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Rangers Vs. Hurricanes: Henrik Lundqvist And Finishing Chances

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Notes from the Rangers win over the Hurricanes.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

- Before I really dig too deep into this story it should be noted that the Hurricanes are actually a very good possession team that has rocky goaltending and a horrific shooting percentage. The goaltending situation might not resolve itself anytime soon but eventually the shooting percentage should and they'll get a few more wins that way than you think.

- Still, this is the third game in a row where the Rangers have been very, very, very badly out-possessed (49-24 in shots) and still came out a winner. Yeah, the game against Colorado was much more even in terms of possession -- but they're so bad that it's a pretty big issue to not dominate there. Last night there were more excuses -- Carolina isn't horrific and the Rangers had another lead in the third -- but this needs to be worrisome to the coaching staff. At least I hope it is.

- This is also why I hate the "Rangers are winning so why complain?" voices that rise to the top when something like this gets written. Being good isn't good enough. Sustainability is the key here, and I'm guessing this whole winning while getting badly out-possessed thing isn't going to keep working much longer.

- Rick Nash had his "best game of the season" but I really don't think he was any different Tuesday night aside from actually scoring a goal. Other than that he still did what he's been doing all year. Added an assist, was a beast in all three zones and worked his ass off. Ho hum.

- Mats Zuccarello is a ridiculous passer. But last night really isn't a game to remember for him. He was a team-worst -15 on the night in shot differential. Derick Brassard (-14) was not far behind him. Nash -- for what it's worth -- was a -12 himself. Only Kevin Hayes (+1) was a positive player there.

- Dan Girardi (-11) and Ryan McDonagh (-12) continued to flounder a little. I actually thought McDonagh was OK for most of the night but that pairing needs to get broken up and stay broken up. Move Girardi with Marc Staal or Keith Yandle or something. But keep him away from the top.

- Last night was, once again, the Henrik Lundqvist factor. I'm sure he's getting frustrated -- although not nearly as much as losing 1-0 or 2-1 -- but right now he's the only reason the Rangers are winning these games. I think the Rangers were in more control than the 49-24 shot differential tells you, but one shot squeaking in changes the whole complexion of the game. Relying on that one shot not going in isn't a good strategy.

- I don't mind the idea of a rotating forward in and out of the lineup. Key word: rotating. Make it Jarret Stoll one game, Dominic Moore another, or whatever. Moore sat last night for Emerson Etem and Etem continued to look terrific. Imagine when he actually gets his feet under him? Moore and Stoll aren't kids, though, and if Alain Vigneault is going to cite age as a reason to sit Dan Boyle he shouldn't be against sitting Stoll and Moore to keep them fresh. I think Moore is the better player but if the intent is in the right place I don't have an issue with these moves.

- I still think Jesper Fast will help the Rangers the most on the fourth line. He scored last night -- and does add an offensive punch -- and can get moved up and down the lineup as needed in game or in case of injuries. He's a great luxury to have. Really.

- Have I mentioned Etem should be playing every night? He might have been one of the Rangers best forwards last night.