The New York Rangers, after being down 3-1 in their second-round playoff series vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins, were able to attack and dominate the Penguins for a full 60 minutes and win comfortably at 5-1 to narrow the gap of the series to 3-2.
However, while the Rangers showed in Game 5 that they will not go quietly into the night, the game will just be looked at as delaying the inevitable when all is said and done.
Most teams would love to play a playoff game at home, but you cannot say that if you are the Rangers, especially in this second round. In games 3 and 4, the Rangers played extremely sloppy and lost both home games to the Penguins. So why do the Rangers play so badly at home, you ask?
Well, many have complained how Madison Square Garden is not the same arena and has been very quiet lately. This is very true. After the renovations, the ticket prices have increased substantially enough to price out the die-hard fans, leaving the majority of the Garden crowd to the upper class. What I have noticed with this “new” crowd is less cheering and more booing, which puts an extreme amount of pressure on the Rangers to perform and is probably why they seem to second-guess themselves at home.
Ultimately, I feel the pressure of playing in front of the home fans will again cause the Rangers to struggle, and the Penguins will take advantage and win the series.