In what should be the most desperate the Flyers have been this season with facing elimination tonight, it should be a nuthouse down in Philly tonight. The Flyers will try to make their blood thirsty fans happy while still trying to win and stay alive. The Rangers are planning to counter that by just playing their game of puck control and using their speed. How this all plays out depends on if the Flyers start playing golf or if their is a game #7 tommorow. The Rangers, so far in this series, have done a very good job of staying away from the Flyers cheap stuff after the whistle that seems to be inbred in all players that wear the orange and black. They will have to do the same tonight to quiet the rabid Flyer fans and move onto the next round to face the Pittsburgh Penguins, that eliminated the Columbus Blue Jackets in a hard fought 6 game series.
The Rangers, for the first time in recent memory have a team with depth built for the playoffs, and not to just look good in the regular season. In the last game, the Rangers replaced Dan Carcillo with J.T. Miller who, like Carcillo played a very big role in the games they have played. Coach Alain Vigneault has so far been pulling the right strings with his lineup and knowing his players, which is actually impressive since he is a first year coach that has had a few personnel changes, the biggest being the trade of Captain Ryan Callahan for Martin St. Louis and fitting everyone into a role. It is alittle easier to do when you have an All-World goalie in Henrik Lunqvist and your 3 top defensemen are Ryan Mcdonagh, Dan Girardi, and Marc Stall. The forwards were where the Rangers lacked an offensive punch and adding MSL to this lineup seems to be just the thing that has added that something needed for the playoffs. Rick Nash has been mostly seen on the side of a milk carton this season as a missing person, but seems to be slowly getting back his game in spurts. The problem is that in the playoffs every team needs all players pulling their own weight and making the team better, and the Rangers are still waiting for Nash to do that. Chris Kreider is skating on his own, and if the initial reports were right, we could see him added to the Rangers lineup in the next series and his size and speed would be a huge asset to the game these Rangers play.
This has been a tough series, but that is what the playoffs are all about. It takes 16 wins to get to lift the Stanley Cup and every step, the opponents get tougher. So let's see how the Rangers handle the nuthouse tonight and then have to deal with the crazy scheduling of the NHL, as a Rangers vs. Penguins playoff series would mean a boatload of television viewers so they would of course have 2 weekend afternoon games.
Players to watch tonight: Flyers: Hartnell Rangers: Derrick Brassard
The Rangers have some players from Hartford skating in preperation of any injury or lineup change. The players are practice at the Rangers rink in Tarrytown and they are: goalie Leneveu, forwards: Bourque, Hrivik, Kristo, Lindberg, Powe, Fast defensemen: McIlrath, Allen, Syvret, Diaz, Falk. These are this years version of the Black Aces of 1994.