Just look at Justin Tuck freaking the fuck out behind the Rangers bench!  Seriously, it looks like he’s sprinting to go get his helmet so he can run out onto the ice and sack someone.  He’s fucking FEELING it!  Running off to go chest bump Caughlin’s rib cage into dust, no doubt.  New York champions cheering on future New York champions.  Different sports, same goal – a parade down the Canyon of Heroes.  One win closer to it now.  Seven down, nine to go…

What an UNREAL evening!  What a freaking turn around for the New York Rangers.  What a win for the boys in blue.  From accepting defeat to victory dancing in a matter of minutes, that was the single most manic hockey experience of my entire life.  I was half way through the seven stages of grief, still holding on to a sliver of hope like Terry Schiavo’s parents in the face of inevitable fact.  What happened was unlikely, but it happened.  What transpired in the final seconds of the third period was a one in a million empty net success story, but those odds pay off every once in a while.  But before I go buy a fuck ton of lottery tickets now that I’m suddenly so lucky, let’s breakdown what was yet another ridiculously memorable evening for New York Rangers fans…

- It was a crusty fucking game out there last night, a real board bruiser.  Everyone on skates had to battle for every inch of ice they could find.  Every pass had to be perfect, every bounce lucky.  It was the type of shot blocking, low scoring, hard hitting game we’ve come to expect from these two teams.

- The Rangers’ first goal was a lucky one.  Their throw-everything-at-the-net mentality finally caught Holtby unprepared as Anton Stralman snuck home his third of the postseason.  For whatever defensive shortcomings he may have, his ability to score timely goals provides some comfort.  Take notes, MDZ…

- Speaking of MDZ, this team continues to shoot itself in the foot by taking bad penalties and the young defenseman was the biggest culprit out there last night.  Though they managed to kill off his first infraction, they couldn’t complete the second and saw John Carlson tie the game at one with 15:40 left to play in the second period.

- It felt like the next goal would be the winning one, so my heart sank when I saw the Caps fire yet another rifle from the point at Lundy’s glove side.  And whatdaya know, another power play tally given up in a previously tied third period.  Deja fucking vu with this team…

- The Rangers chipped away for the final fifteen minutes failing to really test Holtby, but a high sticking call on Boston’s Boy Joel Ward fundamentally altered the course of this Eastern Conference semi-final.  Less than half a minute to play, the overtime hero of just one round ago roughed up Carl Hagelin’s grill and found himself heading to the box for a whopping 4 minutes.  Big fucking deal, the Rangers hadn’t gotten so much as a shot on goal in either of their previous power plays, but something in the back of my head said that the 4 minute aspect of it would end up being huge.

- Then, bedlam.  Del Zotto manages to fire it past the capable Capital shot blockers, Cally is absolutely relentless as he somehow finds a way to tip it on goal.  Repeated stabs to Holtby’s pad kept the puck alive, and just before a covering glove could end our hopes, Brad fucking Richards smacked it through a sea of Caps, off of a post, and into the net.  My apartment exploded.  Six seconds left on the clock, replays showing straight pandaemonium, disbelief abound – I couldn’t believe what had just happened.  Where were the refs waving arms?  Where was the call to review it in Toronto?  I thought that surely some sort of shoe was going to drop and ruin this miracle moment, but our hail mary stood.  Two all after three periods.

- A little over one minute of power play time carried over, and if we wanted to avoid another triple overtime marathon then the time to take advantage was right then and there.  And just like that, before we could even get settled into a proper life-or-death mindset, it was over.  Beautiful.  Glorious.  Euphoria throughout the Garden.  Comeback complete.

- Mitchell won the face-off, battled it back off the half boards where Marc Staal picked it up and walked towards the middle of the point.  For a split second, it looked like he was going to pass to his defensive partner but instead fired it at the net.  Once again, the bounces went our way as it took a deflection off a Capital skate and found its way by Holtby for the sudden death winner.  If this picture doesn’t make your dick tickle, you may want to consult a physician…

- From 0-7 to 2-0, playoff overtimes were once a source of certain misery and now they’re the best high any athletics addict could ever ingest.  Uh-mazing.  Honestly, my fiance was trying to get in an argument about our unusually high cable bill like 10 minutes after the game ended and I was just straight up laughing in her face.  How can you expect me to take anything seriously at that point when clearly I’m in the middle of a dream.  I could be robbed of my life savings at gun point, but as long as the Rangers are simultaneously winning in overtime, contentment is mine.

- Marc Staal is looking absolutely 150% better as of late.  He’s getting bigger minutes, making bigger defensive plays, and that goal in game 7 signaled that he was ready to score some more huge ones.  Last night, he was the hero we all hoped for.  I’ll never suggest trading this gingery goof again…
- Richards, consider your contract earned.  Clutch like you couldn’t script, instant hero status just getting it done when absolutely can’t have any other result.  He never gave up, went to the net, and just wanted that puck more than Holtby’s catching glove.  Well signed Mr. Sather.

- Callahan has straight god-like tenacity.  He’s an absolute animal.  Even after the Caps took the lead he was the one guy out there showing the kind of intensity they’d need to win.  What more can you say about this kid.  Model American, classy captain.

- Lundqvist made some undeniably huge saves, but these ones that are getting by his glove need to be stopped by someone supposedly worthy of the Vezina.  Even still, HUGE performance especially on some big odd man rushes…

- And speaking of odd man rushes, can we score on one, like, ever?  I know we’re good at denying theirs, but can we put one in ourselves when we get the chance?  Doesnt happen often but if we just buried one every once in a while itd be freaking huge.

- The Rangers held Ovechkin shotless for the first full game in over a hundred straight for the Russian sniper.  That’ll help things…

So that was that.  Reliving it in bullet point form sure is fun, but fuck if that’s going to stop me from watching the highlights on repeat all day long.  Un-be-leaveable.  But now it’s time to move on and put this series behind us ASAP.  Game 6, Wednesday in Washington.  No game 7.  LET’S GO RANGERS!!! @Osgood_StoolNYC