See. There is no momentum from game to game in a playoff series. None. If there was, the Rangers would have lost Game 4.
That’s why I’m not ready to put this series in the books yet, especially since Washington was such a dangerous opponent last night.
The Rangers played a very good, very gritty game. But they won only because their goalie was other-worldly.
1) In the previous thread, reader Nasty 1 made a great point. Put Lundqvist on the Caps and Varlamov on the Rangers and this series is over, 4-0 for Washington. Varlamov, good as he’s been, fumbled a bunch of simple shots in Game 4, and if Lundqvist had done the same Washington would have had more than one goal, for certain. Dubinsky on Hank: “I think if there’s ever a doubt in your mind that he’s the best goalie in the world, he’ll prove it to you if you watch his nightly performances.”
2) The captain was OK. He scored the game-winning goal, which made him one of the stars and stories of the game, but he really couldn’t do much. So the goal was his big contribution. But the other was that he stepped aside and that let John Tortorella (not that he wouldn’t have done it anyway) put Dubinsky back at center on the second line. Dubinsky had another great game — he filled that role wonderfully in Game 1, too. Tortorella on Dubinsky: “He’s played well and that’s why he’s getting put into the position he’s being put into. That’s the way it has to be. It’s not about experience, it’s not about paychecks, it’s not about draft picks or where you were (drafted) or who you are. It’s about getting the job done. And I’ve leaned on him quite a bit, him and Ryan (Callahan), in some key situations.”
3) Other stars: Fredrik Sjostrom had a fabulous game, drawing two penalties and getting a short-handed chance all while killing penalties. He and Blair Betts are unbelievable on the PK.
4) Avery. I will never understand the people who actually defend those last two penalties. They were stupid, selfish and undisciplined. I especially don’t get the few who use the “he lost his balance and his elbow/forearm accidentally hit the guy in the head” excuse. He played like a punk on those two plays, and it could have cost his team the series.
5) I guess Rally Towels work better than Thundersicks. Also, we get it, we get it. The Bronx is Burning. OK!
6) Paging Scott Gomez and Nik Zherdev.