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Rangers Shift All The Pressure On The Penguins For Tonight's Do-Or-Die Game 7

Before I get to the game, I want to make sure I’m following the NHL. This is a $5k fine…

…these are within the rules…

…and this is cool…

…but this equals the $5k fine Lucic received?

Got it. Way to be consistent, NHL. Whatever – ashtray money for Hank.

What’s important is who wins and who schedules tee times tonight. Facing a 3-1 deficit, the Rangers looked like a team conceding their fate. These past two games though have shown what they’re capable of, thanks in large part to sparks from Kreider’s return and the emotion around Marty St. Louis. They were the squad with their backs to the wall – but now, that team is the Penguins. They are the team staring down another disappointing playoff exit. They’re the ones who’ve dropped 7 of their last 8 elimination games on home ice facing the Blueshirts who’ve won 4 straight Game 7’s. Marc-Andre Fleury & his checkered playoff past is protecting their net while Crysby & Co. have to try to figure out a goalie who’s allowed 2 or less in 5 of 6 games. Oh, and Hank’s carrying a sub-1 GAA in those 4 consecutive Game 7 W’s. Good luck.

The blueprint has been established. In Games 2 & 4, the Rangers effort was absolutely pathetic. The Penguins took advantage for sure, but I put those losses more on what the Blueshirts didn’t do rather than Pittsburgh blowing them off the ice. While I’m not pulling a Messier guarantee out of my ass, I find it hard to believe they’ll lay an egg tonight after fighting back so hard. The Pens are certainly capable of beating them outright but have had a real tough time dictating play. As long as NY can push the pace early & take the lead like they have in their consecutive wins, doubt will creep up on Bylsma’s boys real quick. Home fans can turn & a loss could cause a ripple effect throughout the organization. All this group has done since ’09 is disappoint & they’re on the precipice of doing it again. The Rangers are in town to make sure that happens.

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Prep for Game 7 with an impromptu @CharlieWisco NYR podcast featuring yours truly & a few Stoolie Blueshirts fans he rounded up: