May 14, 2012, 11:14 PM EST
Particularly through the first two periods of Game 1, the New York Rangers learned what Jaromir Jagr marveled at in the semifinals: the New Jersey Devils are faster and tougher than maybe they realized. A big part of that challenge – especially for a Rangers team coming right back from a grinding seven-game series – was dealing with the Devils’ aggressive forecheck.
New York eventually did win Game 1 3-0, but that forecheck could be a factor as the series goes along (much like the Devils must figure out to deal with the Rangers’ shot-blocking). Rangers defensive wunderkind Ryan McDonagh told Patrick Kearns how they might deal with the forecheck.
“They come hard,” McDonagh said. “We need to just look for open guys or even open ice.”
Dan Girardi might be the best singular example of New York’s ups-and-downs in Game 1. He scored the game-winning goal early in the third period and won the Broadway Hat but also kicked himself for a turnover or two that could have turned the contest.
To some, that might be a sign of false modesty more than anything else, yet if the Devils keep forcing mistakes with that forecheck, this could end up being an arduous series for the Rangers.
- Cowen gets two-game suspension for hit on Girgensons 10
- Rangers must consider Callahan’s injury history in contract talks 12
- The Chip ‘n’ Chase: Outrage over hockey violence, Gary Bettman is a happy man, Darryl Sutter is awesome, and more! 24
- Report: Isles coach Capuano not seen as problem 11
- Rivalry Night on NBCSN: Flyers challenge top-ranked Blackhawks 17
- Update: Ryan Callahan out 4-6 weeks with MCL sprain 15
- Four goals: Ovechkin wills Caps to stunning shootout win vs. Bolts 62
- Bettman: No decision on expansion, but they’re listening 13
- Neal admits kneeing Marchand was ‘not the smartest decision’ 78
- Leafs captain Phaneuf suspended two games for boarding 37
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty (182)
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head (156)
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ (138)
- Pens put Orpik on IR (132)
- Orpik suffers from concussion, including memory loss (118)