Don’t rule out the Rangers just yet! It may be do-or-die as we head into Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals tonight at the Staples Center, but it’s all the more reason for them to show us that they’re still in the game — and their eye is still on the Cup.
Yes, I’m aware of the fact that a mere six inches kept the Los Angeles Kings from forcing overtime in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals and I can admit that the odds aren’t necessarily in the favor of the Rangers as they gear up for Game 5 tonight — but if they take it one game at a time there’s no reason why they can’t take home the Cup.
Stanley Cup 2014: Rangers V. Kings — Why The New York Rangers Deserve To Win:
It might be easy to think that my hopeful disposition as a Rangers fan is driving my expectations, but if you simply look at the statistics there’s no reason to count out the NY team just yet. Sure, the Los Angeles Kings only need to win one game to take home the 2014 Stanley Cup and yes, the NY team will be back on the west coast and playing on the Kings’ home ice — but let’s not forget that we’ve seen the Rangers quickly jump ahead to a 2-0 lead at the Staples Center in both Game 1 and Game 2…and the fact that they won Game 4 just might provide them with the momentum they need to fight for the Cup.
[hl_youtube src=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJAy6KNTiUY” link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJAy6KNTiUY” text=”Henrik Lundqvist Focused On Hockey”]
While the fact that the Rangers need to win three games in a row might seem discouraging, that’s no reason to throw in the towel. For Game 5 they are playing on the road, (which isn’t ideal), but they are coming off a very important win — and all they have to do is win one more game tonight to make it back to Madison Square Garden for Game 6.
Let’s also look at the statistics: while the Los Angeles Kings won both Game 1 and Game 2 on home ice, they did so in overtime — to say it was an easy win would be totally inaccurate. The New York Rangers know how to fight when they’re on the road, and they also know how to perform on the ice in a do-or-die situation. When faced with the perils of elimination, the NY team has managed to win 11 of their last 13 games in Rangers history.
Kings — A Stanley Cup Sweep Off The Table:
By losing Game 4, the Kings have sent the series back to their home ice — but they also have allowed the Rangers to stay in the game, eliminating their chance to sweep the series and building momentum for the Rangers, (this NY team is a far cry from the Capitals in ’98, after all).
In order to win the Stanley Cup Final tonight, the Kings also have to get the puck past Henrik Lundqvist — and while some keep throwing around the word “luck” in regards to the scoreboard this series, there’s no discrediting the fact that he’s a force to be reckoned with.
The Rangers clearly can’t afford to be outshot. In order to win, the NY team needs to play a strong offensive game. With the right speed and strength they’ll be able to take those crucial shots and keep the hope of the Cup alive.
What do you think? Will the Rangers be able to stay in the game or are the Kings going to take home the title on home ice tonight?