Rangers Vs. Blue Jackets: Dominating Effort, OK Result

Al Bello

Notes from the Rangers' loss to the Blue Jackets

- I guess we should start with the play that turned the game, the Chris Kreider five-minute major and game misconduct. I understand why the call on the ice was what it was, the hit looked a million times worse live than it was in real life. However when you watch the play again not only did Kreider try to stop, but the hit was shoulder to shoulder. And if Fedor Tyutin -- who did utilize an illegal headshot on Taylor Pyatt in a previous meeting earlier in the year -- isn't a little twisted, he shrugs off the hit and doesn't go face-first into the boards. That didn't happen, though, and the call was made as it was. I'm going to tell you I would be shocked if Kreider even hears from the Department of Player Safety but you never know with them, right?

- In the 20 minutes Kreider did play he was easily the Rangers' best player. He hit the post, had two other legitimate scoring chances and got an assist on Rick Nash's first goal. Another example of his importance? Look at how hard it was for the Rangers to generate offense without him.

- That's a big game in a lot of ways for the Rangers. Nash looked like the Nash of old and scored two huge goals, with the first being a perfect snipe that kissed the bar before lighting the lamp. He was everywhere, used his size well and seemed really involved. I agree with those of you who believe he might still be catching up from missing all that time with the concussion, but that's a big game from him. The Rangers need more of it, too.

- And the comeback. That's the Rangers refusing to hang their collective heads and continuing to drive forward despite adversity. It's the battle level we've all been begging for. And while it wasn't enough to get the two points it was really good to see, and it gave the Rangers a critical point I don't think they would have received earlier in the year.

- Other players I thought looked really good? Derick Brassard, Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, Mats Zuccarello and Dan Girardi. Although he made a few big mistakes in the game, Girardi recovered himself nicely on most of them.

- Anton Stralman was awful, and was directly responsible for two of the Blue Jackets' goals. Michael Del Zotto was good in spurts but also had a few problems.

- You can't really blame Henrik Lundqvist for any of the goals he gave up in the loss. But you can probably make a case that last year he would have stopped one of two of them (including the shootout goals). Obviously it's a confidence thing right now, but the reality is he wasn't getting much help from his defense on Monday.

- I loved J.T. Miller's game, and I think he's taken some major steps forward in terms of his defensive play and his defensive reads. I sure hope he doesn't come out on Wednesday for Dan Carcillo, I think he's earned a spot.

- Give credit to the Bob too, he looked great between the pipes. His glove snare on Nash in the shootout was a thing of beauty.

- As much as it sucks to not get the two points, this wasn't a step back for the Rangers at all. They looked good, the power play clicked and the offense scored when they needed it to. Those are signs of improvement, despite the shootout loss. Wednesday should be a tough test against the defending champs, too. We'll see if they can keep it up.

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