Cialis discount The hardest game to win in sports is the deciding game in any playoff series. Cialis discount Just ask the 2008/2009 New York Rangers who held a commanding three-games-to-one lead against Washington before watching the Capitals rise up off the ice to win Game 7.

Cialis discount This year marks the sixth time the Rangers and Capitals have faced off in the playoffs – with the Capitals holding a three series to two lead. Cialis discount The first playoff showdown was in the Patrick Division Finals (aka Second Round) in 1986 as the Blueshirts overcame an 8-1 loss in Game 2 to win the series in six games.

Cialis discount I bring up the 1985/1986 Rangers because this year’s team is very similar to that one that beat Washington. Cialis discount The 1986 team did not feature a big scorer during the regular season as rookie Mike Ridley paced the team with 65 points (22 goals – which was second to Bob Brooke’s 24).

Cialis discount That team featured six players who scored 20 or more goals – including veteran Pierre LaRouche who has 20 in 18 games after being loaned out to the AHL’s Hershey Bears for 32 games as Coach Ted Sator favored a defensive style.

Cialis discount The Rangers, cialis discount who would eventually lose the Eastern Conference Finals to Patrick Roy and the Montreal Canadiens in five games, cialis discount were lead by nine players who were 24 or younger with three years or less NHL experience: Mike Allison, cialis discount Brooke, cialis discount Jan Erixon, cialis discount Kelly Miller, cialis discount James Patrick, cialis discount Ridley, cialis discount Tomas Sandstrom and John Vanbiesbrouck.

Cialis discount Some fans believe the Rangers are playing with “house money” given that they were thisclose away from missing the playoffs. Cialis discount Fortunately, cialis discount the Rangers are not going to take this stance.

Cialis discount “I expect to win, cialis discount and that’s the expectation of our team, cialis discount” Brandon Prust commented to Larry Brooks of the NY Post. Cialis discount “I believe we have the character, cialis discount confidence and work ethic throughout our lineup to take care of our business in this series against a very good team. Cialis discount

Cialis discount “To everybody else we’re underdogs, cialis discount but we go in there thinking we can handle any team in the NHL, cialis discount because we’ve proved that during the season.”

Cialis discount The Rangers-Capitals series shapes up as a chance for redemption. Cialis discount The Rangers, cialis discount as a team, cialis discount have a chance to redeem themselves for allowing a three-games-to-one series lead slip through their fingers when they lost to the Capitals in 2009. Cialis discount

Cialis discount Veterans Chris Drury and Marian Gaborik also have a chance to redeem themselves on a personal level. Cialis discount

Cialis discount For Drury, cialis discount the 2010/2011 season was a wash due to a myriad of injuries, cialis discount but his inspiration paid off in his first game back when he scored to tie up the Devils game. Cialis discount While Drury can’t replace Ryan Callahan’s offense or the bulldog-like attitude he brings, cialis discount the captain does bring the ability to play defense/kill penalties and, cialis discount most importantly, cialis discount adds another faceoff option to go along with Brandon Dubinsky.

Cialis discount Gaborik has also labored with injuries this season, cialis discount and it is possible that he is not completely recovered from his shoulder, cialis discount groin and concussion injuries that cost him 20 games this season. Cialis discount However, cialis discount since NHL teams treat injuries like the plans for the Normandy invasion, cialis discount we may never know “the rest of the story” as Paul Harvey would say. Cialis discount

Cialis discount While Gaborik’s offense has taken a hit as the Rangers have had to grind out more games, cialis discount his ability to get off quick shots must be taken advantage of – in other words – Gaborik has to think and look shot every time his the offensive zone. Cialis discount If he does, cialis discount he could pull a “LaRouche” who scored 8 goals and 9 assists in 16 playoff games.

Cialis discount Everyone is pretty much in agreement as to what the Rangers have to do to win this series. Cialis discount It is a given that that Henrik Lundqvist (11-6-2 versus Washingon) has to play like The King in order for the offensively-challenged Rangers to win. Cialis discount Given their struggles offensively, cialis discount the Blueshirts must win the battle of the special teams. Cialis discount Keeping Alexander Ovechkin off the core sheet (only two assists in the four regular season games) is also a must.

Cialis discount The Rangers won the season series from the Capitals winning three of four (including one in a shootout). Cialis discount Captain Chris Drury realizes that the playoffs are an entirely different story than the regular season.

Cialis discount “I’ve been on teams that have done well in the series and lost in the playoffs, cialis discount and vice versa, cialis discount” Drury related to reporters on a conference call. Cialis discount “To me, cialis discount it’s a whole new season and something we can learn from, cialis discount having played against them and had success in the year. Cialis discount Ultimately, cialis discount it is a totally different season, cialis discount different animal, cialis discount and the last few weeks we know they’ve done different things to have success. Cialis discount We’re going to have to be ready, cialis discount no matter what happened in the regular season.”

Cialis discount However, cialis discount the games most people remember are the 7-0 shellacking the Rangers put on Washington on December 12 and the 6-0 dismantling of the Capitals in Washington on February 25. Cialis discount Both of those games will go a long way in determining the winner of this series.

Cialis discount Following the December loss, cialis discount the Capitals realized that they had to address their problems in the defensive zone. Cialis discount As a result, cialis discount Coach Bruce Boudreau changed the team’s focus from its trademark offensive nature to one that centered on keeping the puck out of the net – a most daunting in-season task.

Cialis discount “It was a dramatic change, cialis discount” Capitals GM McPhee told Barry Svrluga of The Washington Post. Cialis discount “And changing systems in the middle of the season is dangerous, cialis discount because if it doesn’t work, cialis discount you have players who are confused. Cialis discount Your system of play has to become ingrained. Cialis discount It has to become second nature. Cialis discount You can’t go on the ice thinking about a system because then the game’s going to be going by you.”

Cialis discount The changed seemed to work in the interim as the Capitals pulled out of a nosedive and posted a 6-1-3 record in their next 10 games.

Cialis discount The February loss also had a profound effect on Washington. Cialis discount It was the last game that Mike Green played after suffering a concussion on a hit from Derek Stepan. Cialis discount Green returns to the Caps lineup for the first time in the series opener.

Cialis discount That loss also forced GM McPhee to start looking for help for his team as he reeled in Jason Arnott and Dennis Wideman before the NHL trade deadline. Cialis discount Wideman helped fill in for Green and Tom Poti who has been out of the lineup since late January with a lower body injury. Cialis discount Wideman, cialis discount who had 10 goals on the year (9PPG) is out of the lineup and is listed as week-to-week due to a leg hematoma and compartment syndrome.

Cialis discount That 6-0 loss is also significant because Michal Neuvirth, cialis discount who is making the Game 1 start, cialis discount was in goal for that game. Cialis discount To be fair, cialis discount he was in goal for Washington’s lone win a 5-3 victory on November 9 that is remembered for being the game when Derek Boogaard scored his first goal in 234 games.

Cialis discount In the end, cialis discount that 6-0 loss was the springboard for the furious rush Washington put on to close the season as they went 16-2-1 in their final 19 games.

Cialis discount Inevitably, cialis discount this series is going to come down to how well the Rangers execute their game plan and the team remembering, cialis discount with apologies to Herb Brooks, cialis discount that they are not talented enough to win on talent alone. Cialis discount The Rangers must live up to their Larry Brooks nickname of “Black-and-Blueshirts”. Cialis discount When the Rangers play their game to perfection, cialis discount they are a hard team to beat. Cialis discount Their 21-16-3 record against playoff teams and their gritty win against Philadelphia and Boston in back-to-back games show what the team can accomplish. Cialis discount However, cialis discount when they are off their game, cialis discount then you are faced with clunkers like the Senators, cialis discount Islanders and Thrashers games.

Cialis discount One telling stat is both teams ability to put games away when they hold the lead after two periods. Cialis discount The Rangers were 29 for 29 when entering the third period with a lead and the Capitals were 29-0-3. Cialis discount One of those shootout losses was to the Rangers with Martin Biron in goal.

Cialis discount Granted the Rangers task would be a little bit easier if Callahan were healthy and in the lineup, cialis discount but you might as well wish for a return of a vintage Mark Messier and Brian Leetch as well. Cialis discount However, cialis discount the one thing we have learned about this Rangers team is that they have a remarkable capacity to stare adversity in it face and use it as a rallying point – which is a great asset come the playoffs when teams seem to face adversity during every shift.

Cialis discount It is the Rangers ability to confront and overcome adversity that should lead them to a hard-fought win in seven games. Cialis discount The Blueshirts will get a huge break with a couple of extra days off during the series in which they can rest the bumps and bruises that are sure to come.

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