NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 12: (L-R) Brad Richards #19, Marian Gaborik #10 and Marc Staal #18 of the New York Rangers celebrate after Gaborik scored a goal in the second period against the Ottawa Senators in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 12, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
- First of all, hats off to all of you guys.Over 1800 comments in the game thread? Hell yeah, guys! That is easily a Blueshirt Banter record, way to go!
- For about 40 minutes the New York Rangers controlled this game. They started well, got an early lead, sustained said lead and then took their foot off the gas with about 10 minutes left in the third. Sprinkle that in with the moments when the Ottawa Senators hemmed the Rangers in their own zone and you realize there were moments when the Senators controlled this game.
- I must sound like a broken record, but what can you say about Ryan Callahan? Just another example of why this kid is the best captain in the NHL by a mile. What a performance. He opened the scoring, threw some hits, played well in his own end and played with a feistiness that certainly threw a few Senators off their game. It really is something watching him play. They should have taped his shifts last night and sent it to every hockey school on the planet labeled, "how to play a complete hockey game."
- Give Henrik Lundqvist tons of credit too. He looked a bit off in the first period, but was still good enough to shut the door. Essentially, he had a shutout last night. The Rangers' defense decided it was done playing last night with 10 minutes left which allowed the two goals. Don't think John Tortorella won't be addressing that today.
Join me after the jump for more.
- Marian Gaborik was a monster last night. He was everywhere in the offensive zone. His goal was a prime example of why he is one of the most lethal players in the game. He skated in alone, didn't panic, made two moves to open Craig Anderson's pads and slipped the puck in. Not only was it a pretty goal, it was an immense goal. Don't underestimate that the game was 1-0 at that point and the Senators were buzzing. The crowd was getting completely frustrated with the officiating and then, boom, Gaborik.
- What about Brian Boyle? What a game by him. His goal in the second (which ended up being the game-winning goal) was an absolute snipe into the top corner. He also blocked shots, killed penalties, won face offs and hit everything that moved. So, you know, a typical Brian Boyle night.
- Carl Hagelin didn't look like a rookie Thursday now did he? Great game by him. Used his wheels, made some great hustle plays, forced turnovers in the offensive zone and made a smart, pretty feed to Brad Richards for the fourth goal of the game. Great game by both of them.
- That was Artem Anisimov's best game of the season. Two assists to go along with another few scoring chances. He played a great game and was very dependable in his own zone.
-I thought Brandon Dubinsky was involved all game. He's obviously still snake bitten -- as seen when Anderson stoned him when he was all alone in front -- but I liked his game overall.
- What an atmosphere at the Garden last night. Man oh man was that a special game to be at. My favorite moment of the game by far was Gaborik's goal. But not just because of the goal. The crowd was irritable because of a few poor non-calls (the officiating was pretty bad last night, both by the refs and the linesmen for both teams) and was just in the middle of a, "these refs suck" chant when Gaborik breaks in and scores. I've embedded the video below. Listen to the crowd's reaction to the goal. There was no better feeling than being almost helplessly frustrated with the officials and then celebrating a goal.
- Chris Neil was his typical self last night, especially when the game was 4-0. Speaking of, did I miss something on the Mike Rupp10-minute misconduct? From my seat all I saw was Neil punch Rupp when he had his back turned. I might have missed something before. Did I? If not the misconduct made no sense.