The coach had formed a few impressions after Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals, and they made him even more wary of the Los Angeles Kings.
The Kings have more brute strength, bite and snarl to their game than the Rangers. They’re loaded with scorers and possess an electric power play.
The Rangers know that many, if not most, in the hockey world aren’t giving them much of a chance to win the Cup. They have heard it before, and have just gone about their business.
Even though New York was the first to claim a spot in the finals, many have already written off the Blueshirts as severe underdogs against Los Angeles.
When the final buzzer sounded Thursday night, the Broadway Blueshirts were in the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since captain Mark Messier was in charge.
The Rangers need to leave the odor — and the brutal hockey — in Montreal after completely falling flat at Bell Center in a 7-4 defeat Tuesday.
Henrik Lundqvist is a big reason the Rangers are on the doorstep of their first Stanley Cup Final in 20 years. But the extraordinary goalie had a rather ordinary night on Tuesday.
The Rangers have two key assets to fall back on — penalty killing and goaltending. It’s a combo that has put them within one victory of their first Stanley Cup Final in 20 years.
Rangers coach Alain Vigneault is angry his team has been portrayed as “dishonorable and dishonest” by the Montreal Canadiens and coach Michel Therrien.
Derick Brassard has been itching to return to the Rangers’ lineup. Now healthy, the 26-year-old center will finally get his chance to make his mark on this series when he takes the ice for pivotal Game 4.
Lundqvist was stellar in claiming the first two wins of the Eastern Conference finals for the Rangers over the Canadiens on the road. But Montreal exacted a bit of revenge in Game 3 at Madison Square Garden.
Gone will be the fear of impending doom. Suddenly, the Rangers are the front-runners against the Canadiens, and their fans now have the chance to celebrate the ride with them.
Henrik Lundqvist has the surging Rangers two wins away. “I thought we played well, and the only reason we lost was Lundqvist,” Montreal coach Michel Therrien said after Monday’s Game 2.
The Rangers joined star forward Martin St. Louis at his mother’s funeral outside Montreal on Sunday. Head coach Alain Vigneault’s voice cracked as he described the service.
The Rangers will be all business for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Saturday. The next day will be rough, win or lose.