- That was an emotional night for the Canadiens for a lot of reasons. The synced up national anthem with Ottawa? That was awesome. Really cool to see.
- And the Canadiens had way more energy than the Rangers for enough of the night to pull off the win. They finished their chances while too often the Rangers didn't finish theirs. Carey Price was Carey Price. Henrik Lundqvist was left out to dry. Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi and especially Marc Staal did not play well at all. When that happens it's going to be tough to win anywhere.
- I got attacked on Twitter for the following:
Don't forget, Montreal is really, really good. This game is in their house. Price is awesome and they're healthy. Always was gonna be tough.— Joe Fortunato (@BlueshirtBanter) October 26, 2014
Tough to judge NYR without Stepan and Boyle. Price was Price. One bounce might have swung things but it didn't happen. It's October, too ...— Joe Fortunato (@BlueshirtBanter) October 26, 2014
A ton of people told me these were just excuses. And you know what? They're right, they are excuses. Sometimes, however, excuses are real, tangible and reasonable. I believe that to be the case from last night. The Rangers are injured. The Canadiens are healthy. Sometimes it's not the end of the world to lose a game. Also, it's October.
- To be fair, if that double deflection goes into the net and the game is tied at two in the second period, we might be looking at last night differently. Fact of the matter is, we can't judge the Rangers until Dan Boyle and Derek Stepan are back. They're too important to this team's makeup to make decisions. Staal -- however -- better be getting cheaper, otherwise he should start looking for different houses.
- Anthony Duclair registered an assist on the Rangers' only goal -- a Carl Hagelin tally -- played 14 minutes with no power play time and looked really good overall. He needs to be in the lineup every night. Sit Ryan Malone if you're not going to sit Tanner Glass. I don't care how you make it happen but it needs to happen. Four assists in five games so far. I hate this "he's a goal scorer so he needs to score" narrative. Assists come from goals. He's a playmaker.
- Not the best showing from Kevin Hayes -- although he did have a few flashes -- Chris Kreider, Martin St. Louis, Mats Zuccarello ... this list can go on and on.
- Rick Nash only played 16 minutes last night. Only two minutes more than Duclair and less than guys like Dominic Moore, Zuccarello and Derick Brassard. Strange. The whole game was strange actually.
- And that's that. The Rangers (4-4) need to win one of their next two games to give me the 10 points I wanted out of the first 10 games. Stepan resumed skating yesterday, so there's some good news too.