All winning streaks must come to an end. And, unfortunately, on Monday night, the Rangers longest win streak of this early season was stopped by a very good Anaheim team. The game was by no means the Rangers worst performance of the season, and the level of play seemed up to par with what the team has been building toward recently. When you play a team the caliber of Anaheim, sometimes the result just doesn't go your way. Here are your morning notes.
An early mistake led to an Anaheim goal, and despite taking 33 shots, the Rangers were only able to find the back of the net once against Ducks backup Frederik Andersen. Some recaps from Monday night's loss. [Daily News] [Blueshirts United] [The Record] [Newsday] [New York Post] [ESPN]
In a move that might have come as a surprise to some (but really isn't a surprise when you consider the player) Ryan Callahan returned from a broken thumb on Monday night ahead of schedule. [Ranger Rants]
Now that the worst is behind them, it may again be a point worth stating (even if no one on the team is going to admit it or use it an an excuse): The Rangers difficult schedule contributed to their poor start. [New York Post]
In a story I personally found quite interesting, Alain Vigneault, when talking about the 6-0 blowout loss the Ducks handed the Rangers earlier in the season, referenced Bruce Boudreau's decision to keep out his top power play unit late in the game. [Blueshirts Blog] I saw a few people opine that this resentment contributed to Vigneault's decision to scratch J.T. Miller instead of Brandon Mashinter in an effort to exact "revenge." (Mashinter played a whopping 2:50 Monday against Anaheim, and Miller had a poor performance against Carolina on Saturday, so let's just debunk that notion right now. Also, Vigneault benched Mats Zuccarello against Philadelphia earlier in the season, and Zuccarello has responded quite well, so take what you will out of that.) This was the most "John Tortorella" move I've seen out of Vigneault yet. Definitely just an interesting note.
After years of playing at a slower pace, how the Rangers speedy weapons might be the key to the team transitioning to today's offensive trends in the NHL. [Blueshirt Banter]