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Rangers Vs. Senators: Brassard Should Never Use His Wrist Shot

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Notes from the Rangers win over the Senators.

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

- Since December 1st the Rangers have really started to pick up their possession game. Last night was so much better than what we've seen in the past. Even though Ottawa bested the Rangers in raw shot differential (53-48) the Rangers had 30 scoring chances to the Senators 23 and had 14 high-danger scoring chances to the Senators nine. All in the Rangers did a pretty good job keeping a very offensively energetic team from taking over the game -- although Henrik Lundqvist needed to help preserve this in a lot of ways, too.

- Probably Chris Kreider's best game of the year. He had an assist on the first power play goal (and provided the screen), was a +7 in shot differential (led the team), created six individual scoring chances and when he was on the ice the Rangers generated 13 scoring chances and only let up five. From the eye test perspective he used his speed really well, helped open up some lanes for his linemates and had five shots on goal. He was a monster all night. The Rangers need him to play like that more often. They're much, much better when he does.

- Speaking of the power play: The Rangers power play is actually really good. It's clicking at about 28% since the abysmal start to the year, and the trio running the point (Keith Yandle, Dan Boyle and Ryan McDonagh) are a big reason why.

- Yandle doesn't start on the first power play. Joe gets mad. Tweets about how Yandle should be on the power play. Yandle goes onto the point, slides down the halfboards with the puck, opens up space for McDonagh, feeds McDonagh a perfect pass which he rips into the net.

- Dan "worst defenseman ever" Boyle provided the screen on the second power play goal to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead. He had a rough night in terms of possession (-9, worst of anyone on the team) but was only out-chances 12-8 so that might add some color.

- McDonagh, by the way, might have had his best overall game of the year, too. Away from Dan Girardi for a good portion of the night he had a power play goal and two assists to go along with a +6 shooting differential and some great defensive plays.

- Dylan McIlrath needs to be playing every night. He hasn't missed a beat on defense and his shot is something Shea Weber would unleash. When he missed the net in the third period and the puck slammed off the boards it sounded like a cannon went off. I'm intrigued to see what he would do with Yandle feeding him soft passes for him to let that haymaker go. Might be interesting.

- Onto the star of the story's headline: Derick Brassard. Why doesn't he use his slapper more often? Or 100% of the time? Brassard probably has the best slap shot in the league. His breakaway slap shots are a thing of beauty. Two goals for him on the night. The Rangers need him to be good, too.

- The Rangers actually didn't really sit back in the third period with the lead. And amazingly, it made things a little easier for them because the other team can't score when they don't have the puck!

- Longer story coming but Emerson Etem cannot be a healthy scratch. You don't want to sit Tanner Glass? Fine. Sit Jarred Stoll. But Etem can't just be twiddling his thumbs in the press box.

Thoughts?