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Rangers vs Jets: Well That Was A Lot of Fun

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Rangers start the season with a 6-4 victory over the Jets of Winnipeg

Winnipeg Jets v New York Rangers Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
  • The Rangers opened their season with an exhilarating 6-4 victory over the Jets, and man was it a game.
  • It was your prototypical 1980s hockey game with a lot of scoring, porous defense, and a lot of flying rubber. The Jets out shot the Blueshirts 47-34, but in the end it was the six goals (five of which went past goaltender Connor Hellebuyck) that really matter.
  • If you had Marc Staal in the first Ranger goal of the season pool, please make sure you see the cashier to cash in your ticket now, lest you be tempted to double down on that bet.
  • His goal reminded me of Alex Frolov — long live the king of the wraparound — but others have pointed out that the goal was similar to that of Stephane Matteau.
  • The Breadman delivered the Rangers’ second goal of the game, and Artemiy Panarin’s shot was similar to the one we saw in the preseason from the left circle on the power play.
  • The Blueshirts’ marquee signing looked pretty good in his official debut, and picked up a secondary assist on Jacob Trouba’s howitzer of a goal.
  • Speaking of Trouba, the former Jet blueliner looked pretty comfortable in his first game as a Blueshirt. In addition to his goal he had two helpers, including a beautiful home run pass on Zibanejad’s first goal of the season.
  • Zibanejad finished the game with four points (three primary assists in addition to his goal) and was the Rangers’ best forward of the night.
  • Brett Howden — someone who I said should start the season in Hartford — picked up the Rangers’ fifth goal of the game, and was in perfect position to take advantage of a rebound opportunity.
  • Kudos to Brett for this goal, but he’s going to have to show a lot more going forward.
  • And last but not least... Brendan Smith scored too! It was an empty-netter in garbage time, but a goal is a goal, and looks the same as any in the box score in the newspaper.
  • Henrik Lundqvist surrendered four goals on the evening, but stopped 43 of 47 shots to finish with a .915 save percentage. Three of the goals came at even strength, and the only major goal he’d really want back is Kyle Connor’s which was a little trickler on the power play.
  • The victory was Lundqvist’s 450th of his career, and he moved into sixth in league history for most wins by a goaltender.
  • In terms of the rest of the roster, Ryan Strome took two penalties, but still managed to log 18:35. He’s had better games, and I wonder how long his look as the No. 2 center will be.
  • Pavel Buchnevich had a few good chances, including one that was tipped in front, and he seemed to mesh well with Panarin and Zibanejad.
  • Kaapo Kakko skated 15:31 in his NHL debut, including 2:19 over power play time. He had a couple of good looks, and a total of three shots on goal. He didn’t have many jitters, and he looked like someone who is confident in his abilities.
  • Adam Fox logged just 12:24 in his debut, including 1:24 on the power play. He was paired with Libor Hajek (12:20), and the frenetic nature of this game and numerous power plays resulted in them being the odd men out.
  • Trouba led with 24:26, Skjei second with 22:47, and the rest of the group includes Staal (21:30), DeAngelo (20:07), the aforementioned Fox and Hajek, and swingman Smith (9:02).
  • In terms of minutes among forwards, Lias Andersson finished with the fewest minutes at 8:33 of ice time. Lemieux was directly in front of him with 9:35, while every other forward logged double digit minutes.
  • The Rangers’ next game is this Saturday in Ottawa, in what will be the Senators’ home opener.