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Rangers Vs. Avalanche/Coyotes: A Weekend Sweep

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Notes from the Rangers weekend wins over Colorado and Arizona.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Sorry for this going up a little later than expected. Had some family over this weekend and had some of those "new house" chores that included blowing leaves off my lawn, cleaning the gutters, installing gutter guards (which I think I did wrong, so, yeah) and spending countless hours drooling over Fallout 4 -- which I can't even play until this weekend. It's been tough. Anyway, what I'm trying to tell you all is that I both missed you and would have rather been here than there. But let's make it up with a two-for-1 notes!! Wooo!

- I think it's fair to say the Rangers were much better on Saturday (against Arizona) than they were on Friday (against Colorado) -- although the numbers don't back up my claim at all. The Avalanche are one of the few very bad teams in the NHL this year and their overall possession metrics are easily the worst in the league. This is a game that the Rangers should have dominated, and they didn't. Against Colorado the Rangers were -1 in corsi, -3 in scoring chances and even in high scoring chances. That's not a stat line I want to see against such an inferior opponent.

- Things got worse against (a better) Arizona. There the Rangers were -16 in corsi, -5 in scoring chances and -8 in high scoring chances. There's going to be a longer story on this, but the reality is the Rangers cannot sustain what they're doing right now. They're being bailed out by elite goaltending and eventually that's going to end.

- Oscar Lindberg and Mats Zuccarello have identical 7-4-11 stat lines to start the year. Lindberg continues to make smart decisions with the puck and has been a big reason why the Rangers have gotten by without any real goals from Rick Nash or Chris Kreider. Lindberg notched a power play assist on Saturday, too. Hopefully he gets more time there.

- I thought Saturday was also a great game from Kreider, who had a goal squeak through Mike Smith's wickets and added an assist. Sometimes you need one to just go in -- although to be fair to Kreider, that was a good shot using the defenseman as a screen.

- Antti Raanta continues to prove you sell high on backup goaltending. The Rangers got him for cheap and he's been spectacular. Everything and more the Rangers could have asked for.

- Henrik Lundqvist was pretty good on Friday, too.

Nash missed both weekend games giving Emerson Etem a shot at some top-line minutes. And to be honest, I thought Etem was really good there. He wasn't Nash -- nor was he going to be -- but he fit in, created chances, used his speed and played a pretty good game.

Keith Yandle was the Rangers best defenseman this weekend and it's not even close. I thought Dylan McIlrath was good on Friday and I thought Dan Boyle was good on Saturday. The answer here is to sit someone else but, alas.

- Dan Girardi is now a -90 on the year in corsi. Just to note, he was a -211 last year. So nearly halfway there with 68 games to play.

- The Rangers Kevin Hayes - Lindberg - whoever (sometimes J.T. Miller and sometimes Viktor Stalberg) look really good. Hayes is getting better and better (so is Miller, actually) and Lindberg has been Lindberg.

- Thoughts?