- First thing is first: Give a huge thanks to the first responders in Boston and around this country. They dedicate their lives and put themselves at risk every day and took care of business last night. That's the biggest win of the night.
- Anyway, on to hockey: The New York Rangers got a huge, huge, huge win Friday night. Those two points did two things: It eliminated the Sabres and Flyers from playoff contention and pushed the Rangers two full points ahead of the Winnipeg Jets. Points are everything right now, and in back-to-back, must-win games the Rangers got all four of them. That's huge.
- And those wins keep coming in regulation, which is obviously huge, too. Not saying the Rangers will catch up to the Jets in the ROW column, but it doesn't hurt to keep adding to your own tally.
- Brad Richards scored his first career hat trick. That's surprising to me (no, I'm not joking), Richards has always been a good goal scorer, shocked this is the first time he's scored three in a game. Regardless, Richards now has four goals and an assist in the past two games. Yes, two of his goals today were relatively lucky, and his goal last night was scored well after the game was over, but he needs to heat up. Maybe that's happening.
- Another big game by Ryane Clowe. A goal -- more on that in a minute -- an assist and continued hard work in the toughest areas of the ice. After a couple of tough games he's bounced back with two huge performances. He likes to talk about how he plays his best hockey in the playoffs, well, Thursday and Friday were playoff environments and he delivered. Let's hope that continues.
- Rick Nash (a goal and an assist) and Derek Stepan (two assists) did the usual things they do. They're the one-two punch of this hockey team's offense right now, and they delivered last night.
- John Moore just gets better and better. An assist, some solid plays in his own end and some really nice chances created by his skating ability. This kid is going to be a special player. He's still not logging major minutes, but he's getting there. And he's improving.
- Derick Brassard saw his four-game point streak snapped, but I still think he played a really good game. His give-and-go with Clowe lead to the Anton Stralman goal, and he was active in the offensive zone.
- Henrik Lundqvist had an assist. How awesome is that?