Rangers Vs. Penguins: Ryane Clowe, Derick Brassard, John Moore Are All Awesome
Notes from the Rangers huge win against the Penguins.
- In all my years watching hockey I don't ever remember a team making a series of moves before and at the NHL trade deadline and then see those players light up the scoreboard in their first game. Ryane Clowe scored two goals and added an assist. Derick Brassard scored a goal and had three assists. John Moore had a goal. Wow. Just ... wow.
- Here's another little note you'll all enjoy. Rick Nash, Carl Hagelin, Derek Stepan and Ryan Callahan combined for one assist -- coming from Stepan. The Rangers won the game 6-1. Read those two sentences again. Would that have ever happened before these trades (ignoring, of course, the fact that those players wouldn't have been on the Rangers)? Probably not. The Rangers traded for depth, offensive upside, youth and grit. You saw all those things come out in the win.
- Another major difference? Battle level. Clowe started things off with two big hits to kick things off, he crashed the net and almost scored immediately. Those types of plays infect the bench, the boys start kicking it into another gear, the Rangers didn't have enough of those players before this trade. They have two right now and a third coming once Derek Dorsett gets healthy.
- Speaking of Clowe, two goals and an assist. So much for the whole "he has zero goals" jokes floating around. You had to think a change of scenery would benefit him. Clowe is too good of an all around player to be useless even if he wasn't scoring (something I was trying to explain right after the Rangers made the trade). The Rangers need more guys like him, and they got him.
- Brassard is the other new guy. He had a goal and three assists. When I asked about him I heard all about his offensive upside, his vision and his shot. He showed off all three in the win. Two of his assists were jaw droppers, his goal was equally impressive. He crashed the net, fought hard and made things happen. Just wow. He's the big return right now in the trade. Moore is the guy to keep an eye on in the future, but this 25-year-old has a hell of a future himself.
- Brian Boyle had four points. Let that sink in. They mentioned during the game that he might have been relieved that he wasn't moved at the deadline. I agree, but it's been one game. Still, he was a monster out there.
- Brad Richards had two assists. He played a good game but was overshadowed by the new guys. Whatever, nice to see him get the job done.
- The power play was 3-for-3. It was officially 3-for-4, but I'm not counting the final power play since John Tortorella pushed out the fourth line. Want to know why it was so successful? The Rangers got bodies in front of the net when the puck was out at the point or halfboard, and crashed the net when they had the puck down low. Is it a shock that all three goals were either created or finished by Clowe and Brassard right in front of the net? No.
- These trades are indicative of the Rangers sticking with Tortorella. These players were brought in because they fit his system and his image. We'll see where he can take them.
- Biggest thing to take away from the win? Only one Ranger played less than 10 minutes last night. Arron Asham. When was the last time that's happened this year? That's depth for you. It helps ever so much.
- Henrik Lundqvist was great, too. And took over for second most wins in New York Rangers history. Congrats, Hank, you deserve it.
- The win pushed the Rangers into 7th place. They've got a ways to go, but what a start.
- That was also the team's second win in a row.