Rangers Vs. Maple Leafs: Notes From The Rangers' Much Needed Victory

Jim McIsaac

The New York Rangers played their best game of the year Saturday, and it resulted in a much needed 5-2 win.

- Isn't is amazing what a difference 20 minutes can make? At the end of the second period people were slamming the panic button, ready to rip this team a new one and practically jumping off the cliff. Four goals and a big win later? Suddenly everything seems a whole lot better. Not that it isn't, by the way. The difference between 2-3 and 1-4 is pretty huge, even though it's still early.

- Benn Ferriero had a great debute for the Rangers in the win. Solid in both ends, went into the corners and made some things happen. I like the edge to his game as well. John Tortorella even affectionately called him a "little shit" after the game. Ferriero might turn into a huge depth move for the Rangers. Throw Jason Arnott and Chris Kreider into the mix and suddenly the Ranger's bottom six doesn't look so barren.

- Speaking of Arnott, we'll have more on the signing once it's official, but I will say this right now: I think it's a really good move. Arnott brings a veteran voice to the room, a solid two-way game and a guy who knows what it takes to win. He also scored 17 goals last year and can be useful on the power play. This is such a low-risk high-reward signing I can't believe Arnott wasn't snatched up the minute the lockout ended.

- Henrik Lundqvist was great again. Not very busy, but great.

- This was, without a doubt, the best 60 minuts the Rangers have played all year. They dominated this game from start to finish, worked their tails off and didn't leave their game plan despite being down 2-0 early. Nice to see.

- Rick Nash is the real deal. Plain and simple. Nash finished the game with two assists but it's not just about his numbers. Nash does all the little things, he takes the body, is fantastic in his own end and protects the puck so well he reminds me of a young Jaromir Jagr. He also simply makes things happen. Every time he touches the puck something good happens. Eventually those chances are going to go in, and when they do watch out.

- Speaking of the real deal: Marian Gaborik. Need I say more? Two goals and two assists in the win. Tell me this guy isn't clutch. Like I said last week, some people bash Gaborik just because, but he's easily been the superstar Glen Sather brought him in to be. Five goals and three assists his last three games -- and it shouldn't surprise you that the Rangers are 2-1 in that span.

- I though Brad Richards was much better Saturday. Starting to look like his old self again.

- Derek Stepan had another huge game. The Rangers are really relying on him this year, and so far he has delivered. He finished the game with an assist Saturday in 17 minutes.

- Michael Del Zotto looked good Saturday. A few boneheaded plays, but he had two huge assists in the win.

Thoughts, guys?

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