Those NBC noon time starts mean 9 AM if I want to see the
game live so thanks to the power of a DVR I taped the game and slept right
through it. Boy did I have a great dream while I was sleeping.
I dreamt that the Rangers did all those little things they
needed to do in order to win. They kept skating, they took the attack to Steve
Mason, they didn't take the foot off the gas and allow the Flyers to get back
into it, and I even saw Rick Nash making a play or two in my dream.
At first I thought I was having this kind of IKEA nightmare
as Carl Hagelin kept taking dumb penalties but that changed as the game went
on. Whether you liked the Callahan trade or not you had to love seeing Martin
St. Louis setting a perfect screen for Marc Staal as he fired the puck past a
confused Steve Mason for a 1-0 Ranger lead.
That play screamed volumes about how bad St. Louis wanted to
win as you don't expect a guy St. Louis’s size or age to risk his body like
that. Give Staal the credit for seeing the ice and jumping into the play
knowing he had open ice to skate with. St. Louis put the puck right where Staal
wanted and Mason never saw the shot until it was behind him.
There was Rick Nash taking the puck right to the net and
forcing the Flyers to grab him to create a Ranger power play. See when I get
upset with Nash it is because he doesn't always make plays like he did here.
But when he does then something good happens for the Rangers which is why you
want to see Nash on attack mode every chance you can.
Oh what a great dream as there was J. T. Miller, Carl
Hagelin and Brad Richard’s right in the Flyer crease area fighting for the puck
and Richards would win poking the puck in for a 2-0 Ranger lead. Gary Bettman tried to turn my dream into a
nightmare when his ref blew the whistle way too early and cost the Rangers (at
the moment a 3-0).
Freud would say that Bettman's presence represents my
dislike of the incompetence of many NHL refs and linesmen. Blowing the play did
before it even looks like Steve Mason has control of the puck was bad but
blowing it when the puck was clearly out and by his left skate says Gary Bettman
was out of position and thus blew the call.
Dom Moore chased the evil Gary Bettman away when he outworked
two Flyer defenders and wound up with a breakaway that Mason could not stop for
a 3-0 lead at 16:20 of the second period. It was perhaps the most important
goal of the game as it boosted Ranger spirits after the lost goal. Its value
became even more apparent when the Flyers would get on the board with 33
seconds left in the second period.
3-1 heading into the 3rd was nice but the score should have
been 4-1 and then the 3rd period would not have been as tense as it was. Claude
Giroux would make it a 3-2 game but Dom Moore would make a play that goes a
long way in deciding this series when Moore outskated the Flyers to the puck
causing what would have been an icing call. From there it would be Moore who
would hit Brian Boyle with a pass that Boyle would put into the empty net to
finish off the Flyers 4-2.
A nice dream but reality begs this one question: Why can't
they play like this every night? This was the Ranger's best effort of the
series as they were almost perfect. They did everything in their game plan,
they sure showed that Mason was not as good as the goalie as he was in game 4.
They overcame some terrible officiating but most importantly
they came away with a win that turns game 6 into an elimination game. The good
news is that the Rangers are 13-2 in series in which they led 3-2. The bad news
is that the Rangers have lost 11 straight playoff games in which they had a
I might be taking a long nap come Tuesday evening.