Eyes On The Prize | Playoff Tree
The wait between games 2 and 3 was pretty brutal huh guys? But we're finally here. Game 3 is on tonight and the Rangers are bringing a 2-0 series lead to the Garden ice. With a win tonight they could position themselves to dispatch the Habs in just four games. However, that isn't what we should all be thinking about right now. Game 2 was a very different animal than Game 1 was and this series is far from over. It is going to come down to who wins the most shifts in the game and whether or not Henrik Lundqvist can continue to be the best goalie in the 2014 NHL Playoffs (no offense to Jonathan Quick).
The Habs are reportedly starting Dustin Tokarski in net and the Rangers look like they'll have the services of Derick Brassard tonight after he was out of the lineup for Game 2. There is also some talk about Thomas Vanek either being a healthy scratch or being demoted to the fourth line which should be something we should keep an eye on as game time approaches. There is no such thing as a "must win" game until it's actually an elimination game but I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of Habs fans are calling tonight's game a must win for their club. The Rangers should make sure to put pressure on Tokarski early and often and get back on the power play because thus far the power play has been a strength for the team in this series after it was clearly a weakness in the first and second rounds of the playoffs.
Mike's Player to Watch: Rick Nash and Batman.
Rick Nash has now scored two goals in two games against the Habs and is looking to make it three in a row on home ice tonight at the Garden. It's great to see the big man called "slim" by his teammates start to find the back of the net. Nash has given the team a lot more than the two goals he has in this series. He's been peppering the net with shots, he's been drawing penalties, and has been creating space for his teammates. He's also a very underrated playmaker and he's had some gorgeous set-ups in the playoffs. Look for Nash to be fueled by the Garden crowd and be a factor tonight for the Blueshirts. Also, look for Batman prowling in the rafters, ready to intervene with a roundhouse kick or a flying elbow if things start to look desperate. I'll keep mentioning Batman until it stops working. Get used to it.
Let's go Rangers. Let's go Batman. Let's go 3-0 series lead.
Let's do this.