Hope I'm wrong, but I don't think we are winning tonight, so don't get your hopes up. I don't want everyone to cry that the end here if we lose tonight, as expected. We still have Game 6 at home to win and worst case, we'll go to Game 7. If we go to Game 7, our spring will be essentially over because even if we win, we'll get spanked by the well-rested Bruins.
Its about surviving yes, but it's also about getting to the other team and giving the fans a reason to get scared. The Caps are down 3-1 and coming in they'll be ready to take on the world. They'll be using last years comeback as an inspiration, but the Rangers cannot allow them to have it easy.
The Caps are the type of team that might get overconfident if they take the lead, at home in what will be a crazy building, because they are drawing from an experience they had last year. It's one thing to come back from 3-1 last year and force 7, but to recognize you've done it and have to do it again is a whole new ball of wax psychologically. The idea of this game is to keep it close and stay in the game from the Rangers point of view.
The temperature in D.C. is going up to 75 today, and the ice is going to be even more choppy than in Games 1 and 2. That works to the Rangers advantage in this one if they can keep it close. Obviously the first goal is tremendous in this game. The Rangers pretty much have no choice but to come in with that same road game mentality of defense first, constant pressure on the puck and support.
But again, lets not forget there is still a rookie goaltender in the other crease whos played only 2 playoff games coming into a do or die situation at home with the pressure squarely on his shoulders. The Rangers have to make a concerted effort to get in his kitchen and stay there. Like Torts said in the post game of Game 4, the Rangers HAVE to get the shots on net. They cannot afford to shoot it wide. You see what happened on the Drury goal. Test this kids rebound control and go to the net with authority and good things will happen. Even if you get a face off its good, because it slows down the game and if the Rangers repeat their success in the faceoff circle from Game 4, that could be a huge deal.
The Rangers defense has to guard against the bomb pass tonight, and stay a little tighter to the middle of the ice IMO. Make it hard for the Caps to drive with speed and back the D into the zone. Thats easier said than done against Ovechkin, but the Caps will lose their patience and try to create too much if they continued to get stifled. Leaving the ice 0-0 after the first is exactly where the Rangers want to be tonight.
The Rangers are going to need a big performance out of Gomez tonight. Zherdev has to wake up, but thats almost a moot point now. Antropov has been quiet. The defense has to get some shots through, and i think its really important that we see a little more pinching and driving down into the back door from pretty much everyone on the D, they need more chances and shouldn't play totally risk free. Pick your spots, but that will generate a lot more possession time and chances. When they do that they get the forwards covering and it promotes more skating and offense in their system. And most importantly it keeps the puck away from the Caps.
I almost have to expect a Game 6 at the Garden, given the fact the the Caps have lost only 9 times all season at home, and this would be 3 out of 3 for the Rangers. The probability is not in their favor. But they have a chance tonight to do something special, and its all about wanting it more and taking away any possible dreams the Caps and their fans begin to build during the game... This is the type of game, where you're never out of it and a comeback is possible.
Lets Go Rangers!!!!
Last edited by HockeyBasedNYC: 04-24-2009 at 09:53 AM.
I'll save you all the "obvious" banter here. It's going to be a total onslaught from the start. Anyone knows that will happen. The Rangers have to stay composed tonight. NO STUPID penalties, weather the first period and go from there.
They have to keep that penalty kill going at a high level, because it's my belief the Caps offense are going to draw quite a few from the start here.
If the Rangers can get through the first and Henrik can come up with the usual performance(obviously he will, there's no need for me to doubt him).. than you guys have a good chance.
Look at it this way: You guys have put yourselves in a position for Game 1 of the clincher. This is the first of of 3 chances to seal the deal. We all know the Caps are capable of coming back, so I won't do anything other than wish you guys luck.
The series belongs to NY.. you guys freaking deserve it.
keep it simple...60+ minutes of effort from everyone, every shift focused and deliberate.
1.keep wearing down those caps. bruce is overplaying those guys and tonight will be even worse. tire them out from the first shift hit them hard and often and make them come all 200ft.
2. stay out of the box - the avey antics from the last game can really pay off tonight if they play this right. he took some bad ones but he made them angry and in the end the rangers pk won out. tonight play smart . let the caps take the bad penalties tonight. frustration will come quickly to the caps if the rangers man up and play this right
Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man
I do expect the Caps to come in with confidence, and even if they do everything you lay out, Lundqvist's performance will still probably be the most critical part of the first half of the first period.
cut this from the caps board, somehow got posted in the wrong thread over there
Wayne Gretzky has often told the story of just how difficult it is to win the Stanley Cup. In the early í80s, his Edmonton Oilers had been the young studs of the the N.H.L., smashing scoring records and delighting fans. But when they reached the Stanley Cup final for the first time in 1983 against the three-time champion Islanders, they were schooled, literally, by New York, and swept in four games.
After the fourth loss, the downcast Gretzky and Kevin Lowe left their dressing room and had to walk past the Islesí room to reach their bus. They expected to see a wild, raucous scene at the other end of the hallway but (as Gretzky related in his 1990 autobiography), ďas we walked by, we didnít see any of that. The girlfriends and the coaches and the staff people were living it up, but the players werenít. Trottier was icing what looked like a painful knee. Potvin was getting stuff rubbed on his shoulder. Guys were limping around with black eyes and bloody mouths. It looked more like a morgue than a championís locker room. And here we were perfectly fine and healthy.
ďThatís why they won and we lost. They took more punishment than we did. They dove into more boards, stuck their faces in front of more pucks, threw their bodies into more pileups. They sacrificed everything they had.
ďAnd thatís when Kevin said something Iíll never forget. He said, ĎThatís how you win championships.íĒ