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Leaders take charge in Game Sevens

Today is the day. Today is the day we find out what the Rangers are made of. Will they fold under the pressure? Or will their stars come out and shine? Game Sevens are where heroes are born. Game Sevens are where the dreams are crushed. But most importantly, they are where the leaders of the team take charge.

Rewind back to 1994. Brian Leetch scored the only goal in the Eastern Conference Finals until a wild scramble in front of the net. Then a player brought in to lead through the playoff grind, Stephane Matteau, scored the winner in double overtime.

Brian Leetch, Adam Graves, and Brian Noonan Mark Messier (had to, sorry) scored the three goals for the Rangers en route to the Stanley Cup. Messier, got the game winner of course.

Steve Yzerman blasted a laser from the point that ended the only chance the St. Louis Blues ever had of winning a Cup.

The list goes on and on.

This year, it’s the Rangers turn to show what they can do. They brought in Brad Richards to lead through the playoffs. He took control of Game Six. He must do it again in Game Seven. Ryan Callahan must show why he was named captain of the team. Henrik Lundqvist must continue to play out of his mind.

Marian Gaborik needs to show up on the score sheet. Dan Girardi needs to continue shutting down that potent top line of the Ottawa Senators. These are the guys that are going to lead this team now and in the future. These are the guys that need to step up tonight.

The Rangers prided themselves on outworking their opponents in the regular season. They played blue collar hockey the entire year and earned the right to have home ice tonight. They got away from that for a few games, or at least it seemed that way. If there was any time to re-establish their identity, now is the time to do so.

The powerplay has been their savior for a few games now, which still looks odd to write after this past season. Now it’s even strength hockey that needs to carry the load. The Gaborik’s, Stepan’s, Richards’, and Hagelin’s of the team will need to find another gear and put away this pesky eight seed that matches up so well against the Rangers.

The usual suspects lifted the Rangers during the regular season. It’s time for them to lift the team again to the next round.

14 Responses to “Leaders take charge in Game Sevens”

  1. Chris F says:

    Tonight, a hero will be made!

    I would love to see Dubinsky do something special. Do it for Boyler, boys! Do it for NY!

    Let’s Go Blueshirts!

  2. Walt says:

    Gabby has been sleeping this series, and don’t be suprised if he doesn’t have a very good game tonight.

    Personally, I could care less who our hero is tonight, as long as we win, that’s all that counts.

    The D will step it up, and the vets on this team will have to lead, for the benefit of our younger kids. My stomach is in knots, can’t wait to see the hand shake, and rid ourselves of that dirt bag Neil. We win, and this may sound funny, but I think it will be big, 5-1 final Rangers!!!!!

    • Chris F says:

      I love Gaborik, but he really just doesn’t strike me as a playoff performer. I really hope he proves me wrong soon.

      • Matt says:

        It seems like Gabby is becoming for Ranger fans what ARod was for Yankee fans, haha. (until 2009)

  3. PAL says:

    Not that I paid much attention over the years, but I thought I was the only one who ever noticed that Mark Messier never touched the puck that won Game 7 against Vancouver – nice touch indeed!

    • Dave says:

      It’s funny because it’s so poetic that Messier gets the goal, but in reality it was Noonan.

      • Matt J says:

        I met Messier once, and the first thing I asked him was “did you touch the puck in game 7 to get the goal”? He just sort of shot back a grin, and said “I couldn’t tell you for sure if I got a stick on it, but I’m pretty sure I did”.

        I think he really knows he didn’t touch it (which the replay shows) but he sort of made himself believe over the years that he did touch it.

  4. Matt J says:

    I expect a huge game from Brad Richards. His best game as a Ranger came on monday, and the guy has been here before. He knows what it takes to win, and will do whatever it takes.

  5. Chuck A. says:

    Hendricks and Ward – that’s all I’m saying…

  6. Scully says:

    “Mark Messier, COME GET THE STANLEY CUP!” (crowd roars)

  7. Steve D says:

    I think Kreider will get the game winner. The Sens are not looking out for him and he will sneak in and sniper one in the corner. They need to get the crowd into it early and often, they need a fast start. The garden will rock, and not stop rocking until the handshake. This is the way I want to see it.