You can't get higher drama than what we are about to experience in Game 5. Rangers win or go golf. The best chance at a Stanley Cup since 1995 and probably the best chance until 2011 could be killed. Jaromir Jagr's career could come to a close where it started. Sidney Crosby's quest for his first Cup could take its next step. It all makes for a helluva lot of hype so let's hope the game lives up to it.
So how can the Rangers win? If they can focus on playing their own game, they will find victory. Here are some keys to go about doing that:
*The Rangers have to play a straight up, clean game. The officials have proven time and time again that they aren't going to do any favours and they are prone to mistakes so don't let yourself get caught in a position where an infraction could take place. A big part of that is skating your guts out because if you can keep pace, you don't need to hook or hold.
*The defense has to keep it simple and smart. No ill-advised passes or pinching. Yes Mara, you were slew footed by that commie contract-breaking Malkin, but the best revenge is victory.
*Hank has to play like its the gold medal game of the Olympics. It is that same kind of dire one-mistake-ends-the-game circumstance and the glory will follow.
*The forwards have to fall in step with Jagr. The captain is finally leading by example, so follow him to victory. Shanny, this especially goes for you; Jagr is playing like this may be the end so you should do it too.
*Sean Avery isn't going to be playing. That is not an excuse, that is a motivation. Know that if he could play, he would and understand the amount of heart and energy that he would put into it and surpass it.
*Someone has to get Chris Drury some good drugs. Captain America/Captain Clutch/Little Leaguer has been Mister Everything so far and has taken a beating. This game is why he got the contract he did so if he can make it through the pain, the Rangers have a helluva weapon. Remember last year? 7.7 seconds. He can do it again.
*Scott Gomez has to imagine he is playing against Mmmmaaaarrrrtttyyy and the Devils. Gomez hasn't been especially bad this series, but he hasn't been as driven and as dominant as he was in the first round. Time to dominate.
*Kids, stay calm. This will be, by far, the most hostile environment you have ever, EVER played in. Use that. Be cold, be calculating and know that by playing your game you can shut them up.
Shut them up.
Let's Go Rangers!