We have updated our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the NHL’s online services, you agree to these updated documents and to the arbitration of disputes.
Welcome |Account|Sign Out 
NEW! SIGN IN WITH YOUR SOCIAL PROFILE
OR
Username or EmailPassword
 
SHARE

Rangers vs Flyers

Murphy: Goaltending could make the difference

Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 12:29 PM / Rangers vs Flyers - 2014 SCP First Round

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Share with your Friends


Murphy: Goaltending could make the difference
For Gord Murphy, the difference in the Eastern Conference First Round series between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers, which starts Thursday (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, TSN, RDS, CSN-PH, MSG), is goaltending, and how the Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist will be the biggest difference-maker.

For additional insight into the Stanley Cup Playoff series between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers, NHL.com has enlisted the help of former NHL assistant coach Gord Murphy to break down the action. Murphy will be checking in throughout the series.

Murphy enjoyed a 14-season career as an NHL defenseman before spending seven seasons as an assistant coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets and most recently serving as an assistant coach with the Florida Panthers.

For Gord Murphy, the difference in the Eastern Conference First Round series between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers, which starts Thursday (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, TSN, RDS, CSN-PH, MSG), is goaltending, and how the Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist will be the biggest difference-maker.

"I can see it going seven games, and with New York's home-ice advantage and Lundqvist, that is the deciding factor," Murphy told NHL.com.

Lundqvist went 2-1-0 against the Flyers this season and allowed six goals on 100 shots. In 45 career games against Philadelphia he has 27 wins, four shutouts, a .916 save percentage and a 2.49 goals-against average.

Murphy, who played 14 seasons in the NHL, knows what can happen to players when a goalie has as much success against a team as Lundqvist has against the Flyers.

"Yes, he could get into the opposition's head," he said. "Players start to hesitate, over-think, trying to place their shots and become more discouraged."

Another goaltending factor working against the Flyers is the absence of Steve Mason, who will miss at least Game 1 of the series with an upper-body injury. Ray Emery will replace him.

Working in Emery's favor is his playoff experience. While Mason has started four postseason games in his NHL career, Emery has a 20-15 record in 36 games. He led the Ottawa Senators to the Stanley Cup Final in 2007 and was the backup to Corey Crawford last season when the Chicago Blackhawks won the Cup.

While Emery's playoff experience certainly is a plus, the drop-off in skill level outweighs it.

"Ray Emery can provide quality goaltending and has tons of experience," Murphy said, "but I don't feel it's the same as what a No. 1 like Mason would provide."

---

Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres