New York Rangers: Doing it the hard way

By Matthew Kirkpatrick

The New York Rangers had a tremendous regular season where they amassed 109 points which was good enough to capture the number one seed in the East.

In theory playing out of the number one seed should allow a team an easier road through the playoffs, bit what the New York Rangers have experienced so far has been anything but.

So far in the playoffs the Rangers have played two knock ’em down, drag ’em out seven game series, and have competed in a total of 12 one goals games. They have compiled a record of 7-5 in those games with four of those games stretching into overtime where they are 2-2.

At times it appears the New York Rangers are getting lucky, but I assure you that is certainly not the case.

A huge part of their winning formula has been the super human goaltending of Hart and Vezina trophy nominee, Henrik Lundqvist.

King Henrik has been rock solid for the New York Rangers thus far posting a 9-7-2 record with a ridiculous 1.66 goals against average, and a .937 save percentage.

If the Rangers are going go all the way it will be riding on Lundqvist’s back.

This team has paid a tremendous price to get as far as they have so far in the Stanley Cup Playoffs by being committed as a team to playing great defense, and blocking a ton of shots.

Game by game the statistics show the Rangers out shooting their opponents by a slim margin, but if you take into account the amount of shots the skaters block it tells a completely different story.

In total the Rangers top defensive pairing of Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi have blocked over 100 shots while playing over 27 minutes per game.

In game three of their second round series versus the Washington Capitals McDonagh played an astonishing 53:17, and blocked eight shots over nearly six periods of play.

Eventually one would think that playing that hard, that often will take its toll on the Rangers, but they just keep finding ways to win. Whether it’s a big save from Lundqvist, or a timely goal from Brad Richards the New York Rangers just keep on coming.





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