I would like to give the Rangers credit here. They have found a way to bottle-up the explosive offense of the Sabres. Of course, most will debate the "explosivness" of the Sabres in this years playoffs. We all know it's there, look at the first game of both first and second round series! The Rangers have found a way to stop the Sabres in their tracks. If you watched all four games, the Sabres have slowly faultered their way to average, while the Rangers have stepped up their game ten-fold.
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Jagr has realized that he is still playing in the playoffs, and has been a HUGE force down low and in the slot. Nobody can move him. I heard that Hank is hurting, and that is the reason he is not containing Jagr. Well, I guess I can see that, but I think it is more along the lines that Jagr is using his size to get position on the puck, not to mention his inate ability to get the puck to the net. That's what superstars do: They find ways to score.
Shanny, for being so old, is still a massive presence on the ice, along with on the bench. There is no gauge for experience, other than the amount of grey in the facial hair. But you can just see it out there. It flows out of him, and infects his teamates. Of course, the timely goal scored in Game four was crutial!
Rozsival has heart and guts. You could see the pain he was in after getting hit in game one, and again in game two, so you know he has an injury. To come back in game three and net the game winner took heart and guts! He is by far the best D-man on the team, and it shows.
Lundqvist is playing very solid. He has not had to be superman or anything close, but he has been making the saves to keep his team in the games and allowing them to win the last two. He is not letting juicy rebounds lying around for the Sabres to pounce on, but even if he was, there are no Sabres in front of him loose enough to pound them home. His angles are being covered very well, and other than the post hit by Roy in OT in game three, there have been no gaffs noted.
The only question marks I might see with the Rangers is their other D-men. They are not the fastest, and when the Sabres are on their speed game, they can skate circles around them. The problem with that is when the coach tells his players to dump and chase, that plays into the Rangers hands. They stack center ice and make the Sabres dump. The problem with the Sabres is they won't chase! They don't want to pay the price. So, the Rangers D-men almost always are the first to the puck, and they don't have to worry about getting pounded into the boards, so they know they have all the time in the world to make a play.
I think the Sabres will wake up, like they did in the final minutes of game 4, and realize their game is one of speed, and finish the Rangers off in six. But, if they don't wake up and play their game, the Rangers will be in this until the end, and could easily pull it off.
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