The Rangers are moving on to the Eastern Conference Semifinals for the second straight season thanks to a 5-3 win in last night’s Game 5. The win gave the Blueshirts a 4-1 series victory (in the process eliminating the Devils) and a chance to wait on the sidelines as the remaining two series battle it out.
The victory was that much sweeter against the Devils, erasing the 4-0 series defeat in 2006. If you’re interested, the Star Ledger writes about it from the Devils’ perspective while the Bergen Record captures some of the quotes from the Devils’ players themselves.
Their next opponent could be decided as soon as today however, with the Canadiens and Flyers both needing just one win to clinch their respective series. If they both win, then the Rangers will face Pittsburgh in the next round…but they could still face any of the remaining teams (with the exception of Boston).
The Rangers didn’t have it easy though in the series, or last night. After racing out to a 4-1 lead, New York saw a fluke goal that deflected off Brandon Dubinsky and another 5 on 3 goal that deflected off Fedor Tyutin cut their lead to 4-3.
While Lundqvist ended up winning the duel between the two star netminders, Brodeur is left to ponder what went wrong. John Jeansonne of Newsday writes that goaltending was always the loneliest position in hockey.
A big part of the series was the re-emergence of Jaromir Jagr. The Rangers’ captain is finally demonstrating the confidence we’ve come to expect, scoring two goals, and adding six assists to lead the Rangers in scoring in the post season.
The Rangers’ rookie class acquitted themselves well, all four scoring a goal against the Devils. Yes there were certainly mistakes, but the net sum was a positive one for the Rangers. Brandon Dubinsky finished tied for third on the team in points.
Sean Avery also had a big series, but was snubbed by Martin Brodeur in the post game handshake. Avery seemed prepared to shake his rival’s hand, but the veteran netminder looked away and continued down the line. Avery jabbed back in post-game interviews, calling out Larry Brooks for saying the Devils would win in six, and labelling Devils player, David Clarkson (not a very good player) and Brodeur (Fatso) in the process.
Aside from Rangers fans, there are still some who have a positive thing to say about the ‘Grate One’. Even if it’s to say only that the NHL needs him.
The Rangers completely dominated the season between the two clubs, finishing with a record of 11-0-2 in the thirteen games played. The Devils did not win a single game in regulation the whole year.
MSG fired Knicks Head Coach Isaiah Thomas yesterday, prompting Rick Carpiniello to make the comparison between Thomas and Tom Renney…needless to say he has more positive things to say about Renney.
Filip Bondy of the Daily News also makes a mildly amusing collection of comparisons between the fortunes of MSG’s two main pro teams.
The Wolf Pack are back in action tonight for Game 3 in Maine. Hartford is coming off a 3-2 double overtime loss and will be looking to regain the momentum with the series tied 1-1
Bruce Graham‘s future with the Rangers is uncertain. The former second round draft pick has struggled to make an impression in the three years he’s been with the organization, and with his contract expiring this Summer, he looks almost certain to be heading for free agency.
Ryan Hillier and the Mooseheads continue their post season tonight with Game 1 of their series with Gatineau scheduled to kick off.