It looks like there will be no miracle on 34th street after all. While there is a Santa Claus Virginia, his name is Patrice and the reindeer only speak French. The New York Rangers needed to win at any cost to bring the series back to Madison Square Garden. The problem for John Tortorella and the Rangers was depth. They just didn’t have the firepower to counteract the dynamic flexibility of the Boston Bruins. In the end, Tortorella knew it, and so did Claude Julien.
“It makes a coach look good, there’s no doubt about that,” said Julien of the Merlot Line’s play. “They reward us with the kind of play they did tonight – with goals. We’re known as a team that rolls four lines. I’m not a coach that rolls four lines because I want to roll four lines; I roll four lines because I know I’ve got the depth to roll four lines. If I was coaching a team that didn’t have four lines, then I would, no doubt, shorten my bench. [Bruins General Manager] Peter [Chiarelli] and our organization has allowed us to have the players that give us the opportunity to go with four lines. They were rewarding us with big goals. There’s no doubt that line played a big role in this series. We’re moving on and they certainly deserve a lot of credit for that.”
The fourth line(aka Merlot Men) once again stood up and made the Rangers take notice. In fact, the Rangers never really had an effective counter to the skill and firepower delivered by them. Gregory Campbell teamed up with the other Merlot Men to score the go-ahead goal at 13:41. It was just a great series that played to their strengths. Daniel Paille‘s speed, Shawn Thornton’s power, and Campbell’s tenacity. “The play started with Piesy having the poise to make a good play in the neutral zone and hold onto that puck,” said Campbell. “He really used his speed and his strength to carry it in, not just chip it in, but to carry it in and realize that Thorty was driving and trying to make a play, and I just caught the garbage there.”
Once again, the blueliners contributed to this victory. Torey Krug got his fourth goal in the playoffs(in five games no less), with a fantastic slap shot. Krug got a great pass from Tyler Seguin and sent it sailing past Henrik Lundqvist to tie it up in the second. The defensemen provided extra firepower that the Rangers also had no counter for. Both Torey Krug and Johnny Boychuk are tied for second with four goals in the postseason. (All of them vicious volleys. I guess we’ll have to call Krug’s shots ‘Tor-nadoes ‘ for now.)
In the end Tortorella was gracious (I was surprised too.) in defeat. He complimented both Claude Julien and the Bruins for the series they played, and took the responsibility for their loss all on himself. It does make me wonder about Tortorella’s career in New York. So, now the Bruins will be taking on the Pittsburgh Penguins for the Eastern Conference Championship. Tickets are on sale at noon, and I’m sure they’ll be sold out in an hour.