They don't call him Lundpads in Jersey for nothing.
Speaking of big pads, Mike Smith's pads are bigger than any I've ever seen. I know he's like 6'4" but his pads are gigantic. I would not be surprised if while the league has been obsessively focused on illegal headshots (despite their wild inconsistency), goalies have been getting away with using illegal pads. I'm sure tons of players still use illegal curves on their sticks, so it's not far fetched to think goalies are pushing the limits of the pad width among other things.
Whichever team the Rangers are playing immediately becomes the most difficult team for them in the POs because the Rangers can't score goals and have virtually no PP. They've been held to 2 or fewer in almost every game of the POs thus far. Only through sheer willpower have they managed to dig deep and find the goals they
needed. Should the Rangers be
fortunate enough to escape
Washington, they'll be jumping
from the frying pan into the
Craig Anderson played like a beast and Holtby has been as equally solid .
NYR scored a bunch against Bryzgalov and Jose Three or more
On the subject of match ups, it doesn't matter who the Rangers play in the postseason. Or how good they look in winning.
Playoff hockey is pretty ugly by nature. Tight, defensive, grinding, waiting for an opportunity, a chance to score. The Rangers have been playing this type of game all year long. So I laugh when I hear Tort's changed strategy, match ups, whatever,... cause he hasn't. He plays the same game they have been playing all year, no matter who they face. A defensive structured attack. One that requires patience,... waiting for an opportunity. We have had trouble lighting the lamp this year, due to the nature of this system. But no trouble getting wins. Why on earth would Dale Hunter adopt this system with scorers like Ovie, Backstrom, Green, and Semin if it didn't produce wins? This is the style of hockey that wins in the playoffs. But in the playoffs, there are even fewer opportunities to score due to teams tightening up, and playing a simple, patient, north/south game. It's no wonder why playoff games are tight low scoring affairs. It's got very little to do with a teams scoring ability and more to do with capitalizing on mistakes, opportunities.
Every team still alive in these playoffs,.... plays this "defense first" type of game. It is no surprise to me that these 5 teams are where they are, regardless of their seed they are the top 5 teams in the league.
Rangers still have their hands full with Wash. As close as this series is, it will be very difficult to close it out in Washington. It's very hard to finish it, knowing there is still another game.