Ever since the New York Rangers lost to the New Jersey Devils last Tuesday I've seen the phrase "house of horrors" thrown around at an alarming rate. Outside observers probably didn't understand why so many Rangers fans instantly assumed the Rangers were going to lose in Montreal -- and watched the last 60 seconds of the game with their eyes closed-- but we knew why.
Montreal has been nothing short of torture for Rangers fans. From the "I'm never talking about that game again" game (you know the one) to the eight consecutive years of Carey Price's shutout streak (I might be exaggerating, but that's how it's felt) it's just felt like an impossible task to beat Montreal in Montreal.
Well, the Rangers did just that Saturday night. Thanks to a Brad Richards rocket that turned into a Ryan Callahan power play goal and some unreal goaltending from Cam Talbot, the Rangers defeated the ghosts ... erm, Canadiens, for the first time in forever. It was also the first shutout victory in Montreal since 1967.
And if you don't think the Rangers were thinking about their struggles there, well, they were obviously nervous enough that Alain Vigneault had to joke with the team (before the start of the third period) that there were no ghosts in the Bell Center. And while that may or may not have been true then, it's definitely true now.
Now the Rangers turn their sights on the Los Angeles Kings at the Garden. The Rangers need to be careful here, a late flight back to New York followed by the high of an emotional win can spell disaster for Rangers if they're not prepared.
The good news? The Rangers played well on Saturday night. And while the offense couldn't muster up more than a goal (although to be fair a goal in Montreal is worth so much more), the defense -- highlighted by former Canadiens draft pick Ryan McDonagh -- shut things down.
There is a ton of momentum from winning a game like that. There's a big opportunity for the Rangers to beat another good team tonight and continue to snowball their tough start even further beneath them. But it all starts with a big win tonight against the Kings.
At least there's no more ghosts in Montreal.