into OT those lines get the opportunities.

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  73. Step leading forward TOI tonight. Rangers depth at center may be beginning to show, we’ll see in G6. All of them with strong games tonight. Hope Oscar stays healthy!

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  74. Carp, I thought things began to shift in the Rangers’ speedy direction with the Kreider skate-out late in the second. It was around then that the Canadiens began to pay the price for their [admirable] hit-everything approach. After a while, you can’t hit what you can’t catch. They had nothing left in the OT, Rangers toyed with them, had the puck nearly the entire time.

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  75. @Coos: Think JT’s ribs are hurting bad still from a game or so back. Just hasn’t seemed right since.
    @Admiral: They booked 100 hits tonight 51/49 Habs/NYR, Tues was 43/25 NYR, Sun was 41/31. I think most would agree that tonight > Tues > Sun?

    I am starting to think the Glass/Buch swapperoo was part of AV’s grand plan. Not that he expected the egg that was Sunday, but think his plan all along was to wear the Habs down physically and then hit the with the speed/skill. Genius too as BBG won them game 1.

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  76. Agree, Beez. I also think he didn’t want the kid — who struggled some late in the season — to be thrown into that mess up there, figuring it would be intimidating and very physical. Then, because of how he is, AV had to wait for a loss to make the change at home.

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  77. Putting in Buch was ballsy, I thought. Good coach, great to see him bouncing around on the bench after Z’s goal!

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  78. Good morning Boneheads great win last night! I had to crash after the OT totally wiped out. Rangers will win this Saturday night, Carp is bound to be wrong once in a lifetime! Series ends 4-2 NYR! Man coffee tastes great after a victory.

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  79. This game was Ali-Foreman. The Rangers played rope-a-dope until the Canadiens tired themselves out. Then the Rangers pummeled them.

    So, did that Holden fan on the Rangers blue line give you a mini heart attack?

    And, did the Kreider fan on the pass from Zibanejad have you screaming?

    After the third period when the studio guys were talking about how lousy Pacioretti was playing I said, “Oh no. Now he’ll score the winner in OT.” It’s like a reverse jinx.

    Kreider came alive in the OT, but he really hasn’t been himself. Is he afraid of getting a penalty if he crashes the net? In this series you almost have to kill somebody for the refs to call a penalty, but they call the ticky-tack stuff like holding the stick.

    I’m with Carp about the Rangers’ defense. They take a lot of flack, but I don’t see other teams’ defensemen being any better. I do wonder what in the world Staal was thinking about on that 2nd goal when he turned back instead of sending the puck up the boards. But, then, one bad play shouldn’t define a guy’s play just like one good play shouldn’t either.

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  80. Best night of sleep I’ve had in a week after that big win! It’s crazy when you think about that Zibanejad line. So much potential In camp the. Looked great for their brief time together before all the “core strength” issues Buchnevich had. Then Zibanejad breaks his leg and by the time everyone is healthy, they three are never reunited. Even when Zib and Kreider play together it’s Zucc on the right. Bunch gets banished to fourth line and replaced by Glass (who has played his role well to his credit) then AV pushes the right buttons looking for lightning in a bottle and boom. They trio is reunited and playing like our first line.
    Now gotta solve the PP

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  81. Staal has been very hesitant with puck all year; usually for no good reason. Seemingly correctable, all the more frustrating; had 4:18 TOI in 3rd…
    .
    Lindberg stat from last night re twitter: When on ice; 17 shots for, 0 shots against – that is called defense. You know why Habs wanted him out. Cannot let this kid leave to Lost Wages.
    .
    VC is playing big on the wall. Big boy pants game for him.
    .
    Mr. Smith – when was the last fighting major for NYR in POs??
    .
    Capt Obvious says must close out in NYC!!

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  82. Charlie, I hear you and have no problem admitting that I’m one of the guys tough on the defense. I think overall they’ve been really impressive this series especially McD, Girardi and Skjei. Girardi especially has been having a throw back series maybe with the exception of game 3. But the Staal Holden pair has struggled at times and been back on their heels a bunch. I get that it happens and I get why Holden is out there with the need to move the puck. Last night was probably the best he’s played in the 5 games. Pretty scary to make that statement when you consider he almost coughed up that puck late. Either way it is what it is at this point. Let’s close it out at MSG and go from there!

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  83. Should probably mention Brendan Smith with another solid and snarly playoff game too. Just to torture mr HAV when he reads this

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  84. V-easy and Nash showing some chemistry again last night too. Kid has been pretty good for his first taste of playoff hockey.

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  85. The Smith-Shaw fight – I didn’t realize that Smith got in three or four good shots to the noggin until I saw a slow motion replay (I think it was during one of the intermissions). I have to admit, that I didn’t like Smith’s game after the trade, but I think he’s settled in and playing some good hockey now.

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  86. I’ve been saying during the season that the Rangers don’t have that guy that’s dangerous every time he’s on the ice. They don’t have a Crosby, Ovechkin, Kane, etc. However, Nash has been that guy during this series. He may not score, but he’s a guy that the other team has to worry about when he’s on the ice.

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