- Didn't that game look a whole hell of a lot like the games the Rangers were winning earlier in the year when they were getting shelled all night, couldn't find the puck, found a way to score a goal or two and asked Henrik Lundqvist to put on his cape and figure things out with no support? Because that's how it looked to me.
- The Rangers got crushed in shots, scoring chances and high-danger chances. The Rangers lived on a Tanner Glass goal and the "on the knees" effort from potential trade bait Oscar Lindberg that lead to a pretty finish by Chris Kreider. From there it was all about holding onto the edge of your seat and watching Lundqvist steal another game.
- I am so far in the "please don't trade Lindberg for a rental" camp I don't think I know how to get home. In limited opportunities he has 24 points in 58 games and has been a good defensive player. I really do think he has all the tools to be another Carl Hagelin type player for this team who sorely needs him. And since the team is hellbent on keeping Dan Girardi and Marc Staal in Rangers blue, you need every cost controlled asset you have for next year. Throwing him into a rental deal isn't smart.
- With the entire defense healthy Keith Yandle played just over 16 minutes. That was the fifth lowest time on ice for a defensman. Both Ryan McDonagh and Dan Boyle played more power play time than him. If the Rangers are going to keep Yandle around for a playoff run they need to use him as a number one defenseman. Give him and McDonagh the same amount of time on ice and give Yandle an overwhelming majority of the power play minutes. Keeping him and then using him like Alain Vigneault did Thursday night (and has most of the year) is an enormous waste of assets. And my gut is telling me that's exactly what's going to happen.
- In (what I thought) was one of Yandle's worse games of the year, he was the Rangers best possession defenseman by far. Worth noting he didn't play lights out after what I said above, but Girardi and Marc Staal have gotten their minutes spoon-fed to them despite not playing lights out all year.
- So Tanner Glass opens the scoring (from a Girardi primary assist no less) and my inbox and twitter fill up with all the trolls asking me how mad I am about Glass scoring a goal. Here's my problem with this (aside from the general stupidity): Glass played a good game last night. He was even in possession (and on a night where most forwards were in the negative double digits that's an accomplishment), added a goal and didn't hurt anything. Great. But for every game where he does something positive like that there's 15-20 games where he's not helping at best and is a possession black hole at worst where those people say nothing. All in this year Glass is sporting a: 43% corsi, -7.2% corsi rel, -7.4% scoring chance rel (rel = relative to the team average), a 41.7 goals for percentage and a -16.6% goals for rel. That's not someone you want to bank on in the playoffs when you're taking your last shot, regardless of how great of a guy he is. Vigneault always plays favorites, though, so don't expect this to change. Just coloring in some of the nonsense that went around last night.
- J.T. Miller (who got shelled in possession for what it's worth) is becoming must-watch hockey. When he has the puck on his stick you never know what's going to happen. And now that he's started gaining the confidence to protect the puck and really spread his wings in the offensive zone (easier now that the shackles have been removed) he's a joy to watch. Had a horrific turnover last night -- and still makes those mistakes -- but they're happening less and less frequently.
- Kevin Hayes was the Rangers best forward most of the night. Nice to see from him.
- And of course, Lundqvist, who was a dominant force. I'm terrified the Rangers are going to look at this and go "oh he's on so let's spend to make another run" when they should say "wow he's on but the defense is awful so maybe we should address that." A man can dream.