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Rangers Vs. Red Wings: Amazing Effort, Poor Result

Notes from the Rangers overtime loss against Detroit.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

- That's one of those games where you take a look at the effort against a really good team and you're happy with the way the Rangers played. If they play like that every game, they'll win a whole hell of a lot more than they lose. And while the result wasn't what you wanted last night, they did get a point -- and as I've been saying, if you're going to lose in today's NHL do it in overtime or the shootout.

- For the record, I'm not putting a ton of weight into the other teams the Rangers are playing in terms of the effort. Yes, Detroit is a very good hockey team, but the Rangers are legitimate Cup contenders now more than ever. The Rangers are the team other guys should be saying, "wow, we played well against them" after games. We're the litmus test, it's not the other way around.

- But still, Detroit is a good hockey team and the Rangers took it to them all night. The Red Wings had no answer for the Rick Nash line (and no answer for Nash himself), couldn't break through the newly formed fourth line (more on them later), had a lot of trouble with the third line. The Wings did do a pretty good job against the second line, though. Overall? The Rangers were a force from start to finish.

- Nash was in animal mode last night -- which is why it's hilarious that some "fans" are calling him out for not scoring a goal on a goalie the past few games. Nash was like a vacuum, he was sucking up loose pucks, forcing turnovers and making things happen in the offensive zone. Nash can carry a playoff team to the Stanley Cup, I don't care about last year, he has the talent.

- How amazing is that new fourth line? Seriously. They looked just like last year's group. Defensive zone draw, worked the puck around, passed out of pressure and cleared the zone. They even created some offense from a defensive zone start. That's exactly what last year's group was able to do -- and between you and me, this group might be better than them.

- The third line wreaked havoc all night. J.T. Miller and Kevin Hayes make such a good tandem when they're banging bodies in the corers to free up the puck and crashing the net to create offense. Hayes' little toe drag at the blue line when he was covered by three Red Wings was amazing, and Miller had chances all night. Carl Hagelin really compliments that line, too, since he can cover some of the forced plays.

- Not a lot of complaints about Cam Talbot recently, eh? This is why I had such an issue with people jumping off the ship when he was struggling. Every backup goaltender is going to have a rough stretch that makes you realize how much you miss your number on guy. But against Nashville and last night Talbot didn't miss a beat. He made a spectacular glove save with about four minutes left off an accidental deflection from Dan Girardi and then upped the ante with seven seconds left when he made a sprawling glove save to keep the game tied at one heading into overtime. What a game he had. A shame he lost it. Especially on a fluky goal like that.

- Speaking of, both the Red Wings goals were scored off a broken play. So, not a bad effort all around from the defense. The Wings are a great team with a lethal power play. Rangers did a good job shutting them down.

- I really think I'm going to love Keith Yandle. I kind of already do love him. They're very small plays, but Yandle does an amazing job relieving pressure on the power play by quickly moving the puck. In the past, Rangers defenders panic and either take a bad shot or throw the puck into the corner and hope a forward can retrieve it. Yandle makes quick passes to open space and it spreads out the defense and keeps possession. He's been fantastic. And that drive where he turned on the jets to meet Nash for the 2-on-1? What wheels.

- I really think I'm going to like Dan Boyle (who has been much better lately) and Yandle together on the point. That duo does really good things moving the puck. They haven't had a ton of time to get used to each other, yet, but you can already see the creative wheels turning.

Thoughts on the loss guys? Tough result, but the Rangers deserved better.