Noteworthy is a feature blatantly ripped off from Trey Kerby and The Basketball Jones crew that catches you up on everything you need to know from the night before in the NHL.
Rangers/Devils, Rangers won 3-0
Series: 1-0 New York
Kreid or die: NHL.com has been having a lot of fun with Chris Kreider’s name, so I figure I’ll pile on from here out. The rookie scored the Rangers second goal and assisted on the first, leaving the puck for Dan Girardi who was coming off the bench and got to skate into the slapper All-Star Skills Competition style. Kreider and teammate Michael Del Zotto were both three years old the last time New York and New Jersey met in the playoffs.
I’m scared: There’s a cool stat that’s been tossed around – no team whose first two playoff series went seven games has ever won the Stanley Cup. Logically, there has to be a reason for that. Maybe they get worn down and tired? I dunno, let’s ask John Tortorella if his team is. But first, let me just pull out my cellphone in case I get an important call…
Oh, settle down John. (…He safely types from behind his keyboard.)
Speaking of: Marty Brodeur can be described as “something else” too. Last night he started his 183rd consecutive playoff game, and just check out this save on Marc Staal:
Not bad for 40. Mark Fayne said in an interview today that Marty intentionally dropped his stick before making the dive over to free himself up.
Enough already: The overblown story of playoffs so far goes to “shot-blocking,” as if it’s some scourge on the game that’s dragging it under (more on this later). Players have always blocked more shots when the games matter most, in playoffs. Anyone remember when the Montreal Canadiens upset the Washington Capitals a couple years back? The shot blocking was insane, and it was great hockey. ANYWAY, the Rangers blocked 26 blocks yesterday (Staal and Girardi both had five) compared to the Devils 15.
Difference-maker: The game could have been awfully different if it wasn’t for Ryan McDonagh – both Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise had partial breakaways in the first, and both times McDonagh caught up and expertly defended the rushes.
More solid D: Dan Girardi and Michael Del Zotto were among a number of Rangers D who played great. Girardi had a goal, an assist, three shots, five blocked shots, was plus two, and had three hits in 25:11 of ice. That’s an insanely good line. Del Zotto’s ain’t bad either: An apple, six shots, four hits, and a takeaway in 22:41.
Trainwreck: No, I’m not talking about Patrick Kane, I’m talking about Patrick Elias in the faceoff circle. He was 5/15 last night, which continued his trend of being just awful at the dot in playoffs. Hell, he only won 604 of his 1369 regular season attempts (44.1%). How do they let this guy keep taking draws?
Moving pictures: It wasn’t the most thrilling affair (it was really, really dull actually), so let us clip the best parts for you. Enjoy: