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Rangers-Devils Game 5 in review

Posted By Carp On May 24, 2012 @ 2:51 am In Hockey,New York Rangers,NHL,Stanley Cup playoffs | 413 Comments

[1]

Thoughts:

1) I am not completely sure what to make of this Game 5, and from the array of comments last night (with more to come today, no doubt) not sure what you guys make of it either. Do you look at the start, which wasn’t as bad, probably, as some of the other games, but ended up 3-0 on five shots? Do you look at the comeback and take from that, because even though one goal was fluky and another was an absolute gift, the Rangers did take control of the game for a long stretch? So, did they figure out something? Or do you look at it as a waste of a comeback because of the final result (some complete knucklehead, who called them losers and overpaid, among other niceties, suggested they would have been better off packing it in at 3-0 and conserving energy for Game 6, which, if we had a prize for dumb comment of the year, might be a winner)? [2]

2) The thing that makes me wonder if they did figure out something, if they did find a way to finally outplay the Devils for long stretches—which they will now need to do for most of the next six or more periods—is something Brad Richards said, to paraphrase: That the offense is sometimes easier to come by when you get behind and let it fly a little bit. I don’t think the Rangers want to open up and let fly. But they do need to do a lot of the things they did late in the first and throughout the second and early part of the third. I don’t know that they can.

3) That said, these guys have done whatever needs to be done for 101 games now. They will approach it as “win one game.” And I expect they will play well tomorrow. And I will be the least shocked person on the planet if they’re playing Game 7 Sunday.

4) And by the way, you guys know that Game 6 will be played on May 25, the 18-year anniversary of the Captain’s guarantee and hat trick (plus assist) against the same team, the same goalie, on the road, in the same Eastern Conference final, right? And that Game 7, if needed, will be played on May 27, the 18-year anniversary of Stephane Matteau’s double-OT winner against the same team, the same goalie, in the same building, in the same Eastern Conference final (with the Western champ already decided and on its way to New York/New Jersey for Games 1 and 2)?

[3]5) I know a lot of you were on Henrik Lundqvist last night, especially for the Travis Zajac goal. And I definitely thought he looked to be fighting it a bit. But, seriously, the first goal is a wide open rebound, the second I think hit the skates of two players, the fourth was a wide-open redirection. Maybe without the Zajac goal, the Rangers win. Maybe if he makes a miraculous save on one of the others, as we’ve become accustomed, they win. But he surely ain’t a goat in this game. And the guy down the other end was worse.

6) In fact, Lundqvist’s best save of the game came against Richards, on Richards’ best shot of the game. Holy shishkebob. Richards had a good chance early, a slapper on which Carl Hagelin was robbed on the rebound. But overall, I thought he got a lot less done without Gaborik, than Gaborik got done without Richards. Actually thought Gaborik was pretty good. [4]

7) Beast of the Game, though: Ryan Callahan. Scored the goal off his foot, threw some absolute bombs of body checks, seemed to be there for every blocked shot or broken-up play, put another one behind Martin Brodeur and off the far pipe (what if that one goes in?), and just led the way he so often does, even coming off what I thought was a stinker in New Jersey in Game 4, and even playing with one hand on his stick most of the night.

8) Having both Brandons in the game, Dubinsky and Prust, I thought helped in some of the gritty areas where the Rangers have lacked. Prust had an interesting game with the goal, a couple of penalties, drew a couple, too, and the reverse Greg Louganis. I imagine Brendan Shanahan might call him for a hearing on that dive. Also thought the Rangers’ fourth line had some struggles all night, especially early, but also a few good shifts.

[5]9) How good was Ruslan Fedotenko in this game?

10) Speaking of blame, a lot of people are jumping on Michael Del Zotto for the winning goal, when I thought Richards skated past his check, and Carl Hagelin was late getting back. I’m not sure who was supposed to pick up Ryan Carter, but nobody did. Ballgame.

11) Del Zotto had his shaky moments, for sure, inlcuding the first goal, but who didn’t on the defense? Marc Staal wiped out on the 2-0 goal. McDonagh got obliterated by Bryce Salvador on the 3-0 goal. Dan Girardi three times whiffed on passes as if his stick blade was soft rubber.

12) Some of you guys absolutely quit after 3-0, and I don’t mean gave up on a comeback, but said you were going to stop watching and that the series was over. Does anybody really believe they have no shot in Game 6? Or is this a best-of-five and nobody told me?

13) Was this the last Garden game of the season? And if so, what are they going to do with all the leftover confetti and streamers and fireworks (not to mention the prime rib)?

14) Somebody call Mess.

************************************************* [6]
My Three Rangers Stars:
1) Ryan Callahan.
2) Brandon Prust.
3) Ruslan Fedotenko.
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Josh (age 26) Thomson’s Three Rangers Stars:
1) Ryan Callahan.
2) Dan Girardi.
3) Brandon Prust.
*************************************************
RangerJHW’s Three Rangers Stars (with commentary):
1) Cally (only forward who plays the entire game).
2) Dubi (welcome back).
3) McDonagh.
*************************************************
Mister D’s Three Rangers Stars:
1) Ryan Callahan.
2) Ryan McDonagh.
3) Ruslan Fedotenko.
*************************************************

AP photos, above.


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[1] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/05/lundqvist-on-zajac-goal.jpg

[2] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/05/devils-celebrate1.jpg

[3] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/05/gaborik-goal-vs-marty.jpg

[4] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/05/callahan-post-vs-devs.jpg

[5] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/05/prust-goal-vs.-devs1.jpg

[6] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2012/05/callahan-goal-vs-devs2.jpg