Archive for Playoffs
It’s another Game 7 for the New York Rangers. This time though, the incredibly skilled Tampa Bay Lightning are what stand between the Rangers and a second straight Prince of Wales trophy. There’s not much else you need to say about a Game 7
As always, GIFs from the game are up on www.newyorkrangersgifs.com. Any feedback to improve searchability would be greatly appreciated.
Derick Brassard delivered.
He doesn’t wear a letter, but the top line center for the New York Rangers delivered last night when facing elimination. Brassard notched a hat trick and two assists for the Rangers, as they forced Game Seven with a decisive 7-3 win in Tampa Bay last night. This game was Brassard and Henrik Lundqvist against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and if Lundqvist is the King, then Brassard was the Prince.
Lundqvist, who made 36 saves, was spectacular last night. Don’t believe me? Check out this save, and this save, and this save, and this save, and this save. The man was unreal all night. In a night where the Bolts dominated all but the third period, King Henrik bailed them out, while Prince Brass ensured this would be sent to New York.
On to the goals:
Another day, another elimination game for the Rangers. This seems to be the status-quo recently. Henrik Lundqvist is 12-3 in elimination games, but the Bolts are probably the best overall team he’s faced in an elimination game since the Kings last year. The Bolts are without Cedric Paquette tonight, so maybe that will help. Then again, it’s been the top-six that have murdered the Rangers defense. Not the bottom six.
The Rangers are in Tampa Bay tonight, looking to stave off elimination and send the series back to New York for another Game Seven. The Bolts have already said they don’t want to come back to New York because, well, what else are they supposed to say? “Why yes, we want to go back to New York instead of trying to close this out in six, so we are going to forfeit”?
Throughout the season, the Rangers dealt with injuries to Ryan McDonagh, Dan Boyle, and most importantly Henrik Lundqvist, and survived. But yet it’s the injury to Mats Zuccarello that throws the offense into a tailspin of inconsistency. Some days they light the opposition up, some days they forget how to score. It’s a testament to how important to the offense –and to the depth– Zuccarello is.
Zuccarello has tremendous chemistry with Derick Brassard, and it appears he was the catalyst for a lot of the offense on that line. However, it’s the need to move players up in the lineup to roles in which they may not be ready that has really affected the lineup. Most notably affected is Martin St. Louis, who should be playing a sheltered, third line role getting offensive zone starts. Now, he’s thrust back into a top-six role.
The Rangers got back to basics on Friday night, limiting the Bolts to one goal after allowing six in two straight losses. With the series tied at two, Game Five has become pivotal. A win for the Bolts means heading home with a chance to close it out. A win for the Rangers means all the pressure is on a young Lightning team. In a series that hasn’t lacked any excitement, tonight should be another pulse-elevating one.
Chris Kreider still isn’t perfect. He still has a lot of growing to do, he takes himself out of plays looking for (but often finding) big hits and until recently, many fans and media alike have demanded more consistency from a player who literally has everything in his tool kit. Hell, Kreider takes too many penalties and isn’t exactly Selke material in his own zone either. In short, there are warts to his game.
The Rangers evened the series against the Lightning with a gusty albeit imperfect win. They were shaky at the back, had to over rely on a brilliant Henrik Lundqvist and will have been delighted that Rick Nash had a breakout offensive performance but one thing is becoming more regular for the Rangers in the playoffs and that’s the development of Kreider.
After two straight games of giving up six goals to a potent Tampa Bay Lightning squad, the Rangers are in desperate need to even the series before heading back to New York. The Bolts won in overtime in Game 3 after the Rangers came back to tie the game twice. The game was an extreme disappointment for the Rangers, who blew a 2-0 lead and put up five goals in a loss. Simply put, if you have Lundqvist in net and you put up five goals, you need to win.
Team defense has been the story of the series, as the Rangers have blown coverages, haven’t back checked, and haven’t gap controlled at all in the last two games. Ben Bishop has been shaky, and the Tampa defense has been exploited, but in order for the Rangers to win, they need to get back to basics on defense.
Boy was this a sloppy, yet exciting game. Neither team remembered how to play defense, but the Rangers were the worse culprits again. This is a team that was one of the top teams in the league in goals allowed, but has allowed a whopping 11 goals in two games. No one on the blue line had a good game, with some egregious efforts all around. In fact, I think Jesper Fast is the only Ranger player I’d say had a good game.
Henrik Lundqvist was human, but you can only really fault him for the last goal, which of course was the overtime winner. He’s been hung out to dry the last two games. If the Rangers played any semblance of defense, they would have won. Ben Bishop has been pretty brutal the last two games. Any kind of strong defensive play, and the Rangers take this game. It’s sad really.
On to the goals:
The Lightning embarrassed the Rangers in Game Two on Monday night, taking advantage of stupid penalties and bad defense to the tune of a 6-2 demolition. Tonight is a new night, and the Rangers will look to rebound and regain the series lead. New York was probably better off getting blown out on Monday, as it forced a mental reset for them.
The Bolts, meanwhile, benefited greatly from special teams. Generally, the refs have let a lot of stuff go in the playoffs this year, but Game Two they called everything. The game was won by the Bolts on the back of special teams, but they also played a lot better at even strength.
This press release was sent to me by the NHL, figured it was worth sharing.
NHL WARNS RANGERS FANS TO BE WARY OF COUNTERFEITERS
DURING EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL
With more counterfeit merchandise during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the NHL aims to educate fans on how to identify the real thing
NEW YORK (May 18, 2015) – As New York paints their town blue and red heading into the Eastern Conference Final, fans are gearing up to support their team by purchasing Rangers playoff gear. With this in mind, the NHL is actively increasing education, awareness and enforcement efforts to help prevent Rangers fans from being victimized by purchasing unauthorized and poorly produced knock-off merchandise.
“Counterfeiters take advantage of sports fans and legitimate retailers around high-profile events like the Stanley Cup Playoffs,” said Tom Prochnow, Group Vice President, Legal and Business Affairs at NHL Enterprises, L.P. “By giving fans the information they need to avoid buying fake gear, the NHL can help protect both consumers and businesses that play by the rules from opportunists selling inferior products.”
The NHL has a comprehensive anti-counterfeiting program to help protect fans looking to purchase genuine NHL jerseys and merchandise. Most important is the NHL hologram that is affixed to all licensed NHL products. To avoid being deceived by counterfeiters, Prochnow urges hockey fans to:
- Look for the hologram sticker or holographic hangtag and a sewn-in or screen-printed label identifying the name of the NHL licensee that has been authorized by the NHL to produce “genuine” or “official” merchandise.
- Shop at legitimate retailers, such as the MSG Store, NHL Powered by Reebok store or Shop.NHL.com, the official online store of the NHL, rather than buying items from street vendors, flea markets, overseas websites or other questionable sources.
- Beware of ripped tags or irregular markings on apparel.
“Rangers fans should remember that everyone is at risk of falling victim to counterfeiters,” Prochnow said. “We want our fans to have mementos that last as long as their memories. They aren’t keepsakes if they contain typos or fall apart after one washing.”
The NHL works in conjunction with federal, state and local law enforcement officials who, throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, will enforce laws prohibiting the sale of counterfeit merchandise. According to the International Trademark Association (INTA), counterfeiting is estimated to have an impact of approximately $650 billion per year on businesses worldwide, resulting in the loss of 2.5 million jobs annually.
Last year, during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, working closely with law enforcement, the NHL was involved in the seizure of more than 4,600 pieces of counterfeit NHL merchandise with a retail value of nearly $750,000. Since 1992, the NHL – through its membership in the Coalition to Advance the Protection of Sports logos (CAPS) – has been involved in the seizure and surrender of more than 10.9 million pieces of counterfeit merchandise featuring the logos of various pro sports leagues, teams, colleges, and universities – valued at more than $410 million.
The Coalition to Advance the Protection of Sports logos (CAPS) is an alliance formed by The Collegiate Licensing Company, Major League Baseball Properties, Inc., NBA Properties, Inc., NFL Properties LLC, and NHL Enterprises, L.P. in 1992 to address common trademark protection and enforcement matters of its members. For more information, call 1-800-TEL-CAPS (835-2277) or visit www.capsinfo.com.