"I've been in the game a long time to know that sometimes the hockey gods are there," New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault told reporters following New York's fortunate 2-1 victory in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. "They were there tonight."
The Rangers had been snake bit through three Stanley Cup Final games against the Los Angeles Kings. Some odd, broken plays allowed the Kings to come back and win Game 1. A blown goaltender interference call altered the momentum of Game 2. In Game 3 a correlation of brutal bounces buried New York's realistic shot of winning the Stanley Cup.
In Game 4, New York's luck changed. On Wednesday night, the Rangers managed a handful of goal-line stands. The first was a remarkable, heads up defensive play by Anton Stralman. The second was more likely divine intervention. "Thank God for soft ice now and then," Vigneault said of the puck that came to an opportune halt on the goal line.
"We got a few bounces," Vigneault admitted after Game 4. "You need those. Maybe the luck is changing a little bit."
Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist echoed Vigneault's sentiment: