Zuccarello showed Rangers fans the clearest indication of his staying power when he returned from the KHL at the back end of last season.
So what happened to the New York Rangers? Did they take a step back this year? Well, coach John Tortorella says no, but the correct answer — from goalie Henrik Lundqvist — is yes.
Brad Richards is without a role and will soon be bought out by the Rangers because of a shrinking salary cap and long offseason checklist for GM Glen Sather.
While Tortorella didn’t want to use injuries as an excuse, the Rangers were severely hampered by a number of key injuries.
The Blueshirts are very far from being a perfect hockey club – but they’re even further from being branded as a common, run-of-the-mill team.
The Rangers played like a group of brainless zombies Thursday night, only lacking a lust for flesh — or in their case a lust for goals.
It’s only the second round, but the Rangers have to be feeding off the momentum provided by Lundqvist’s turn. If he keeps it up, I could be put in position to admit that Lundqvist did indeed earn his crown.
While Henrik Lundqvist was superman between the pipes, Derek Dorsett threw the Caps off their game with his agitation and intimidation.
Let’s face it, the Rangers have a lot of positives going for them right now. And they’re playing the sort of gritty hockey typical of a John Tortorella-coached team.
While the Capitals stayed off the ice on Tuesday to recover, the Rangers held a full practice. They were without forward Rick Nash, who was given a “maintenance day,” and Darroll Powe, who was injured on Monday and is unlikely to play in Game 4.
In Game 3, the Rangers finally resembled the team that finished the regular season strongly, a team that no division-winner wants any part of.
Derek Stepan and Arron Asham both scored tiebreaking goals in the third period for the New York Rangers in a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals in Game 3 on Monday night.
The Rangers may be able to push the Caps, but this is Washington’s series to win. The Rangers may get two games, but it’s Oates, Ovechkin and the Capitals who will go on to the second round.
“I think it solidified our team,” Rangers coach John Tortorella said of the deadline dealing. “We have kind of grown since then … I thought it changed our team a little bit, and we took off.”
Who’s ready to lift the Stanley Cup? Sean Hartnett gives you a full breakdown of the 2013 NHL Playoffs.