Rangers Defeat Penguins 4-3
I - NYR 3; PITT 2*
II - PITT 3; NYR 2
III - PITT 2; NYR 0
IV - PITT 4; NYR 2
V - NYR 5; PITT 1
VI - NYR 3; PITT 1
VII - NYR 2; PITT 1
NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
Eastern Conference Finals
NEW YORK RANGERS
NEW YORK RANGERS: Glen Sather Suplanted Much Of The Team's Toughness, But Alain Vigneault Coached The Blueshirts With A Lot Of Balls.
Brian Boyle spent the night throwing his body around, blocking shots, and silencing the Penguins fans by putting the first puck of the night passed Marc Andre Fleury.
Was it me? But did the Rangers then go into a prevent defense? I was agitated to say the least.
In the 3rd period, the Rangers opted for quick shifts, but continued playing not to lose. What ever you call it, I thought Alain Vigneault was dancing with the devil. In the end however, it went down as a brilliant defensive effort.
As I was saying, midway through the 3rd, Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis failed to capitalize on a two on one break, that I felt would come back to haunt them. By the 10:00 mark, I was just waiting for the other shoe........
At 5:15 it almost fell off. With the teams playing 4 on 4, Henrik Lundqvist was confronted with a furious Penguins assault on net, but The King held his ground.
Then I damn near blew a gasket at 3:14, when the Rangers willingly gave up the offensive zone and retreated back into a preventative posture again. I thought - these sick bastards were just begging for overtime.
It never got to that. Henrik Lundqvist made Brad Richards' 2nd period goal stand. The King faced 36 shots in all, and turned away all but one.
The Rangers pulled it off. While the Rangers were posting three straight victories, Henrik was limiting the Penguins to just a goal per game. He has now won 5 straight Game Seven matches.
Tex's Rangers have arrived at the half way point. They're going to the Eastern Conference finals.
Hopefully, this also silences those who demanded Henrik Lundqvist win a series by himself. Our King is a benevolent king.
* * * *
Can I have some salt, pepper and ketchup on the crow please?
If you ride The Trolley, or just follow RAISE GRESCH WITH THE GREATS, then you know I've been one of the Rangers biggest naysayers this season, right through Game Four. So, now, it's time I gave Coach Vigneault all the credit he deserves. He did what other Rangers coaches could not, which was defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins in a playoff series.
He matriculated his team back from a 3-1 deficit, damn near flawlessly.
There was no shot in hell, Coach Tortorella would have let Chris Kreider play down his mistakes. There would have been less of a chance that Dan Carcillo would have seen ice time. Benoit Pouliot would have surely been buried deep in Torts' dog house, what with all his dumb penalties particularly in the 1st round. And, we know with certainty, that there would have been no 4th line to speak of, with a 3rd line being a highly questionable proposition as well. That's just scratching the surface. So, I'm here to give the "devil" his due.