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It has been an extremely busy and tiring day for me, so this may be a little disjointed, especially since its 4am and I am falling asleep at my desk.

The thing that struck me about this last game was that, unlike the first game, it wasn’t a 1 man show, it was a cooperative marvel of a performance. The Rangers put on a defensive clinic….well, as much as can be accomplished playing against a team with that kind of firepower, limiting the Capitals high scoring players to outside shots, few to no odd man rushes, and little to nothing in the way of rebound chances. And when they weren’t perfect, Henrik Lundqvist was there to clean up all the garbage.

That is what you need on the road, take the crowd out of it by limiting the quality chances and the “ooh” and “ahh” moments for them to cheer about, and instead keep everything to the outside, and preferably in the oppositions zone.

What I liked about this “defensive” performance was that it was the way in which we attacked the puck in the offensive and neutral zones that enabled us to have this result. This wasn’t a collapse, 1-4, hold on for dear life defensive game. This was a, pressure the puck at every single opportunity, don’t let the opposition gain a head of steam by conceding any territory whatsoever. When a play wasn’t there, we sent it in deep and made them come the whole length of the ice with a forechecker in their face at every major junction. That is a winning recipe, especially when you have you know who between the pipes.

In a rather smart move Boudreau decided to put in his rookie goalie Varlamov to try and save this series, and while it didnt exactly work, Varlamov was superb. I want to stress that unlike 99.99% of the people out there, I really do think putting the kid in was the smart move. Here’s why. The way I look at it is, if you commit to putting Theodore in for game 2, there are only a few possible outcomes. Theodore is going to be awful, give up a ton of goals, and you are going to put Varlamov in anyway, except this time with a huge defecit. Or you stick with Theodore he performs adequately enough, wins, or loses the game, and then you are 100% locked into playing him for the rest of the series because only a total retard would play a rookie goaltender at Madison Square Garden in what would have been a 100% must win game for the Capitals. If you are of the belief that Three-or-more isn’t going to be the goalie to get the Caps deep into the playoffs, then you want the rookie to play his first game at home, where the crowd is behind him, and Boudreau can use the last change to protect him as much as possible. From a tactical position, playing Varlamov here made perfect sense…and it almost worked.

Almost though, doesn’t count in hockey, and the Rangers were able to pick up a monstrous win which puts them up 2 games with 3 of the next 4 games being played at Madison Square Garden. If the Rangers can’t close it out with those odds, then we don’t deserve to be in the playoffs to being with.

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