These Rangers are better, and different, than a week ago

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First this: Planning a Live ECF Chat Friday at noon. Let’s talk Rangers-Habs, Rangers-Penguins, Rangers-anything. Be there. I will provide notes to your bosses.

Meanwhile, here’s my column from The Journal News and Lohud.com:

By Rick Carpiniello

Penguins in five.

Those words were printed right here on May 2. There was some derision, and at least two angry e-mails promising never to read anything I write ever again. But most agreed. Rangers would be a long, long shot to upset the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Not looking for an excuse or a reason or an explanation, because that prediction was wrong, awfully wrong, even if it looked accurate after three straight Rangers losses made it 3-1, Pittsburgh.

But let’s be honest here — again, not excusing my level of wrongness — the Rangers who won Games 5, 6 and 7 to become the first team in 17 opportunities in franchise history to come back from 3-1 down were a very different group.

One hundred and eighty degrees different than the one that lost Game 4 in such ugly fashion that Rick Nash and Martin St. Louis, in particular, and the team in general, were booed at the Garden.

They are a very different group, with a different dynamic, a different belief, a stronger focus. So in this next round, in the Eastern Conference finals, they will not be overwhelming underdogs against Montreal. Underdogs, yes, but with a biting chance.

So what happened? Well, out of tragedy comes triumph. The Rangers had a tragedy in their family. As Brad Richards said the day before Game 7, the Rangers would rather have had Martin St. Louis still have his mom than have had the energy and togetherness St. Louis’ loss inspired.

It did inspire. St. Louis getting off that plane in Pittsburgh and going home to Montreal, then getting on another plane and returning for Game 5 — and nobody, not a soul, would have blamed him if he skipped it — changed the Rangers.

It’s impossible to say they wouldn’t have come back from that horrible Game 4 performance, but St. Louis pulled it all together.

How much different were the Rangers? Well, the Penguins got pushed around and frustrated and distracted by a team that pretty much everybody thought was too soft at times. They got outplayed for most of the final 180 minutes of a series by a less-skilled team pretty much everybody thought was too inconsistent.

They got out-willed by the core of a team that has summoned such will so very often when faced with elimination these last three springtimes.

Of course, they got out-backstopped by Henrik Lundqvist, the best Game 7 goalie in the game (NHL-record five straight Game 7 wins, allowing a total of four goals), though Marc-Andre Fleury down the other end didn’t completely implode, and was in fact quite good in Game 7 after tossing a pair of shutouts in Games 2 and 3.

The Rangers did it with speed and depth, their supposed third and fourth lines much better than Pittsburgh’s third and fourth, and most of the series, better than Pittsburgh’s first. Their star scorer didn’t score, but Pittsburgh’s bigger star scored only once.

Alain Vigneault pushed just about every correct button, getting his matchups, getting his guys rest when they needed it, shortening the bench when warranted (while Dan Bylsma, it seems, will inevitably be fired). He preached focus. His players bought.

You look at these Rangers, after the last three games, differently. You have to. They are different. They think they can beat anybody, anywhere, when it counts.

More important, they are closer now than they were during the season or during the roller-coaster series they created with an inferior Philadelphia team.

What this team now feels and believes about itself is obvious and apparent. What it feels and believes is, because of that, anything is possible.

Why not?

Photo by the Associated Press.

 

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215 Comments

  1. ZzZz NYR ZzZz© on

    Actually PruBelongs , its

    SWEDEN SWEDEN SWEDEN!!

    This is a Team Canada vs Sweden Gold medal game rematch . USA got eliminated . This Match up is HANK vs PRICE . Hank wants revenge . Watch for Hank to rise even to another level and this time he has the better team ahead of him . Price has a bunch of overcheavers.

  2. ZzZz NYR ZzZz© on

    By the way Pru Im Canadian and this match up has nothing to do with Countries. It has everything to do with two storied franchises that have been in the NHL for a long time . Its not French vs french (AV) nor is it a international series. That stuff is over and this series is to see whom plays for the Stanley Cup next round. Exciting isn’t it?

  3. Hank in Montreal…Boyle vs Prust…PK Slewfoot….Dale Weise former Ranger turned playoff hero…and finally,,,a few days rest….not sure what all this adds up to…but the one variable we can count on is right here in Carpville…home of Carp, Charps and Boneheads…let the games begin!

  4. ZzZz NYR ZzZz© on

    Sorry Carpy , I see the team ..the same .

    Brassards line , solid all season

    Girardi and McD , awsome all season.

    Staals been good , Boyle defensive.

    “THE” is as always THE.

    All the same. Hanks been good this year ( few bad ones)

    The only thing different is Nash can’t score. He sucks , Stepan is awfull and MSL isn’t scoring .

    I saw a good team all year . We had up and down but we sure didn’t miss the playoffs. We had a good year and to no surprise , we out team 2 teams so far. No one says talent wins the cup. Its the team . ALL year ( except SJ/ANA) we played good and now its paying off.

  5. How bout those classy drink towers at the end of the game. PK slew foot was the target of a few.

    I actually think this is going to be a great series. But I’m still going to enjoy the last few days for one more.

  6. Sioux-per-man on

    I’m enjoying the Penguin WIN for 2 more days!

    Fresh start for Nash. We need 8 more wins. So there is plenty of time for the Nash-o-meter to light up and score some game winning goals. Because of this I still think this team has another level to go to. THE Kreider (playing possessed like game 6), can will help this line look and feel like a number 1 line.

  7. Sioux-per-man on

    I’m excited because THIS team has 4 solid lines that can play. AV doesn’t have to shorten his bench like Torts did two years ago. The #3 line on payroll has been the real #1 line on the stat sheet. Which gives us Richie Rich AND Marty St Louis as our . . (Insert # here) line.

    Don’t you feel like AV is playing the shell game right in front of you. You never know which line you find the GWG under.

    Hank is the better goalie!
    The D is more balanced, with 2 shut down pairs.
    The top three lines can play equal minutes.

    Rangers win in 7!

  8. Admiral Akbar on

    PK Slewfoot scares me.

    He seams to have an extra reserve of energy that most if not all players do not posses. His shot is a bomb, and he seams able to get it through more often than not. He also plays on the edge all games , serving as an instigator, as well as tough guy. He also has a beard reminiscent of the great Yankee-killer David Ortiz, aka Big Papi.

    How will the Rangers contain him?

    How will the Rangers contain Montreal’s speed?

    Will the Rangers be able to score on Price?

  9. Admiral Akbar on

    Sioux,

    You are totally right about the four playable lines AV has. The Rangers probably wouldn’t have made it out of the first round against Philly or would have been doused rather easily by Pittsburgh if they did not roll four lines. The rolling four lines was the best antidote for that awful tiring schedule they had.

  10. I was in the Blue seats for Game 3. I think that game was just so deflating. Somehow the team found energy and skated and played real well. Even the PP was going well, but Fleury denied everything and two sloppy sequences lead to Pens goals. That took all the wind out of everyones sails and they were done.

    That game proved they could still play at the Pens high level but things just bounced badly on them. Too bad. But then came tragedy and the rest we know.

    By the way why didn’t the league look at the nasty slapshot to J. Fest teeth by James Neal. When you look at all the replays… there was obvious intent. Look at his eyes and movement of the stick at the last moment!

  11. Good morning all! Today is a lovely day! I’m nervous but hopeful…nice column Carp, I knew you’d come around :)

    I hope the boys get their rest cause I’m still recovering from Tuesday night.

  12. Admiral,
    The rangers are a fast team, I don’t think the Habs are much, if any faster….they do make plays though.

  13. Nice article, Carp. The Rangers fan buried deep inside your heart might just lurk out yet!

    Rangers in 6!

  14. Stranger Nation on

    Well some of us believed (reference prediction thread for proof). Seriously did not think Pens were great and with The Tang still not 100% and Bylsma front loading his offense, they became very one dimensional.
    Fact is our bottom 6 outplayed their bottom 6 by a long shot. At even strength we were the better team and just needed our PP to not give up any SH or jack-in-the-box breakaways.
    Happy to be playing Hags, not because they are not are very formidable opponent, but ‘style wise’, we match up better than with Bs.

    Do you believe in miracles? Why not us…

    SIRE FATHER!

  15. Matty"Rangersin5!!"Boy on

    Still spelled over the glamorous comeback when left for dead after game 4!!! REVEL in it!! This team is now different. Compete level: HIGH. Loyalty towards each other: HIGH.

    There will be only 4 teams left after tomorrow night. The 2 in the west will throw the kitchen sinks at each other and weaken their opponent for the Cup Final.

    Can we win the east playing like we are? No Boston, Pitt is gone.

    WHY NOT?????

    IF we win the east, can we win in the Cup Finals against a weakened team?

    WHY NOT????

    Can Hank change the way he plays up in Montreal??

    WHY NOT????

    Are we rested going in? Licking our wounds??

    YES WE ARE!!!

  16. Penalty killing will be huge this series especially with officiating and especiallay in Montreal where crowd dictates penalty calls….Rangers have to take away PK’s shot and let someone else beat them

  17. We finished the season with a lot of points, and if we stay healthy, we have the capability to beat any team 4 out of 7.

  18. Good morning, boneheads!

    Nice, Carp. Different team is right.

    Montreal speed? NY can handle it this year, and also can give some problems to Montreal in that department. Also, NY’s defense is much more mobile than Boston’s. They can all skate very well and catch up with their forwards. That includes our third pair, J.Moore can skate. It will be a tremendous series. Can’t wait!

  19. Also, I think MSL will have a different series in front of his home crowd. He will probably have more room to skate too, comparing to big bodies he’d have to go through vs Boston.

  20. Do you guys think the league should have a phone call with Mr Lucic following his post-series handshake antics?

    That handshake line to me is one of the most sacred things in hockey. As a kid, watching grown men bloody each other to a pulp with fights, hard checks, stick work, etc., and then at the very end act like gentlemen and shake hands, say “good job and good luck” was something that really resonated with me and made me love the sport.

    It’s completely classless/ bush-league to disrespect the league, your teammates, your opponents, your city, and your sweater by behaving like a jackass during that handshake.

    Maybe I hold too much value for that final show of sportsmanship, but to me, that handshake is sacred.

  21. “WHY NOT?”

    Love it Carp. That is the mantra from here on out….

    LET’S GO RANGERS! “WHY NOT?”

  22. It’s Milan lucic were talking about here. Class is his middle name.

    Every time i want to make a post about Montreal, about PK, about price vs, henrik, i remind myself that it is Thursday and I am still celebrating the victory over the penguins.

  23. Manny-O-War the Ol' Mucky Terrahawk on

    I guess we will be playing Munn-Tree-Awl. Wonder how that’s going to go. I was thinking they were the easier matchup until they won. Not I’m horrified.

  24. Manny-O-War the Ol' Mucky Terrahawk on

    Do we even know what Milan Lucic said?

    And no, I don’t think the league should speak with him. In fact, I think the league should so MUCH less talking to people and fining people and suspending people. It’s overkill by inconsistency.

  25. Funny, all season long I kept saying nobody but Boston in the East scares me, that we could beat any of them. But watching what I watched of G6 and G7 of the M-B series, I was kind of rooting for Boston. I looked at their defense, and what the Habs did to them, and they looked VERY beatable. Chara looks slow (is he hurt or getting old?) and the three kids have a dynamic offensive upside, but they are frequently out of position defensively. Habs speed KILLED Boston. So I was kinda rooting for Boston last night. Montreal plays a similar game as ours. Can we slow them down? Can we stop PK? Price has played great and has the Olympic Gold in his pocket. Should be a lot of fun! LGR!!!!

  26. Manny,

    As Staal Wart said, at what point does the post game handshake turn into a brawl?

    I think they should come down on this behavior immediately to discourage any future incidents. Give an inch, and a mile will be taken.

    If the league shouldn’t speak with him, surely his captain or teammates should pull him to the side. If I was Chara, I’d reprimand him in the locker room / in private.

    I remember a story that Tie Domi retold where he was acting like a jackass during a game. When he got to the locker room, Messier let him have it and threatened him. You respect the game and your opponent.

  27. Manny-O-War the Ol' Mucky Terrahawk on

    I really don’t think that Chara is one to speak. I think since he’s lost foot speed he’s become a pretty darn dirty and desperate player.

    I’m just sick of the league policing everything that happens. Let the game go on and let the players deal with it. It’s just silly at this point with the water squirt fines and all that garbage. Just let ’em play the game.

    Lucic got punished: he lost, played horrible, flexed like a jackwagon and really lost a lot of respect from other players/fans.

    Remember, he’s the guy that got into a fight with a Canucks fan in Vancouver.

    Also: REMOVE THE INSTIGATOR

  28. There are ghosts here, similar to Flyers and Penguins that need to be exorcised. Boston can wait.

  29. Totally agree about Lucic and the handshake. The handshake has also made an impression on me as well. I thought Brodeur was a jackass for not shaking Avery’s hand, and I think Lucic is the same for that kind of trash talking. Save it for next year, on the ice. To me, the handshake is the ultimate in team sportsmanship. No other sport does it this way. After a football game you might get some informal handshakes, baseball, hoops, you don’t get this. These guys play their hearts and souls out and then shake hands after, just shows class.

  30. Someone on the NBC broadcast made a good point last night. The league fines a player $5000 for squirting a water bottle, but not even a penalty for a spear in the onions? Does that make sense to any of you?

  31. Milan Butcher Lucic to Weise: “I’m gonna to byfuglien kill you next year”. Neanderthal.
    Fasten your belts, ladies and gentlemen. It’s going to be a bumpy, but fast ride and type of Ping-Pong games.

  32. I happen to agree with most. The handshake is what separates hockey from any other sports. It’s been going on for generations, and gives a true hockey goosebumps. If it really happened, it’s a shame and classless. It’s up to hockey veterans to preserve that moment for everyone.

  33. Manny-O-War the Ol' Mucky Terrahawk on

    If that is what Lucic said then I really don’t have a problem with it.

  34. Montreal Dwarfs against New York Midgets.
    Priceless Hank against Handsome Price.
    American Canadian Pacioretty against Canadian American Nash.
    Any suggestions?

  35. Stranger Nation on

    Sat 1pm game in the middle of May: Fail by NHL.
    Sorry but most people dont’ want to sit in on a late Spring Saturday Afternoon and watch NHL hockey.
    Why is this league rinky-kink? Because Buttman diminishes the product to get a 15% ad rate buy increase.
    Hockey in the spring should be at night, but they just don’t get it…

  36. Carp, good points that I somehow forgot to think about. Our “3rd” and 4th lines won that series for us. Usually, it’s been the Rangers getting beat by them, but the fact that we can roll the D Moops line out in almost any situation is a big advantage.

    That’s why I agree with many here that they need to re-sign Moore and Boyle at all *reasonable* costs.

  37. SN, agree. There’s almost no reason to have Conference Final games during the day. Mayyyyyyyybe Sunday, but even that is questionable.

  38. I’m upset i never got around to sending in my pre beard picture because my beard is growing in very nicely.

    I’m absolutely certain my beard is responsible for all the good things happening to the rangers.

    Has nothing to do with them playing well or being galvanized as a team etc.

    Nah, could never be that. Has to be my beard.

  39. Stranger Nation on

    this series may showcase the future of the NHL ‘style wise’ as the post-goon speed game will be showcased. The games will still feature hitting and the after-the-whistle jostling, but for the most part, these teams are carry and create teams, not dump, chase and grind.

    that and THE Kreider will be even healthier.

    Watch out for #81 Eller – he is has been very effective

  40. Manny-O-War the Ol' Mucky Terrahawk on

    Are you guys actually surprised that the NHL is putting Game 1 on Saturday Afternoon? It seems pretty typical to me.

  41. Manny-O-War the Ol' Mucky Terrahawk on

    Last year I wanted to play the Bruins instead of the Maple Leaves because I feared the speed and scoring of the Leaves. Then Boston annihilated us.

    This season we get to try the reverse. No rough stuff goons. Nash doesn’t have to be scared now.

  42. SN – I agree with that assessment however even in a skill speed game I personally find the power forwards the most fun to watch.

    give me a guy who builds speed dips the shoulder and muscles around a d-man any day to a dippy-do type guy.

    It’s why I love watch The Kreider play.

  43. I’m gonig to be hating the Canadiens in less than 24 hours, but if Wiese just flexed when Lucic said that, it would have been so *metal*.

  44. Think AV gets Miller/Fast into the lineup for these types of games or sticks with Dorsett?

  45. _Think AV gets Miller/Fast into the lineup for these types of games or sticks with Dorsett?_

    Can’t imagine AV putting Miller with Boyle and Dom. Maybe Fast, he seems to trust him a lot more in his own zone.

  46. Manny-O-War the Ol' Mucky Terrahawk on

    Dorsett is really fast and, I think, has played well. Fast maybe. I bet this spells the end for Carcillo though.

    I wonder if he gets Diaz in to play against his former team. That tends to get some magic going….

  47. Maybe at some point, but I doubt there are any lineup changes for game one. Except for Talbot getting the start. (s)

  48. So we’ll welcome back some old friends (Prust and to a lesser extent Prust) in this next series.

    Has any of the faithful been following Prust since he has been in MTL? Has his game slipped since he left us for greener pastures? He was great during our run, and “it’s just pain”…

    Weise has had a pretty good showing in the playoffs for MTL.

  49. >>PK Slewfoot scares me.

    A LOT! He thrives on attention. It would be best for the Rangers if the MSG crowd ignored him.

  50. Good morning, Sally! (major Brandon conflict upcoming)!

    The Pitt writers have been tossed overboard. Any Montreal writers youse want to see in the widget? ——–>

  51. King Eddie Eddie Eddie VI on

    Rangers in 6 is worst case. The rangers have had one putrid game in each series so far…..that could be the only Habs’ win

    Robbie – I haven’t mentioned Pierre kissing Kristopher Leztang on the mouth yet today….pleased?

    Thank you

  52. _The Pitt writers have been tossed overboard._

    Asked for their opinion on being tossed, Pittsburgh writers stated: “Wah”.

  53. Matty"WhyNot!!!"Boy on

    Carpy, you made some excellent predictions. Pen’s in 5 was logical and had our boys not had some ‘smelling salts of life’ shoved up their nostrils, it likely would have been.

    Earlier this year, after predicting a 2nd best in division finish, you ALSO predicted the Rangers the 3rd best in the east. That is, with their last 3 games,looking pretty good.

    Which team is better? Montreal or us? Do you feel we are, in fact, 3rd best now?

  54. Matty"WhyNot!!!"Boy on

    whenever I come on the site, I try to click the video above. always interesting!

  55. Gorilla Salad on

    glad our hobbits don’t have to worry about getting mangled by the monsters of Boston

  56. I’ve added Dave Stubbs, who tweets a lot, and Pat Hickey, who doesn’t, from the Gazette, plus Renaud Levoie, who tweets bilingually and our favorite ex-Hab/ex-Ranger, Knuckles Nilan.

    any others?

  57. The Hockey Gods owe the Rangers some puck luck from 1979.

    1979 Game 1 cup finals, the JD-Espo led Rangers (riding high off semis upset of soon to be dynastic Islanders) drill Ken Dryden and the Canadiens, 4-1 at The Forum, the great Ken Dryden looking old and possibly done. Scotty Bowman pulls him in 3rd period. To great disbelief, Bowman announces that career back-up goalie Bunny Laroque (yes, Bunny Laroque!!!) will start game 2 in goal.

    Well, in pre-game warm up, errant shot from Doug Risebrough nails Laroque in the noggin and knocks him cold, carted off to hospital. The rest, as they say, is history: Dryden back in net recovers his hall of fame form, and the Canadiens overwhelm JD and the Rangers 4 straight. Dryden calls it a career and retires on top, and Ranger fans are left wondering “What if?”

    The Hockey Gods owe the Rangers some good luck in Montreal.

  58. >>widget?————>

    Those Twitter feeds really take a toll on page loading time.

  59. Rob in Beantown, 100-Watt Warlock on

    I was torn about who I wanted to play in the ECF, but in hindsight I’m really glad the Bruins lost. Not only because the tears of Boston sports fans sustain me, but because I think the Habs might be a better matchup for us. I’m vibin’ with Manny because last season I was thrilled the Bruins beat the Leaves because I thought the Leaves speed would give us fits, but then Boston killed us and it was the worst thing ever. So lets try the opposite this year and maybe it will be right.

  60. I’m excited to see what this “speed” series looks like.

    I’m not sure this is a better matchup than Boston would have been but I’m stoked we won’t have to worry about Lucic running Hank over every 5 minutes

  61. You forgot to add that in that game 2 1979 series the Rangers were leading 2-0 before it all fell apart.

  62. I believe before game 2 the word got out that JD had hurt his knee and the Habs fired stick side low and that was the series. That and the partying of the young Rangers. Shero never reined them in.

  63. Ron Duguay on rue crescent.

    I really don’t remember that series. I was only 5.

    But i do remember 1986. If Carey Price plays like Patrick Roy in that series, it wont matter what the rangers do.

    Plus we are already hitting posts with regularity. And the refs have started tripping our players in the second round. All the stuff that plagued he Rangers in 1986 have arrived early this year.

    Perhaps those ghosts have been exercised, then.

    No messier,leech, richter and graves to bail us out if we go down 2-0 this year,

    St. Louis Nash lundqvist and Mcdonagh?

  64. Lucic looked like he was gonna cry in that interview…

    Thats the thing with acting like a tough guy in such a controlled setting. It IS a controlled setting, its not standing tall in real life in every situation. Its a game, on a rink, in a sport where fighting is allowed.

    If lucic said Im gonna F you up next year. So what

    If lucic said watch your back tonight, dont go out after in boston ever again.

    Then thats a serious threat, he threatening a guy to worry about something happening away from the rink. Thats a game-changer.

  65. Manny-O-War the Ol' Mucky Terrahawk on

    Awesome avatar, Gorilla Salad! Great to have you on board.

  66. Carp i think fisher has passed away. He was 110 when lived in Montreal in the 1990s and that was 26 years ago.

  67. Manny-O-War the Ol' Mucky Terrahawk on

    This guy is really good for Montreal. Only problem is they tweet in French and English!

    Renaud Lavoie
    @renlavoietva

  68. _Then thats a serious threat, he threatening a guy to worry about something happening away from the rink. Thats a game-changer._

    “Tell your wife or girlfriend don’t even think of coming into the North End at night if I’ve been drinking. The cops will _not_ arrest me.”

  69. No doubt fisher would pick the Habs in 5 tho. He picked the islanders in 7 in 1994. Of course no one thought the rangers could win on Long Island before 1994 anyway. Zubov goal at the coliseum in March of 1994 was first ranger win there since 1990. I guess old red figured islanders would take one in ny and hold serve at the coliseum.

    Patrick Roy had a sixty save game after a kidney infection that playoffs. Who did he beat? The bruins.

  70. I agree about the schedules too SN. but the NHL is a joke. The sweetest thing ever would be the rangers shaking it all off and making bettman hand hank the cup…

  71. Old forum no way the rangers take one.

    New corporate joint (thats 18 years old now) np ghosts except for the new ones we created up there the last few seasons.

    Of course, I’m not posting about the next series since I am still enjoying the last one.

  72. I wish MTL had started a handshake-line brawl in response to Lucic’s comments. Now that would have been sweet!

  73. Im not vibin diaz. I noticed, after game 5 when they showed marty taking the hat and then putting the sticker up on the board. Diaz’s nose was locked into his cell phone, he didn’t even look up when St. Louis passed him by. I go into battle with john moore every day of the week.

  74. Not so sure we got the *better* matchup since the Canadiens were able to beat Boston with *speed*.

  75. Red, white, blue vs. Bleu, blanc et rouge.

    Montreal scored twice in ot in game 4 of the 1979 Cup Finals ,reminiscent of game 1 of the Puttsburgh series. I had a great view of both from Section 442, which is now a luxury box.

  76. I can’t even fathom the outrage if Montreal had lost and Subban had pulled that act in the line. Oh my goodness.

  77. on weise and guys like john mitchell.

    Tell you what. It seems like the rangers and that group of players in hartford under Gernander and then under Torts. Seems like even they move on they prove to be passionate, willing, effective hockey players.. Ex-rangers around the league strive bc they learned how to believe in themselves, and compete like it.

    Gone
    Brandon Dubinsky
    Artem Animisov
    Ryan Callahan
    Brandon Proust
    Lauri Korpisoski
    Michael Del Zotto
    John Mitchell
    Dale Weise.

    Still here
    Henrik Lundqvist
    Dan Girardi
    Marc Staal
    Brian Boyle
    Derek Stepan
    Anton Stralman
    Carl Hagelin

    We are going to look back at these players and say wow all these guys were Rangers at some point.

  78. Stranger Nation on

    I was at Game 3 (OT loss) and Game 4 (win) in ’86. we had 9 total goals in 5 game series. Beezer was a rook who played well but got no support. Piere La Rouche had a great playoff. Ted Sator? wow..

    That season we had 78 pts; 4th in Patrick, first round beat the big bad 1st place Filth (110pts) and then the 2nd place (107pts) Craps.

    Oilers (119 pts) lost an epic 7 game semi-final (Smith own goal) series to Flames who eventually lost to Habs in Cup finals (rookie Roy)

  79. While Price has been pretty good in these playoffs (8-3, 2.15, .926), he was (9-17, 2.90, .905). His career line is now (17-20, 2.68, .911)

  80. There is zippo reason to take dorsett out at this point…zippo!!!

    Manny
    Vibin’ re your 8:50

    The only 2 teams that I was concerned a lot with was Columbus and Boston.

    Mtl is a rugged team though, 2 D men that really really love to hit in the open ice.

    The Eller line and the moen line play rugged, we have the Boyle line and the Brass line (with THE Pouliot) that play rugged. Plus Nash seems to be effectively hitting and never know what enigma might contribute.

    Should be a good series, must get bodies in front of price…hello 4th line, THE Pouliot, enigma, Nash.

  81. I rather have played boston, they looked slow, especially chara. This years ranger team plays a different style which would have been very effective against the bigger, slower bruins. Last years ranger style played right into boston hands. I don’t like this matchup at all, rangers against the habs. I see the habs winning this series in 5 or 6 games. I hope I’m truly wrong and eat crow.

  82. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    I can’t tell you how I feel, my heart is like a wheel, let me roll it, let me roll it, let me roll it to ya…

  83. Stranger Nation on

    Wick – these teams are mirror images in some respect; both have balanced scoring, steady D and solid keepers.

    Our D needs to join the play more to get better chances. Starting doing it in Game 5 and look where we are now?

    Say hello to my little friends…

  84. We are be winning this one – in 6. Nash has to score soon – statistically speaking.

  85. Yeah, Montreal beat Boston playing a very similar style to how the Rangers would play them. Since we have no shot, let’s discuss *offseason* moves.

  86. Doodie Machetto on

    Habs in 5.

    I don’t think they’re a better team. I just think for some reason they have our number, and have had our number for like the past 3 or 4 years. I can’t explain it.

    I just don’t see us winning at the Bell Centre, and I see them taking one game at MSG.

  87. ThisYearsModel on

    I actually think the Rangers would be better off facing Boston. Montreal poses problems for the D with their speed. Boston appeared tired, and Price is better than Rask. Chara is slower than ever. The positives about playing Montreal is that Nash won’t be intimidated by them like he would have by Boston. Henrik will have to overcome his house of horrors, the Bell Centre. We’ll see.

  88. The USA-LAT game was simultaneously one of the most exciting/worst played hockey games I’ve watched in a while.

  89. Gravy

    We’re still going to look back at this conversation and laugh about how we were talking about offseason moves when the Rangers win the Cup.

    May 9th, 2014 at 2:01 PM

  90. Wins are bottom line, but, Rask was still better, statistically, during the regular season and playoffs. If anything, this is one part of Montreal winning that I feel a little better about.

  91. Lundqvist (1.99, .931)
    Rask (1.99, .928)
    Price (2.15, .926)

    Not a big difference, but a difference nonetheless.

  92. Been tied up since yesterday. Must say by beating flyers then going through Pittsburgh(which by the way makes up for all the years of Mario tormenting us and the Francis goal from center ice) having beaten Crosby in Pittsburgh the other night and now having to go to the house of horrors the bell centre with all the atrocious numbers I must say this could be the hockey gods saying why not us and giving us this journey.

    It’s only fitting to have to go through the bell centre to play for a cup.

    France St. Louis does she have many more wins in her.

  93. Manny-O-War the Ol' Mucky Terrahawk on

    I’m with Wick. I wouldn’t change the lineup. Not at all. At least not until it looks like a problem.

  94. Manny-O-War the Ol' Mucky Terrahawk on

    Krys Barch has come to the defense of Lucic and called Dale Weise a *rat*. Don’t get that one…

  95. Even strength …

    Lundqvist: .943, 1.66 (GA/60)

    Rask: .946, 1.44

    Price: .938, 1.83

    Playoff Average: .925, 2.16

  96. Manny-O-War the Ol' Mucky Terrahawk on

    Rask was flat out “not good” during the playoffs. If he plays like himself then the Bruins have the win. Rask was bad. Chara was awful. Lucic was bad. Kecji was lost. Etc.

  97. Stranger Nation on

    So we would rather play the Bruins now they are out of it and the Habs took them out, albeit in 7 games. Well last year you got the Bruins..how did that work out?
    don’t buy into this team is not the same, it isn’t, but style wise, the Bruins are a horrible match up for us.
    Chara’s old? tell boyle as he rag dolls him
    Lucic sucks? Ask McD when he eats glass 5 times a game
    Their D is young? Believe their D scored more than their forwards against us.
    The 4th line? Absolutely kills us.
    We are very lucky to be playing Les Habitantes who are a very good team.

    Just think..NO Jack Edwards!!!

  98. Brooks Laich-ly (see what did there????) to get bought out. Any interest on the cheap?

  99. MattLear,

    Thanks for that contribution. If that handshake line turns into what Lucic and others want it to be, it will be a great loss. When I was young, coaches would tell us that it matters not who wins or loses, it’s how you play the game. And nobody snickered or rolled their eyes.

  100. Rob in Beantown, 100-Watt Warlock on

    I don’t think the league should get involved because I just generally don’t think that’s the kind of thing the league should have purview over. The handshake line should be something that teams do on their own in the interest of sportsmanship and tradition. Generally, I think that’s true right now and 99% of players treat it that way. The handshake line shouldn’t be required and there shouldn’t be rules that govern it. Lucic being an idiot reflects poorly on him and the Bruins, but I don’t think being classless should be fineable on its own.

  101. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Habs series will be the easiest one so far….

    Book it

    Rangers clinch on home ice. Game 6 after taking a 3-1 lead.

  102. Manny-O-War the Ol' Mucky Terrahawk on

    No thank you to Brooks “Laich-ely to be badly injured”

    I’m actually mostly happy with our “bottom” six

  103. I am too, Manny, but thinking if Richards gets bought out, and they don’t want to go the super expensive Stastny way.

  104. Lucic..guys just find new and inventive ways to urinate all over the little bit of purity and honor that the NHL still has running through its veins. Maybe he needs to have something awful happen to him physically or away from the sport so he can stop thinking he’s so damn important and tough.

  105. Carp mentioned something about this opportunity. We talked about this a bit during the regular season as well. In 2012 they played WASH, OTT, and NJ. Most years that’s a very generous road to the Cup Finals. Everyone plays tough but to avoid certain power houses is a big bonus. You just bested Pittsburgh after eliminating the Flyers. That’s a power house + another team that won a ton of games after Thanksgiving. No Boston, no Detroit left to play. Just a similar team riding momentum that just won a series they were an underdog in. One I might add which has maybe the one arena where there is such a thing as home ice advantages. Sounds dangerous in it’s own right but this isn’t a spot or a chance that many teams will have. They need to give themselves a chance to win regardless of this past season or anyone personal career records in Montreal.

  106. Yeah, good job, Rob. If even the Flyers and Crosbys can treat the tradition with respect, it just make Lucic look like more of a buffoon.

    The NHL has some cool traditions that other sports don’t. The more recent stick saulte (thanks to Jags), the handshake, players getting the Cup first, etc.

  107. My only problem with our blueline: Stralman is going to turn back into a pumpkin when the playoffs are over and John Moore has to show some further progress next year and not “Del Zotto out” on us

  108. Agreed with Rob, If you prefer not to shake someones hand like Brodeur did with Avery (though some say it was just because he had a veal parm sandwich he was reaching for) then fine. Be a sore disgruntled loser but keep it to yourself. It takes more a man to stand there and shake someones hand after a loss then it does to talk smack. I’ve played and have had to do it as I’m sure other here have too.

  109. Manny we only make guys that we can trade or let depart via free agency the Captain of this team. That disqualifies Richards completely.

  110. That pic is awesome Manny. Maybe those of us who have already shaved during the playoff beard contest should grown a vintage pair of chops like Hadfield in honor of the original 6 showdown..

  111. LOL love that pic, Mannu. look at that crowd. It’s mildly creepy. I guess that’s what everyone did back then without cell phones to play with during the game.

  112. Manny-O-War the Ol' Mucky Terrahawk on

    I’m so ahead of my time, my parents haven’t met yet

  113. I’ve always kinda laiched Brooks but who knows what he has left. $3MM for a year on the 3rd line then promote Lindberg when he gets hurt sounds interesting enough. Giving him more money or longer term not so much.

  114. Just watched the replay of the BOS/MTL handshake line again. Weise/Emelin should have popped Lucic square in the jaw!

  115. I kind of like how they played it. Stay in his head through the end of the series and get him to give a whiny interview in which he whines about whining.

  116. The interview was easy listening for sure. But a nice haymaker would have been supreme, IMO.

  117. Rob in Beantown, 100-Watt Warlock on

    That second picture is awesome Manny. Any idea what year it’s from?

  118. Carp:

    This is the same team that has been among the league’s best since Christmas. Nothing happened in the past week. The difference is that the Rangers, a skating team that wins through its speed, had dead legs during the tail end of the 5-games-in-7-days stretch. Given a tiny bit of rest, they took again to outskating the Penguins.

    It’s nice that they rallied around MSL, but seriously, that had about as much to do with the outcome as the momentum you always deride.

    They don’t play these games on paper. Yeah, Boston and Pittsburgh have the best teams on paper, but they were both outskated by deeper teams with excellent goaltending.

  119. here’s what i don’t understand
    why would St. Louis’ family have the funeral
    on saturday?
    did they think at the time they were accommodating MSL’s schedule
    or needed to adjust for others?
    thought it would have happened at some point
    wednesday through friday
    and
    as far as nbc….
    the horse race thing
    happens in a definitive time — a minute of racing?
    after a lot of airtime hype and then post-race airtime
    so
    it’s just stupid, overall, to put the game on before rather than afterwards

  120. Was away on business and did not catch the Montreal/Boston game last night. I’m glad we will be playing Les Has. Should be a fast paced and skating series. I also was unaware of Milan Lucic-Dale Weise incident until this morning. Although the guy can certainly play, I’ve lost lots of respect for Lucic over the years because he often plays like a thug. Repeat, not tough just thuggish. And that nonsense about pounding his chest and making an arm muscle is pure bush league. But I saw the video on the web of him telling Weise and another Montreal player on the handshake line that, if this turns out to be true, he is “going to F****** kill them next year” is not only totally over the top but he violated one of the almost sacred and best traditions in all of sport—the post game handshake. This guy is a complete loser in every sense of the word. I do agree that Weise should have kept the remark “on the ice” and not go public. But it all began with Lucic’s boorish behavior. Scroll down after clicking on the link below and take a real close look at the pic from the 1952 Stanley Cup Finals when Rocket Richard beat Boston goalie Sugar Jim Henry for the winning goal. Just look at their faces as they handshake! This is real class, something beyond Mr. Lucia’s capability to comprehend.
    http://dennis-kane.com/tag/sugar-jim-henry

  121. ThisYearsModel on

    Milan Lucic’s behavior is the Bruin attitude in a microcosm. They are always victims. When they attack or hurt someone, they accuse the victims of being soft or cowards. They have some sense of entitlement. Now, they are out to a team that actually played hockey instead of gooning it up. Lucic and Chara are really big babies. Lucic surely has anger issues, as he ends up in fights off the ice too. No respect for them. I would take PK Slewfoot any day.

  122. oh
    btw
    i’m still smiling all over about
    the
    VICTORY
    over the
    pens!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  123. iManny-O-War on

    I take a shirt train ride to Washington Heights and while I’m on it St. Louis has to move the funeral and Konopka gets suspended for PED’s.

    Wow

  124. iManny-O-War on

    I have no idea Rob. Just googled stuff. I love the fans! All in suits and hats

  125. Stranger Nation on

    two of the best hockey cities ready to go at it. Can’t get any better than this.
    throw in Chi and (hopefully) LA and you have three major media markets showcasing NHL.
    How can the league screw this up? let us count the ways…

  126. Great post, TYM. If they’re the targets, they’re victimized. If they’re the attackers, they’re victimized by the callout.

  127. iManny-O-War on

    The Canadiens banged the Bruins around when they had to. That Emelin guy can sure hit.

  128. It’s not cool bully in school. Instead, bully at bus stop where no one can see you.

  129. “If someone tries to bully you, that’s bad. But you know what’s worse? Being a little baby and telling on them. Keep it to yourself.”

  130. Alain Amour on

    I am agreeing frequently with Mister Two First Names today.

    Is this Bizarro World?

  131. curious to start seeing the what the “experts” have to say about this series. Wonder if or how much bias will creep in to the analysis

  132. ThisYearsModel on

    I wonder how Ryan ($6MM per) Callahan is enjoying the playoffs. I also wonder if we would be here and still the captain, if the Rangers would still be here. Somehow, I think not.

  133. Eric, that’s what I tweeted earlier … last three games could be moved depending on WCF matchup.

  134. Matty"WhyNot!!!"Boy on

    KL @10:45. We have gone from ‘What If’ to ‘Why not’????

    Great, memorable time, 1979. Thanks!!

  135. Wait so Game 4 will be the 24th? Uggh, sons 3rd Bday party. Guests werent too happy with me last year during party as it was elimination day vs Bruins…..

  136. Red Fisher still alive at 87 per Wikipedia.

    His autobiography ‘Hockey, Heroes, and Me’, is a great read.

  137. Might explain why we never have interest in konopka

    Re laich…depending on other moves, yes I’d take a chance on laich.

  138. Stranger Nation on

    Habs may be a little startled by THE. Skates like lightning, hits like thunder!!
    More healing time can’t hurt either

  139. Stranger Nation on

    All three meetings between the teams were shutouts. The Canadiens took two of them, including winning the season finale in overtime. Price made 41 saves in that game. A total of four goals were scored in the three games.

  140. Everyone is saying it will be a fast paced series, no one is saying a high scoring series.

    I think Hank/Price are the story here and someone goes on a mini-tear (like 3 goals lol) and carries their team.

    I’m thinking Step for us.

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