For the third straight game, the Rangers took whatever the Habs had to offer early before taking over the final 40. After spotting Montreal a lead, Zuccarello finally broke through for the Blueshirts first PPG before burying a pretty pass from Hayes for the eventual game-winner. Goals aside, this has been a much different team than I’ve been used to watching. They’ve all of a sudden become a squad that gets better as time ticks off the clock. They’ve adjusted SO WELL defensively up & down the lineup. Tonight I honestly can’t think of anyone who had a bad game. An unbelievable effort all around in a huge spot to put away the Canadiens at MSG.
What else can you say about Henrik Lundqvist? Yes, he finally got some help in front of him but after his worst season that cast a lot of doubt as to what he had left – well, he shut everyone the fuck up. 95% save percentage over 6 games? More saves than any other playoff goalie? Vintage. The Rangers aren’t anywhere near the position to dispose of Montreal tonight if not for Hank carrying them early in this series.
Who’s next? Right now, who cares. The Blueshirts are advancing. They’ve got momentum. An all-world goaltender playing at an all-world level. They’ve proven they can actually defend well & know they’re a better, deeper team than most who can come up big when the lights are brightest. Hayes showed up. Stepan got on the board with an ENG. Girardi was excellent all series & Holden finally had a strong night. Outside of Kreider this squad looks like they’re about to peak. Look out, East.
But I already knew this was gonna happen…