Tuesday, April 28, 2009

20 minutes left in the season?

We are tied 1-1 heading to the third period of Game 7.

The Rangers have fought too hard to lose this game. They have worked too hard. The key to the third period, three keys for the Rangers:

1) Forwards....keep doing what your doing on defense. Naslund, Drury, Antropov, Doobie, Callahan have had an excellent game come back to help the defense and break up scoring chances in front of Hank. Callahan saved a sure goal with 2 minutes left in the second period. That along with the amazing glove save by Hank in the opening minutes of the second period stand out as the difference so far.

2) If the Rangers can get ONE MORE LINE, to play like Avery, Doobie, and Antropov. (Callahan and Gomez have been strong in spurts) If the Rangers can get one more line to outwork everyone on the ice, to never give up, to fight for every loose puck like those guys are, they will win this game.

3) CALL/DRAW A PENALTY. If the Rangers can get a powerplay, Torts will send out Avery, Doobie, and Antropov (unless they drew it), and they will score. I feel it. These guys have been great all game, they just can't get any space in front of the net. If they can get in a 5 on 4 situation, they will capitalize the next time.

- Avery playing by far his best game of the series, so far has been the best player for either team thru two periods.

- Hank made some very tough saves in the second, including a spectacular glove save at the opening of the period on Kozlov (pictured). I feel good about his game.

- Rangers have to take advantage of the Caps ridiculous gameplan. The Caps are keeping two of their forwards, one usually ovechkin, out past the blue line when the puck is in THEIR zone. They obviously believe this will force the two Rangers defenseman out of the zone, and make it a 3 on 3 situation (their defense and center vs the rangers forwards). They believe they are more skilled, will get the puck, and then flip it out to Ovechkin, and he will have a lot of space in a 2 on 2 situation going the other way. So far the Rangers have used this idiotic game plan to their advantage, keeping the vast majority of the play in the Caps zone. (Somehow the Caps forgot that forwards are usually more talented at controlling the puck then defenseman) By the time Ovechkin has got it, he's been on the ice for almost a minute and is coming to the end of his shift. A more talented offensive team would have buried 2 or 3 goals on the Caps down low with the lack of support from the Capitals forwards. Rangers have to take advantage.

20 minutes for the season.

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