A blog focusing on the New York Rangers and all things hockey (also Yankees and Giants) with a New York attitude from a fan of 40 years whose greatest highlight came when Mark Messier lifting the Stanley Cup on June 14, 1994
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Less than 24 hours from Armageddon, the mood in Rangers Nation is one of nervousness.
Rangers' fans have to be much less confident heading into Saturday's game seven against the Capitals than they were in the previous game seven against Ottawa.
The biggest difference in the previous series is that the Rangers brought momentum into game seven against the Senators after rallying for a 3-2 victory in game six in Ottawa. This time, the Rangers are coming off a 2-1 loss and a pretty lackluster effort.
The nightmare scenario is for the Rangers and Capitals to be locked in a tie game in the third period Saturday night and have Alex Ovechkin beat Henrik Lundqvist from the blueline with one of his patented blasts.
For six games, the Rangers have been frustrated by the Capitals' shot-blocking prowess and at no time during the series, have they really dominated they way you think a top seed would.
The teams have looked quite even, mirrors images of each other, really, which means Saturday's contest can go either way.
Overall, we would say the Capitals have had the edge in play. The Rangers needed triple overtime to win game three and the miracle finish to survive game five.
Each time, of course, the Capitals bounced back, showing their resiliency, and it just wouldn't be a shock if they stole another game seven on the road as they did in the first round against the Bruins.
The Rangers need the big guns show up Saturday. From their perspective, it would be wonderful if they could get an early lead so that the crowd can get into the game.
You know what the history is. After beating Ottawa, the Rangers are 4-0 all-time at home in game sevens, but that is hardly any guarantee.
To be a Rangers' fan is to be naturally pessimistic -- they have let us down so many times -- but I just don't have a good feeling about Saturday.
Rookie Chris Kreider, whose ice time has been limited in recent game, has been moved up to the second line. Maybe that will provide a spark for the Rangers, whose offense -- unbelievably -- has one even-strength goal in seven periods.
No eventually Cup winner has had to play seven games in the series two rounds, which is what the Caps and Rangers are facing on Saturday, but they obviously can't worry about.
In a perfect world, the Rangers come out Saturday, get a couple quick goals and shake Braden Holtby's confidence, but we just don't see that happening.
We see another one-goal game, possibly decided in overtime, which means Saturday is going to make for a lot of nervous Rangers fans.