Rangers Ready To Advance To The Stanley Cup Finals
Tonight the Rangers are presented with an opportunity to end a series early and go to the Stanley Cup Finals. Let that sink in for a moment and let me repeat it, The Stanley Cup Finals.
The Blueshirts know that nothing is a given even up 3 games to 1. Having scratched and clawed their way from oblivion just the last round, they must not let Montreal to do the same. New York’s leadership group won’t allow the Rangers to get comfortable.
Brad Richards and Marty St. Louis have combined to form a powerful duo in the locker room. Their resolve and poise has reverberated throughout the team and their fire is infectious.
Each and every Ranger knows how Montreal feels right now. They know the importance of starting off with high energy and execution. That’s what the Blueshirts need in the face of the Canadiens desperation.
Matching them shift for shift is what it will take to close them out. Taking advantage of their over aggression will be key to Rangers victory, as it plays right into their quick transition game. However, the most important factor will be to remain disciplined and let the Habs take the penalties tonight.
Henrik Lundqvist will play his best game of the series to date. In the back of his mind, he’s replaying all the heartbreaking losses in his career. Lundqvist still feels the sting of Adam Henrique’s goal in 2012. The King does not want to feel that again.
Martin St. Louis and the rest of the Blueshirts want to end this tonight. Marty told Pierre after game 4 “We gotta close it.” Brad Richards summed it up best. “Little bit of hope can change everything.” The Rangers’ center reiterated that NY came back from 3-1 and added this, “They probably feel like it’s going to go seven. So, it’s far from over.”
A quiet confidence and belief has been building within the Rangers since game 5 against the Penguins. The Blueshirts have won 6 of their last 7 playoff games and in the process have found a scoring touch. 25 goals scored during that stretch for an average of 3.57 goals a game. When you couple that with Henrik Lundqvist’s 1.98 GAA it’s easy to understand why NY has been successful.
Derek Stepan made the trip but is not expected to play. JT Miller suffered a neck/shoulder injury after an unpenalized hit from behind into the Canadiens net, did not make the trip.
Expectation is that Oscar Lindbergh or Jesper Fast will make their way into the lineup tonight.
We have a good feeling here…The NY Rangers WILL ADVANCE to the STANLEY CUP FINALS for the first time since 1994. The FullTilt Crystal Ball says 4-2 win.