Rangers Vs. Avalanche: Make It Four

Jim McIsaac

Notes from the Rangers' win over the Avalanche.

- That's a hell of a performance from a guy who is watching his name get thrown around in trade rumors every five minutes. As much as athletes say they don't notice it, or they don't see it, they do it. It can't be easy for him. And while I know it's really hard to feel bad for a guy who is about to make somewhere around $40-million, I get it. I'm sure his first destination choice would be New York. But if long term stability is important for Ryan Callahan -- and there's no reason to think it shouldn't be -- I can't fault him for his demands. And if he does go, well, it would be hard to swallow but I would understand it. Like my Dad said last night: "If it happens I won't be mad at the Rangers and I won't be mad at Callahan." I agree.

- And, aside from Callahan, Henrik Lundqvist was remarkable. Serious stuff from him again. Just dominant, especially on the Avalanche's extended 5-on-3 where Lundqvist made three or four ridiculous saves that simply made you shake your head. That's vintage Henrik Lundqvist. Vintage. And look at the difference it makes.

- Despite the fact that the first line didn't score any points, I thought Rick Nash, Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider were really, really good. They created chances, moved the puck around and could have scored a few goals if things bounced differently. Doesn't matter, but still good to see.

- The line that was dominant? Derick Brassard (goal and an assist), Mats Zuccarello (two assists) and Benoit Pouliot. That line has been so good for so long for the Rangers it's almost getting to the point where you take them for granted, but they've been a really important part to this success.

- And give Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi, new dad Marc Staal and Kevin Klein a lot of credit too. That foursome did a really great job keeping the Avalanche's skill players off the scoresheet. And give John Moore and Anton Stralman a lot of credit too. Stralman, by the way, scored his first goal of the season in the win. A huge goal to give the Rangers a 3-1 lead after the Avalanche brought the game to within 2-1.

- John Moore looks like a different defenseman on the left side doesn't he? Boy oh boy what a difference that makes.

- We've talked about how Carl Hagelin needs to be better here quite a bit. He had two assists and looked pretty good for the Rangers last night. Same goes for Brad Richards, although he's been far more consistent.

- This was another big win for the Rangers. Although at this point it's kind of moot because all the games are big. The Rangers are three points ahead of both Columbus (the Blue Jackets have a game in hand) and Philadelphia (level in games played) for second place in the Metropolitan Division. So things aren't secure by any means.

Thoughts?

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