Rangers Vs. Sabres: That's Two In A Row!
Notes from the Rangers win over the Sabres.
- Well, things look a whole lot brighter this morning than they did a week ago. That's probably because the Rangers have shaken off their rocky start, are starting to settle down and are beginning to understand the system a little better. Aside from the Buffalo Sabres third period surge (brought on by the New York Rangers sitting on the lead a little) the Rangers were great defensively, and when he was needed Henrik Lundqvist was in beast mode, too.
- Chris Kreider was spectacular. Again. Forget the goal -- which was a smart play, but there's obviously luck involved with a goal like that -- he was doing all the right things. Remember last year (and in the playoffs two years ago) when we all lamented about how amazing it would be if Kreider put everything together. His size, his speed, his smarts and his offensive ability? Those things are all flowing through him now, and it's awesome to see. He was one of the best players on the ice again Thursday, if not the best player on the ice.
- Derick Brassard seems to have found him game again, too, which is good because the Rangers need him. His power play goal was exactly what you want to see out of Brassard, which is shooting the puck when he has the opportunity. Brassard is a player with amazing vision and passing ability, but he's a player who can certianly score goals. He moved the puck well on the power play, and obviously scored a power play goal. I've liked his game a lot recently. Nice to see him contribute again.
- The power play in general looks so much better. It was 1-for-3 Thursday, but could have been 3-for-3. The puck movement has been fantastic, and the chances that are being generated are pretty legit, too.
- Mats Zuccarello continues to improve, recording an assist on the Kreider goal. I'm a big fan of the Kreider - Derek Stepan - Zuccarello line, and I think they're doing good things together. They've been the Rangers' best line in these back-to-back wins.
- Ryan McDonagh with another assist (and all around great game). The offense is starting to shine through a little with him, no?
- Good, solid performances from Marc Staal, Dan Girardi and John Moore as well. I think the Rangers' defenseman are starting to get a better handle of what they're supposed to be doing. Those odd man rushes and chances where no one is covering the back door? Those are quickly becoming a thing of the past.
- Michael Del Zotto has had a rough go this entire season. Earned an assist, but he really does need to be a lot better and soon.
- The biggest difference between John Tortorella and Alain Vigneault in terms of player treatment? When players were struggling Tortorella used to demote them to try and light a fire under them and get them to play better. Vigneault gives the player a little bit more of an opportunity to get his form back. Kreider, Brassard, Moore and Benoit Pouliot are all pretty good examples of this.
- Well, that's another win. I don't care if it's against a bad team, good teams need to win those games. Two points are two points.