Rangers Vs. Senators: Actually Doing The Right Thing
- It’s shocking, really, that on a night when the head coach does what he should have done from Game 1 of the First Round (at least from a deployment standpoint) the Rangers play maybe their best game of the playoffs. If it wasn’t the best it was certainly up there.
- The biggest difference? Alain Vigneault used his defenseman the way he should have. It was an enormous part of this win, top to bottom. Brendan Smith and Brady Skjei have been the Rangers best pair in these playoffs, and being played like a 1B pairing helped the Rangers control possession, keep Ottawa away from doing any real damage, and allowed the defense to offense transition the Rangers need so badly. It makes a really big difference. /
Final NYR dmen all-situations TOI:— lackinggrit (@lackinggrit) May 3, 2017
McDonagh -- 26:52
Skjei -- 20:13
Girardi -- 20:00
Smith -- 19:39
Staal -- 16:17
Holden -- 14:29
- I told you the Rangers would probably come out and play an all-out game because their backs were against the wall. Why it takes them to be in this situation to actually play a hungry hockey game is beyond me, but here we are.
- When the Rangers put their mind to it, they have the ability to truly drive at teams relentlessly. In their best moments against Montreal they came like waves on a beach. Last night was the first time in this series they’ve done that to Ottawa, and the Senators simply couldn’t handle it. The Rangers need to run straight lines on them, and when they break through the trap they need to keep hammering away at their defense. When the game slows down, the Senators thrive. The Rangers need to keep that going.
- I’m very glad this game was a lopsided as it was, because it should prove to the Rangers that they should be doing this far more often. If *knock on wood* the Rangers make it out of this round there is going to be a monster waiting for them. A monster who is built far better than either of the two teams they’re facing right now. This back and forth, black and white, up and down Rangers will not survive that series. Hell, they might not survive this one -- and almost didn’t survive the last one.
- First game of the playoffs where Henrik Lundqvist didn’t have to do all that much work. Although a few of those saves kept the game from getting either a lot closer or giving the Senators life.
- Mats Zuccarello has six goals so far in the playoffs. In nine game. Didn’t expect that.
- I also didn’t expect Chris Kreider (who I thought was good again last night), J.T. Miller, and Kevin Hayes to have one goal between them. Putting Miller with Tanner Glass and Lindberg is an ... interesting way to get him going. He did get an assist (and what a play that was) but he needs his confidence back badly.
- The power play is just ... things. I don’t know what to do with it at this point. I think they generated some good chances Tuesday, but they just need to find the open space and make things happen better.
- Momentum does play a roll in the playoffs. The Rangers now have a dominant win under their belt and they must win Game 4, too. That pressure has now shifted to Ottawa as well, since them losing would force their own “must-win” Game 5. It’s all very drama drama drama.
- Thoughts? /