As much as it will pain people in Islanders Country, I will pass congratulations to the New York Rangers for winning the Eastern Conference and moving on to the Stanley Cup Finals against the winner of the Kings/Blackhawks series.
Despite rooting for the other team, the Rangers showed me that the better team won the series. It took a grand total of seconds to see what an influence a good netminder is to their team. Henrik Lundqvist was outstanding in game 5, and showed what a clutch performer he can be. He only had 18 saves, but some of them were outstanding in critical moments during the game. The scorers were not a factor in game 6, and their only goal was scored by Domonic Moore who has had a renaissance in the playoffs. He is getting significant playing time, and he is making the most out of it.
However, full marks has to be given to the Canadiens goaltender Dustin Tokarski. The rookie from Saskatchewan played an even more outstanding game last night, but surrendered the loan goal to Moore.
Like it or not, it seemed to be the sudden death of the mother of the newest Ranger, Martin St. Louis, that seemed to bond the team together even more. They had done a very nice job against the cocky Pittsburgh Penguins (so long Ray Shero), as well as the Flyers in the first round.
Then the Habs series and the knockout of Carey Price early in game 1. Was it a deliberate hit to Price? I really don’t think so – but Chris Kreider is not known to have good brakes on his skates.
Then you get the hit from Brandon Prust on Derek Stepan. Stepan DID have surgery, right?
How can you have jaw surgery, and NOT remove the beard and facial hair???? Makes you go hmmmm????
Then John Moore knocks out Dale Wiese in the closing minutes of Game 5 – getting him a two game suspension.
The play was tough and brutal at times, but it was a good series. Montreal does not need to hang their heads down. Despite the injury, they played hard and can be glad for their pursuit of the cup.
Well – expect for the “SUPPOSED” 50 million dollar man…
Thomas Vanek had a horrible series. At times, he was totally lost out there; he definitely not looked like a guy that is trying to secure that BIG PAYDAY. In my opinion – he has lost at least 10 million or more, as a result of his ineptitude.
I am sure the Quebecois will be should “Au Revior” to number 20 as he leaves the country.
As far as for the Western Conference, I have been rooting for the Kings. I especially love how they took down the Sharks after being down 3-0. They quacked their cross county rivals, the Ducks, and now are one victory from being the opponent of the Rangers for Lord Stanley.
I know that NBC and the NHL are salivating over that fact.
I look for the Kings to close it out tonight. It is something that this team, who preaches strong back line defense and goaltending has the offensive guns working overtime. Marian Gaborik has been a god-send to this team. I am sure he is loving the fact that he may get the chance to deny his former team championship glory.
As I am writing this, I am at the Long Island Ducks game and all I can think about is the upcoming hockey game at 9PM.
Aren’t you doing the same thing?
And next week, whether it is the Kings, or the BlackHawks competing with the boys from 33rd street, I know that every fan that bleeds blue and orange, are looking for the team from the west, to be victorious.