Above are the covers of Friday’s New York Post. Of course there’s the question of taste in their headline, but what they really mean is that – after a 20 Year wait, the Rangers are Finally Back in the Stanley Cup Finals!
For the first time since 1994, the New York Rangers will return to the NHL’s Stanley Cup Championship Series. It’s been twenty years and that’s a long time between visits. In 1994 I was alive and well, living in Manhattan on the Upper East Side. I’m still alive and well, and have left the New York winters for the sunny West Coast of Florida – Sarasota to be specific. But I still root for the Rangers, and even though I don’t watch hockey often these days, I saw every minute of this game.
I’m not really capable of giving an accurate analysis of the game, but it was hard-fought and a struggle for both teams. The Canadiens were facing elimination, and the Rangers decidedly did not want to return to Montreal for a Game Seven. Though the Rangers out shot and seemingly outplayed the Canadiens, at the end of the first period the score was 0-0.
In the second period, Ranger goalie Henrik Lundqvist made a miraculous save, and to that point, it was the highlight of the game.
Sliding to his right, Lundqvist blocked a shot and the puck went up in the air.
With his arm, Lundqvist knocked it even higher into the air – and it stayed out of the goal.
In the second, the Rangers kept the pressure on by dumping the puck in behind the Canadiens goal and then swarming after it, digging and digging. Finally Ranger Ryan McDonagh was able to get his stick on the puck in the corner on the left side and deep. He slapped it over to Brian Boyle who was also in deep on the right side. As the puck slid towards Boyle, Ranger Dominick Moore slid to his left, and found himself in an empty space about 7 feet in front of the nets. Boyle saw him, and fed him the puck.
The Canadians’ Goalkeeper Dustin Tokarski had no chance to stop Moore. In less time than it takes me to write this, Moore had put the puck behind Tokarski.
The time on the scoreboard clock read 18:07 in the second period. The score read 1-0 NY.
Staying tough, and even keeping up the offensive pressure in the third period, the Rangers kept the Canadiens at bay. With about 1:53 left in the game, the Montreal Coach, Michel Therrien pulled his goalie off the ice, giving his team a 6-5 advantage in skaters. But they could not get one past Lundqvist.
Hello Stanley – see you soon.