3 Keys for the New York Rangers to Mount an Epic Comeback in Stanley Cup Final
The New York Rangers need to start partying like it's 1942.
After all, that's the last time a team came back from a 3-0 deficit in the Stanley Cup Finals to win it all. That team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, came back to beat Detroit, as per Seth Rothman of Inside Hockey.
Okay, so maybe 1942 is out of the question, but the Rangers do find themselves in the same position as the Leafs. Down 3-0 to the Los Angeles Kings, the Rangers are going to need a miracle to complete an epic comeback.
What can the Rangers do to mount a historic comeback? What changes do they need to make?
Read on for three keys for the New York Rangers to complete an epic comeback in the Stanley Cup Final.
Carl Hagelin and Speed
Remember in Game 1 how Carl Hagelin almost won the game for the Rangers with his speed?
Well, it has kind of disappeared.
No more breakaways. No more pushing the pace or pressuring the defense.
In fact, in Game 3, Hagelin played a season-low 10 minutes and 24 seconds. In the past two games, he's minus-four.
Truth be told, I do not know why Hagelin's speed has disappeared. Is he hurt? Perhaps. But more likely, the Kings are doing a better job of taking away space for Hagelin to get going.
If the Rangers are to pull off the impossible, they need to get back to their biggest advantage—speed. Hagelin might be the fastest player in the league. He needs to find a way to get open space, get behind the defense and make things happen.
Henrik Lundqvist Needs to Find His Game
It's not like Henrik Lundqvist has been bad.
He just has not been able to steal games like Jonathan Quick has.
He hasn't been able to hold onto leads and has let in a few soft goals.
To be fair, there have been a number of deflections, defensive miscues and blown calls that have led to goals.
But the Jeff Carter goal in Game 3, at the end of the first period, is a shot that needed to be stopped.
He didn't. And the Rangers seemed deflated after that goal.
Lundqvist needs to basically pitch a shutout in Game 4 for the Rangers to get back in the series, and then become super stingy the rest of the way. The only way the Rangers can make a comeback is for Lundqvist to play the best he's ever played.
The Rangers' power play is 1-for-14.
That's seven percent. That's John Tortorella-esque.
It's not that they haven't had chances. In Game 3, it seemed as if they had a ton of quality chances.
They just couldn't score.
In my view, they need to re-arrange how their man-advantage is structured.
They need to take Brad Richards off the point. He looks a step or two slow. Instead, I would put John Moore on the first unit. He has more speed and a good shot.
I would put Rick Nash and Chris Kreider in front and use Derek Stepan and Martin St. Louis by the circles. Moore, Stepan and St. Louis should constantly fire towards the net, and Nash and Kreider should use their combined weight of 439 pounds to screen Jonathan Quick and to put in rebounds.
Will the Rangers make this change? Hard to say.
But it could be the change that gets them back in the series.