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Jastremski: Comeback Blueshirts Conference Finals Bound

All season long, the New York Rangers have continued to find ways to win.

In some ways, it shouldn’t surprise anyone what this team has been able to accomplish so far this postseason.

However, in other ways. It should!

The Rangers have won five consecutive games facing elimination. No easy feat.

They were down 3-1 against the Penguins and found a way to rally.

In the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Rangers found themselves in familiar territory.

After a lackluster Game 5 effort, the Rangers proceeded to outscore Carolina 11-4 in the final two games of the series advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2015.

The Rangers dominating 6-2 Game 7 win was the first home loss for the Carolina Hurricanes all postseason.

The Rangers beat the Hurricanes because of two main reasons.

Special Teams and goaltending.

The Rangers power-play was responsible for the first two goals of Game 7. Adam Fox and Chris Kreider delivered in ways that the Carolina Hurricanes could not.

There was no comparison between the Rangers and Hurricanes power play units.

In addition, there was no comparison between goaltenders.

Igor Shesterskin was spectacular in all seven games in net.

The goaltender advantage was overwhelming for the Blueshirts.

They will not have the same advantage going into the Conference Finals against the two time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Lightning are on the verge of a dynasty, they are battle tested and well rested.

Is this a series you expect the Rangers to win, probably not.

Guess what, doesn’t matter.

The Rangers have spunk, they have terrific goaltending and special teams and they have nothing to lose.

A young, emerging Rangers team against a budding dynasty.

I’ve learned my lesson with this Rangers group, don’t count them out.

You can listen to my podcast New York, New York every Sunday, Tuesday & Thursday on the Ringer Podcast Network on Spotify & Apple Podcasts. You can also watch me nightly on Geico Sportsnight on SNY.

Free playoff tickets, vaccines at Barclays Center

A return to the playoffs is a testament to how far the Brooklyn Nets have come since its move to the borough in 2012. Now, it will also serve as a testament to how far New York City has come in its own battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last week, the Nets announced a new partnership with the mayor’s office and mobile medical service provider DocGo to bring a vaccination site to a location across the street from Barclays Center.
The site will offer free vaccines to qualified individuals ages 12 and older the day before and the day of any Nets home playoff games.The program will last as long as the Nets are in the postseason, and everyone vaccinated at the site will be automatically entered into a lottery for free tickets to a home playoff game.
“Providing Nets fans and our community with quick and convenient access to vaccines is crucial in continuing to open both our arena and local businesses safely,” said Mandy Gutmann, senior vice president of Communications and Community Relations at BSE Global, the company that operates Barclays Center. “We appreciate the mayor’s office and DocGo for making this important initiative possible.
“Additionally, after the incredibly challenging year that many have experienced, we are looking forward to teaming up with the Task Force on Racial Inclusion and Equity to distribute Nets playoff tickets to fully vaccinated individuals,” she added. “It is our hope that this effort will not only build excitement around the NBA Playoffs, but promote the benefits of becoming vaccinated.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke about the program during a recent press conference, comically donned a Nets jersey under a blue dress shirt.
“This is going to be another extraordinary effort to get people vaccinated and keep everyone safe,” said de Blasio. “Go there, get vaccinated and enter the lottery.”
The new vaccine site is specifically designed for residents from the 33 neighborhoods that have been identified by the City’s Task Force on Racial Inclusion and Equity as the hardest hit by the pandemic.
These include Bed-Stuy, Bushwick, East New York, Sunset Park, Coney Island, Flatbush, Midwood, Brownsville, and Canarsie. Residents from these neighborhoods who have already been vaccinated may still enter the lottery by visiting the vaccine site.
Walk-up appointments will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Appointments can also be made in advance by visiting vaccinefinder.nyc.gov and selecting “Barclays Center: Modell’s” as the site.

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