NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 30: Michael Del Zotto #4 of the New York Rangers reacts after scoring a goal in the first period against the Montreal Canadiens at Madison Square Garden on March 30, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
- Why don't we start with Ryan Callahan winning the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award. Was there really any other choice? Well, yes actually, a bunch of them. Which, by the way, is a major reason why this team is so successful. Regardless, you can't go wrong with Callahan, and he's just as deserving as anyone else -- and when all is said and done maybe even more deserving because of the "C" on his chest. Good for him and good for the team.
- And what about the number 50? The Rangers just won their 50th game of the season. 50. 5-0. 25+25. OK, you get the point. I think we all agreed that this team had the talent -- depending on how some of the younger players stepped up -- to win 50 games. But I don't think anyone actually expected it to happen. Well, it did. And it's remarkable. The franchise record is 52 wins, and that's in serious, serious jeopardy.
Join me after the jump for more.
- Henrik Lundqvist is back to playing his spectacular shut-it-down goaltending. He's played this way for about 95% of the season, had a three for four game stretch a couple of weeks ago where he was a little shaky (in other words, giving up more than one goal a game) and now seems to have rebounded nicely. A lot of people questioned John Tortorella's motives to start and ride Lundqvist at this stage in the regular season, but it looks like it was the right call.
- Another great game from Michael Del Zotto? Move along, nothing to see here. He's been this good all year. Especially on the defensive end. Anyone who questions Del Zotto at this point in the season (and I'm not just talking about his monster two games, I'm talking about his consistency all year) doesn't know hockey or doesn't watch the games. I would bet the former. Del Zotto has been fantastic, and that was proven by the disarray the defense was in when he was out about a month ago. As for his numbers: 10 goals, 31 assists for 41 points in 73 game. He's also a +21. He also plays 22:29 a night. Yup, who would want that on their team?
- Derek Stepan had two assists last night (both on the power play) and hit the 50-point plateau. It's been a really great year for Stepan and he's payed a big role in the Rangers' success this season.
- Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards both had a monster game as well. Gaborik had a goal and an assist while Richards had a goal and two assists. Richards and Gaborik need to be a big part of the Rangers' offense once the playoffs roll around, and right now that's exactly what they are.