Rangers 3, Canadiens 2 (OT)

Great effort from the boys last night after a shaky first period.

As Dan Girardi repeatedly turned the puck over as if he was being paid by the mafia, as Marc Staal had the awful turnover that led to the Montreal goal, and as Brady Skjei continued to excel in this series, all I can think is please tell me why we need more stay at home liabilities, er, I mean, defensemen instead of puck movers.

Also, Lundqvist was tied for your first star, but I didn’t think he was that good. First goal was really soft, second goal wasn’t that much better, and he didn’t really face much pressure after the first period.

Vote totals were much better! Almost 50 voters.

My Three Rangers Stars:

  1. Rick Nash
  2. Mika Zibanejad
  3. Jimmy Vesey

Your Three Rangers Stars:

  1. Henrik Lundqvist, Rick Nash (tie)
  2. Mika Zibanejad
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297 thoughts on “Rangers 3, Canadiens 2 (OT)”

  1. repost:
    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!!
    ,
    Should they stay in a hotel tonite? Road Warriors!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hank deserves every star there is for the way he has played, for his ability to block out the noise from critics who demand way too much, and for his obvious fire and compete level. Every post-game commentator I heard talked about him as the reason why they were able to turn the game around and come out with the win. So yeah. He deserves a freaking star…

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  3. Doodie- I haven’t defended Girardi in over a year and I won’t defend him now. What I’ll say is this: His diminished skill isn’t going to grow back like he’s some blue eyed star fish. But at least he’s played a simple, rugged physical game. That’s about as much as they can ask of him. Maybe I’m just biased since I love seeing Shaw down on the ice in a heap.

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  4. And all I’ll say on Lundqvist is that with the way he’s played I think it’s inappropriate to be critical of a softee. He settled back in and shut the door after the first period. Been the better of the two goalies throughout this series. Price has given up some questionable ones too.

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  5. Get the feeling that game 6 is going to be another 1-0 or 2-1 contest that shaves years off of our life expectancy.
    Should note that it’s just an expression, wouldn’t want ILB to think I’m pretending to be a doctor : ) Where is he anyhow?!

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  6. Let’s not discuss his selfishness, Coos. We have a win to celebrate!
    Speaking of wins- Nashville really made the Hawks look old eh? Didn’t see a sweep coming. 2nd year in a row they’re a first round. Keith and Father time may be playing 18 holes sometime soon.

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  7. I wish I could post during the game, but once the game starts I don’t move out of my chair. My wife used to be amazed how I reused to move until the game was over – which is why overtime and double overtime are killers to my bladder 🙂 However, it is fun to read the Blog the morning after games to read the ebb and flow all while knowing the outcome – especially when we win.

    Heard this stat last night from Kenny Albert after the game, the Rangers have not lost a series in which they won Game 5 since 1982 – lost it to the Islanders. The Blueshirts have won their last 14 series in which they won Game 5.

    A couple of observations. When did Dave Maloney start to morph into Stan Fischler? When I saw Maloney on the post-game I had to do a double-take to make sure it wasn’t Stan.

    Not sure if I am reading too much into it, but did anyone notice anything strange about the Smith-Shaw fight? Towards the end, it looks like Smith was trying to pull Shaw’s jersey up and that was when the linesman jumped in. But not only did the linesman jump in, but he seemed like he made an effort to make sure Smith couldn’t pull it up. I have never seen that before so it makes me wonder if Shaw didn’t have his jersey tied down – which would have meant a game misconduct for Shaw.

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  8. Good morning, boneheads!
    The kids are ok. Vesey, Skjei, Buchnevich, Zibanejad ( just turned 24), and the rest of them. And the veterans showed up too.
    Montreal had no chance starting right before Skjei goal, through the whole third period, and up until the GWG. Depth, folks. Our 2 “lower lines” looked fresh and engaged. And whatever Montreal could ice against them had no legs.

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  9. Ha, JamesG! I’m here. I haven’t yet read it, but I’m sure if I need to explain to my med students how to diagnose bipolar disorder, the last night’s thread would be a perfect material 🙂

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  10. I have to admit that, I was not happy with Hank after the second goal. I have always felt big save big time big time.just scored a shorty, need to make that save.

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  11. ilb, they had no legs because we used ours….for a change. Stopped trying to match up and told the Habs to play catch up

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  12. Game 5 looked the exact mirror image of Game 2:

    Montreal running around the ice trying to hit everything that moves and gets a 2-1 lead to protect. Then slowly coughs up the lead as the Rangers find their legs/Montreal out of gas with all the hitting…. game over.

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  13. Also I know Kreider bashing is a favorite pastime for some, but you can see he is getting close to breaking out. Would not be at all surprised if he netted a couple in game 6.

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  14. BDL- credit to Buchnevich for that. He energized both Kreider and Zibanejad with creativity that requires a lot of Montreal attention. That, and his surprising willingness to play physically.

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  15. So Yost is saying that the new Buffalo GM will probably gut the blueline and mentions moving Ristolainen for assets? sign me up for the “all in” list

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  16. Top of the Morning Boyz!

    Zibby saves the day, what a great game he had last night. I really liked his first assist to Fast, beauty of the play by him the whole way!!!

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  17. Simon do you think Montreal was just on their heels? They seemed kind of gassed to me. They were back on their heels for a while in the third though.

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  18. Well, at least one center broke out of his funk. Only need 2 more and this train starts rolling.
    .
    Mr Smith is a revelation!

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  19. Eric – Don’t look at as winning two games in a row at home. Look at it as winning one game in a row at home – twice. Same thing goes for the Rangers winning back-to-back games.

    Just say NO to 3-3 after six!

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  20. I think when you’re a heavy team the longer the series goes the more tiredness comes into it when you’re playing against a speedy team

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  21. It’s funny how the narrative changes as the momentum shifts in a series. A few days ago, the Rangers were lifeless, terrible, something was wrong. On the other side, Alex Radulov was some kind of breakout megastar and the internet was going hogwild for him. Now, suddenly the Habs “lack a killer instinct,” Pacioretty is being called out like he’s Rick Nash or something…and the Rangers are a good team again.

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  22. One recurrent problem which has dogged the Rangers teams throughout this 8 year run has been the inability to put away the opposition when the Rangers were leading series and games.

    The inability to throw the hammer down and allow series to extend have added extra games onto their bodies which only serves to cost them in later series (see 2012 playoffs as example #1).

    They’ve got to win tomorrow. Get this done and over with.

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  23. I don’t think the win last night had nearly as much to do with a “speedy” team construction as some of you want to think. Playoff games and series have been won in the past by third and fourth liners scoring late in the game or OT goals. Why you ask? Because those lines are usually fresh from having a lower toi. It’s pretty simple really. Yes they were “faster” than the canadien line but they had fresh legs vs the opposition (kreider is speedy as hell regardless), just like the fast line and the ott line for mtl was.

    End of the day this team is winning the series by wearing Montreal down with offencive zone possession time, a very physical forecheck and overall game, and a deeper group of top 13 forwards.

    Side note, love all the highlight shows saying what a “pass” by kreider…unless I’m mistaken, wasn’t that a deflected shot that ended up on z packs stick?

    Later all and have a great weekend celebrating the rangers winning the series!!! LGR!!!

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  24. Montreal was so gassed by the end of the game I’ll bet Julien rethinks the “we’re as physical as we need to be” strategy.

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  25. To Hank not facing much pressure after the first period, I must have been watching a different game. In the OT, true, he was writing postcards and sipping tea, but after the first soft goal and the second, where you’d expect the amazing save the way he’s been playing, he gave the Canadiens NOTHING, was very aggressive, way outside the crease in three or four cases. And not many saves bigger in a series than the kind he made on Pacioretty.

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  26. Ilb,
    You and I were in agreement about Buchnevich from the start. It’s hard to say it was a mistake from the beginning not to have had in the lineup, being Glass played so well. Probably one game to long on making the change.

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  27. Speed, speed, and more speed, Wicky. Embrace it. I’m not saying they have not been physical, just that the speed is what is making the difference.

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  28. I liked Buch in, too, bdl, though I didn’t think he’d done much to deserve it. Brilliant move both times by AV, squeezing as much as he could out of Glass, who played as well as he could, did his job, and then going for it with Buch. A game too late? Probably, but not a game too soon.

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  29. was thinking of bdl last night when fast scored the shortie… i love bashing fast too when AV plays him too high in the lineup but he has been good in this series, very relentless on the puck

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  30. Game 5 was something else again, the Rangers trying to match the Canadiens hit for hit, the Canadiens trying to match the Rangers’ speed, both teams somewhat successful playing the other’s game early on, so to speak. But hitting takes it out of you after a while, as much as getting hit, and, man, did the Habs have nothing left by the 4th quarter.

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  31. Said after the game last night I think the Glass -> Buch was all part of AV’s plan and he got the bonus w/ BGG winning the first game. Wanted to wear down Mtl so it would be easier to get the skill game going full tilt. Buch has played ok, though he still struggles mightily on the boards. Happy to see that has been a positive influence on Z and The.

    Machine and Fast both have had a stellar series. I don’t think you want to let either go. Team is going to have to sit down with G about waving his NMC and just have a gentlemans agreement that they will not try to move him, it just to protect the kids.

    If the NYR continue to forecheck instead of foreglide, they close it out.

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  32. Dave the narrative didn’t change as much as their level of play. Big difference between the overall product of game 3 and the second half of last night’s game.

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  33. Montreal will come out swinging tomorrow, they have to play a desperate game. Thing is, there has to be a good amount of doubt in their heads after last two. They simply couldn’t keep up, both skill wise and physically. I think they are playing as well as they could, and playing to their strength. Their goalie hasn’t let them down. They’ve added a few heavy players, and dishing out as many heavy hits as they can. Truth is, the Rangers don’t get flustered by it, and they give back as hard and as many. My point is, it’s NY’s game to lose tomorrow.

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  34. Narrative is defintely based on performance and on-ice product for sure James. But while I’m not surprised at the sudden change in the national media perception of the Rangers…it’s still funny/interesting to see them turn on the Habs.

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  35. Now here’s an interesting debate that’s also getting WAYYY ahead of ourselves:

    If we move on and proceed to win in the semis…who would you rather comes out of Caps/Leafs?

    Would it be the Caps, with the hopes that Washington and Pittsburgh absolutely destroy each other, and whoever has moved onto the Eastern Final has totally blown their wad already? Or would you rather Pittsburgh gets the Leafs, with the slightest possibility that you could actually get Toronto in the Conference Final?

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  36. At least AV realized that Montreal having a lineup that consisted of Ott, Shaw, King, and Martinsen was not a reason to dress Glass, but an opportunity to dress Buchnevich.

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  37. ILB – If Montreal does come out swinging and open the game they will be playing right into the Rangers’ hands. I wonder how Habs fans will react if Julien’s defensive style and Bergevin’s deals to get grittier fail. It would be interesting to see if Bergevin re-made his team with an eye of getting out of the division and never considered what would happen if the Rangers were their first round opponent.

    I think we can agree that, man-for-man, Montreal can’t skate with the Rangers. As far as the physical game goes, the Rangers are showing something that i have believed all year – they have the size to play physically when they want/need to do so. The Rangers tend to get themselves in trouble when they go out of their way to be overly physical because they can get out of position and forget that speed has been the key to their success this season.

    The crazy thing is if the Rangers had any semblance of a power play and a little more consistent penalty kill, this series would be over. The Rangers playoff success over the last few years is pretty amazing when you consider how consistently inconsistent the PP has been. Imagine the success the Rangers would/could have if they had a Top 5 PP?!?

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  38. Steve Ott has not been on for a goal against this series so there is that. Very good on the dot and no mistake that Hayes is invisible playing against him.
    .
    5v5 NYR is the better team. Need to stay out of the box and away from those PPs…

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  39. #10 has my vote as Most Disappointing Ranger this round Carp. At least Stepan is still effective killing penalties, and Kreider is just lost. When Miller’s bad, he’s BAD. Way too cute with the puck when he needs to be focusing on getting back to basics.

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  40. Hayes, IMO, was hardly invisible last night. Quite good in the D zone. Ott contributes faceoffs and jackwagonry, and that’s it. Those three forward acquisitions still stuck on ONE goal among them since the deadline.

    Advantage: Rangers when any of them are on the ice.

    Speed beats muscle.

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  41. I would argue 10 is tied with 21, Dave, but that’s fair. and that 13, 20, 93 have improved the last two games.

    The PK argument for Stepan wasn’t looking too good in this series until the final three kills. But Miller has made some atrocious plays, as bad as those made by Staal or Holden or anybody. That sequence last night was mind-boggling.

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  42. well jackwaggonry and keeping his opposing pivot off the scoresheet. If Hayes is spending his time playing D against Ott, Habs win that battle.

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  43. beezle

    protecting or not protecting girardi has nothing to do with protecting forwards. can protect 3 dmen and 7 forwards. or 8 total between the 2.

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  44. As long as we’re all gushing over old time hockey, how’s this for former champion vs emerging champion?

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  45. I wasn’t saying Lundqvist was bad, just that he wasn’t one of the stars of the game. he was fine. Got them enough saves to win. Certainly didn’t get them saves beyond those as both goals were weak. He stopped a breakaway on Pacioretty and I can’t think of another specific save he made the rest of the game. I remember one scramble where Skjei went behind him to block one off of the goal line. That’s about it. He was fine.

    Nash, Vesey, Zibanejad, Fast, McDonagh, Skjei all had Much better games

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  46. Hank’s first two saves were excellent. That is, after Zook was ready for Caufield’s return pass in the opening minute.

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  47. Zuke should have buried that. Great save by Price, but if Zuke gets that puck up, it’s in.

    Speaking of Price, he actually almost had Zibanejad’s shot. Would have been the save of the playoffs if he had. Good thing for us, he didn’t.

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  48. We were trying to play the hitting game too much in game 2. the hitter takes a lot of punishment too. so we had nothing left in period 3 and the ot.

    this game we played to our strength – speed.

    didn’t see the sj-edm game except the ot. sj looked cooked in ot and evidently they were in the third as well.

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  49. If Price makes that save on Zika, we lose that game. We were already dominating in OT, already had Zucc miss the puck on an open net on the McD wraparound AND Kreider whiff on the mother of all gimmes. The Hockey Gods usually give the win to Montreal in that situation.

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  50. Vesey admires Drury alot. Drury= Big Game Player. Playoff Player. Clutch Player. You can see Vesey burns to win in the playoffs.

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  51. Zika created two goals last night that he wouldnt have a couple games again, just bc he was engaged, wanted the puck, and played to make plays. Guy has so much potential, if he goes on a run, he could be the x-factor in a long run to June.

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  52. Just had replay on MSG – that was the most innocuous play with a ton of puck luck going right to Zika but that’s why you head to the net. Basically Kreider busting his arse up the wing.
    .
    Butch didn’t touch the puck but he was near it…Still trails Glass in PO scoring… 😉

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  53. JT wants to produce so bad and I think he’s alittle banged up. He’s working too hard, and not letting the game come to him. He should let Hayes and Zucc hold puck possession and look to get into little seams and spots. Play off the puck alittle bit, get lost in the play, be on the ball ready to strike when he gets the chance, which will come in spades.

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  54. LMAO I love Moose so much. If someone motioned with their stick like that in today’s NHL people would want them to serve jail time

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  55. Last season when the whole Simmonds/McD dust-up happened, everybody and their mother in Philly was flipping their lids because McD, instead of letting Simmonds hit him high and late, gave him some lumber right in the face as he moved in. Now THAT was a patented Moose move.

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  56. Back to Hank not being a “star” – check out @DTMAboutHeart on twitter. Hank faced significantly more high danger scoring chances than Price (true for every game). Expected goals for Montreal based on shots and scoring chances was 3.42. They put 2 past Hank. Expected goals for the Rangers? 2.87. They got 3. Hank = 🌠

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  57. – Dave, not surprising to me. Habs were the safe bet. watch it all swing back the other way if they win tomorrow night.

    – Anthony, agreed. If the Habs come out swinging they may very well give up a little too much early and it could cost them. In order for that to happen the Rangers have to come out like they did in game 4.

    -Doodie, Ristolinen would still look pretty good as the righty Dman beside of McD. 25 PP points, throws hits, blocks shots. still only 22. If the price is right don’t see how you pass that up.
    Also, I was thinking the same as you. With so many chances in the OT it was likely that they were going to lose that game if they didn’t cash in before the first OT ran out.

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  58. careful with the marinara over at Lusardi’s, Coos. Remember, I worked out of an office attached to their kitchen once upon a time ; )

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  59. And tread lightly with that Pasta fagioli over at Nicky’s, Coos. you’ll have enough wind to move sail boats over at the yacht club.

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  60. Would have been tragic turnover for Holden last night, but, as I watched the replay it looked like Habs would have bailed him out. Linesman had his arm up for offsides.

    Skjei has gotten better in his own end. He is winning more wall battles now. Hopefully Kreider is back to playoff beast mode and JT can get his head straightened out. He had the face-off touching the puck call earlier in the series and the then the slash last night. Slashing was the only call made last night. If he just ran him over from behind that would have been a play-on. Do anything you want to your opponent as long as you don’t use your stick.

    BTW the Rangers Habs series has been the most brutal series. Some of the others look like no-check games in comparison.

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  61. Billy Joel says that one night he’s being seated (presumably with Christie) at an Italian Restaurant on the Island and the waiter says: “Ah, good evening, bottle of white, bottle or red?” And Billy says: “Can I borrow your pen and a pad?”

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  62. “I can’t think of another specific save he made the rest of the game.” I’m taking crazy pills. I remember several. Thinking of watching them again! (And even the Montreals game him a third star.)

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  63. You can tell Mika likes playing with Buchnevich. the skills, the quiet moxie and belief in himself, willingness to get into the game. It brings it those things out in Mika, and when he plays like that, hes a dangerous player, as all-around talented as anyone in the league.

    Buchnevich is a gutsy guy. You can just tell he is. He believes in himself, he has courage, he wants to win hockey games. Guy came over last summer and stayed with a family he didnt know, to try and learn the language alittle bit b4 camp. Has had an up and down year, hasnt played much overall, language barrier, rookie, and yet when AV put him in the lineup in a playoff game, he tells AV dont worry, Ive played in KHL playoffs, and he was ready to play, he was involved, he’s in the series. He’s a part of the team. No flaky russian here. He’s gonna come up big for the Rangers, in these playoffs, he’s gonna contribute and make a mark.

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  64. Hockey, xg includes opportunities that missed the net. Hank doesn’t get credit for those.

    Also, saying Hank is a star because he did better than Price is a logical fallacy. Hank was fine. Doesn’t mean that he was the difference in the game.

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  65. My favorite was in the third when he came way out of his crease to the right to pick off a pass across, that if he’d stayed put would have required him to hug the near post and then zip across (as Price had to when he nearly stopped the winner). Almost as if to say, if my D can’t get to it, I will. It could be that we’re so used to the amazingly high level of performance (.944) that we see great saves now as ordinary ones.

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  66. The Duke’s reaction to being sent back to junior spoke volumes about his work ethic.

    The only reason I held him over Buchnevich is that I didn’t believe that Buchnevich would ever actually come over from Russia.

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  67. Norm we can give up. Some people just won’t give Hank the credit he is due for playing out of his mind in this series. Not worth the time….

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  68. Doodie Hank may not have been the difference in the game but certainly the difference in the series thus far. Something tells me if they win the series he’ll be the main reason.

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  69. “. . . the Rangers Habs series has been the most brutal series. Some of the others look like no-check games in comparison.” – ORF

    I agree ORF. It’s one more reason the Rangers need to win tomorrow because they could use an couple extra days to heal. Mostly, they just need to win though.

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  70. Pasta Fagioli, lentil soup, escarole soup, etc… grew up with all that stuff!

    All were “peasant foods” my grandmother (may she r.i.p.) made regularly — inexpensive; healthy…

    Now are revered by the Millenials for obvious health, financial, and environmental benefits.

    Liked by 1 person

  71. He was fine. Gave up two softies, made a couple of great saves, and otherwise wasn’t really tested. fine.

    I’m curious if he’s got a hand injury because he has dropped his stick a lot in this series, beginning with when Gallagher broke it. Maybe he hurt his hand on the play? He dropped his stick early in the game but kept control for the rest of the game, it seemed.

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  72. Ricardo – Johnny Masaratti, at 5 ft 3, playing center kills me…
    The fact that he averaged 56 per is icing on the cake.

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  73. So Pierre, Elias, Weekes, Kouleas, Rupp and umpteenth others gave credit to Hank for keeping the Rangers in the game in the 2nd especially on the pk and on the pacioretty breakaway. He was named a star of the game by the Toronto media and everyone else, but we are debating whether he made a difference in this game? 🙄

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  74. RR – re: Buch in Russia…I guess that was the fear for a long time, and the reason a lot of Russian kids saw their stock drop. Buch should’ve been a first rounder, and fell all the way down to 3rd round. Guys like Tarasenko and Kuznetsov were obvious top-5 talent, and dropped.
    I think that fear waned in the past couple of years…but now with the NHL not going to the Olympics, KHL teams are using that to lure players over. I’d be nervous about my Russians for the next season or so.

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  75. Billy met the uptown girl Christie in St Barts in ’83. ‘Scenes from an Italian Restaurant’ was from The Stranger (1977)
    .
    The song was written about Fontana di Trevi, a restaurant across from Carnegie Hall, which he frequented during a series of June 1977 concerts. The song’s signature line: “A bottle of red, a bottle of white, whatever kind of mood you’re in tonight” was actually spoken to him by a waiter at Fontana di Trevi while Joel ordered.

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  76. Why, if most NHL goaltenders would grab that one, would the link say “Lundqvist stones Galchenyuk”? And of course any NHL goalie would grab that. If that’s where he was positioned. The read was the amazing part–most NHL goalies would have stayed in the blue hoping the snow-angel works.

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  77. It’s just that we expect this from Hank, Sittoo.

    He’s expected to make every save. When he merely does his job, he is not noticed. Instead we notice zpack’s face off wins, kreider beginning to drive to net, Buch fitting in, etc.

    Hank’s problem is he has to compete against his own greatness. He’s not allowed to be just very good or excellent.

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  78. Lmfao!! I love these know it alls on this blog that are just NEVER wrong and contort everything to fit their narrative.

    They think it’s only speed, lmao. The rest of us actually understand that hockey involves physicality, speed, depth, forecheck, compete level and other intangibles etc. All parts of complete hockey that are necessary to win.

    But no, they say speed is the only thing that matters, so anything good that happens is only because of speed (so it fits their narrative) and anything bad that that happens is because it wasn’t speed related!!

    Ranger players (who clearly don’t know as much as a few posters here) state that it’s the complete game including how physical they have been with mtl (especially on the forecheck) that has led to the team success.

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  79. That’s the appeal to authority fallacy. He was fine. Easy to give the winning goaltender credit because he won. If Skjei doesn’t tie the game at 2, nobody is talking about how good Lundqvist was today because he wasn’t that good. It’s not like in Game 2 when Lundqvist was the story even though he lost.

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  80. Sittoo,

    It’s also not about how many saves you make, it’s more about WHEN you make them.

    Hank’s stop of Pacioretty was clutch, and star worthy.

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  81. Good point Admiral. I guess I feel like he deserves some major credit for really turning it on after an admittedly tough regular season.

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  82. Exactly Wick,

    Gotta have a complete game of speed, skill, hitting, possession, goaltending, special teams in order to win.

    Gotta fight for every inch of space in all 3 zones.

    But you don’t want a speed team whose forte is not physical punishment to go around trying to go all ape-Carcillo on the opposition and give up on the very thing that got them there – talent.

    But absolutely // gotta go out and be necessarily physical (and smart) in order to let opposition know you’re there and thus get them to open up and then use your speed game. Case in point was game winning goal in OT last night.

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  83. Buch has certainly made z pack and Kreider play better imo.

    Miller has played worse as the series has gone on (frustration perhaps?)

    Did I miss something or did staal get his ice time cut towards the end? Was he injured?

    Hayes has played better last 5 periods to me.

    Stepan…meh

    I think the buffalo situation is e Kane’s fault 😉

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  84. Doodie
    Yes. Hank has been good, no doubt. This is the right time for him to get hot, but I don’t think he’s been all world by any stretch.

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  85. That’s not at all what I said. I simply said that most of the NHL network commentators pointed out Hank’s play in the 2nd and 3rd as being a major difference in the game. I used it as support of my belief that Hank deserves a star, not as the sole reason why he deserves a star nor as a reason to prove why you are wrong and I am right. I give you every right to your opinion and I assume you give me every right to mine. Simply trying to argue an alternate viewpoint to your belief that Hank was not a difference maker in the game. But again, you are entitled to your opinion and I don’t anticipate that anything I say will change your mind. I’m just enjoying the dialogue and more importantly enjoying Hank’s renaissance. I just hope it continues…

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  86. Wicky, you’re projecting at least a little, no? Yes, it’s simplistic to say speed is everything, just as it is to say the Rangers are a one-trick pony, as you repeatedly have insisted (at least I think that’s you). And it’s too broad a brush that says Canadiens hit, Rangers skate. But the Canadiens never stop talking about how they need to hit, hit, hit to negate the Rangers speed, not the other way around. So to say it’s a contrast in styles to me is not that big an overstatement. The Rangers scored a speed goal (SH), they scored what I called, in your honor, a Wicky-goal on a great forecheck (mostly Vesey’s work, then the great Nash-Skjei finish), and then they finished with an I-Don’t-Know-What-to-Call-It goal on the gorgeous [accidental] pass across the high slot as Benn glided backwards. The Rangers are getting it done multiple ways, but in the OT, speed killed.

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  87. Akbar
    Exactly!! Vibin’ re your 1:32.

    That’s the “intangibles” you have to have to win.

    It’s just not a save (or a goal for that matter or faceoff win), but many many times when it happens…timely 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  88. An appeal to authority would be a fallacy if that were the only argument put forward, that HS and I and others think Hank played a great game only because we heard and read that others did, too. In the video you posted about the save I remembered and commented about contemporaneously , it should come as no surprise that I would agree with someone later referring to it as a stoning. Door now open for Haze commentary.

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  89. Hey, Wick, why do I think you’re talking to me when you use the “some of you guys” remarks?

    The Rangers have hardly been soft in this series. In fact they’ve been beyond physical, answering every bell and it’s a huge factor. Ott, King, Martinsen (he’s not playing anymore) can’t keep up and don’t contribute.

    Rangers playing to their strengths while doing the hitting, too — speed, depth.

    Liked by 2 people

  90. I disagree with your “easily”, Carp. It would have taken even more effort from them, and they have given a ton of that. Lots of respect for the Habs so far–they’re nowhere near out of it.

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  91. Yeah, I wasn’t impressed by that. NHL goaltender has to have that one.

    And appeal to authority is a fallacy regardless of how many other arguments are put forth. If you were using the authority just to show you are not alone in an opinion, that’s a different story, in which case, it doesn’t matter who else is saying it, authority or not. But in this instance, the authority was used as as a reason to be persuaded by the argument. That’s appeal to authority.

    Liked by 1 person

  92. Alexei Bereglazov, 24 yr old defenseman from KHL officially signs w/ NYR. Buch now has a buddy….. thoughts on this one?

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  93. 16. Guys like Ott, Shaw, Gallagher get the benefit of what I call “the Lindros rule.” Colin Campbell, when he was the Rangers coach, said Eric Lindros committed a penalty every shift, but there’s no way the referees are going to call them all.

    That’s a great pull.

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  94. Carp
    It isn’t directed at you…as a matter of fact I’m pretty sure you and I have been in agreement all season long that the team has players that could play a “hard”, gritty, physical game. They just weren’t doing it most nights in the regular season.

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  95. RE: effort, Norm- it wasn’t there nearly enough in game 3. And they came within seconds of winning game 2 in regulation. So I think it could have “easily” have been over even if they didn’t have an “easy” time winning it.

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  96. Campbell also said something to the effect of “yeah Ferraro, Nordstrom, Lafayette and Laperierre for McSorley Churla and Kurri sounds good. Do it”…So he didn’t get EVERYthing correct….

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  97. With all the draft picks traded away over the past few years signing undrafted free agents like Bereglazov and Lettieri is the smart way to go. You sign enough of them and eventually you end up with NHL players or prospects you can trade for picks and/or players. I would rather see a bunch of kids in Hartford with a vet or two for leadership than to see a team full of AHL lifers with a kid or two.

    That is how the Rangers ended up adding the likes of Dan Girardi and Cam Talbot.

    Before someone mentions it, I know we signed Hayes and Vesey as free agents, but they were players who were drafted, but unsigned.

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  98. Norm
    I was one, among others (it may have been my fault that the phrase came up though) to call this team a one trick pony. Which is exactly what it was for a large part of the regular season (especially the first part). It was all star game stuff, not much grit or forecheck. That’s fine I suppose for early on in the season when other teams are learning systems etc (yes those points still count in the standings), but it is not a winning formula for the playoffs, which we are clearly seeing in this series so far. If the rangers tried to play that one trick pony style in this series, they’d have tee times already.

    Fortunately for all of “us fans”, the coach and team adjusted and realized that physicality and zone time and forechecking are as important to success as speed (if you have nothing but physicality you are the LA kings and already on the golf course).

    I just find it odd that many, myself included, have no problem pointing out positive (or negative) things from all aspects of the game, regardless if they’re our favourite aspects or not, and others will only point out positives when it fits the narrative they have been saying is the “only thing that matters” for the season.

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  99. Lappy was an excellent 4th liner and roleplayer for another 14 seasons after that trade. Not a YUGE loss there, being that those sort of guys get the revolving door treatment in NY anyway. But it also means that the two best players in that deal went the other way. Three, if you count Ferraro. Best player we got back was Shane Churla, unless you believe the theory that “Jari Kurri taught Nik Sundstrom how to play defense.” Which was really useful for the next 3 years until we traded him.

    Liked by 2 people

  100. God, now memories of that whole era (error?) of Rangers Hockey is hitting me. Why the hell couldn’t we give Vladimir Vorobiev more of a shot?!!?!

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  101. Carp I am officially appealing to you as the only authority worth mentioning regarding Hank’s game! No fallacy there!

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  102. I guess to simplify it, speed is definitely a good component to have, but it isn’t the most important component if you only use it (ie all star game style) and don’t incorporate it into your game plan as an equal component to physicality (which is why carp and I agree again on the pens and why they are tougher than people think…they hit and play fast).

    Here is a link to the hit stats for teams in the regular season, I think some might be surprised by a couple teams’ position on the chart, and for the most part look at the teams in the playoffs right now and at the correlation.

    https://www.sportingcharts.com/nhl/stats/team-hit-statistics/2016/

    You have to be physical too, not just about speed. You can certainly use your speed to be physical, which then makes the rangers a non one trick pony which has directly led to their success so far in this series, but you cannot succeed with only one or the other in today’s NHL.

    Liked by 1 person

  103. But you cannot succeed without Speed.

    Ferraro was Scott Gomez 1.0. Laperriere (whom they got for Matteau, I believe) was a really good player. But a fourth liner. Kurri was still a good player.

    I’m not defending the trade, but it was Messier’s trade, and IMO they lost Nordstrom. Otherwise it’s pretty much a wash.

    Liked by 1 person

  104. So, Wicky, we are in agreement that you need as many different kinds of goals (to the extent they represent the game being played) as you can? That pass-pass-pass has its place alongside skate-skate-skate and bash-shoot-screen-tip? If so, you’re officially no fun any more.

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  105. I’m not really sure that we are actually having the argument (speed, physicality) that we think we are, Wicky. We are saying the same things, except you lead with physicality, and we lead with speed. It seems we agree you need both.

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  106. Wicky, to your point about positivity, negativity, all that, where I experience my most curmudgeonly reactions is when someone says, for instance, “Staal coughed that one up, man,” and it goes straight to “Staal sucks, trade him.” It’s What-have-you-done-for-me-lately on steroids, as though the regulars on this team have yet to earn their stripes or that they will never make a good play again.

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  107. Love when a guy gives himself credit because, he too, knew that something would have happened (Habs winning), if something else didn’t happen (if Zib doesn’t score)..
    ..then twice later cries ‘logical fallicy’

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  108. When Torts was fired and Messier was in consideration for coach, I said no thank you. We already saw what Messier as GM and coach looked like when he was a player and it was pretty damn ugly.

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  109. well, looks like I was wrong about the rangers, had the canadiens in 6 but it’s not over yet. I could still see the candiens winning the next two, hopefully they don’t but I could see it happening.

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  110. Eh, I don’t think Kurri was very useful anymore. Ferraro had a lot of hockey left in him at that point, and that trade opened up a gaping hole at 2nd line center. For a playoff push trade, it made us objectively worse right away AND in the future.
    But as you said, when it all boils down, it’s a wash but for Norstrom, who should’ve been our #3 defenseman for the next decade.
    But at least Mess got to feel the old magic for 20+ games!

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  111. Carp, that tweet re: top Corsi teams was pretty great. The comments were outstanding. If only they “adjusted” for a few more variables, maybe the results could be skewed to their liking a bit more.

    Liked by 1 person

  112. neevermind, what I was saying about the Rangers losing because they failed on opportunities was a gut feeling of how the game would go and certainly not a prediction based on any sort of evidence. Just my own take as a long time suffering fan.

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  113. You seem pretty good at picking out something you think is wrong with somebody else’s post. I was wondering, do you have any opinions of your own?

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  114. That 96 team was a lot better and a lot more complete prior to that deal. ferraro left a hole but they signed Gretzky that summer so it didn’t really matter. coaches just got worse for a long time after Colie.

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  115. Wicky

    When they were playing river hockey they also were missing some talent up front like zib and lindberg and when both returned it took a while to get comfortable off surgery or a pretty bad injury. Much rather have either at center than a pirri.

    Smith helps a lot on back end. has decent mobility and an edge to his game.

    So like said above I would lead with speed but other aspects are definitely needed. I’m a big fan of getting it deep rather than forcing something that’s not there. one adjustment we did make was keep a guy on the ice rather than wholesale change which allowed mtl to come up ice unimpeded for more of the same in our zone.

    We did overdo it with the hitting in game 2 and it took our legs away from us.

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  116. I know youse will agree with me, but Campbell was the best coach of the NYR from that point on, by far, until Torts got here.

    Kurri, IMO, wasn’t a superstar at that point, but he was still better than Ferraro. And a much better and more respected leader and teacher.

    and totally unrelated to the win-lose argument of that trade, I loved Churla as a player. One of the toughest SOBs ever, would fight every single night if he could, played in that playoff series despite a torn ACL and posteriorCL, and Campbell used him to throw illegal blocks in the neutral zone to break the trap.

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  117. “I know youse will agree with me, but Campbell was the best coach of the NYR from that point on, by far, until Torts got here.”

    Actually, I think aside from Renney, that’s pretty much a slam dunk. I happen to agree that Campbell was better than Renney but reasonable men could disagree on that.

    If you took it a step further and said Campbell was a good coach, that’s when you would get some push back. I think he was OK.

    He’s a much worse person, it seems. Bettman’s hatchet man.

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  118. Well being that the coaches coming after Campbell include Muckler, Ron Low, and Trottier…yeah, Campbell is up there. I have a soft spot for Tom Renney though. Took a fairly untalented team post-lockout and took them to the playoffs. Having Hank Lundqvist certainly helped 🙂

    Churla was easily one of the toughest enforcers we’ve ever had. I still like Darren Langdon as our best fighter post-Cup, but Churla was nasty. I also thought he could play…a tiny bit. A very tiny bit.

    Disagree on Ferraro vs Kurri. Kurri had an alright playoff for us in his one abbreviated season, but all I remember is that he was running on fumes at that point. One more year in obscurity on the Ducks and he was out of the league. Ferraro still was putting up points for the next few years.
    But again – I agree with you that the only thing that is really worth remembering about that deal is that we pissed away Mattias Norstrom. I can handle losing a (very good) depth player in Laperierre…that will happen.

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  119. I always thought McCarthy was a spot-picker. Churla and Langdon most certainly weren’t. And I still think Ferraro was Gomez, though a much better guy.

    and I’m never gonna get off my point that Campbell saved Keenan from submarining that Cup Final. I know I told you the story many times. It’s true. Thought he was a very good game coach, though I agree he was on board with some really bad personnel decisions. Seven playoff series in three years wasn’t half bad.

    Liked by 2 people

  120. Actually I learned long, long ago to avoid the LIE and use the Cross Island. But it’s usually just as bad late afternoons. Just easier to say I hate the LIE.

    Then there’s that intersection at Hempstead Turnpike and Earl Ovington Blvd, at the Coliseum, 10 or 12 lanes across, where a guy ran a red light at about 50 mph and tee-boned me, sent me spinning into 360s, totaled my car, probably responsible for all my back pain today.

    Freakin hate that place.

    Did I ever tell you the tow truck story?

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  121. Carp the only thing I’ll disagree with you on was Ferrari. He was a big part of that teams regular season success. Was on pace for 30-30-60 when he got traded to LA.
    Kurri had a nice playoff run that year but one of those Mario-Mario jr Era pens teams lit them up.
    I think what hurt that team the most was the late season injuries to Messier and Verbeek. Mcsorely was useless, Churla did a pretty good job that season and again in the ECF run the following year

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  122. While Carp is typing his story, I’ll say this about your argument. This team is built to win on speed and skill. They always had enough size to push back. That they found a way to use physicality necessary to win playoffs is a revelation, and it’s a recipe for success. They need to find a balance and they will go deep. Overdoing either of these attributes will not lead to a long run. And they will need Hank to play at least at the same level, some games will require even more from him.

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  123. Carp, he may have been, but 170+ PIMs two years in a row and he chipped in 10 goals each year, too. The thir dyear was a disappointment, as it was for the entire team (the Trottier year).

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  124. By the way, I think Zucc needs to be given a lot of credit too, Carp. Along with Nash and Vesey. It would be easy for him to disappear considering how Montreal is targeting him. He hasn’t, and he’s pushed back. You can see Montreal is really concerned when he’s on the ice, that’s why he ends up having to play against Weber.

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  125. Habs are feisty (and cheap) but not really big on front line and back line, outside of WWWeber, not much to worry about re Markov, Benn, and Petry on the physical side. Gallagher threw his skate up at McD’s face after being pummeled by the Capt; another potentially scary play.
    .
    One ‘turning point’ in the game was when the NYR started percolating in the mid/late 2nd and Nash got tangled up with WWWeber and stood his ground in front of their crease. You don’t have to throw knuckles to be tough just stand your ground and take no sheet.

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  126. “The Chicago Blackhawks are unstoppable”… – on their way to a golf course. For a second year in a row.
    Oy, vay…

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  127. I sticking my neck out in spite of the Carp. Rangers win series 4-2 has to be, it’s time, enough said, 3-3 ain’t happening. There I said it!

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  128. Man you think this HAV was in Chicago or something… ghost town tonight. Won’t be surprised if 8 is down for the count, didn’t look good going off. Slow mo on the hit looks legit, though that jerk Milbury does have a point that hip checks like that are pretty dangerous.

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  129. @carp re the advanced stat tweet. the whole thing is a bunch of hooey. Looking at how they define expected goals – has anybody actually pulled real world data for things like shot distance and angle? Has anybody actually done hypothesis testing on any of it? I wish I could interest this guy from Fermilab and Cern who is a big time stat person in the physics world to bonk this stuff.

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  130. Ok, let me catch up….Campbell is my all time fave ranger coach, verbeek mess graves my all time fave ranger line.

    Didn’t churla get in a fight with grimson (I think) while he was injured and it was going so badly that messier yelled from the bench for guys to jump in?

    Loved the fleury/McCarthy chicken dance

    I agree McCarthy was a spot picker and churla would just go.

    Simon was still my favourite ranger fighter, could play the game well and was a feared and top tier heavyweight

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  131. Oshie is a UFA this summer, rangers seem to like u.s. players….sioux’s head explodes…we all invest in carrier pigeons as the only way to communicate with each other about the rangers without hearing about oshie as a ranger! 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  132. Kadri gets slashed in the Arm by Ovie, goes down like a leaky sub and grabs his leg? What a Pletanik!

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  133. Wicky don’t know how you remember all that stuff. I don’t even drink that much (comparatively) anymore and still have problems remembering a couple years ago let alone decades!

    Liked by 1 person

  134. another sucky outcome tonight. I have a college friend who grew up on the island then moved down south. somehow all his kids turned out icelanders too rather than craps or carolina

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  135. Wick, the Theo chicken dance was with Cairns. Unless he did it again. which wouldn’t surprise me.

    I have done a 180 on Oshie. I thought he was a fancy-boy shootout specialist. Guy has some big onions. I’d take him. He’d be the second best forward on the Rangers. Maybe the best. Then they could have two-thirds of a legit No.1 line.

    Liked by 1 person

  136. You guys can debate all you want about speed, toughness and goaltending, but you’re all forgetting one thing. The Rangers may very well win this series, but they will almost definitely lose game six because THEY ALWAYS DO THINGS THE HARD WAY!

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  137. Lol thanks Wick forgot about some of Averys antics. And that Darcy Tucker literally wanted to kill him at one point. He was a dbag but boy did I love having him here in his first stint

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  138. I like to re-watch the games that they have won. Just to see if what I saw the first time was accurate. You can watch the game a little different the second time. Game one, they were actually better the second time I watched. Game 4 was as I had thought when watching live. Game 5 I really thought the Rangers were strong after the first. Watching it the second time, it was not till late second that the Rangers started playing. The Habs played a lot better that I thought in game 5.

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  139. Good morning all! Happy game day! And may we not see Montreal again until next season!

    Old Ranger, I don’t hate Boston at all, just their hockey team.

    Wicky! It’s not even Christmas or my birthday! Thanks ami!

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  140. Morning Boneheads!!

    Rangers eed a victory tonight to get an extra couple days to rest and heal. Will have to play even better.

    I wonder if King Julian takes one of his jack-wagons out in favor of a more skilled player? Ott? Dwight King? Not saying they’d stop all the shenanigans. Just thinking they must realize they need to score and perhaps add more speed.

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  141. BTW-Nice job with the Review Carp! It’s like reading your favorite hockey writer in a slightly different dialect, but the substance is still there.

    Liked by 2 people

  142. Jooostin Wilson used to say “cayenne peppa is betta than black peppa. it’s not hot……it sure ain’t cold! but it’s not hot!”…I would think the Rangers need to make sure they’re not cold tonight.

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  143. thank you Vagabond Scholar for the lovely tribute. My brother would have been honored. Words cannot express how much the blogging world has meant to me and my family during such a tough year.Happy new year evDyibody.erane

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  144. I simply wanted to say thanks once more. I am not sure the things that I would’ve carried out in the absence of the entire secrets provided by you regarding such a concern. It absolutely was a frightful setting for me personally, but finding out a new specialised mode you treated the issue made me to weep with joy. Extremely grateful for your assistance as well as hope you comprehend what an amazing job your are putting in training people through the use of your webblog. Probably you have never come across all of us.

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