Since the New York Rangers can only seem to win a series that goes the full seven games, the team must trick their minds into thinking tonight’s Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals with the Montreal Canadiens is actually Game 7.
I know this sounds silly, but it’s just something that the Rangers have to do. It has not been since the 2007-08 season that the Rangers have won a playoff series in less than seven games. Their head coach at the time was Tom Renney, which is two head coaches ago for the Rangers, and the Rangers’ best player was Jaromir Jagr. This was so long ago that only three players from that 2007-08 season — Henrik Lundqvist, Dan Girardi and Marc Staal – are still currently on the Rangers’ roster.
Although the Rangers have had very good recent success in Game 7s in the postseason, not closing out this series with the Canadiens tonight in Game 6 would be a huge mistake. While the series would be tied at three, a Game 6 loss would cost them the opportunity to play for the Stanley Cup in the finals.
Throw all of the Game 7 stats at me and how Lundqvist is great in them all you want, but there is no way the Rangers have the ability to win a Game 7 in Montreal after blowing a 3-1 series lead. It is not happening. The Bell Centre in Montreal has been the team’s house of horrors since its creation, and the Rangers are lucky to have even won two games there in this series. Nut you saw how crazy the fans were in Game 5 and how the Canadiens responded to them. You think in a Game 7 in Montreal, after coming back from down 3-1 in the series with all of the pressure on the Rangers, won’t be even louder and crazier than in Game 5?
The Rangers’ season rests upon Game 6 in New York City at Madison Square Garden tonight, because the Rangers are not winning a Game 7 in Montreal. Tonight’s Game 6 is the Rangers’ Game 7.