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Rangers Vs. Coyotes: Rangers Win The Yandle Trade!

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Notes from the Rangers win over the Coyotes.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

- See that? See that headline you just clicked on? That's some ol' fashioned comedy mixed in with sports writing. Who else is giving you that type of stuff? I wouldn't call myself a five-tool blogger because I'm far too humble. But if we're being honest I'd say I'm more of a seven-tool blogger, no?

- Jokes aside, the fallout from the Anthony Duclair Keith Yandle trade isn't going to come tonight. Not that it really deserves this much virtual ink at this point in the year but I think what I had to say when the Rangers made the move still holds true:

The Duclair cost is an enormous one, and while we don't know what he'll truly become until tomorrow (which could be a year from now or even more) it's still fair to say the Rangers paid a big price to bring Yandle in. It also means the Rangers are fully entrenched in a "win now" mode, which is risky business.The risk is the playoffs are not an exact science, and the Rangers are just as likely to lose in the first round as they are to win the Stanley Cup.

I will say this: If the Rangers win a Stanley Cup this year (or next) then the deal is brilliant. And even if Duclair goes on to become a hall of famer the deal is worth it. Nobody cares about the names move in 1994 because the Rangers got their names etched on The Cup, but if the Rangers would have lost Game 7 the story would be different. That's the razor's edge the Rangers are playing on right now.

- The Rangers got a lot of players off the "hasn't scored a goal" snide. Keith Yandle scored one on the power play (Rangers went 1-for-3 on the night), Chris Kreider scored a beautiful one with a diving deflection (watch it again and again here) and Rick Nash "scored" his first goal of the season.

- That goal from Nash? Amazing. I can't remember the last time that's happened. I'm also betting that's the first time that a goal like that has been "scored" for a player's milestone goal (it was Nash's 700th career point). Nash was laughing after it happened and like I've said: now that he has the first one they're going to come in bunches.

- First of all, there's a goal breakdown coming on the Kreider goal because it was so beautiful. But let me just take a moment to say what a pass by Mats Zuccarello. He finished the night with two assists and finally wrestled the points lead from Oscar Lindberg.

- Not sure why Lindberg still isn't getting more than 10 minutes a night but at least he's playing.

- The entire top line (Nash, Derek Stepan and Zuccarello) finished the night +10 in shot differential ... each. Like, each of Nash, Stepan and Zuccarello were +10 in shots. Nash has a corsi of over 68% in his past four games. That's insanity -- and why the "Nash is dragging the team down by not scoring" nonsense boils my blood.

- The entire fourth line got drenched (20% offensive zone starts) but I think they held their own for the most part. Jarret Stoll was a team-worst -10, Viktor Stalberg was right behind him at -9 and Dominic Moore followed him up at -8. But again, looking at the assignments they got, those aren't the worst numbers in the world.

- There was a play midway through the second, I think, where a Ranger was streaking down the side boards and used his speed to create a chance. I honestly thought it was Kreider. It wasn't ... it was Stalberg. Whoa.

- Dan Girardi was a -5 (worst of all defenseman) bringing his season total to -50 in shot differential. Alain Vigneault moved him away from Yandle and (surprise) Yandle was a +4 shot differential on the night and moved the puck very well from the back. Yandle was obviously amped up to play this game but I thought he was really good. Five points in eight games is nothing to scoff at, either.

- Dan Boyle continues to quietly play well, although no one will admit it.

- Kevin Hayes, I thought, looked much better Thursday night. He was quicker with the puck, didn't hold onto it as long (except for this play where he stickhandled through the entire Coyotes defense):

- Mike Smith admitted he passed the puck to J.T. Miller who was calling for the puck and tricked him. It bounced off Miller's skate and then Hayes put it home. Good for both of them.

- Henrik Lundqvist gave up a goal he'd like to have back on the second Coyote's shot of the game. Then it was beast mode. The Rangers left him out to dry a few times and he made some fantastic saves. The sprawling save he made on Anthony Duclair was astounding, but it was his fault for misplaying the puck in the first place. Still, amazing.

- Derek Stepan toughed it out after having his wisdom teeth pulled (and apparently two screws taken out of his jaw from a previous injury) and he had a great game and notched an assist. However, when he passed the puck on the 3-on-2 when he was in the slot to Zuccarello (who was behind him and by the faceoff circle) I almost lost it. If you're in the slot and you can see the net, shoot.

- Jesper Fast can throw his weight around, no?

- You're all visiting YouTube.com/BlueshirtBanter, right? Ryan has gifs and videos of the game landing there and it's always hopping. So go view, subscribe and have fun! We put the big stuff on the site but EVERYTHING goes on the YouTube hub.

Thoughts?