Friday, April 10, 2009
The New York Rangers are in the playoffs by way of a 2-1 win over the much despised Philadelphia Flyers at MSG last night. If not for the King Henrik Lundqvist, Rangers faithful would still be... how do I say this nicely? "Crapping their pants". Lundqvist was outstanding last night. It was a vintage performance that we as Rangers fans have come to expect and enjoy. His performance couldn't have come at a better time as well. His teammates struggled mightily throughout the night.
I was in attendance to witness the game up close and I really have to say it as I saw it, the Flyers took it to the Rangers for most of the 60 minutes. If not for two early goals by the Rangers, the Rangers played on their heels for most of the night. The goals were scored by Markus Naslund, who's goal had to be reviewed and the other goal was by my personal choice for team MVP, Ryan Callahan, who deflected a Derek Morris shot. Where the Rangers nervous? Did they feel the pressure? Probably. As for the Flyers, they would have liked nothing better than to be the ones to stick a fork in the Rangers playoff hopes. Fortunately for the Rangers, the King was on his game.
The only goal that Lundqvist gave up was an empty netter on the PP that Danny Briere finished off from a nice set of passes by the Flyers. From that point on the Flyers really dominated the real estate on the ice and it seemed like the puck was forever in the Rangers zone. Lundqvist came up with save after save including a beauty off a one timer by Daniel Carcillo in which Lundqvist showed cat like quickness to snag it with his catching hand. I thought that it was a goal for sure. Even the King was fortunate when a Claude Giroux shot rang off the crossbar that echoed throughout MSG with 4 minutes to play. The Rangers crowd were doing everything that they could to support the Rangers as the Flyers desperately tried to tie this game. The combination of Lundqvist and the Rangers fans would not allow it to happen.
The Rangers are in the playoffs, who they will face is still an unknown (Boston or Washington). That line that you constantly hear in sports, "Anything can happen" reigns true to a point. With great goaltending which the Rangers have in Lundqvist, you can go a long way. NHL playoffs are a different animal as opposed to the regular season. But even a super goaltender like Henrik Lundqvist is gonna need help and that's up to the skaters in front of him. Congratulations goes out to the Rangers for persevering in tough times. Its been a long and tough regular season... the new season cometh. Over and out!