Ahmad Gardner, Madison Square Garden, New York Rangers, C.J. Mosley, NFL Draft
Sauce Gardner, New York Jets, Getty Images

Sauce Gardner felt the love at Madison Square Garden during New York Rangers’ Game 6 win

The New York Jets‘ top 2022 draftee, Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, brought every bit of his trademark swagger to Madison Square Garden on Saturday night; and the Ranger fans in attendance couldn’t get enough.

About midway through the second period of the New York Rangers’ Game 6 playoff matchup with the Carolina Hurricanes, a video of Gardner walking the draft stage in Las Vegas and shaking hands with Commissioner Roger Goodell played on the MSG jumbotron, before revealing Gardener himself in the stands.

Upon realizing Gardner was in the building, New York fans brought the noise and made sure to let Gardner know he’s been welcomed to the Big Apple with open arms.

Gardner, the fourth overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft, is the highest drafted player ever from the University of Cincinnati. He finished his career with nine interceptions, 16 pass deflections, and three-and-a-half sacks, all while never allowing a single touchdown in coverage.

Gardner’s rare combination of size, length, and fluidity help him smother receivers in man coverage and quickly break on the ball in zone coverage as well. His 6-foot-3 height and 33-and-a-half inch arm length are in the 96th and 97th percentiles, respectively, among all corners to enter the league since 1999.

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The Jets are hoping Gardner can help transform a defense that ranked 32nd in the league in total points allowed, and 30th in total passing yards.

Meanwhile, it seems that some “Sauce” must have dripped on the Rangers. New York dominated the Carolina Hurricanes with Gardner in attendance by a score of 5-2, evening the series 3-3 and forcing a seventh game on Monday night, with the winner advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Star goalie Igor Shesterkin shined with an amazing 37 saves on 39 shot attempts. Fifth-year centerman Filip Chytil lead the way in scoring with two goals, while fellow centermen Tyler Motte and Mika Zibanejad, and left-wing Artemi Panarin, all contributed with a single goal each.

Unfortunately for Ranger fans, Game 7 won’t be at “The Garden”, and instead will take place at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. However, with how well things went for New York in Game 6, bringing some of that secret “Sauce” with them down south might serve them well.

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Andrew Golden is a film analyst for Jets X-Factor with a focus on the NFL Draft, prospect evaluations and breaking down scheme fits. He also co-hosts the Oklahoma Drill Podcast with Vitor Paiva and Matt Mauro. Email: agoldenjets[at]gmail.com
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