- In the notes after Game 2 I talked about how Game 3 was a big momentum game for both teams. In my opinion there was more pressure on Philadelphia to take Game 3 than there was for the Rangers, since the Flyers were at home and have another home game coming on Friday. My logic was that if the Rangers win Game 3, they turn Game 4 into essentially a must-win game for the Flyers, who would then have to beat the Rangers twice at Madison Square Garden to move on. Of course, hindsight is 20-20, and I'm looking a little far in advance, but it still should be noted.
- Speaking of hindsight, I was appalled at the Dan Carcillo trade when it happened. Now I'm appalled at myself for being appalled. I told you all this recently, this is one of the few moments where you will see my admit that I'm wrong (read: not actually be wrong, but admit that I was wrong). I know a lot of you hated him being inserted in the lineup over Jesper Fast, but I liked the move. Carcillo impacts games in a different way than Fast does, has been in these situations before and has proven he can swallow some minutes on higher lines and not miss a beat.
- However, with Carcillo there is a line. The first penalty he took was a really bad penalty. The second penalty he took was a really, really, really, really, really bad call. Getting if the ref's face like that? Also a bad decision (he's lucky he didn't get an extra two minutes or a 10-minute misconduct). The good? He pissed the Flyers off alllllll night. Scored an enormous goal, caused Matt Read to throw a suspension-worthy head-shot (which, of course, went uncalled) and then had one of the greatest celebrations I've ever seen.
- I tweeted this last night, but will put it here, too: Games like that are why I'm not worried about Rick Nash. Had two assists, five shots on goal, was involved all night, drove to the net and played really well. There's more to offense than just goals. The Rangers won, so the typical complains have quieted about his lack of goals, but people need to look at the bigger picture.
- Martin St. Louis had another huge game. A goal, and assist and a couple of key defensive plays throughout the game. We talked about hoe he and Nash have to get going if the Rangers want to be successful in the playoffs. Well, St. Louis has two goals and three assists for five points in three games so far. Rick Nash has four assists in three games. And Derek Stepan has two goals and an assist through the three games.
- Speaking of Stepan, that goal is why I don't understand why the Rangers aren't shooting the puck more. Nash takes a shot from a bad angle, Ray Emrey flubs the rebound and Stepan puts it home. Nothing bad can happen from putting the puck at the net. See what happens.
- I thought this was a really big rebound game for Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh. Girardi blocked five shots (a team high), scored a massive goal and had an assist on the St. Louis goal -- it was his shot that was deflected. His goal (the third of the game for the Rangers) helped quiet the building and kill off the Flyers found momentum.
- You know how there's a line with Dan Carcillo? Well there is a line with Benoit Pouliot, too. Sometimes he takes bad penalties. Tuesday night he took two bad penalties (both negating a Rangers' power play) and the Flyers scored their goal on one of those four-on-four moments. I love his fire and I love his energy. I love what he brings to the table. But those types of plays can't happen. They just can't.
- I know the Rangers won the game, and there were a lot of positives to take. The penalty killing was amazing (although I love Flyers fans complaining about how terrible the refs were) and helped turn the tide of the game. Officially the power play went 0-for-4, but only two of those power plays were a full two-minutes (thanks to Pouliot) and one of them was a garbage power play at the end of the game.
More to come, thoughts?