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Rangers 2, Canadiens 0 (NYR 1-0)

The New York Rangers defeated the Montreal Canadiens by the score of 2-0 to take a 1-0 lead in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal match-up. For a box score, click here.

3 Stars

1st Star – Ice machine (I assume ice packs were in demand after this one)

2nd Star – Alain Vigneault (It wasn’t a popular move, but going with Tanner Glass in Game 1 proved pivotal)

3rd Star – The switch (I guess the Rangers were able to turn it on once the postseason began)

Post Game Cocktail Recommendation

Now that’s what you call hockey! Players fighting for every inch of ice and bodies being slammed from one end to the other. So let’s celebrate with an Alabama Slammer.

Gif of the Game

Hell yeah, Tanner!!!!!

Weathering the Storm

I have no idea how many twists and turns this series will take nor how it’ll end, but if the Rangers come out on top we can look back to that first period as the reason why.

If you’re going solely on stats, it was pretty ugly for the Blueshirts (out shot attempted 27-8), but when you’re in the playoffs you can throw the numbers out the window. The Rangers had one goal in that first period: Survive.

With the Bell Centre crowd in a frenzy (The “Luuuuuuuuuundqvist” chant to start the game was epic) and the Canadiens attempting to impose their will physically, if the Rangers allow a quick goal or two, Game 1 could have spiraled out of control real quickly.

But some how, some way (cough – Lundqvist – cough) the Blueshirts came out of that period with a lead which allowed them to take a deep breath during the first intermission and then play their game while doing so in front of much more subdued Habs spectators.

Not Backing Down

During Vigneault’s tenure, the Rangers haven’t exactly had the reputation of being a physical bunch, so going into the series I felt attempting to match the Canadiens hit for hit would be playing right into Montreal’s hands. Man, was I wrong.

The Rangers didn’t back down one inch. When Gallagher, Ott and Shaw tried to intimidate, the Blueshirts, to my pleasant surprise, pushed right back…

A big part of weathering the first period storm was the Rangers proving they wouldn’t be bullied in this series, which may have Claude Julien already questioning his game plan to torment the Blueshirts physically.

Tanner Terrific

My reasoning for wanting Pavel Buchnevich in the line-up over Tanner Glass was to provide more offense. So of course Glass goes out and does this…

Not only was Glass the offensive hero, he was getting in hard on the forecheck and causing havoc in front of Price…

The NHL playoffs make heroes out of mortals and Tanner Glass is just the latest example in its long storied history.

Sorry Pavel, expect Glass back in the line-up for Game 2.

Lovely Lundqvist

Carey Price was close to perfect in Game 1, but guess what…

I had a feeling Lundqvist might come into this series with a chip on his shoulder to prove all his detractors wrong. And if this was just a taste of things to come from Lundqvist this postseason, we might be in for a special Spring in New York.

Early in the game he made this save and I knew he was on…

And from there, he only got stronger and stronger…

Yeah, about those Lundqvist regular season struggles at the Bell Centre, not so much in the postseason…

Mini Recap

It’s the old adage, a good penalty kill will get you far in the NHL playoffs and that’s exactly what the Rangers proved tonight. The back-to-back kills in the 1st period were the turning point in the game in my opinion. If the Canadiens, who were buzzing that entire period, are able to tie the game and go into the locker room with all the momentum, who knows how this game plays out.

Thankfully, Montreal’s pests were more concerned with intimidation and taking penalties than actually winning the game. Let’s hope that trend continues all series long.

Was anyone else secretly hoping that Kreider freight trained Price right here…

While Tanner Glass was the story, his linemates weren’t too bad either as they dominated puck possession. Time and again we’ve seen how impactful a quality 4th line can be to the postseason success of a team (See Rangers in 2014 and Devils in 2012).

Holden just had another turnover while you were reading this recap.

While the Rangers discovered the art of physical play, I thought a key to tonight’s victory was their refusal to take the bait whenever Ott, Gallagher and Shaw attempted to goad them into taking a penalty or losing their cool. If the Blueshirts can remain level headed, they will be very successful in this series.

Game 2 on Friday night.

Remember to follow me on TwitterFacebook & Instagram or e-mail me at nyrfan94@yahoo.com.

18 thoughts on “Rangers 2, Canadiens 0 (NYR 1-0)

  1. Great game! Huge win! Rangers earn at least a split in MTL which is sensational. TANNER FREAKING GLASS!!! I LOVE IT! And Hank was on point all night. Not a hair out of place and flake free thanks to Head & Shoulders.

    You know I could say a thing or two about some particular folks on Twitter after Glass’ goal last night but I’ll refrain. Happy for him. Happy we won. Hope for a two game sweep in MTL but I won’t get greedy.

    LGR!

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  2. Positives:
    Hank
    Rangers speed was on display and looked to give them fits
    Toughness, stood their ground all night and gave as much as they took
    Negatives:
    Holden was a turnover machine tonight
    Power play, no shots on the 5v3 under 5 to play, could have iced the game. Instead no shots on goal and looked like they were just trying to kill 2min

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  3. I was wrong yesterday about Hank for sure. We’ll see if he can string together back to back games like that, I’m still cynical based on how the reg season went.

    On Glass, yes he played his ass off along with his linemates. But that goal? “Tanner Glass picks the Corner” ? Are you f-ing kidding me? That was simply an attempt to center the puck and clear it out of the initial faceoff scrum. That it went in the net is awesome, but no way in hell will I ever believe TG was aiming for the corner in that instant. Nice to see some puck luck in our favor for once.

    I know everyone is upset with the PP, my own wife was screaming at the TV … but I’ll take zero PP goals for, as long as we match it with 0 PP against. Let’s praise the PK which has struggled just as much of late, and yet seemed to get that part figured out last night. Weber got a few shots off, but nothing like the perfect cross-ice one timers that were expected.

    I’m 100% with you Kev on picking up that the boys in blue refused to get baited into offsetting penalties, all while delivering their own timely hits and tossing hands when it was required.

    I do think they need to just tone that back a tiny bit and let their speed turn the game over rather than take one goal leads into the final 2 minutes. I’m not sure they can continuously play that physical game and even if it’s just this series, it could prove to be an issue the deeper they go.

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    1. Glass was totally laser beaming that backhand top corner… don’t let that surprised look on his face when the puck went in fool you 😉

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  4. Fact or Bullshit:
    Rangers can’t play physical hockey. BS
    Anything Price can see he’ll stop. BS
    Rangers have no 4th line with Glass playing. BS
    Limdqvist is washed up. BS
    Rangers have no defense BS (Hank saw practically everything and grade A chances against were few and far between. Net was cleared nicely.. very few second chances on rebounds)
    Girardi can’t play against top players BS ( Dan was in Pacioretty’s face all game, he only had 1 grade A chance and I don’t think Dan was on the ice and that hit was priceless.)

    I love when the pundits and the blog negative pseudo-experts are proven wrong. Just one game of course and the big question is can the Rangers hold up in a long series against these guys. I like Hard hitting hockey but parts of this game we’re about as classless as the Montreal fans. They looked like a team who believes they can’t win playing straight up hockey without Bush league tactics. Nice to be on their heads already. We need to step it up a notch with our passing. Speed and breakout especially on the power play so we don’t get bogged down and warn out by borderline physical play and maybe try Klein instead of turn over machine Holden as he’s a meaner more physical player. Great start. Let’s keep it rolling. LGR.

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  5. Great game outside of the continued idiotic offensive set-up on the 5-3!!! Let’s shoot from the points with 1 person in front of net (clear view) so that Montreal is out-numbering us 3-1 in front of goalie. Two forwards standing by the opposite side boards are not going to beat Price and will certainly not get to any rebounds.

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  6. I loved hearing those “Luuuunqvist” chants raining down at the beginning of the game. You know that just gets Hank’s competitive juices flowing! What a great 1st game. Effectively buries some narratives (Hank is washed, Hank can’t play in the Habs barn, if Glass sees the ice we are toast, we can’t compete with a physical team, Girardi is the worst dman in the league, Price is unbeatable – well that one is almost true!).

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    1. Lol. I said many of the same things above. Also I’ve been commenting a lot this year about Dan having a nice bounce back season this year as the prior 2 were pretty miserable… now the turnover demon has possessed Holden..AGH!

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  7. tanner glass GWG in the house of horrors. with price in net. amazing. glad to see the team show some team-grit as it were. which makes this all the more confusing… the team played tough and glass was scoring. ok. everything has gone bananas. and i love it. thanks for the write up kev. stellar as always.

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