Game 6 between the New York Rangers and the Ottawa Senators. Madison Square Garden. Senators with a 3-2 series lead. Momentum switching from period to period. Who wins today? Who wins the series? Nobody knows. Every single game was hard to predict. But at least we know for sure it will be interesting and fun to watch.
- Game 1: Senators destroying Rangers with possession and puck control.
- Game 2: Goalies having a rough night allowing 11 goals total.
- Game 3: Rangers demolishing Senators in every aspect of the game.
- Game 4: Karlsson and the rest of Sens team being shut down by Rangers forecheck.
- Game 5: Chris Neil with 2:26 TOI makes the biggest impact for Senators.
- Game 6: ???
What to look for in Game 6?
Take a look at key aspects of every game in the series. Up and down, back and forth. Senators needed Chris Neil badly in game 5 and will need him in game 6 as well. In games 3 and 4, Rangers had no fear when forechecking and hitting Senators. This problem occurred when they realized that no-one can return hits. Borowiecki is out since April 15th and Chris Neil was out for the whole 2nd part of the regular season and whole playoffs. Until game 5.
How did Chris Neil impact this series with almost no TOI?
In game 5 Rangers were afraid of him coming off the bench into their faces. Neil stood up for his teammates, even for Phaneuf with whom he had sparks in the past when Phaneuf was part of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Rangers’ Tanner Glass earned a penalty as Chris Neil jumped from the bench to hit him after the whistle. He may have nullified the 2-minute advantage Senators would’ve got, but he got them much more than just 2 minutes. Neil got them momentum, he woke up the Canadian Tire Centre, he showed his teammates that he is here for them. And THAT is the key part of the next game or potential game 7.
Senators need good hits, they need someone to be supportive not just on the ice but on the bench as well. Neil was the one who encouraged them the whole game, pumped them, switched the momentum. Senators got 2 quick goals after the momentum has changed. Senators’ “team enforcer” isn’t just experienced, he is the oldest player on Senators roster and he may retire from hockey soon. Use his knowledge, passion, and experience. Younger guys are emotional, they need to see someone is fighting for them with all their heart so their hearts can fight too!