In Search of Lord Stanley: Hank’s Shutout, Glass’ Score and More

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What a game. Unlike the playoffs last year where the Rangers seemed listless and lacked energy, this game was an excellent display of a team that wants to win.

Who would’ve thought that Glass would be the one to get the Rangers on the board? Not only did he score the first goal of the game, he scored the first goal of the playoffs!

While I (along with many people, except Tony) did have my doubts about him being in the lineup at first, I’m glad he was. We don’t have many players that are as gritty as he is, and when you’re playing the best of 7 series, you really need someone who can hit and wear down bodies. That’s what he brings to the lineup, in addition to his penchant for defending his teammates. Tonight, his backhander took Price by surprise and got the Blueshirts ahead in the first period.

Henrik Turns up the Shine

In the last several days, weeks, months, etc., there have been many people clamoring for Henrik Lundqvist to be replaced by Antti Raanta. “He’s washed up” is one of the most popular

The Hank I saw tonight was not “washed up,” he was on the money. He made some spectacular saves at just the right time and kept the Habs scoreless. I particularly liked this beauty:

In his post-game interview, he talks about how even he gets nervous for the game, but his confidence never wavers. And, yes, that is the Broadway Hat he’s wearing, much deservedly so.

Not All is Perfect in Rangerstown

While the play was much better than what we’ve seen in the prior weeks, it wasn’t perfect. The defense, particularly Holden (and I really hate to call people out), needs a bit more tightening up. Additionally, the power play really needs some work. Three chances, with a 5-on-3 opportunity, and nothing happened. Price is a world-class goalie, but there were plenty of missed chances.

Silly turnovers in the defensive zone could’ve cost the Rangers the game had Hank not been on point. Nash, Holden, and Zibanejad were all guilty of this.

Unspoken Heroes of the Game

In addition to Hank, Grabner, and Glass, there are a few other players who really came to shine. Fast was consistently in the corners doing what he does best. His feed to Grabner resulted in the empty net goal with just over a minute to go. We all know how quickly the game can change on a dime, and that second goal gave them the edge they needed and the relief those of us watching at home needed.

All in all, they got the win. They oughtta play the same lineup on Friday at Bell Centre, and I’ll be here with the recap after. Let’s make this series 2-0!

One comment

  • Grabner came to shine? That line was invisible! Hayes, Grabner and Miller were downright terrible last night. I don’t know what game you were watching where you thought Grabner shined. Other than Hank, Tanner had the game of his life. Jesper Fast had an terrific game and a player who I’ve loathed for many years now, Marc Staal was excellent last night. And let’s be honest here, Dan Girardi turned back time and played the way we were used to seeing him play under Torts.

    Holden, played his way out of the lineup in my opinion. The only two times Montreal had consistent pressure came off two horrific clearing attempts by him.

    The powerplay looked especially slow in decisions and pace. Kreider had the puck at the top of the slot and never looked to shoot it. They need to get movement and here’s a novel idea…… SHOOT THE PUCK.

    The Habs have to extremely worried. After the 1st period they couldn’t come with any consistent pressure other than when Holden made mind numbing decisions. They tried to run the Rangers out of Montreal but they were hit just as often and just as hard. The Rangers team speed will give the Habs nightmares all series. Even with some terrible defensive zone turnovers, the Rangers controlled the play after the 1st and dominated play.

    Great win to get an early lead in the series and to put pressure on Montreal’s shoulders. Enough of Hank and Rangers not being able to win in Montreal. Rangers have won 6 of 7 playoff games at Montreal and Hank is now 5-1 vs the Habs when the games count the most.

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