After Game 3, New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault was downright glum about his team’s perceived bad “puck luck.” The coin tosses seemed to flip dramatically in favor of his team in Game 4, however, so it’s no surprise that Vigneault was in a good mood on Wednesday night.
In assessing the Los Angeles Kings’ two chances in which pucks stopped within a breath of crossing the Rangers’ goal line, Vigneault provided a classic assessment:
“I knew it wasn’t in because the light wasn’t going on,” Vigneault said. I didn’t know exactly where it was. I was able to see the replay after.”
“Thank God for soft ice now and then.”
That’s downright verbose compared to Vigneault’s take on the Rangers’ play in Game 3: “Couldn’t score.”
Naturally, he also thanked his lucky stars/deities for a masterful performance from Henrik Lundqvist.
“He had to make some huge saves in the second and the third,” Vigneault said. “He got and we got a few bounces. You need those. Maybe the luck is changing a little bit.”
Of course, Kings fans would probably snicker at the “little bit” part. Beyond some prime scoring chances that hit a post or missed the net entirely, those “soft ice” moments were crucial to New York’s survival. It’s almost impossible to deny the “luck changing” narrative when you consider these moments:
There certainly was a lot of “snow” in the crease late in the third period:
It was fairly slushy there when Anton Stralman saved a goal, too:
The Rangers managed to extend this series to Game 5 despite the Kings generated a 15-1 shot advantage in the third period. One cannot help but feel that luck can only take them so far if they perform this way again.
Regardless, the Rangers aren’t complaining tonight.
“I’ve been in the game a long time to know that sometimes the hockey gods are there. They were there tonight,” Vigneault said.