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Joe's Garage • 49 Years Old • Male

Defense First?

Posted 11:10 AM ET | Comments 1
Who would've thought that the New York Rangers would hold the high flying Buffalo Sabres to 2 goals over 8 periods of hockey at Madison Square Garden to even their Eastern Conference semifinal at 2 games apiece.

The Sabres were the highest scoring team in the NHL averaging 3.75 goals/game over the course of the regular season. What many don't realize is the Rangers were second to the Devils in the Eastern Conference in Goals Against.

That though doesn't tell half the story. The Rangers through the first half of the season were allowing more goals then they were scoring, 126 goals over the first 41 games a clip of 3.07 goals/game. They only netted 123 goals a 3 goals/game pace.

Over the second half of the season though their system in place the team became very stingy only allowing 90 goals a clip of just 2.2 goals./game. Their offense though didn't suffer the fate that the oppositions did as they still netted 2.9 goals/game.

The team that was able to battle from the back of the pack to just get into the playoffs didn't do it as a high scoring team, but rather as a defense first team that seemed to play best when the game was close.

So where the Sabres seem to thrive on a high flying game, the Rangers like to get down and dirty in the tightly fought contests.

Tomorrow night we will once again see which system is best suited for the rigors of playoff hockey.
May 3, 2007 11:21 AM ET | Delete
although i wish i did, i have no idea how the sabres are going to come out tomorrow night BUT if they can sustain the playing style that they've exhibited for only 15 total minutes of this series, thusly, the rangers cannot hang with them....jagr basically said as much after the game on tuesday as when all the reporters were asking him about the heart and determination of the blueshirts, his main concern was the final 10 minutes of the game, which he dubbed as "awful", in which the sabres finally showed up, took control of the game and tossed the rags back on their heels.....the only problem is they've done that for a scant 1/18 of this series....either way, i love lundqvist and he deserves to be commended on his performance up to this point......cause as well as the rangers have been playing (or as poorly as the 'bres have been-----that whole debate has yet to be settled), henry has bailed them out plenty....may the best team prevail....
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