In Search of Lord Stanley: Hank’s Shutout, Glass’ Score and More
What a game. Unlike the playoffs last year where the Rangers seemed listless and lacked energy, this game was an excellent display of a team that wants to win.
Who would’ve thought that Glass would be the one to get the Rangers on the board? Not only did he score the first goal of the game, he scored the first goal of the playoffs!
The first goal of the 2017 #StanleyCup Playoffs belongs to none other than Mr. Tanner Glass. #MTLvsNYR pic.twitter.com/1H59aR6crx
— NHL (@NHL) April 12, 2017
While I (along with many people, except Tony) did have my doubts about him being in the lineup at first, I’m glad he was. We don’t have many players that are as gritty as he is, and when you’re playing the best of 7 series, you really need someone who can hit and wear down bodies. That’s what he brings to the lineup, in addition to his penchant for defending his teammates. Tonight, his backhander took Price by surprise and got the Blueshirts ahead in the first period.
Henrik Turns up the Shine
In the last several days, weeks, months, etc., there have been many people clamoring for Henrik Lundqvist to be replaced by Antti Raanta. “He’s washed up” is one of the most popular
The Hank I saw tonight was not “washed up,” he was on the money. He made some spectacular saves at just the right time and kept the Habs scoreless. I particularly liked this beauty:
HOLY HENRIK! ? #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/GxHdHF5Nur
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) April 13, 2017
In his post-game interview, he talks about how even he gets nervous for the game, but his confidence never wavers. And, yes, that is the Broadway Hat he’s wearing, much deservedly so.
"I had butterflies for two days." – @HLundqvist30 after making 31 saves in the #Blueshirts' 2-0 Game 1 win in Montreal. pic.twitter.com/1nQvlXZAs9
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) April 13, 2017
Not All is Perfect in Rangerstown
While the play was much better than what we’ve seen in the prior weeks, it wasn’t perfect. The defense, particularly Holden (and I really hate to call people out), needs a bit more tightening up. Additionally, the power play really needs some work. Three chances, with a 5-on-3 opportunity, and nothing happened. Price is a world-class goalie, but there were plenty of missed chances.
Silly turnovers in the defensive zone could’ve cost the Rangers the game had Hank not been on point. Nash, Holden, and Zibanejad were all guilty of this.
Unspoken Heroes of the Game
In addition to Hank, Grabner, and Glass, there are a few other players who really came to shine. Fast was consistently in the corners doing what he does best. His feed to Grabner resulted in the empty net goal with just over a minute to go. We all know how quickly the game can change on a dime, and that second goal gave them the edge they needed and the relief those of us watching at home needed.
All in all, they got the win. They oughtta play the same lineup on Friday at Bell Centre, and I’ll be here with the recap after. Let’s make this series 2-0!