Nanananananana CHRIS NEIL

Game in a Youtube video that sums up the Play by Play:

Observations:

- The Rangers came out physical to start this game and they were clearly trying to rekindle some of the energy that brought them their success earlier in this series and what has worked for them all season long. This is a team that thrives on physicality and they have stopped being the aggressor.

- Ottawa eventually regained the physical edge, in a useful way at least, and began to break down the Rangers the way they have in this series. They didn’t dominate in any way, but they were very opportunistic in their spurts.

- Mark Stone had a pretty good NHL debut. Less than 10 minutes of ice time, almost half of which was on the power play and the first assist on the game winning goal. He’s not ready to contribute on a big time level in this series, but the kid got his pro career off to a good start despite limited opportunity. I wouldn’t mind seeing him get more time with Spezza to try and develop some chemistry there. A Stone-Spezza-Foligno line would hold my interest.

- Speaking of Spezza, this was his best game of the playoffs by far and it couldn’t have come at a better time. It is absolutely imperative for the Senators that he is producing offensively if they are to be successful. Two goals tonight on six shots should go a long way for him getting off the schneid.

- More on Spezza, Dubinsky really should have gone off the ice with him in the first period. Spezza gets the retaliatory penalty and Dubinsky gets nothing for retaliating to the retaliation? I’m confused. I’ve never understood how those 10 man scrums happen and only one person can come away with a penalty.

- The Rangers are getting quality play from their guys down the middle which is a positive sign. Tonight’s offensive catalysts were Brad Richards and Derek Stepan as both players had seven shots on goal and played big minutes for the blueshirts.

- Ryan Callahan may have been guilty of trying to do too much as he had two minor penalties in his 20+ minutes of action which also yielded five shots on goal. He is clearly trying to push these guys but at some point they need to pony up and get going with him. He’s getting hung out to dry.

- Marian Gaborik is struggling, yes, but what of Artem Anisimov? He has been terrible. Did you even know he was playing? Probably not. He played less than 10 minutes on Saturday. Anisimov was a key player for the Rangers during the season but has absolutely disappeared in the post season. Just terrible.

- Chris Neil on Brian Boyle is a pretty borderline play. On one hand it strikes me as a hockey hit, on the other I can see why people would think it’s a suspension. I can definitely see Neil missing a game for it but don’t have any particularly strong feelings on the hit. I’ve watched it multiple times and still can’t draw a distinct conclusion.

- Speaking of Boyle, how did he evade the quiet room if he played the entire game from that point on with a concussion? I can’t help but think a look into the Rangers concussion management practices is in order.

- Henrik Lundqvist was solid once again, though I’m sure he’d love to have the first Spezza goal back. He was tested consistently throughout the game and turned away the Sens again and again. It’s frustrating to think that the year the Rangers seem to have finally put together a top notch roster in front of King Henrik, they may waste another prime year of his career with a bad first round performance.

- Craig Anderson was lights out. Simple as that. The Rangers played good hockey pretty much all game long and Anderson was there to shut the door. A 40 plus save performance is one thing, but the number of quality chances he took away from New York makes the number worth more than 50. Make no mistake about it, without Anderson in goal tonight, the Senators go back to Ottawa down a game.

- We’ll see what the Rangers can do heading back to Ontario for game six. Carl Hagelin (opinions aside) returns to the lineup and I think he should be a big boost to the lineup. I have to think this series goes seven games long.

My Three Stars:

1) Craig Anderson
2) Jason Spezza
3) Henrik Lundqvist

Comments (3)

  1. What was questionable about the Neil hit? Looked like a clean hard hit to me. Feet on ice, Not too late, Elbowed tucked in and shoulder was delivered to Chest.

  2. Ah ok. I can see why one might think it’s a Blindside but Boyle’s body is facing Neil as Neil hits him. It just happens Boyle is looking the other way cause he just took a shot.

    I don’t think it’s a headshot though.

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