Rangers Vs. Sabres: Domination
Notes from the Rangers win over the Sabres
- So, uh, that was strangely easy, no? Absolute domination by the Rangers from the 14-second mark on. Sure, there was a horrific defensive sequence that led to a goal on the game's first shot and a rookie goalie making his first NHL start to boot but the Rangers got the job done and walked home with two points. Good for them. You need to beat the basement dwellers when you get them on the schedule.
- By the way, I find it funny that the opening sequence was so Rangers that no one even batted an eye. Oh, a rookie goalie in the net making his first NHL start? And the Rangers are going to give a guy all the real estate in the world in front of the net? And he's going to score on the first NHL shot the kid has ever faced? Yeah, sounds about as Rangers as a moment as possible.
- And give Mackenzie Skapski a lot of credit, because that opening sequence couldn't have been easy for him to go through. Granted, Buffalo is really, really bad, so the Rangers were able to shut down the fort and keep the puck as far away from him as possible for most of the game, but he did make a few big saves. And the Rangers might have dominated the game, but they only won by two goals, so it could have been a lot closer.
- Rick Nash scored his 37th, Mats Zuccarello scored his 12th and Carl Hagelin scored his 14th. All three players have been really important to the Rangers this year from the start. Nash, who can't stop scoring, added an assist on the Zuccarello goal -- anyone else surprised Zuccarello didn't pass with the open net? -- and continues to dominate. Zuccarello keeps increasing his price tag and Hagelin continues to be an unsung hero.
- Quick tangent: I was one of the people who speculated the Rangers might be moving on from Hagelin because there simply isn't enough space. I think I'm taking that analysis back, to be honest. He has 14 goals and 27 points in 57 games playing mostly brutal defensive minutes and seeing no power play time. The Rangers wouldn't just miss his speed, they'd miss his defense and his offense too. It might not seem like a lot, but Hagelin does everything well for the Rangers.
- Derick Brassard had two assists and is now a single point from reaching his career high in points. He's sitting at 47 right now. Overall, Brassard has proven that Glen Sather's leap of faith (as Adam put it) to give him a five-year deal worth big bucks was well placed. He's been so, so important.
- Martin St. Louis didn't have a point, but I did notice him a lot. Same for Kevin Hayes.
- J.T. Miller had an assist and another great game. Still only played 10 minutes. I really hope the Rangers don't move him. A young center with size, snarl and skill? Those are the guys you keep.
- That 5-on-3 would have been just as good with you or I on the ice.
- Man this team is going to be good when Jesper Fast comes back. If they sit you know who, of course.
- Tough matchup tomorrow against the Columbus Blue Jackets, but for now enjoy that win. 6-1-2 since Henrik Lundqvist went down with an injury. Better than expected, I'm sure.