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Rangers Vs. Wild: Say Hello To Your Metropolitan Division Champions

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Notes from the Rangers win over the Wild.

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

- First of all, I think we should all take a minute to appreciate the work Alain Vigneault has done with this team the past two years. Not that Mark Messier was ever really (in my book at least) a guy who should have been a serious coaching option for a team that needed to take the next step right away, but Glen Sather made the right call and it came at the expense of a good friend. And Vigneault has rewarded him with two spectacular regular seasons and one incredible post season run. Hopefully this year's run is a little better than last year's.

- And as much as I get on Vigneault for the whole Tanner Glass debacle, I have tried to make it clear I do believe he's a very good coach. Hell, I tried to defend him earlier this year when it came to Glass (I was wrong, but I tried). And outside of the whole J.T. Miller thing (more on this later) I think he's hit a lot of the right buttons this year, and during last year's run he hit all the right buttons.

- As for the game itself, that's another gutty win. The Rangers are 33-0-1 this year when leading after two periods, but that stat makes it seem like the wins have been open and closed. They're not, and third periods are often filled with panic-inducing moments as the Rangers sit back. That record, it should be noted, is regular season only and it's one of the things about Vigneault I hate down to my very core. I think sitting back in the third cost the Rangers a couple of playoff games last year and it's not something I want to see happen this spring/summer either.

- But they found a way to win. The same way they've been finding a way to win all year. Miller's goal is another example of just how much he's beginning to blossom before our very eyes. That kid is going to be some player. His 22 points in 53 games doesn't tell the whole story. He's going to be a big part of this year's run.

- I will say this though, a lot of people have gotten on me saying they think Vigneault treated Miller the way he did earlier to push him and turn him into this kind of player. I disagree. I think Vigneault was way too hard on Miller and I don't think J.T. would have gotten this shot to prove himself if not for injuries. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's my read on the situation.

- Henrik Lundqvist, by the way, was spectacular. Seriously, he looks like old Lundqvist already. He made a few really big stops; the biggest was the save with a few seconds left in the game to preserve the win. Just a grade-A effort from him.

- Rick Nash scored a really smart goal (his 41st), Derick Brassard notched another assist (his 41st), Chris Kreider -- who was a beast all night -- had a beautiful drive into the zone to set up the Miller goal and Dominic Moore had a tip-in goal himself on a Carl Hagelin shot. Ryan McDonagh had two assists in front of his friends and family. That's a really good mix of your top players making things happen along with some secondary scoring. Those are the types of efforts you need to have come the second season.

- You should take some time today to appreciate what has happened this year. It's a major accomplishment and while it doesn't mean much in thew grand scheme of things, it's still something that should be appreciated.

- Last note: If anyone wants to join the staff we currently have an opening! Check it out here.