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- That's the first feel good win I've seen in a few weeks. And not just because the Rangers beat one of the hottest teams in the NHL after losing themselves in a tough loss to Pittsburgh the night before, but because the Rangers had to battle to pull themselves out of a hole they didn't necessarily create for themselves.
- With that being said: When Derek Stepan scored just 17 seconds in the third period for what turned out to be the game willing goal, the Rangers went into full shell mode. And Washington dominated them, out-attempting the Rangers 24-6 in the third period (that margin pushed Washington ahead significantly for the overall totals). Washington also saw a 12-5 scoring chance and 4-1 high-danger scoring chance edge in the final frame. That's not the best strategy in the world, especially against a team with that much firepower. And yet, that's been the MO of this team for a long, long time.
- Antti Raanta sure did bail the Rangers out ... a number of times. He's been really good of late -- and with his struggles on the road, him playing so well in Washington is good to see. Not sure how much more the Rangers are going to need him with Henrik Lundqvist hopefully getting to 100% soon, but he was great again.
- I have two major problems with the goal call for Washington's first goal. Here they are:
1) The officials never made a call on the ice. That should never happen in any circumstance ever. It needs to be a rule that before a play goes to video review the call on the ice is determined before they go under the headset and announced. This is a vital part to this process because the call ON THE ICE cannot be overturned without indisputable evidence in the "booth." So what was the call on the ice last night? No one knows. And because of that the official can do whatever he wants in the booth (even guessing the puck is in) because there is no call publicly to tie him to.
2) If the NHL has a view of the puck conclusively over the line that we don't have (some people have sent gifs and pictures, but I don't see a single conclusive view -- I see a lot of assumptions) then when they give their explanation through the PR on social media I need to see the picture. It's not a lot to ask for because they have to have one since they just ruled it a goal. Instead the NHL basically said "it's a goal, no seriously, trust us." Not acceptable.
- Stepan, for what it's worth, has been one of the Rangers best players on both sides of the ice for months. He got off to a sluggish start, missed a good chunk of time due to injury and still has 33 points in 55 games.
- Eric Staal hasn't played more than 15 minutes in all three games since joining the Rangers. Not really a complaint but it is odd. I'm withholding judgement on Staal until the playoffs. He needs a few more games and practices before he truly gels with this group -- especially if he's being used on the third line.
- Please re-sign Keith Yandle. A huge goal on the power play (imagine that) and another solid game all around (he didn't have the best of thirds, but he was paired with Dan Girardi a lot in the final period). Just do it.
- Not the best game for Kevin Hayes. I thought Chris Kreider looked really good until he got hurt. Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard were noticeable for the right reasons, as was Jesper Fast (who scored the opening goal).
- Things don't get much easier for the Rangers this weekend, but enjoy this for now.