Now that the dust has settled, and the New York Rangers, the Philadelphia Flyers and all the fans in between prepare for game five tomorrow in New York City, it’s time to take a brief look back at what happened to the Rangers in game four.
Mason returned to the Flyers line-up on Friday night and that seemed to be a blessing for the Flyers. Mason made 37 saves, and after letting in a goal on a wrap-around by Dominic Moore early in the game was airtight back stopping for the Flyers. I usually don’t agree with anything head coach Alain Vigneault said, but I do agree when he said the Rangers didn’t challenge Mason enough. The Rangers kept shooting directly at Mason’s chest or pads and didn’t really force him to make the tough saves.
Lack of Effort:
The story is as the story goes, the Rangers went into a game with a series lead and decided it was okay for them to sit back. They do this virtually every time they get a series lead, and can never make things easy for themselves. After Dominic Moore scored his goal early in the first the Rangers checked out, each and every one of them. The effort left the Wells Fargo Center and did not return until there was a minute left in the third period and by that time it proved to be too late for the Rangers. Like I said this happens every post season every time they get a series lead, they are their own worst enemy.
Let the Flyers knock them off their Game:
The Rangers let the Flyers push the pace the way they wanted to on Friday night. The Rangers game is generally a speed game, and they played it for the first half of the first period on Friday but after that shifted down a gear. The Rangers are a faster team than the Flyers but they let the Flyers slow the game down and take it to a physical level that the Flyers are comfortable with. They managed to knock the Rangers off their game and frustrate them, and that’s how the Flyers want to play this series.
If the Rangers want to win game five and eventually the series they have to be committed to coming out every game and playing their absolute hearts out every single night. The Rangers have to stop letting the Flyers frustrate them and just stick to play a New York style of fast paced, disciplined hockey.