clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Rangers Vs. Senators: Throwing Them Out The Front Door

New, comments
NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Ottawa Senators at New York Rangers Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
  • Those are about as dominant as a pair of wins as you’ll see from the New York Rangers. Maybe the most dominant we’ve seen in the playoffs. As I’ve said a thousand times before, when the Rangers actually push their skill at the Senators and break the trap Ottawa doesn’t seem to have an answer. When the Rangers defenders are used the way they’re supposed to as well? It’s been overwhelming.
  • More importantly? They kept pushing even with the lead. They didn’t sit back and wait for Ottawa to get back into the game, they kept throwing themselves at them until Ottawa didn’t know what to do with it. The best defense is a great offense. A great offense is a great puck possession game.
  • If you’d have told me the Rangers would get two combined goals by Chris Kreider, J.T. Miller and Kevin Hayes 10 games into the playoffs I’d have told you the Rangers were doomed. It’s shocking they’ve made it this far with those three pillars of the offense not producing as much as they were int he regular season. Although it should be noted, Kreider now has two goals in three games and has been far more active.
  • The reason? Depth. The Rangers have depth up and down the lineup to help them while the bigger guns figure it out. Oscar Lindberg had two goals, Tanner Glass had two assists, and Nick Holden had a goal himself. Depth is what wins you a playoff game and depth is what won the Rangers the game last night — well, that and the dominance of the above.
  • I have a sinking feeling Lindberg is playing himself onto Vegas but we’ll deal with that later.
  • Miller has played better of late, although I’d assume part of that is how well Lindberg has been finishing. Hayes looked a little better than he has been and they do seem to be coming around. If Kreider keeps scoring, Mats Zuccarello and Rick Nash keep doing their things and Derek Stepan keeps the uptrend going? Watch out.
  • This Rangers team is so much Jekyll and Hyde it’s ridiculous. If you put people who knew nothing about the Rangers in the seats for Games 1 and 2 and then Games 3 and 4 they’d think they were different teams. The Rangers that were on their heels in Game 1 and couldn’t hold onto a lead in Game 2 held the Senators to just 23 shots on goal, and that’s inflated because the Rangers put the landing gear down midway through the third. I’d say the proper usage of Brady Skjei and Brendan Smith had a lot to do with it but what do I know.
  • Can you imagine a defense next year featuring Ryan McDonagh, Skjei, Smith and Kevin Shattenkirk in the top four? That would be absolutely dominant.
  • Boy the Senators really do goon things up don’t they? Bobby Ryan on Dan Girardi? Come on, that’s nonsense. Glass had the honor of beating the crap out of Kyle Turris when he started with him; Miller and Kreider got involved at one point, and the Rangers had a 5-on-3 with 23 seconds left in the game to prove it. Smith got into a little fight himself, leaving him bloodied, but I love the way he’s been willing to drop the gloves when needed. I want him to stick around, bad. Ottawa was, without a doubt, trying to set themselves up for Saturday’s Game 5 but if they’re resorting to that then the Rangers are winning that battle.
  • All the pressure now shifts to Ottawa in this series. They cannot lose Game 5. The Rangers set the tone that this side of the team is far superior and can take care of themselves. That pressure should be enough to push back on the Senators in Game 5, and so long as the Rangers come out like their backs are still against the wall they should be able to keep pushing.