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Rangers Vs. Wild: The Kids Are Pretty Good

NHL: FEB 13 Rangers at Wild
  • It starts with Nick Holden. Then it goes to Rick Nash. Then it settles on Brady Skjei. What am I talking about? The turnover bug of course! In a game where the Rangers are dressing four “would be AHL regulars if not for injuries” on defense, and two on offense, you wouldn’t expect Nash and Skjei to be an issue there. But here we were, watching the Rangers turn the puck over like it was a charity event, and sinking into an insurmountable 3-0 hole very early. Each of those turnovers, by the way, resulted in a goal against.
  • And those kids, by the way, didn’t look bad at all. John Gilmour scored his first NHL goal, Neal Pionk notched his first NHL point (an assist), Tony DeAngelo continued his impressive run of play and had an assist as well. As Adam said, the Rangers losing but having their kids thrive is as good a long term result as you could ask for.
  • Like the win over Winnipeg, the Rangers stumbled out of the gate, had a really good second period, and then fell victim to a lack of shots and momentum in the third.
  • Henrik Lundqvist was probably on the path of being lambasted before the Rangers righted the ship — Alain Vigneault actually made Georgiev put his mask on before the Rangers got a power play moments later. But again, the team was a disaster in front of him, which people somehow seem to forget.
  • Non-Rangers point, but how shocking are those twin 13-year deals for Zach Parise and Ryan Surer? They have seven years left on those deals! Seven!! Parise and Stuer are 33! Woof.
  • Kevin Hayes had a goal and an assist, and continues to show that he belongs on the power play. I’ve always liked Hayes’ game, and feel like his numbers are being suppressed because of the role he’s being forced to play, but my word does the man create chances.
  • Speaking of proving something: Do you think Vigneault watches DeAngelo play and thinks to himself “boy, maybe he should have been playing more.” As Adam said, it shouldn’t have taken this many injuries to get kids meaningful minutes without a guillotine over their heads, but a few of them (DeAngelo specifically) have impressed since coming back. I get it, he did himself no favors in the AHL with his play, but in his time on Broadway he’s shown why the Rangers were so high on him last year.
  • Something the kids are doing — and we saw this a lot with Vinni Lettieri — is this bizarre thing called ... shooting the puck? Gilmour, DeAngelo, and Pionk look to shoot at every opportunity from the blue line. Lettieri has never met a shot he didn’t like.
  • Is it just me, or is J.T. Miller even more ornery these days? He was ready to throw the gloves down on the power play ... during a face off ... He got under the Wild’s skin all night (isn’t that Cody McLoed’s job?), thew his body around, and plaued a pretty solid game.
  • I didn’t mind Nash, David Desharnais, Michael Grabner (who had a rare assist — only his sixth on the year) either. Mika Zibanejad was good, too.
  • Vigneault might not have a choice on defense, but at forward he’s working with far more NHL talent; thus Peter Holland is an 11-minute players and Lettieri can’t get into double digits.
  • I too am shocked it took a fractured hand to get Steven Kampfer out of the lineup. Especially since with four (again FOUR OF SIX) AHL defenseman in the lineup, the Rangers’ defensive efforts are actually better across the board than they were most of the year.
  • It was wonderful (I mean, really, really, really wonderful) to see Michael Sauer in the crowd during the game.
Shayna Goldman | @hayyyshayyy
  • It might be by design, but we get so very little information about him these days. He was laughing and seemed to be enjoying himself. I wish him all the best, it was great to see him in that type of a moment.