Welcome to the biggest game in the Rangers recent history, well since the lock out. Those of you who disagree, by all means do so but it doesn’t get much bigger than a do or die game 7 on home ice as the conference’s top seed. Especially with the defending champs and possibly biggest threat (Pens) already out. Musings Time.
Marian Gaborik needs to step up yes, but he hasn’t been that bad. We need more of him, but its times like this that attention is given to the guys like Gaborik and depth guys step up. Exhibit A: Brian Boyle. Exhibit B: Chris Kreider.
Brandon Dubinsky has zero points in six games. Would you like me to remind you how much he earns? What’s the likelihood Dubinsky plays well tonight? I didn’t think so either. See you in a different uniform next October Brandon.
Henrik Lundqvist, Vezina Trophy nominee. Well we’ve heard that before. I just hope the voters take into account the division he played in, his absolute position as most vital Ranger and the fact well, hey… it’s his turn.
The Pens are out. The Bruins are out. The Caps have a goaltending sub plot this April. The Devils and the Panthers aren’t all that scary…. Hey, if this team actually gets past this tricky, awkward Senators team there’s real opportunity to progress. Yes, I am not concerned about the team with Bryzgalov in net.
I wonder how long Brian Boyle is going to be out and how damaging that is to the Rangers (assuming they can squeak past Ottawa).
Respect Time: There is a legitimate chance Daniel Alfredsson, a true modern great of the game, plays his last NHL game tonight at the Garden. Against any other team I’d hope he had a few left in him. Maybe he comes back next year but if he doesn’t…. happy retirement Danny boy.
Apparently Ryan Callahan is ‘fine’ for tonight. And the sun sets and the moon rises. You just know he’d be playing tonight with his arm hanging off. As Prust once said ‘it’s just pain’.
I can’t help thinking that if the Rangers get past tonight then Eminger might get the call in the next series. I wouldn’t expect a coach to make unforced personnel decisions ahead of a game 7 but a new series, a new opportunity, I think Bickel may sit.
Anton Stralman is the Rangers second highest point scorer in this series. Hands up if you saw that coming? Don’t lie!
The one thing (aside from a monsoon of Ranger goals) I want to see tonight is the Rangers come out and beat up Ottawa along the boards and absolutely dictate the physical play. This series hasn’t panned out (physically speaking) how most anticipated. If the Rangers win those battles they will progress. Simple isn’t it?
Dilemma (or not): I have a flight at approximately 5.30am to Barcelona on Friday morning. If I stay up to watch the game (for non regular readers here, I’m based in the UK) there’s a legitimate chance I get totally minimal sleep. What should I do? Miss the game? Consider me tired in advance come tomorrow….
- Marian Gaborik score: yes or no?
- Does Alfredsson retire after this season?
- Does Dubinsky remain a Ranger come September?
- More important tonight: special teams or establishing physical control?
- Will Chris Neil get what he deserves tonight?
- Would you dress Eminger or Bickel in game 7?
That’s your lot today folks. Consider me nervous already. Consider this a huge game that could lead to so much more.
Prediction Time: Rangers 4 Ottawa 2 (Neil gets what he deserves…)