May 29, 2014, 11:41 PM EDT
The New York Rangers didn’t just eliminate the Montreal Canadiens in Game 6. They bottled them up and dominated large swaths of play.
The Rangers probably deserve credit for not just sitting on their 1-0 lead in the third period. Instead, they drew penalties and created more offense than Montreal.
Even so, there’s no denying that New York’s defensive effort was outstanding. Sure, Henrik Lundqvist stopped every shot he faced, but the Habs only sent 18 his way. It’s no surprise that defensive-minded Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien trumpeted the Rangers’ efforts in their own end.
Alain Vigneault didn’t just fixate on offense. His praise for his own team was broader than just pumping up their defensive prowess.
One might quip that this is “just how the Rangers planned” things by bringing in Vigneault from the Vancouver Canucks. After all, he’s not that far removed from his other Stanley Cup Final appearance.
Vigneault isn’t biting on that, though.
The Rangers are spouting the usual quotes about their journey not being over, yet there’s no denying that they’ve already come a long way. If they play as well in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final as they did in Game 6, the Rangers might just have a shot at matching their heroics from the last time they made it this far.
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