Rangers Vs. Stars: Wait, Henrik Lundqvist Shouldn't Be Traded?
Notes from the Rangers' win over the Stars.
- I promise you that when the New York Rangers finish a game I don't instantly think "oh my God I know an amazingly snarky headline I'm going to use for my notes article tomorrow." They usually come to me when I actually sit down to write the article. Well, except for one exception. Today's headline was another exception. For all the people on Facebook, Twitter and even a few here who think Cam Talbot deserves more playing time than Henrik Lundqvist, or that Lundqvist has lost a step and isn't very good anymore, well, watch last night's game and answer that question again. Thanks for playing.
- And that's not to say Talbot has been bad. In fact, he's been the polar opposite. He's been great, and has stepped up when the team really needed him to. I expect him to continue to play well and play 20+ games this year, I really do. But Lundqvist is the best goaltender on the planet, and you don't sit him for Talbot.
- Final Lundqvist point: My Dad texted me this morning and said, "I don't know if you watched the entire game but that might have been the best game Lundqvist has played in 3-5 years." I actually agree with him, and that's saying something, because Lundqvist has had a bunch of masterpieces these past five years or so.
- Aside from a first period in which the Rangers had their doors blown off (and had a 1-0 lead thanks to the man between the pipes) the Rangers really bounced back the final 40 minutes. They started utilizing their speed a little bit more, crashed the net and, of course, actually scored a few goals.
- For the first goal, what a passing sequence (started by, ahem, the man between the pipes) and what a beautiful finish by Rick Nash. We talk a lot about how Nash doesn't have the best shot but is still a lethal goal scorer. Why? Because of brilliant (repeat: brilliant) moves like that. He has ridiculous hands when he's in close. And his attempt on the penalty shot? That was pretty, too, it was just stopped with a great save.
- You think Chris Kreider was happy to finally find the back of the net? Here's the thing (and I do sound like a broken record here) Kreider has been as snake-bitten as I can remember when it comes to goal scoring. And even so, he's creating a plethora of chances, impacting games in other ways than scoring goals and still has 12 points in 15 games. Hopefully this goal opens the floodgates for him. He deserves it.
- Same goes for John Moore, minus the brilliance the past few games. He's been a little up and down this year -- which is OK since he's just 23 -- but has shown some real flashes of why he has the potential to be such a special player. His skating ability is off the charts, and he has a deceptive shot. That's a huge goal in a game the Rangers desperately needed. Hopefully that gets him going, too.
- And a very nice pass from Derick Brassard to realize Moore was streaking into the slot for his goal. Brassard has two points in two games and is starting to look a little more like he did in the playoffs last year and the preseason this year. Maybe that goal the other night gets him going, too?
- Dan Girardi has really had a rough go this year. He just looks like he's lost a step, to be honest. Not even that he's been horrible, he just hasn't been the usual Dan Girardi. I wonder if he's fighting through an injury, but I kind of doubt it. I also kind of doubt the Rangers bring him back next year, but that's a different conversation for a different day.
- I said it before so I'm not going to harp on it here but: Either send J.T. Miller down or play him for meaningful minutes. Right now, I'm saying send him down. He doesn't help anyone in the press box.
- Good on Marc Staal and Ryan McDonagh for shutting down the white-hot Tyler Seguin line. That wasn't easy.
- Well, the Rangers are back at the .500 mark. and just a single point out of a playoff spot. This was a big win, and maybe gets them going on this little road trip.
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