- When you think about this game, and maybe in a grander scope this series, you see a lot of the things that make playoff hockey so exciting and so terrifying. That was probably the worst game the Rangers played all series, and yet they scored more goals than they have in any other game and won a critical Game 6 to extend the series to a Game 7 at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.
- And to be fair, it's tough to say the Rangers didn't deserve to win based off the other games in the series the Rangers have dominated but found themselves on the losing end of. However it needs to be noted that if the Rangers play like that again they're going to be in a lot of trouble. If you disagree with me just look at this:
Shots attempted last 14:41 of Game 6: Caps 32, Rangers 0. 2 goals, 7 Lundqvist saves, 8 shots missed net, 15 blocked shots by NYR!— Kenny Albert (@KennyAlbert) May 11, 2015
- With that being said, I don't understand how a team who shells so much is suddenly so bad at it in key moments. Up by three goals and 13 minutes left to play? You should be able to put the landing gear down and close out that game pretty easily. But the Rangers decided they were going to put out a buffet filled to the brim with fresh turnovers, stupid mistakes and space for the Capitals' top players and Washington feasted.
- And I would love to say the Rangers locked things down after Joel Ward's goal made it 4-3 but the Capitals dominated the next three minutes before the Rangers somehow gained momentum off killing a wrongful penalty (more on this in a moment) and shutting the door. You can send your thank you cards to Henrik Lundqvist, by the way, because he was the biggest reason why the Rangers were actually able to close this out.
- So Rick Nash plays the same game he's played almost every game this playoffs, except this time the puck actually goes into the back of the net and now he's a hero. I hate the bottom line demands that some people throw around but that was an enormous goal in a game where the Rangers needed every goal they could get. Good for him -- and I can't stress how much I love him not really celebrating -- and good for the team. Hopefully it gets him going.
- The Rangers top six forwards and top four defenseman got their lunch handed to them in this game. Absolute dominated. That hasn't been a theme, but now that the season is down to a single game it can't happen again. Thank Lady Luck you survived that game and make sure it doesn't happen again.
- Chris Kreider is a beast. Just so good. And to think we're not even near his full potential. Two goals (and a slew of other chances in the game)? He gets bigger the bigger the stage.
- Now, about the penalty that wasn't a penalty. Something needs to be done in that situation. I can't imagine how none of the four officials who are tasked with watching the play and the puck did not see the puck bounce off the glass AND talked about it and STILL got it wrong. More importantly, if we're going to make massive decisions at that point in a game let's institute some type of policy so that these plays can be looked at. And you can cite human error all you want, but if the Capitals would have scored there and won the game there would have been a lot of rightful rage and anger that would have gone ignored after a few days. A team shouldn't live and die by something like that. Neither should a fanbase.
- The fourth line (read: J.T. Miller and James Sheppard) created the Dan Boyle goal, so they should get credit for that. And the entire unit had a couple of moments where they weren't a disaster, but sometimes you need to shorten your bench as a coach. Tanner Glass didn't play the final shift the fourth line was iced for (Carl Hagelin too his spot) but the trio was out there at 4-3 with Washington's pressure mounting. That really shouldn't happen.
- The extra day off is going to help both teams, but with the mayhem that ensued I think the Rangers are going to be somewhat thankful for the rest. The Capitals have played a lot more hockey, though, so this is probably a wash.
- Just a funny story that I think says a lot about me and everyone else here. I like to think of myself as a very rational fan. I don't think I'm a super homer and I know I'm not one of those people who instantly gives up hope when things go wrong. But sometimes by heart and my head don't agree. As the Capitals marched back to 4-3 I was thinking to myself, "they're going to tie this game and win in overtime I just know it." But when Ryan McDonagh went down my first thought was, "oh God if he's injured Game 7 is going to be tough." And I caught myself and thought it was funny. My heart always wins. Always.
9 to go.