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Rangers need to use their speed against Kings

Jun 6, 2014, 12:40 AM EDT

2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game One Getty Images

The New York Rangers have been a force through three rounds in these Stanley Cup playoffs because of their speed.

It’s with that relentless pace that they knocked out the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference Final, and they believe it’s what they’ll need if they’re to be successful against the L.A. Kings when it matters the most – in the Stanley Cup Final.

“Our speed definitely helped us in terms of creating good chances. We just need to continue doing that throughout the series,” said New York forward Carl Hagelin, who scored a short-handed goal late in the first period of Wednesday’s Game 1 loss for the Rangers.

“It’s hard to beat them. All their (defense) are pretty steady defensively. You have to make sure you get behind them and hopefully win races.”

The Rangers, including head coach Alain Vigneault, were still lamenting an opportunity that got away from them in the championship series opener. New York jumped out to a two-goal lead, but gave up three unanswered goals in the loss.

The Rangers registered 33 bodychecks compared to the 45 of the Kings. Although, they feel that, again, using their speed on the forecheck should be a benefit.

You don’t necessarily have to plaster an opposing player to the boards, but their ability to get in and pressure opposing defenders has been a major strength for New York during this post-season.

For the majority of the game, I felt we were matching them, too, physically. We had some big hits ourselves. We understand they’re going to be physical on us, and we’re not going to shy away from it for sure,” said Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh.

“We’ve got to look for opportunities to be physical on them for our forecheck, our speed. Doesn’t necessarily have to be a big hit, but utilizing our legs, getting on the right side of guys, creating turnovers that way is part of being physical, too. We feel we can play that game, as well.”

  1. 950003cups - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:57 AM

    Game two will tell the real story. Kings are no longer the “tired” team. It’s an even playing field. Let’s see the adjustments. This next battle will be at the rangers blueline. Will they force turnovers again? Or will the kings secure the puck?

    I love this stuff!!!!

    • bmy0913 - Jun 6, 2014 at 9:08 AM

      Much ado about nothing. I don’t think the kings were tired, even they admitted they knew about the speed they were up against but just weren’t ready for it.

      A couple soft goals, one on kind of a weird flip bounce off a stick. A couple big saves here and there, this one really could’ve went either way.

      Girardi doesn’t lose his edge right when the rest of his team is bailing out of the d zone to escape the forecheck, no scoring chance. Joey pointed out yesterday that one is just as much on McDonagh as it is Girardi, should’ve been at least parallel or behind him. But, they were playing agressive as you have to do with a team that pinches and forechecks like the Kings do.

      On the other hand, there were several quality chances throughout the game that Quick came up big on. A few in the first that could’ve made it 3-0.

      Then that wrap around attempt that Henrik (somehow) managed to catch with the butt end of his stick-that nearly stopped my heart.

      As a Rangers fan, that was pretty wrenching to watch end that way after such a quick start. That third period nearly gave me a coronary. But as a hockey fan, that was a beauty of a game to watch-very entertaining.

      Looking forward to tomorrow. Lets go Rangers.

      • doknyc - Jun 6, 2014 at 9:25 AM

        well said bmy…was a quality game, and even though i bleed blue, hats off to LA for not quitting when they were down… alot of other teams (cough cough, looking at you montreal in game 1 of the ECF), wouldve hung it up…

        this is what make s the stanley cup the most prized trophy in all sports…

        heres hoping the rangers pull out a win tomorrow night…

    • billiam55 - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:00 AM

      ……….kings wren’t tired last game. ur an idiot.

  2. thegronk87 - Jun 6, 2014 at 9:26 AM

    Rangers Need to [Get Some Talent] against Kings…..there fixed your headline

    • stepanup - Jun 6, 2014 at 9:48 AM

      The game was won 3-2 in overtime. I don’t even think Kings fans are touting a big edge in “Talent” after game 1. This just comes off as yet another bitter Bostonian.

      • thegronk87 - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:12 AM

        When the kings got their legs back in the third, they took over the game.

        Rangers scored a fluke goal off Voynov so the rangers really were able to score 1 legitimate goal.

      • stepanup - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:17 AM

        Well if you’re going to cherry pick the third as your “accurate representation”…then the Rangers really dominated LA in the first, the Kings were lucky to get the win.

        Oh, and as for the one legitimate goal, that’s one more than the Bruins scored on Thursday, right? It’s hockey, goals are goals. A lot goes into them, and plenty go off defensemen and in. Hagelin’s speed and net drive created the situation.

      • Fertility Doctor - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:28 AM

        Lol Gronk, you’re a 1-sided, biased know-nothin sack-a-sheit

    • doknyc - Jun 6, 2014 at 9:55 AM

      the rangers beat the canadiens, who beat boston… nuff said about talent…

    • bmy0913 - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:01 AM

      Man, part of me wants to statistically tear you apart on that. But, I’m not even going to validate your ignorance with that. I’ll simply say that you have zero basis for that claim.

      doknyc-couldn’t agree more. LA came out in the third posessed. I still feel like we could’ve hung if the pace from the first translated over, but what do you do?

      You actually in NY or a transplant?

      • bmy0913 - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:25 AM

        Reason I ask (and for any other local Rangers fans)-trying to figure out when they released the pre-season schedule last year or if anybody has an idea when they will drop dates this year

        I’m taking my wife to the city for her first time for her birthday in Sept, trying to see if we may luck out and catch a preseason game at the garden. Anybody who wants to meet up, beers on me.


      • doknyc - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:42 AM


        was born and raised in manhattan, about ten blocks from the garden, however, i moved to houston about 10 years ago.. what id give to be at the cup finals!! the wife is helping me out, fetching my beers so i dont miss a second lol…

      • doknyc - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:43 AM

        ithink the preseaon sched should release in july…

    • bmy0913 - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:25 AM

      Yo Gronk, what game did you watch man? Kings style didn’t change much…that was the Rangers lack of agressiveness. I get your subjectivity and all, but clearly (even the analysts on the game agree) it was a complete 180 on the Rangers part that let that change occur.

      Bare in mind, you’re hearing this from a Rangers fan. I know, the lack of homer in my opinion must be astounding.

      Anyway, Speed is the key. Keep them honest with the threat of the breakaway and rush plays, and you keep doughty and muzzin back on their heels afraid to jump into the play in the Rangers zone. Sit back and play prevent, they have a field day. Disappointing to see that happen in the third.

    • doknyc - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:34 AM

      BTW gronk, the patriots had to videotape games to win… and by the way, who beat them in the last two superbowls your alleged great went to?

      i swear there’s kids in africa wearing “patriots, undefeated superbowl champs” tshirts…

  3. bmy0913 - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    doknyc-Was born upstate, my pop was army and was stationed in Seneca at the weapons depot. Lived in Brooklyn for a minute. Funny you mention that though, I live in Arkansas now and will be in Houston in August for a few days. Too bad the season will be over and I’ll be in the throes of off season depression. haha

    As far as the finals, man, those ticket prices. Jesus christ, 26k for boardside ice level. I could swing 800-1k for a ticket somewhere else in the garden, but that’s insane.

    • bmy0913 - Jun 6, 2014 at 10:55 AM

      I think I may have just stuck to Bryant Park. That looked like it was ill.

    • doknyc - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:05 AM

      if you do come to houtson, look for the only guy in a rangers championship tshirt.. heres hoping anyways !!!

      • bmy0913 - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:21 AM

        Done and done, my friend!

  4. Fertility Doctor - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    I’ve read some good comments here.. Anyways I just want to add that as a Rangers fan, it certainly stinks to lose the introduction game but it wasn’t really a bad way to lose. Sure, we blew a 2-0 lead but I am positive that most critics thought the Rangers were gonna fair A LOT worse than we did. That was a heck of a game.
    I think my boys will be even more ready for the Kings after getting that taste of them in game 1. Go Rangers!

  5. doknyc - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:30 AM

    the underdog label we suppoesedly have is fine by me… less pressure… just need to eliminate dumb turnovers in our zone mr girardi!!

    anyway, weve learned what not to do, just need to play 60 minutes, and not play for 20…

  6. papajack1259 - Jun 6, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    Rangers really missed a golden chance on away ice to take a game. I do not call goals flukes they are at times very lucky but to get this far you need luck and all champions need a bounce or a call to go their way. If the rangers gain a few breakaways and put them away they will make a go of it. The big boys like Nash have to contribute. It will be hard to match the LA Chi. Matchup but you never know the first game was fun.

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