The Boston Bruins are a great team. Make no mistake about it. They deserve to be the Stanley Cup Champs. They are fundamentally nearly flawless. They play an outstanding defensive game. They have some superb upper end offense, and an outstanding defense with superb goaltending. They work hard each and every shift, and throw their bodies around with reckless abandon.
Now. Re-read that entire sentence, and instead of Boston Bruins, swap it out for New York Rangers. Outside of the Stanley Cup champs remark, doesn’t all that stuff apply to the Rangers as well? There’s a reason. The Rangers play a damn near identical style to the Bruins. The Bruins are probably better at puck control, but the Rangers also probably have the better horses up front. Little difference here and there, but by and large, very similar teams. As such, the Rangers definitely earned their win tonight, going toe-to-toe with a damn good team, and coming up with an extra time win. It was just a fun game to watch, though it was slightly marred by the flagrant, and exceptionally dangerous check that Ference threw on Ryan McDonagh. The Rangers can only pray that the wonder-kid is doing ok. Rangers can’t afford to have a guy like that go out for any long stretch. This team is built on their defense.
Henrik Lundqvist was outstanding tonight, but, you’d also have to say, he was very lucky as well. So many times he was caught in super-scramble mode only to be totally bailed out by his defense, the post, a body in front, or the puck just being shot high or wide. I’m not used to seeing Henrik in such a scramble mode. The guy is usually outstanding at keeping his cool in the net, not over committing to anything and just being a calming factor in general. Kinda got the feeling his juices were flowing just a bit more than usual. Can’t blame him, this was a huge game, a huge win, and a step in the right direction.
Some food for thought… The Rangers are now 7-2 against the Broooooins over the past 2+ years. Henrik Lundqvist is an unreal 17-5-2 with a GAA of 1.51 (stats courtesy of the HFBoards users, surf and pld459666). I knew the record of the teams over the past 2 years was that, but wow, look at Henriks numbers…those are SICK.