Browsing Posts tagged Brad Richards

For the second time this post-season, the Rangers rose to the occasion and won a decisive Game 7. Brad Richards wasted little time in the first period, netting the game’s first goal at the 1:14 mark. For the next forty minutes, the two teams failed to register a goal before Michael Del Zotto gave the Blue Shirts a 2-0 lead. The Caps wasted little time, scoring their own goal two minutes later. However, the Ranger defense and Henrik Lundqvist really locked down on the Caps, as they held onto a 2-1 Game 7 victory.

To put it in perspective, the Capitals only managed four shots in the third period. Compared to Ottawa’s 15 shots in their last Game 7, the Rangers third period defense was stellar and they are moving on to face the NJ Devils in the NJ Transit Series.

As a regular commuter on the NJ Transit train lines, I’m not happy at all about this pairing. These two teams are separated by a mere 13 minute train ride from MSG to The Rock in Newark. Fans from both sides will be giving me a headache all week long. However, I expect well-played hockey, so I’ll deal with it.

On the surface, both teams have yet to face a top goaltender this post-season. You could make the argument that Capitals goalie, Brandon Holtby has had his coming out party, but realistically, neither team has faced a proven, veteran goal tender…until now. Marty Brodeur and Henrik Lundqvist are still two of league’s very best. This series will likely come down to goal tending and defensive play. Luckily for the Rangers, their back line has been pretty good and will likely slow down the attack of Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk. Remember, there is a lot of bad blood between these teams so expect a lot of rough play and fights. 

As for the Western Conference, I really don’t know too much about the skill position players. However, I do know that Kings’ goalie, Jon Quick, and Coyote goalie, Mike Smith have been dominant this post-season. As the #8 seed in the West, the Kings have won 8 of 9 post-season games rather easily against the conference’s top two teams. ESPN’s Barry Melrose is picking the Kings in six and Rangers in six, so that’s good enough for me. 

As a whole, the NHL would like a Rangers-Kings Stanley Cup Final. The two largest markets in the country squaring off for the Cup. The Rangers are starved for the Cup while the Kings have never won it. The Kings made it in 1992-93 when they had The Great One, but fell to the Canadiens. 

Playoff hockey will be really exciting in the NY Metro area for the next two, three weeks. Buckle up, it’ll be a bumpy ride. 

I’ll be honest–I thought the Rangers were finished. Choked away another pivotal Game 5 at home. However, a Cam Ward high stick on Carl Hagelin with 20 seconds to go made the difference. Brad Richards knotted it at all at two with only six seconds left. I have no idea how Richards scored the goal. Holtby and a Capital defenseman were clearly in the goal crease and Richards went top shelf off the post to net the equalizer. Given the penalty on Ward, the Rangers started OT on the Power Play and wasted little time scoring the game winner. A Marc Staal laser beam gave the Rangers a 3-2 series lead as this series heads back to Washington.

Crazy, crazy game. That last second goal reignited the Garden and Ranger hockey fans everywhere. At worst, the Rangers will have a Game 7 back at home. A Conference Final match-up with the Devils likely awaits if the Rangers can win one of their next two games. 

From the opening face-off of last night’s Game 3 between the Rangers and Capitals, there was a feeling that this was going to be a special hockey game. Both teams were firing on all cylinders, skating up and down the ice, creating scoring chance after scoring chance. It was such an exciting brand of hockey that both teams decided to treat the fans to an extra 55 minutes of it.

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Stealing the Giants’ famous ‘All In’ saying, the 2011-12 Rangers are putting all of their chips on the table for tonight’s Game 7. As we saw last night, home ice advantage has no impact on the outcome of the game. The Boston Bruins were pushed aside as the Washington Capitals shocked the world by eliminating the defending Stanley Cup Champions. A date with Mr. Ovechkin and the Caps awaits the Rangers if they can get by the Ottawa Senators tonight. 

Like I said before Game 6, the Rangers need to keep attacking the net and put the pressure on Senator goalie, Craig Anderson. Carl Hagelin’s return made a huge difference in Game 6 as he was the fastest man on the ice. Brad Richards and Ryan Callahan need to set the tone early. An early Ranger goal will create an absolute frenzy at The Garden. More importantly, an early lead will help Henrik Lundqvist relax and settle in. Lundqvist needs a Game 7 win in the worst way to silence his critics. 

The Ranger season comes down to sixty minutes in Game 7. Will this team spend Friday preparing for Ovechkin and the Caps? Or will this team be ripped to shreds by the New York media as it heads to the golf course? Tensions will be high and that’s the beauty of sudden death, playoff games. It all comes down to tonight. 

Just three weeks ago, Chris Kreider was suiting up for Boston College. Yet, Kreider, the Rangers’ first round pick, traded in his diploma for a hockey stick and scored the decisive goal to propel the Rangers to a 3-2 win in Game 6. Brad Richards and Derek Stepan also netted huge goals for the Rangers as they overcame an early 1-0 deficit. The officiating was pretty bad and the Senators had a little luck on their side with their second goal, but none of that matters now.

This series will come down to Game 7 and Game 7 alone. Luckily for the Rangers, the game will be played in the World’s Most Famous Arena. Forget about the Senators winning two of three in NYC. This is Game 7 and all bets are off. The Rangers success starts and ends with the play of Henrik Lundqvist. Outside of Game 4, Lundqvist has been brilliant between the pipes and he’ll need to bring his A-Game again in Game 7. If the Rangers play with intensity and passion like they did in Game 6, Game 7 will be an easy win. 

Expect the fans to blow the roof off of MSG and for the Rangers to play off of their emotion. It’s clear that one Ranger in particular, Mr. Carl Hagelin, played with emotion and determination tonight. Hagelin was the fastest man on the ice and the Rangers are a completely different team with him out there. The Rangers need him to take his intensity to the next level as they look to advance to Round 2. 

Ranger Fans: Enjoy this one tonight, but it’s clearly back to business on Thursday. 

The Ottawa Senators have yet to obtain a lead during regulation. Yet, with the series tied at 2-2, a lead in the third period may prove to be the decisive blow that swings this series in their favor.

While the Rangers have lost their last seven overtime playoff games, this team plays extremely well at Madison Square Graden. The Rangers were 27-12-2 at MSG during the regular season, second best in the East. The Rangers have scored only nine goals in the first four games, so more offense will be needed in Game 5. Coach Tortorella has altered the first two lines, having Marian Gaborik skate with Derek Stepan and Artem Anisimov while having Brad Richards skate with Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky. The trio of Richards-Callahan-Dubinsky, who scored 71 goals this season, could ignite the offensive output for the Rangers.

Luckily for the Rangers, Daniel Alfredsson will not travel to New York for Game 5. Alfredsson missed Games 3 and 4 after suffering an injury a devastating blow from Carl Hagelin in Game 2.  

For the Rangers, success starts and ends with goalie, Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist must deliver a huge performance to keep his team in the game. Lundqvist gave up the decisive overtime goal in Game 4, a shot that many believe he should have stopped.

With the series knotted at two, there’s no doubt that the Garden will rocking tonight. The Rangers must play off the crowd and an early lead could be huge to allievate any concerns from Game 4. Game 4 was a bad loss for the Rangers and the loss effectively killed their momentum. A win tonight will put them firmly back into the driver’s seat.

Prediction: Rangers win, 2-0

I’ll be brutally honest–I don’t know anything about hockey. I don’t pretend to know anything, either. Plus, I often defer to Mike, Joe, and the guest writers for the site’s hockey info. But when Mike Francesa is talking hockey and flirts with has Henrik Lundqvist on Mike’s On, I have to get up to speed. 

Ranger-Themed Subway in NYC

Going into this post-season, I couldn’t name more than four current players. (Apparently, Eric Lindros hasn’t been in the league for a few years.)

Anyway, after doing some research and subsequently deciding to play in a playoff pool, the Stanley Cup Playoffs have officially grabbed my attention. Sure, you can say that the Yankees had an off-night and I didn’t have much to watch, but I learned that playoff hockey is pretty sweet. Aside from the Ranger blowout (I’ll get to it), the other two games I watched went into sudden death overtime. I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat, watching the Blues and Sharks battle it out and seeing the Bruins make quick work of the hapless, overrated Capitals. What would make this post-season even better is seeing another New York team bring home a championship. The Rangers took that first step tonight.

I don’t have to write much of a back story about the Rangers. You can read that stuff here and here, but the Rangers are clearly the toast of the town right now. Expectations are huge for this team after finishing first in the Eastern Conference. Lundqvist took the first step in shedding his playoff demons by saving 30 of 32 shots. The Rangers moved the puck pretty well for 2.5 periods before getting a little sloppy at the end, but a 4-2 win is a 4-2 win. Ryan Callahan, Marian Gaborik, and Brad Richards all found the back of the net, so any and all playoff jitters should be gone. 

On the surface, momentum in hockey seems to be predicated by emotion and strong goalie play. The Rangers were successful in both aspects and will look to build on that in Game 2.

P.S. Big ups to the Garden crowd tonight. Place was BUMPIN’.

Another great guest posting from Dave Thomas. Enjoy.

Will the Rangers Choke or Send the Sens Packing?

While the New York Rangers were not able to secure the President’s Trophy and the overall top seed in this year’s NHL playoffs (Vancouver), they are the frontrunners in the Eastern Conference.

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Just a heads-up. I received a great article on the New York Rangers from Mike Smith. Mike will be contributing on a part-time basis for us. Enjoy…

With all the excitement the Giants have created over the past few weeks, the New York Rangers have flown under our radar, even though they are arguably the best team in the NHL. Now that football season is over, the Rangers deserve our attention.

It has been 18 years since their magical Stanley Cup run in 1994 (exactly one-third their previous Cup drought, but I digress) and for the first time in the post-Gretzky era, the Rangers are legitimate Stanley Cup contenders.

If this is the year that the Rangers make another magical run, it will be four these reasons:

The Rangers Need Henrik to be Henrik

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2011 was a crazy year for New York sports. The city added new stars in the form of Carmelo Anthony, Deron Williams, and Rafael Soriano. While no major championships were won, the Giants, Knicks, Rangers, and Yankees all made the playoffs. St. John’s returned to relevancy, winning 21 games and making the NCAA Tournament. Other teams, such as the Mets, Islanders, and Nets faded into oblivion. Without further ado, here are the Top 10 NY Sport moments from 2011:

Christian Lopez Had A Special 2011 Catching DJ3K

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