Rangers Vs. Panthers: Three In A Row Is A Streak, Right?
Notes from the Rangers' win over the Panthers.
- That's a win the New York Rangers needed to get, and it's a game where you would have liked to see the two points come a little easier, but, two points are two points.
- Here's another one of those assessments I make that you can't really prove. The "Eye Test" stuff if you will. That's a game I think the Rangers lose handily last year. One of those 2-1 losses where the score actually looks far more favorable to the Rangers. And with the Panthers late goal in the first period and their luck goal in the second, it felt like we were going there, didn't it?
- But these Rangers do battle. After the Panthers' second goal it was as though the Rangers' offense flipped a switch and just started to press and pressure. The chances started mounting, the close calls started tallying up and, eventually, the goals started flowing. That's good to see. When this offense clicks (and it has been for a little while now) they're dangerous.
- And, of course, having a competent power play helps. I don't care that the Rangers went 1-for-3 with the man advantage (the goal coming from Mats Zuccarello on a 5-on-3), it looks good. They move the puck well, they find space, they take good shots and they convert. And my oh my does Ryan McDonagh look good with the man advantage.
- Sam and Joe talked about it during the game, and I agree, the J.T. Miller goal probably isn't scored in the beginning of the year. That's a confidence goal. What a play by Chris Kreider to work the puck free, and what a little give and go between him, Miller and McDonagh to get it there. That one was a "wow" goal.
- And Kreider just keeps on impressing. I think he played really well on Sunday, and it was his weakest of the past five games. The assist on Miller's goal was spectacular (he's really showing off his passing, no?) and he was in front of the net causing chaos again. The hit at the end of the game? Stupid. I appreciate where it came from (he was defending Derek Stepan), but you have to be smarter there. I also don't think Kreider knows how strong he is. I don't think he intended for the push to do what it did.
- In total I think the Zuccarello - Stepan - Kreider line did a lot of good things in the game. I love that line. And I think when Rick Nash comes back, that line is going to get even less attention from the opposing team's and have more room to feast.
- Henrik Lundqvist was spectacular. Seriously, when the Rangers needed him he was outstanding.
- Brad Richards had a goal and an assist, and joked after the game he didn't know why Carl Hagelin (assist) passed him the puck since he kept screwing up so much. Richards has been much, much better this year, but still has his warts. Still, he has six goals and nine assists, he's been fine.
- Derek Dorsett is finding his way into your hearts, eh? And to think so many of you thought he was useless because of a few bad penalties in games where the entire team was playing poorly. He can do a lot of things for this team, and he has been, nice to see him get some recognition for it. Goals and assists aren't the only thing that matters when judging players like him.
- Again, not the pretties of wins, but those two points allowed the Rangers to climb out of .500 for the first time this year. That's huge, in terms of confidence for this team. Plus, the news about Nash keeps getting better and better, which is all you can ask for at this point. Add him into this lineup and I think we'll be happy with what we see.
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