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Rangers Vs. Jets: Sometimes The Puck Doesn't Go In

Notes from the Rangers shootout loss to the Jets.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
- First of all, the first ever (shut up, Tony) "meeting of the minds" with the Banter folk went well. Evan and I were there to quell the revolution, and we all had a good time. I'll let you all know when I'll be there again (Tony and 50 are there every game) but it was a lot of fun. Nice to meet everyone in person.

- You almost want to be frustrated the Rangers couldn't find a way to grab the second point of that game. They had their chances late -- mainly the Martin St. Louis OT breakaway -- but just couldn't put one home. But when you take into consideration their effort (fantastic) and what they were up against (down Ryan McDonagh and Kevin Klein for 90% of the game) you can't be anything other than happy the team even managed a point. The Rangers dominated with 3.5 NHL defenseman -- yes, Matt Hunwick's efforts so far earn him an "NHL defenseman" title.

Henrik Lundqvist had limited work, but was spectacular. More than a few saves through traffic and a couple of big moments down the stretch and in OT. He gets the shutout despite the shootout loss.

- The offense wasn't bad, it just wasn't finishing. The first two power plays created chances but couldn't convert. I know the most important part of the offense is finishing, but sometimes the puck doesn't bounce your way. It happens.

Chris Kreider missing that wide open net in the second? Oof. Loomed large the longer the game dragged on, and hit home when Evander Kane lit the lamp to give Winnipeg the win.
Rick NashLee Stempniak and Mats Zuccarello had the best games on offense for the Rangers. Derick Brassard was let far behind. When they played, Kevin Hayes and Anthony Duclair looked good, but both had warts.

- Hayes biggest issue so far in my eyes? Shoot the puck. Don't be fancy, just shoot the puck. The play Hayes made to steal the puck from (I believe it was) Kane and then drive in alone was fantastic. The toe drag and eventual blocked shot was not. Shoot the puck there, don't be fancy.

- Duclair had an up and down game. I thought he looked good on the power play, and did have a few chances. The turnover in his own zone thanks to a failed through the legs deke is a rookie mistake that can't happen. Him missing the stretch pass in the neutral zone and then taking a bad penalty can't either.

- But you know what? Both Duclair and Hayes are better options than Tanner Glass and Ryan Malone. They're better options than Chris Mueller, too, who was invisible except for a few bad moments. They need to play. They're going to make mistakes, it happens, but they're better options than some Alain Vigneault has used.

- Mueller, for what it's worth, has to be the guy sent down when Derek Stepan returns, no?

- How much use does Vigneault think Glass has? Well, he's apparently useful enough that Vigneault is able to contort the lineup and still keep him in night in and night out. He's not, however, useful enough to play significant minutes in the third period (or even at all).

- That, by the way, means Vigneault understands Glass' value/abilities. Vigneault gives him a huge share of offensive zone starts -- which means he's digesting and understanding the advanced stats side of his game. There's a theory going around that Vigneault is giving Glass a 15 or so game tryout since he requested Glen Sather bring him in and it would be a bad look to start scratching him so early. I'm not so sure that's true, but I know AV keeps his own stats and I know he is using them based off the way he's using Glass.

Dan Girardi had a fantastic game (and has been much better since the first couple of games). Marc Staal looked good, too. Hunwick (like I alluded to above) has become quietly steady for the Rangers. Michael Kostka did not have a good game. I'm admittedly down on him, and it's tough to judge any of them negatively in a game like that, but I don't like the Rangers having to use him.

- The Rangers got me 11 points in the first 10 games. I wanted 10, so they exceeded my expectations. We'll know more on McDonagh (separated shoulder) and Klein (foot contusion) tomorrow.
For now, thoughts?