FTHN SCF Report: Rangers Find Inspiration In Netflix, Avoid Sweep
Rangers head coach, Alain Vigneault referenced the Netflix hockey commercial at least 3 times yesterday. You know the one with the hockey coach who walks into a despondent locker room…
The first time was after the team’s optional skate, the second was during a live in-game interview with NBC’s Pierre McGuire and finally in his post game presser. It was a stroke of genius by Alain Vigneault, who used comedy to lighten the mood surrounding his team. Fortunately for him, Henrik Lundqvist was nothing to laugh at in game 4.
— Netflix US (@netflix) June 12, 2014
NY RANGERS 2 vs. LA KINGS 1 (Kings lead series 3-1)
NY had their backs up against the wall, it’s a place the Rangers have excelled dating back to 2012. Henrik Lundqvist has been the man between the pipes in every elimination game and his goaltending is the reason NY is still alive in the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs. At MSG he is 8-0 with a .968 SAVE% and a 0.98 GAA. In the first period, the Kings came out of the gate slow. Maybe it was a case of over-confidence, or maybe the it was Rangers’ desperation, in the end NY jumped out to a 1-0 lead. Benoit Pouliot deflected a high shot past Quick and the Rangers were off and running.
For the first time all series, puck luck was on the Rangers side tonight. It started with the puck lying on the goal line and Jeff Carter’s stick floating over it, only to be thwarted by Anton Stralman’s defensive play.
Marty St. Louis game-winner in the second period was off a broken play to Chris Kreider that somehow found it’s way on to his charging stick. The Kings did get some puck luck at the end of a NYR PP when Girardi’s stick broke and Brown took it in for a breakaway score to cut the lead in half. From that goal on, the LA Kings would outshoot the Rangers by an outstanding margin of 27-3.
PLAY OF THE GAME
In the closing minutes of the third period, Henrik Lundqvist was under siege. A mad scramble in front appeared to end in another Lundqvist save only to have no whistle. Where was the puck?
Video replay would show the puck sliding through Lundqvist’s pads and slowly heading to the line only to be stopped by a pile of snow (a mountain to the Kings). Derek Stepan would swoop in and slap the puck out for Lundqvist to cover.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
The little mound of snow or the Netflix coach? Beyond the shadow of a doubt, Henrik Lundqvist and his incredible 40 save performance takes the honor here. The King lived up to his “elimination” numbers again and keeps the Rangers alive for at least one more game.
Cam Talbot remains sidelined with an undisclosed injury for NY.
GAME 5 PREVIEW
The LA Kings will look to close out the Rangers this Friday night at the Staples Center. In what was easily their most dominant performance of this Final, LA walked away a 2-1 loser. While it may sting now, LA will wake up on Friday morning feeling good. They know sticking with what they are doing should yield a better result.
Although they may not be able to play better than they did in game 4, it was enough to get the win. If not for Lundqvist’s heroics, they could all be flying home with the Cup in tow. Expect the same effort from LA and possibly the same effort from Lundqvist.
For the Rangers, they finally got a break. Jonathan Quick stole game 3 from them and Lundqvist returned the favor in game 4. However, if the Rangers don’t find a way to tilt the ice Quick’s way, it will only be a matter of time before Lundqvist cracks.
If I’m Henrik Lundqvist I’m handing my teammates a GPS with directions to Quick’s goal!!!
— FullTilt Rangers (@NYR_FullTilt) June 12, 2014
Alain Vigneault’s Netflix jokes aside, he juggled his lines and it yielded enough results to win. He may consider restoring his lines for game 5, because his juggling only resulted in 19 shots.
His biggest move was taking Brad Richards and putting him on the 4th line. What he really needs to do is take him off the point on the PP. Richards is not only slowing down this late in the playoffs, he looks tired and he’s actually become L.A.’s best penalty killer. Even Eddie Olczyk commented during the broadcast that he needs to come off.
Will AV do it? We will find out when the puck drops at 8PM EST.