Game 6: Let’s get a lead, and keep it!

The Rangers held a 4-3 lead going into the final 2 minutes of regulation, and to be honest, I wouldn’t be comfortable if the Rangers held a 5 goal lead going into the final minutes of regulation. Sixty minutes, that should be the story for the Rangers. I like how coach Alain Vigneault has taken this team out of the shutdown Tortorella era, and moved the team into a fast more offensively focused team. Alain Vigneault played defenseman Brendan Smith twice in the final minutes of regulation and with two different partners. For a good reason though, Brendan Smith has played well, most noticeably in game two of the series versus Ottawa, the Rangers worst game of the series. Three goals were scored by the Senators when McDonagh, Girardi, and Holden were on the ice. Two goals were scored when Staal was on the ice, and only one goal was scored with Skjei on the ice. No goals were scored when Smith was on the ice. In game two Brady Skjei scored two goals and made this crucial defensive play.

Coach AV decided to bench rookie Brady Skjei in the final five minutes of the third period. Why? Is it trust in Veterans? Why did he not take rugged Tanner Glass off the ice? Why did he not put Ryan Mcdonagh on the ice?

Derick Brassard eventually scored with 1:26 to force the game into overtime. In overtime, Micheal Grabner had a goal disallowed because of a high-sticking call. Shortly after that, Kyle Turris won the game for Ottawa. Yes, Brassard may have kicked the puck in, and Kyle Turris may have been offsides but that’s retrospective.

Coach AV said:

“Maybe the guys didn’t know their goaltender was coming [out], but it was less than two minutes and [Ottawa was losing by one goal]”

The Senators did have their best players on the ice, so why have Tanner Glass and Marc Staal on the ice?

Not to mention, Staal was on the ice for almost a two minutes before Ottawa’s offensive zone time, and the Rangers had a chance to get him off during an icing, so why not?

Out of Ottawa’s 60 5 on 5 shots, only 10 of those were strong chances. Marc Staal was on the ice for 3 of those! AV has to play Brady Skjei.

More post-game comments:

Staal: “We’ve found a way to lose some games here. That’s pretty much it, we had opportunities to close out some games. We just haven’t been able to.”

Girardi on the OT goal: “I thought I made a good block, I think it hit me and went back to him and he went behind me. I think he’s trying to shoot high there. I think Hank thinks he’s going high and it just squeaks in. Nothing you can do about it. I thought I made a good play, but it just goes right back to the guy.”

AV: “That’s the only approach we can have right now, We’re down. Can’t lose another game. We’re going back to New York, regroup. We’re going to have 48 hours to get ready for the next game.”

Let’s hope that the Rangers play a 60 minute game!

On to game six and seven!

Let’s go Rangers!


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