Saturday, April 12, 2014

N.Y. Rangers: Gentlemen, Start Your Beards!


Dress Up The Big Guy.  Beard Growing Season Has Arrived!

Final Regular Season Record:
45-31-6; 96 Points
2nd Place
Metropolitan Division

NEW YORK RANGERS: Sacre Bleu!-Shirts Tripping Into Playoffs After Raphael Diaz Overtime Gaffe In Montreal.

I saw what happened.  It was an interesting conclusion to the regular season.

Playing a game in which they technically had nothing to gain, the Rangers played very well in Montreal.  The Blueshirts lost in overtime, and were shut out to boot....  So what was so good about that?  Very simply, the Canadiens tried getting physically obnoxious, and the Rangers responded, contesting every indiscretion the Habs perpetrated against them.

That's the kind of attitude and grit the Blueshirts will need to carry into the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Philadelphia Flyers.  From here on out, everything from face-offs to fisticuffs will get exponentially rougher and tougher for Tex's Rangers.

Heading into Thursday night's opening game, the status of Ryan McDonagh is concern number one.  He will have an additional four full days to rest his shoulder, and return to action as close to 100% as possible.  On that note, the rest of the Rangers must do a better job of protecting their most important players.  In recent years, Philadelphia has targeted Marc Staal, Rick Nash, and Brad Richards in particular.  Knowing this, the Rangers should expect more of the same, and ensure an effective response.

In fact, Coach Alain Vigneault's true test lies ahead.  Although it is not generally his style, he is nonetheless responsible for getting the right guys on the ice, at the right time, that will convey the only message Philly often understands.  The finality of the playoffs demands conviction on Coach's part.

Hairy, and ornery persons need only apply.


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