Rangers Vs. Sabres: Pre-Game Notes
Some notes before the Rangers take on the Sabres tonight.
- Isn't it nice to have Rick Nash back. We obviously highlighted those feelings after the Rangers' 4-1 win over the Lightning, but going into games it's nice to know as well. Nash thought he wasn't fully 100% after the win -- and yet he still notched a goal and an assist -- so it should be fun to see what he's like tonight as he gets closer and closer to being 100%.
- The power play has looked better the past couple of games, but at no point has it blown anyone away. At some point the Rangers power play needs to come to life if they keep playing the way they have. That's not guaranteed, however. I've said it before and I'll say it again, moving Nash to the front of the net might be the best thing that's ever happened to this power play (although I'm not sure I would do it tonight -- you want to keep him away from overly physical play just a few days free of his concussion/mystery injury).
- So long as Derek Stepan and Carl hagelin keep scoring the Rangers do have two pretty potent scoring lines. When neither of them are scoring -- thrown in with the struggles of Brad Richards -- the Rangers have one player who can really score, and that's Rick Nash. Amazing how much of a difference secondary scoring can make.
- Ryan Callahan has been really, really good the past few games now. I thought he started out of the gate a little slower, but he's really picked it up. He's one of the grittiest players the Rangers have. He's also one of their top scorers. When he is on his game -- which is more often than not -- he's a special player. The Rangers will need him tonight.
- Want to know which Rangers' defenseman leads the team in points? Marc Staal. He has 11 in 19 games. That's pretty impressive, and I do like the way Staal has joined the rush so far. He's going to have to stay home a little more against a very good offensive team in Buffalo, but it's nice to see Staal become a part of the offense.
- Nash leads the team in shots on goal with 69. Gaborik is a close second with 65. Hagelin comes in third at 63. The next closest person? Callahan, with 45.
- Rangers leading power play goal scorer? Callahan with three power play goals. Leading power play points? Stepan, Staal and Callahan are all tied at three apiece.