Another seventh game

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

The Rangers are pretty good at making us sweat. This club went to seven games twice (Ottawa, Washington) and six games once (Devils) last season. They went to seven games in 2009 (Washington). There was only one series in this time frame that didn’t go to seven games, and that was in 2011 when the Rangers lost to the Caps in five games. If the Rangers are one thing, they sure are consistent.

This series has been on par with the other seven game series the Rangers have played. They appear to have been dominated for most of the games, but have persevered due to their goaltending and defense. They have all been low scoring, although this series has seen a pair of 4-3 blips on the radar. The Rangers may be maddeningly inconsistent on the ice, but they are consistent in their ability to stay in games and make it a series, no matter the makeup of the team.

Heading into tonight, I believe the Rangers have an advantage. The Blueshirts, specifically Henrik Lundqvist, have been very good in back-to-backs. Defense, goaltending, and physical play win seventh games, and those are three areas where the Rangers have advantages (physicality is a slight advantage, especially after Game Six). The Rangers also appeared to finally get under the skin of the Caps, who were clearly frustrated after the loss yesterday.

That said, the Rangers will need to win the special teams battle in order to have a chance to win a Game Seven on the road. They actually lost the special teams war yesterday, but Hank had a stellar game and just would not allow the Caps to score. That was in the friendly confines of MSG. The Verizon Center is a different beast, as noted by the fact that the Rangers have won just once there since 2009.

I guess there is no other way for the Rangers and the Caps to close out a series. Every series these two teams have played have been hard-fought, physical, and relatively low scoring. Special teams will play a factor, but trench battles will also be a factor. If the Rangers control the boards, they will win the game. If they don’t, then they will be on the golf course early this season. Either way, get your life support machines ready.

10 Responses to “Another seventh game”

  1. Chuck A says:

    One PP goal, one Nash even-strength goal, please…

  2. Jeff P says:

    Stay out of the penalty box. Turn around and skate away. Let Caps retaliate.

  3. SteveM says:

    As the great JD once exclaimed,….. “Get your cardiologist, Can’t take much more of this”!!!!

  4. PopsTwitTar says:

    Very interesting information on the refs for tonight – these two refs called the most penalties in the league in 2011-12…Could make tonight more of a special teams game than last night. Via BSH_EricT and @NGreenberg.

    http://twitpic.com/cqawdu

  5. Chris F says:

    Unfortunately, after the Rangers disciplined play last night (taking no penalties during regulation play), I fear the refs are gonna have their whistles ready to go at the slightest Ranger infraction. I expect a number of Capitals powerplays tonight. Our PK better be solid, and our own PP needs to show up…for the sake of the season.

  6. Tim says:

    I thought the rangers didnt do great in back to backs this year. I know they were great last year though.

  7. SalMerc says:

    I can’t see how the level of intensity can be pushed up from the last 2 minutes of each of the last two games. Let’s get this done! No penalties may be too much to ask for tonight. Hope we put Hank in a good position with 5 minutes left, and not be scrambling to breathe.

  8. Rangers Fan in Boston says:

    There are things the Rangers can focus on (staying disciplined, hard forechecking, pucks to the net), but let’s be honest. The way this series has played out, you can’t get any more coin flip than this game. Puck luck could be the determining factor.

    May the hockey gods be Rangers fans tonight.

  9. Ray says:

    Problem with the back to backs is that Washington didn’t choose to play last night, so only the Rangers should be tired.

    The best goaltender hasn’t fared too well in this series. Lundqvist was at his best in Games 2 and 5, while Holtby was the top goalie last night – just one deflection goal with most of the game in his end.

  10. DPeters says:

    Can anyone give me a good explanation for games 6 & 7 being played back to back? NHLPA I would think would not be for this!