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’.