Finally, we found ourselves on Garden ice for Game 3 of the Rangers Second Round tilt against their division rivals; the Pittsburgh Penguins. Despite the Rangers playing what looked to be their worst game of the 2014 NHL Playoffs, they only lost 3-0 to the Penguins on Sunday night (including an empty netter by Evgeni Malkin). Earlier in that game Nash hit a post and the Rangers had some chances but once again the Rangers power play was about as effective as a bicycle with cinder blocks for wheels and puff adders for handlebars.
I doubt there has been enough time between yesterday's game and today's Game 3 for the Rangers coaching staff to make any significant changes on the power play but before this series is over this issue needs to be addressed. The time has come to get back to basics and put big bodies in front of the net and just get shots through traffic. In my opinion, the Rangers toothless power play cost them Game 2. It would be downright cruel if once again the Rangers find themselves taken out of the playoffs thanks in large part to a worthless power play.
Here's hoping that we see an inspired Rangers team tonight on Garden ice and some more of the magic that Hank showed us in Game 2. If Lundqvist can continue to play at this level there's no telling how far the Rangers can get in the 2014 NHL Playoffs but he's going to need some help in the form of some production from the Rangers top nine forwards.
Mike's Player to Watch: Carl Hagelin
Carl Hagelin is a player that I've had a lot of trouble making heads or tails of this season and in the 2014 NHL Playoffs. In one game Haggy will burn an opposing player with his speed and work ethic and make something happen like he did when he set up Richards' Game 1 goal. There have been some rumblings about Hagelin being an expendable player on the Rangers roster and, to be honest, I've been having trouble making excuses for him to be part of this team's plan in the future lately. However, when I look at Hagelin's skill set and how its being used I get a little bit frustrated. Here's hoping that Hagelin contributes to the Rangers success tonight and gives the Penguins cement-footed blueliners some headaches.
Let's go Rangers.