Saturday, April 18, 2009
The old adage "bend but don't break" is a saying that is always thrown around in sports. Truer words have never been spoken - especially when related to today's 1-0 shutout victory over the Washington Capitals.
What a performance by the one and only, Henrik Lundqvist. He turned back 35 shots to silence the majority of the 18,277 in attendance at the Verizon Center. The Caps tried to throw everything but the kitchen sink at the Rangers and once again the Blueshirts met the challenge head on. The Rangers capitalized on a quick 2 on 1 turn around off of a Washington 4 on 2. Markus Naslund showed great patience and held the puck just long enough to feed a beautiful pass to a wide open Ryan Callahan, who in turn roofed a shot where the peanut butter is - top shelf. I really did not think that 1 goal would be enough as there was still 42 minutes plus left to play. I got to give the players for the Rangers big time props today, they met the physical challenge much better than they did in Game 1.
The defense allowed very few rebound tries by the Caps. Offensively, the Rangers PP was back to its regular season form and was totally ineffective. Trust me, I'm not complaining, the Rangers have walked into Washington and taken a major step in the direction towards winning this first round series.
Some other observations... Bruce Boudreau took a huge chance by starting the 20-year-old Simeon Varlamov, who's played in only 5 games this season. Most people thought "Three or More" would be back in the nets, but Varlamov was and ended up playing well. If you want to place blame for the loss today, blame it on Lundqvist and the Rangers effort. 2 down, 2 to go! Now back to MSG for 2 more games. Let's go Rangers! Over and out.