Sam Rosen has called Rangers games for 30 years on MSG Network. He is famous for his ” … and this one will last a lifetime!” call of the Rangers’ 1994 Stanley Cup championship.
Rosen, a New City resident, will provide diary entries throughout this year’s Stanley Cup Final. Here is the second installment:
The Rangers missed an opportunity to get a jump in the series.
I think Game 1 was there for the taking and that was one where the Kings and Darryl Sutter admitted it after the game, that they weren’t there as far as their legs were concerned. The Rangers were the fresher team, and the Rangers played that way.
The first period was great hockey for the Rangers — really used their speed well and had a lot of chances. We’ve seen it before with L.A. This is part of their M.O. They fall behind, they don’t break, they don’t get flustered, they just keep coming at you.
That goal, with Jeff Carter setting it up and Kyle Clifford scoring, that was a huge goal. It more turned on L.A. than stopped the Rangers, because I thought the Rangers continued to play well throughout the second period, too. But overall, you look at the situation and the Rangers played a good game. They were right there. The good points standing out — Henrik Lundqvist playing a great game, giving his team a chance to win.
The key to me is always, you’ve got to score more than two goals to beat an L.A. Kings team. They’re going to keep coming at you, keep finding ways to score. The other good factors for the Rangers: The penalty kill was exceptional, led by Carl Hagelin and his great speed. What a threat he’s become on the penalty kill and as a guy who can score short-handed goals.
So there were good things for the Rangers, but still there were pieces missing and to me, the biggest piece is still that top line. Rick Nash needs to do more. I thought Chris Kreider could have done more, and of course Derek Stepan had a big turnover in the first period that led to the first L.A. goal. That line needs to produce.
From a Rangers standpoint, losing one game is not the end of the world. I think they have to emphasize the positive, know that they can play with the L.A. Kings, feel that they can force the Kings into mistakes, use their speed well and continue to put the pressure on. But they have to know that they have to sustain that for more than two periods. It’s got to be the entire game.
This is the Stanley Cup Final, and they’ve got to show in crunch time and in clutch situations that they really want it. I think if we see that, the Rangers will be OK in Game 2.
What the Rangers have to realize is that the Kings want to be better in Game 2. The Rangers have to be better in Game 2.
Photo (top) by Getty Images.
Sam Rosen photo by Rebecca Taylor/MSG Photos.