It's Opening Day here at Blueshirt Banter, so let's get things started by taking a brief look at some notes from Tuesday night's win over the Habs.
- I thought it spoke volumes that the Rangers found a way to win on a night where Henrik Lundqvist wasn't necessarily at his best. Lundy gave up 2 goals on only 5 shots in the 3rd period. The Kovalev goal was a great shot, can't really fault him there, but the Markov goal is a save he has to make. Then when Hank stumbled in the shootout, the scorers picked him up and got it done. It's a good sign.
- Blair Betts won an impressive 8 of 12 face-offs in the defensive zone. Betts is one of those guys that doesn't get much attention, but if he wasn't there he would be sorely missed.
- I like the energy we're seeing from the Avery-Gomez-Zherdev line, it seems like every time they are on the ice, things are happening.
- Paul Mara led the Rangers with 4 blocked shots, while Marc Staal led the team with 5 hits. There was a lot of good hitting by both teams, 29 apiece.
- Freddie Sjostrom is playing well, and his playing time has been increased because of it. He seems to be clicking nicely with Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan.
- Speaking of Callahan, he has played 2 games on St. Patrick's Day since he became a Ranger, and in those 2 games, he has 3 goals. Notable mainly because he only has 29 career goals. Luck of the Irish indeed.
- A mixed night for Wade Redden: an assist Antropov's goal, a hit, a missed shot, a giveaway, and a takeaway. I guess the best thing we can say is he has played worse. Torts is still sending him out there on the PP, he had more time out there than any other defensemen, so either he has faith that Redden is going to get straightened out, or he just doesn't feel that he has a better option.
In the meantime, it's Opening Day, enjoy the party! We've got seconds on baloney sandwiches, and there is a cooler full of Milwaukee's Best.