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House-Honeoye; Home-Buffalo!, NY • United States • 36 Years Old • Male

Give the Rangers Credit

Posted 10:26 AM ET | Comments 2
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.

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.
Filed Under:   Rangers   Sabres   Jagr  
May 4, 2007 10:26 AM ET | Delete
your last paragraph begins: "i think the sabres will wake up"......that just proves that the rangers aren't doing anything special.....it's the fact that the sabres have yet to sustain their style of hockey......when they do play it (4:05 of game one and the final 10:00 on tuesday) the rangers have to hang on for dear life and cannot hang with them......if the rangers deserve any credit at all, that credit needs to be tossed @ lundqvist.....well, i gues credit can be given to the rangers for causing the sabres to exhibit what seems like a mysterious disinterest in the past 3 games.....if the 'bres show up and play a full, or even 1/2 a game by playing SABRE'S HOCKEY, the rags have no prayer whatsoever
May 4, 2007 10:39 AM ET | Delete
But think about how the Rangers have found a way to win the last two games! Jagr is a force that none of the Sabres have been able to control in the last two games. Now, is part of the "wake up" that the d-men pick it up? Sure, but they still have to contain a player that has the ability to take a mile when given an inch. The speed game will win the Sabres the next two games in a rout, granted, but if the Rangers bottle up the middle, who do you see going into the corners after the dump-ins? I have yet to see it. The hitting we all saw in the first two games from the Sabres is gone, nowhere to be found. B ring that back and I think it breaks open the middle.
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