You can play the way the Rangers play, with much more will than Gretzky-esque skill, with patience as a virtue, when you have Henrik Lundqvist standing defiantly in front of your net, and the other guys do not.

It is no easy thing when you carry the hopes and dreams of New York City on your shoulders with expectations higher than the Stanley Cup that was hoisted over Mark Messier's head that magical 1994 night when "1940" became a distant memory.

Henrik Lundqvist does not buckle under the weight.

He is the singular reason why these young Rangers believe, why New York believes there can be another Miracle on 33rd Street.

This is a pugnacious, tenacious team that takes on the personality of coach John Tortorella. It's a team that can give you a different hero every night, even a wunderkind named Chris Kreider, the soft-spoken, unassuming pup out of Boston College who scored the game-winner in the second period on a 30-foot slap shot — and rejoiced on his knees and pumped his arms when he did — who ignited the Rangers' 3-1 Game 1 win yesterday over the Capitals.