Thoughts and observations from Game 4 of the SCF.
I can empathize with the Rangers at this point. I’ve been to the Finals twice and was swept in both appearances (Chicago-1992 and Detroit-1995). Finding the confidence as a team to play your game in Game 4 is a tall order. You’re trying to push back a sea tide at this point.
Pouliot makes it 1-0 Rangers. As the period wears on you’re thinking: why does this lead feel different from others the Rangers have held in this series?
The Zuccarello delay of game penalty creates a shift in momentum. LA carried the tempo for several minutes but New York seems to stabilize. This is an important development because you know LA will be pressing later when the game is on the line. New York will need to push back at that moment if the club is going to see another day.
Notwithstanding the fact that LA is on the brink of closing out this series; it's been entertaining hockey throughout. Never more than a two goal spread.
Gaborik off the crossbar just one minute into the period. Here they come?
With the kind of playoffs he’s had surely just once this series Lundqvist is able to steal a game for his club. He’s making a strong case for doing so tonite.
St. Louis makes it 2-0 on a gritty play driving hard to the net. To this point, this is the strongest the Rangers have looked this late in a game.
Girardi busts his stick as he makes an attempt at the net. Brown grabs the loose puck and makes a terrific move to get LA on the board. 2-1 New York. High drama no? And the $46,000 question is … does this play provide the turning point for LA?
It’s seven minutes into the third before the Rangers register their first shot on goal – their only shot on goal in this period. But credit them for holding the lead in spite of the heavy pressure.
Lundqvist is inspiring. It says a lot about an athlete when he can take his game to another level at a time like this.
Good for New York and good for hockey that the Rangers prevail. From the club’s point of view, that’s a foothold. The lone bright example of what can be done when your goaler outplays even himself and you get a bounce or two. However, you’re still left with the feeling that the inevitable is yet to come. It’s still just a question of what form it will take. The Rangers won’t erase that feeling until they pull off the improbable … winning Game 5 in LA. Only then does this series become interesting again.
See you around the rink.