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Rangers 2, Canadiens 1 (Tied 2-2)

The New York Rangers defeated the Montreal Canadiens by the score of 2-1 in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal match-up. The series is now tied 2-2. For a box score, click here.

3 Stars

1st Star – The Goal Post (Likely headed to OT without it)

2nd Star – The MSG crowd (I killed them for their Game 3 performance, but they brought the thunder tonight. Helps that the Rangers actually decided to show up.)

3rd Star – A playoff win on home ice. (I almost forgot what that looked like.)

Post Game Cocktail Recommendation

In recognition of Rick bringing the “Nashty” tonight, I’ve got to go with the Nasty Cocktail.

Gif of the Game

Nash was kind of pumped after his tie breaking goal…

Nash Crash

The reason I named Rick Nash my X-Factor in this series was because of his willingness to go to the net this season. And tonight, he got to the paint early and often.

To me, he sets the tone with this drive early in the first period…

He didn’t score, but he put the Canadiens defense on notice that tonight was going to be much different than Game 3.

BTW, I’m pretty sure this was the reaction of every Canadiens fan watching Price get barreled over…

Then Nash scores arguably the biggest postseason goal of his career with virtually the same move…

A couple of those in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final and 2015 Eastern Conference Final would have been nice. But I digress.

Early Game Saver

After the listless Game 3 effort from the Rangers, falling behind early could have been a devastating blow to the team’s confidence. Which is why this save early in the first period with zeros on the board was so critical…

Lundqvist wasn’t leaned on nearly as much as the first three games, but this save was as big as any he’s made in this series.

Montreal Penalties Are Optional

Complaining about the officiating after a victory is never a good look, but, wow, was it horrific tonight. At times it felt Montreal was purposely attempting to take penalties just to see how much they could get away with.

With the Canadiens already having a two man advantage with the referees on their side, it seemed a bit outlandish when they were then allowed to play with a sixth skater until they tied the game…

Getting your legs kicked out from under you really isn’t THAT dangerous…

Chop to the wrist? Suck it up Smith…

I said stop complaining Smith, your chin shouldn’t have been in the path of that elbow…

In all seriousness, great job by the Rangers keeping their composure as I’m sure it would have been real easy to lose their cool and take an undisciplined penalty while these obvious infractions were egregiously overlooked.

Mini Recap

Now that’s the kind of effort I’m talking about! You could tell from the opening faceoff that tonight was going to be a much different game. Minus Game 3, this has been everything you’d want from a playoff series. Tight checking, great goaltending, intensity, chippiness, and hard hitting. I’m loving every second of it.

Whether you think the Rangers should go with toughness over skill or vice versa, there’s no arguing that tonight’s lineup is easily their best and most balanced.

Although, after playing him just 14 minutes tonight, I can assume AV isn’t exactly comfortable with Holden on defense. Especially after this “attempt” to stop the Canadiens lone goal of the night…

In Holden’s defense, that goal had more to do with an awful line change as well as Stepan and Miller dogging it up the ice, but man, talk about how not to play a 2-on-1. Yikes. With AV similarly not impressed with Klein, you wonder if Kampfer might be an option for Game 5.

Other than that play, tonight might have been one of the best defensive efforts of the season. Montreal went long stretches without a shot on goal and instead of relying on Lundqvist to secure a one-goal third period lead they actually, you know, defended.

Fantastic job keeping the puck away from Price on the dump-ins tonight. Lots of different looks that created offense through turnovers including the first goal of the game…

Speaking of Jesper Fast, he has the potential to provide a 2014 Dominic Moore type impact this postseason. He does all the little things it takes to win in the playoffs.

Is it me or is Ott the biggest p*ssy in the NHL? Always in the face of guys such as Buchnevich, Vesey and Zuccarello, but never the b*lls to step up to Kreider, Miller or Glass. Which is why I have more respect for Brendan “Avery Lite” Gallagher. The Rangers and their fan base are getting a taste of what the rest of the league had to deal with when Sean Avery donned a Blueshirt.

The Rangers are still passing up way too many shots for the miracle pass. It’s the playoffs, if you get pucks and bodies to the net, you will win.

How good was Buchnevich tonight? He made Kreider and Zibanejad look like dangerous hockey players again.

The Rangers have been able to make this a best of three series without any offensive contributions from Kreider, Zibanejad, Hayes, Miller and Stepan. I like the Rangers chances.

Game 5 is on Thursday back in what was formerly known as the Rangers “House of Horrors.”

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

22 thoughts on “Rangers 2, Canadiens 1 (Tied 2-2)

  1. Tremendously happy with the victory but dammit Chris Kreider needs to wake up from whatever slumber he’s in. I thought you could always count on him in the playoffs but jeez he’s been miserable. Passing on that two on one when he clearly should’ve shot the puck pissed me off. I don’t know if what went down three years ago is truly in his head or what but this guy has simply got to play better. I hate being negative especially after a win but FFS.

    Steve Ott should be suspended for trying to bury his skate blade in Zuccarello’s back. He won’t but he should. That was a distinct kicking motion.

    Brendan Smith – Warrior.

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    1. If you look at Ott play, Zuccarello actually hooks his skates out from under him. Ott isn’t trying a back kick he’s actually falling into the boards and losing his balance.

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    2. I disagree with the shooting over passing in that situation. Price is unlikely to get beat by Kreider there. Need the open net the completed pass would have created. Just have to complete the pass

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      1. I’ve been told the refs notice “too many men” by the imbalance between the teams, not by counting the skaters. That explains the no-call. I didn’t make that up either.
        Watched the Sharks and Edmonton after our game and it looks like a completely different game. It is like regular season. Hardly any hitting. Disappointing! I’m guessing the team that comes out of the East will, if stil able to stand up, put a beating on the West.

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  2. Great recap as always Kevin. I love the mix of hockey insight and humor. I did as well say Nash will be just fine as long as he relaxes and goes with the flow. As well that the Rangers win or lose this series in the neutral zone. Last night they won. Only Price made it a close game. We had a +20 shot differential and a big edge in quality scoring chances. Nice adjustment Last 2 periods after 3 odd man rushes against in the 1st. We played as a unit of 5, supported the puck and each other, avoided wasting energy by chasing them for a hit and we still got a lot of body on them and most important we won the neutral zone, had jump, connected on passes aiding a deadly transition game and wound up playing the lions share of the game in their end for the first time all series. Even the 1st 2 games where we split most of the game was on our own zone and that wears you out. Now Montreal is the tired team. Important in games 5 and 6 to keep the pedal to the metal and not let up for a moment! How about the KZB line? They didn’t score but they were buzzing all game, better late than never AV.. in fact kudos for finding the right combinations. 4 dangerous lines when the Weber pairing can’t be on the ice more than 30 minutes.. well played. Best game by far for Zibanijad even if he can’t hit the side of a barn. Best game by far for Step… that point will end debated but his forecheck led to the turnover leading to Nash’s goal and was involved in the play all game rather than being largely unnoticeable. Great 3rd. No short shifting , rope a door shit. 2 man forecheck and surrendered only 1 quality scoring chance that banged the post. Much better strategy me thinks than game 2. 3 out of 4 great games. I’m loving this series LGR!!!

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    1. Interestingly enough Valley said we had only 1 grade A scoring chance last night. The 2 goals are considered low danger shots, especially Fast’s. Nash’s became mid-danger because he got it off so quickly. Valley said the Rangers had zero odd man rushes, 1 screened shots, and no rebounds. He basically said Price could have done that game from a recliner and that has been true of all games except the second one. On the other hand Montreal had 9 scoring chances…

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      1. The Rangers did have no odd man rushes. That much I can agree on. It looked like to me like we had more than 1 screen shots though and I’m not sure about the rebounds, he may be right but our net presence was still much better compared to games 1-3 I thought. Game 2 we had a couple break always and odd man chances so for that I can understand Valley’s point but still was not great from a possession perspective. Credit Montreal for being a great defensive club. Possession wise we were much better game 4. I think the final tally was +20 shot attempts and maybe not ” grade A” but we definitely had more quality scoring chances.

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  3. I liked that you used the word egregious in this post. Have you been listening to Dave Maloney on the radio broadcast a lot lately?

    Honestly though, about the penalties. I didn’t like the fact that they were not calling what seemed to be the really obvious penalties but instead called that hook on Stepan. I think he did actually get him on the hand, but I thought it was weak compared to many others that were missed and could have been called.

    I was informed by the fan sitting next to me last night that it was all because two of the refs were from Canada. I’m not sure if he was serious or if it was because he had about 8 of those wine by the glass things.

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  4. Great write up after a great win. We’ll agree to disagree on the Ott/Zucc incident. Whereas I may buy that Zucc helped, there was a kicking motion and had he connected there would have been a serious injury there. I’d be equally disappointed if that was done by a NYR vs anyone, even Gallagher. Give me a bone crushing clean hit all day everyday, but intent to injure is abominable.

    I too wish Kreider had shot on that 2 on 1, but in his defense he did have a small short side window, and IF that pass had gone through, there was a massive opening for the one timer. Pucks to net though, and good things can happen.

    I haven’t re-watched it, but that whole 6 on 6 goal by Montreal seemed to be caused more by Skjei taking offense to a clean hit and trying to retaliate while in the midst of a change than by anything else in that it delayed the clean change by the Rangers. As I said the other day, it’s great that his testicles finally dropped, but now’s the time to be a touch more restrained and make use of timely hits rather than go all ragemode. Granted Holden did nothing to bail him out, but as much as I’d love “too many men on the ice” to be as review-able as on/offsides is, that part had nothing to do with the goal being scored AND we had a 6th man on as well.

    I’m with the guy above me, the calls not being made are one thing, but when they call such a weak hook as they did on Stepan, that’s where I have the issue. Either call it all, or only call the … egregious … ones.

    Best of 3 and we get to play 2 of the 3 on the road. That actually makes me happier than it should.

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  5. Zucc NEEEEDS to shoot more. Those sweet hands aren’t just good for passing nad ht sooner HE realizes that, the better.

    Vesey and Miller are playing with the confidence that could make a bear shit it’s pants. Did you see the shit they’ve tried to pull on offense? If I were MTL I’d be worried.

    In Post we trust <3.

    The Fast Moore comparison couldn't be better.

    I like Grabner and Lindberg on ice together. I think that Lindberg could learn a lot too. If he bulks down (202lbs right now) and speeds up… well we all remember his hands, right?https://youtu.be/SlUBcEhU60I

    I like the buffer style of hockey. Most of the time a ranger had the puck on transition, it was not for very long, but they acted as a buffer for their pass, so the next ranger had more time and space. It works super well, when we have momentum. It worked wonders for two periods as our transition game really stepped up.

    On the defensive side, I like to call that "Where the fuck did that ranger come from". The backchecking was phenomenal. Every time a Hab tried to move through neutral ice, there were like seven rangers in the way. I swear to god I thought we had too many men on the ice during the initial 5 minutes. It was insane. Possibly the best hockey we've every played.

    Just hope they bring that fire into game 5.

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    1. That’s what playing as a unit of 5 rather than scrambling for a few extra hits or whatever will do. Great comments Dante!

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  6. Tough win …much needed home & 1st P O needed win… teams dont know how they will play (react)when the are up against the wall … not the down 3 zip we got nothing to lose … But the game to go 3 down…. when that happens not much
    else matters so F ‘it lets just play & see what happens
    NYR faced that crucial game and came out flying ;
    Nash a beast ,yes it was intereference but not mean like a gallagher play BUt he hit em hard with body …
    4th line I asked to use end of season…
    Great & lets A V go full bore rotating 4
    Overall didnt shoot enough when given chance …
    ops to pass ? too many times
    best play is a shot -rebound to play off ….
    Hitting : must be maintained as i said but not reckless ..wearing down
    Quicks goal off Defense T O … product of the beating Mont is taking
    Krieds : looks lost even helped Mont score with bad change while puck was
    sitting there before Mont picks it up & goes 2on 1 …
    skated over to bench & saw puck & play yet jumped off & his change was way behind play …
    NHL refs ..as usual i can only say to surmise their plight & failure..”Thats Hockey”
    If J T & Hayes can find it with Zucc & zbad can build on gm4 & IF & IF
    If we win in Mont. thurs … sat we finish this
    Otherwise gm 7 in Mont on Mon? either way we get it done ..L G R

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    1. Good points IMO, though I liked the reunification of the KZB line. Agree that Kreids is not where we need him ( because he thinks too much IMO) but I thought last game was a step in the right direction

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