Rangers Vs. Jets: Four Goals And A Win Feels Nice

Bruce Bennett

Notes from the Rangers' win over the Jets.

- Well, that was an interesting game. When Derek Stepan scored 19 seconds in you had to figure it was going to be one of those games where a struggling team hangs five or six goals simply because they haven't score in so long. Less than a minute later when the Jets tied the game (and then eventually took the lead) it was "oh no, here we go again." In the end, the Rangers scored three unanswered goals and pushed ahead for a huge 4-2 victory over the Jets.

- That game should be a huge confidence builder. It almost has to be. You're fighting against a team who has handed you a couple of really tough losses, you're coming off almost 130 minutes without scoring a goal, you go down 2-1 after scoring in the opening minute and then find a way to win. Those were the type of games the Rangers were winning last year. This year? More often than not the Rangers were in the loss column.

- So let's talk about Stepan, because he's been the Rangers' best offensive player not named Rick Nash this season, and after all the grief he got the first five games I really haven't heard that many people gushing over what he's been able to do for this team. Two goals from him last night. That pulls his season numbers to 12 goals and 15 assists for 27 points in 35 games. He's been immense.

- Ryan Callahan had a pretty good night, too. A goal and three assists for the captain as he helped propel the Rangers back into a more comfortable playoff position. He's had a couple of rough games the past few weeks but he really picked it up today. The best part about Callahan is that even when he isn't scoring he's doing everything else right. Well, he was doing everything right and still scoring last night. That shorthanded goal was pretty enough to drop your jaw.

- And, of course, Rick Nash. He helped put the game away in the third, and did all the things we've seen from him this year and hoped to see from him. Like I said above, he's been the best player this entire season. Stepan has been second. And in terms of offense, there's quite a gap between them and the next best player.

- So Mats Zuccarello wasn't aware that you can't close your hand around the puck. I saw a few people on twitter complaining about him because of that but I happen to think that's on the coaching staff. There are a few new rules this year and he should have been briefed on all of them. Not saying he wasn't, mind you, but that one obviously slipped through the cracks. Still a really good game from him. He got an assist and made things happen offensively.

- Henrik Lundqvist was really, really good, too. A beautiful glove save to keep the game at 2-1 and some other big ones when the Rangers were buzzing. Nice to see him get a win, he's earned it.

- Chris Kreider played just over three minutes, J.T. Miller played just over seven minutes. Why waste their time? I get wanting to win in a close game and keeping your rookies off the ice but Taylor Pyatt was out there for 10 minutes and Brian Boyle was out there 17. Yes, 17 minutes. Play the kids. Just play them. Kreider needs to play and he needs to play at this level. It's a joke he and Miller barley reach 10 minutes of ice time COMBINED last night.

- The Rangers will wake up this morning two points behind the Devils for seventh place with a game in hand. The Rangers and Islanders are tied in eighth place but the Rangers have a game in hand, so they get the tie-breaker. Getting two points in this home and home against the Penguins would be monumental. Four points? Well, let's get the first two first.

Thoughts?

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