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Rangers Vs. Wild: Miller Stands Tall ... Again

Notes from the Rangers win over the Wild.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

- For those of you who missed the announcement, we'll be starting a weekly podcast called Bantering The Blueshirts. You can visit the Blog Talk Radio homepage here, subscribe and archive stories at Itunes and join live at the link I listed at the start. The official announcement is here, visit that page for more information if you're interested. Excited to be starting this.

- That's one of the rare games where I really feel like the "they battled through the struggle" or "found a way to win" is accurate. Don't mistake this for a game the Rangers were lucky to win, either. That's probably the best game the Rangers have played all year, and that second period might have been the most dominant period the Rangers have played since 2014. Overall shot differential was 53-29. That's a great game to prey on a weaker team who is having their own struggles. Good for the Rangers to dig themselves out of the mud.

- And their best players (no quotations) were their best players. Ryan McDonagh, J.T. Miller and Derick Brassard all had a goal and an assist. Mats Zuccarello had two assists, Derek Stepan had an assist and Chris Kreider had a (empty net) goal. Miller and Brassard, for what it's worth, look like they might be a dominant pair. Especially if Miller keeps up this shoot first mentality.

- Miller isn't just blossoming on the ice, but he's also blossoming between the ears. That pass to Brassard for the game-winning goal wasn't just an outstanding play, it's the recognition that the defender is pulled from the slot and Brassard is all alone. In the second period he was sitting behind the net, moved the goalie to his right and made a pinpoint pass to Dan Boyle on the opposite side who just missed the net. Nothing groundbreaking on either of those players, but it's great to see him at that level.

- To my point after the loss to the Devils: Are we all OK with Henrik Lundqvist today? Not that he had all that much work throughout the game but late in the third he was a monster. Those third period shells sure are panic-inducing no? Don't take him for granted.

- Dylan McIlrath finally has to play because of the Kevin Klein injury. So what does Alain Vigneault do? Gives him just over 11 minutes of ice time and only allows him to have about six sifts in the third period. Why? Because Dan Girardi and Marc Staal -- who had about as bad an opening 10 minutes as one could have -- are "more reliable." The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round. McIlrath, by the way, was a +5 in shots.

- Per a source to Blueshirt Banter Klein is expected back as early as next week. Hearing Wednesday against Pittsburgh is the target as of right now.

- Can McDonagh play Minnesota every game? He always finds another level against his hometown team and was about as dominant WITH Girardi as I have seen him all year. I believe Adam was the one who mentioned that Girardi has become a passenger the past few games with McDonagh, rather than a detriment. But all you need to know about that relationship is McDonagh's +20 shot differential and Girardi's +4. For two guys who were playing with each other most of the night that's a pretty dramatic discrepancy.

- For a game where the Rangers were so dominant I think it's telling that Dominic Moore (even in shot differential) and Daniel Paille (+1) were the bottom of the pack. (A surprising Jayson Megna +7 keeps him off this comment). In a game where the Rangers were that dominant you'd like to see them have better raw numbers, although I really can't remember any drastic mistakes from any of them.

- I'm as shocked as you are that I'm writing this: But is Paille a better option than Tanner Glass?

Thoughts on the win, guys?