As I said before Friday’s Game 5: Don’t let us win one. You let us win Game 5, the pressure goes all onto the Caps for Game 6, and the next thing you know is you’re coming back to the Garden for Game 7.
Typically for a Game 7 you can throw the entire series out the window. It’s one game for the whole shebang. But not this time, not this game. The Caps are a beaten team, they know it, and their fans know it too. The Rangers are just getting going now, yea they ran into a hot goaltender in Games 1-4, but then they finally broke through in Game 5. Those Game 5 goals were exactly what the Rangers needed, not flukes and not perfect goals either. They were goals that Holtby could look at and say “damn I should have had that.” Holty is cut now, he’s vulnerable, he’s human.
As for the Rangers, typically momentum means nothing for them, but there is something that means a lot. Henrik Lundqvist playing at home in a Game 7. I’m not saying it’s a sure thing, but I’d bet my net worth on Henrik at home in a Game 7 and if they lost, no one would tell me it’s a bad bet.
The King is now 13-3 in his last 16 elimination games, 9-0 in his last nine elimination games at MSG and 5-0 in his last five Game 7’s.
That’s why you couldn’t let the Rangers win Game 5. We know Henrik’s Game 7 numbers are down right nasty but he’s turning that into Game 6 as well. Look as his last few Game 6’s, Washington, Montreal (’14), Pittsburgh (’14),
Philadelphia (’14), Washington (’13). Downright nasty performances in all those games except the one in Philly. And don’t even try to tell me he wasn’t nasty Sunday night because he gave up three goals, the man made 42 saves and in the first period was keeping the puck out of the net in ways I’ve never seen a goalie keep the puck out of the net before. The last time King Henrik lost a Game 6 where his back was against the wall was in 2012 against New Jersey in a game where no Ranger other then Ryan Callahan showed up.
So yea, there are certain things you can throw out in this series, such as Holtby being in the Rangers heads. That’s not true anymore. But now you have a Game 7 at Madison Square Garden with Henrik Lundqvist in net for all the marbles. The Caps know they’re screwed. Never should have let us win Game 5.
Let’s Go Rangers