Down But Not Out

Despite the 2-0 deficit, the Rangers are still in this series

Despite the 2-0 deficit, the Rangers are still in this series

After two heartbreaking overtime losses to open the Stanley Cup Final the New York Rangers find themselves in desperation mode. True, they have been able to come back in the playoffs before, but with two more games looming in Los Angeles, if the Rangers want a legitimate chance to hoist the Cup this year they need to win at Madison Square Garden. Despite the losses, the Rangers have outplayed the Kings in the first two games. With a few unfortunate bounces and two clutch game winning goals, one could argue that the Rangers have been the better and more consistent team in the first two games. This would be a different situation if the Rangers lost in regulation by multiple goals or looked outmatched. The one concerning aspect that the Rangers must take from the previous game was their inability to hold the lead. Not once, not twice, but three times in game two did the blue shirts squander a two goal lead. Lundqvist and the penalty killing unit are playing well, but the Rangers need to improve on two things above all else. First, their power play has been atrocious and the team seems to play better at full strength. Second, stop passing the damn puck too much! I swear the Rangers get too pass happy instead of trying to take open shots or drive to the net. When the Rangers have attacked the net directly in this series is when they’ve had the most success. Ever game in the Stanley Cup Final is crucial, but if the Rangers want to beat the Kings and get back track they must win tonight.

The King and the ring

Does the King and need a ring?

Does the King and need a ring?

Henrik Lundqvist has established himself as the king of the crease on the grandest stage, the world’s most famous arena. Throughout his career for the blue shirts Lundqvist has conquered every mountain there is to for an NHL goaltender. Most career wins and shutouts for the franchise? check. Being the team’s icon? check. Vezina trophy winner? check. There is only one hurdle left for Lundqvist to overcome, a Stanley Cup Championship. If Lundqvist wants to make a case for the hall of fame and cement his legacy as the greatest net minder in Rangers history, he needs to win a championship. There is no question that Lundqvist is one of the best goaltenders in the NHL, but to solidify his legacy he needs at least one Stanley Cup.

Just look at other great goaltenders in recent memory. Martin Brodeur has three rings, and even Jonathan Quick has one. Even Hall of Famers Patrick Roy and Dominik Hasek have a championship on their resume. In some Rangers fans eyes, Lundqvist cannot be considered the best goaltender in franchise history because even Mike Richter, despite his records being broken by Lundqvist this year, was the backstop to the 1994 championship team. Just ask Lebron, when your nickname is The King, you need to back it up. If he wants to remain the king of the big apple, Lundqvist needs to bring home a ring to The Garden.