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Rangers-Senators Game 3 in review; Live Chat at noon today

Posted By Carp On April 17, 2012 @ 4:28 am In Hockey,New York Rangers,NHL | 167 Comments

Reminder: We are doing a live playoff chat today at noon, internet connection-willing. Be there. And you don’t have to ask questions. If you want to comment on something, like Chris Kreider’s debut, I’d love to hear what you think, too.

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Thoughts:

1) Game 3 was the Rangers’ season in a nutshell. It followed a loss, and they responded. They won it by playing the way they play, defensive, straight-ahead. And they won a game that could have gone either way. How many of those have gone the Rangers’ way this year?

2) They also won because their best player, their MVP, was, well, their best player and their MVP. Henrik Lundqvist was sensational in this game. If you look at the goals he’s allowed in this series, he’s been pretty spectacular in all three games. [2] Loved the way he went after Zenon Konopka, too.

3) Brian Boyle=Beast. But now he’s not just a beast. Now he’s looking like Mario Lemieux, too. He looked like Lemieux on that breakaway, and he looked like Lemieux on the pass that sprung Ryan Callahan out of the penalty box. He did all the dirty stuff. And still blamed himself for taking that penalty, as he did for losing the faceoff in OT that led to the game-winner in Game 2.

4) He’s a guy who’s still young, but blooming a little bit later than some. I think he can get better still. Most important, he wants to get better, and to do what it takes to get better.

5) Interesting how this game really didn’t get nasty. It was physical alright. There were some typical playoff shots delivered, too. And a few scrums. No fights. Really good hockey game.

6) As first-time commenter Stizzy pointed out last night, the stats were lopsided. I don’t put a lot of credence in some of the stats because sometimes they’re home-cooked. Like the hits were 48-33. I can believe Ottawa out-hit the Rangers. I do not believe it was 48-33. Most troubling, as Stizzy noted, was faceoffs. The Rangers won 15, lost 29. Yikes.

[3]7) How about the save from Stu Bickel, and the consecutive defensive plays Anton Stralman made? Wow. Great sign when your fifth and sixth D-men are doing stuff like that.

8) Everybody off the ledge now?

9) I really liked Chris Kreider’s first game, jumping out of school and onto a moving locomotive. He was nervous at first, and he was kicking himself for whiffing on that one shot in close. Maybe he was a little bit unsure at the start. Geez, that’s some jump for a kid, though, and I thought overall he did fine. Would love to see more of him as this goes on, even when Carl Hagelin comes back (assuming the Rangers can win two of the next four).

10) I brought this up with Dave Maloney on the radio last night. If Paul MacLean is going to get all this credit for making the lineup adjustments he made in Game 2 … and I thought Konopka really helped in Game 3, too … then shouldn’t he get some blame for not having enough grit in his lineup in Game 1? I mean, could he really have thought he was going to win by out-finesse-ing the Rangers? Did he watch any of their season? Did he understand why they were the best team in the whole NHL for 80 games? [4]

11) Also thanks to Dave Maloney for joining me in a radio shout-out to Tony from AZ during the intermission. Tony heard it and it meant a lot to him.

12) You guys are nuts with the traffic. I just want to tell you how much I appreciate it.

13) Visting teams went 3-0 Monday night. That runs the total for these playoffs to 14-8 for the road teams. Um, home-ice advantage?

14) You should see the way they cover hockey in the papers up here. The Ottawa Sun treats it the way the Daily News and Post treat the Yankees. Eight, nine pages of stories, photos, stats, back page, front page. They also have something that would drive you guys nuts. A special called: “87 … Sid the Kid Watch.” Yesterday it focused completely on the play on which Crosby knocked Jakub Voracek’s glove away from him. With quotes from Skid, who wasn’t happy to be asked so much about it.

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My Three Rangers Stars:
1) Henrik Lundqvist.
2) Brian Boyle.
3) Anton Stralman.
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Lev’s Three Rangers Stars:
1) Henrik Lundqvist.
2) Anton Stralman.
3) Brian Boyle.
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Sioux-per-man’s Three Rangers Stars:
1) Henrik Lundqvist.
2) Brian Boyle.
3) Stu Bickel.
I’m giving Stu the 3rd star for saving THAT goal that would have made it past Henrik.  Thinking back that is the one play in my opinion, that was the play of the day.  If that goal goes in, its a different game.
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AP photos, above.

 


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URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/04/scrum-in-Game-31.jpg

[2] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/04/Boyle-Game-31.jpg

[3] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/04/Lundqvist-in-Game-31.jpg

[4] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/04/Bickel-save-in-Game-3.jpg