People say that momentum doesn’t matter in the playoffs, apparently, for the Rangers, it does. Coming off a 3-2 overtime win in which the Rangers controlled the majority of the TOA (“Time of Attack”) in overtime, it appeared as if that game just continued into MSG. As the series progressed, it was clear that the Rangers used their depth forwards as an advantage. The Rangers rolled all four lines comfortably and players like Tanner Glass, Pavel Buchnevich, Jesper Fast, and Oscar Linberg scored and allowed the Rangers to rest their top two lines. Marc Bergevin, the general manager of the Canadians opted to bulk up at the deadline by acquiring Dwight King, Steve Ott, Brandon Davidson, and Jordie Benn. The physicality shown by Montreal was easily matched by the Rangers who had the most hits out of any team in the first round. The only major acquisition by the Rangers was Brendan Smith who played well in the first round and added a physical element to the Rangers blue line. Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh played great as did rookie Brady Skjei.
How the Rangers beat Montreal:
Physicality: The Rangers matched Montreal’s physical play. The Rangers started the series with heavy-weight Tanner Glass in the lineup. He scored the game-winning goal in game 1 but the Rangers opted to play Pavel Buchnevich instead of him when coach AV saw the physical effort of the team as a whole. 2. Scoring depth: GM Jeff Gorton acquired multiple depth players. Micheal Grabner and Pavel Buchnevich have helped in the series but players like Tanner Glass, Pavel Buchnevich, Jesper Fast, and Oscar Linberg have provided the Rangers with scoring depth and allowed the Rangers to rest their top players. The scoring depth first became noticeable in the overtime of game 5 that the Rangers dominated.
3. Henrik Lundqvist: Heading into the playoffs, there was concern surrounding Henrik Lundqvist and whether he would elevate his play heading into the playoffs. Clearly, he did. The Rangers knew that they were facing Carey Price, one of the best goalies in the NHL. Henrik Lundqvist elevated his play for the playoffs. Hank boasted a 1.70 GAA (“Goals against Average”), and a .947 save percentage with one shutout.
The Rangers won the series because of these reasons. Let’s hope it can continue!
Next up: Ottawa!
One thought on “Rangers advance to the Second Round”
Another great analysis