Rangers Vs. Wild: Can We Bottle That Up And Sell It?
Notes from the Rangers' win over the Wild.
- That might have been the New York Rangers best game of the season. If not, it was close. The Rangers battled, competed, got scoring from some players who have needed to get going, defended well and got solid goaltending. That's a recipe for success, and one the Rangers haven't been using for awhile.
- And the goal that got the Rangers going came from a guy who has been about as up and down as I can remember. Benoit Pouliot has shown flashes of a really, really good player this season. They're fleeting, of course, but they evidence of his skill is there. The tip-in goal he scored Sunday is a perfect example of that skill. In the past four games he has two goals and two assists. This kind of play probably won't last, based off of his history, but the Rangers can use it while they're getting it.
- That's another big game from Derick Brassard. A really big game. He now has a goal and four assists in his past five games. The Rangers need to get the Brassard from the playoffs, and for a lot more of this season than the numbers will show I think they kind of have. Brassard's best skill is his vision/passing, and when a team is struggling all around for offense sometimes those players lose their stats. I still think Brassard has been good for a lot of this year and he's been pretty damn good the past five games.
- Mats Zuccarello -- who has been good ever since he was healthy scratched in the beginning of the year -- was the beneficiary of one of Brassard's passes and scored a huge goal to give the Rangers a 3-1 lead. He also plays with a mean streak the Rangers desperately need at times. If only he was two feet taller.
- And Carl Hagelin scores as well. He's been off and on too, but the Rangers really need him to be the guy he was Sunday night. Using his speed to forecheck, creating some offense and getting back defensively. That's a big goal from him to give the Rangers a lead, and it might go a long way to boost his confidence.
- Then Chris Kreider scores to make it 4-1. Forget the goal, because it's obviously about as lucky as can be, but he used his speed and agility to break in all alone on the goal. Kreider has seen his minutes reduced the past couple of games, and on one level I can understand that there have been some bumps, but when Kreider is your best offensive player you take the bumps and give him some ice time. Just my opinion, of course.
- Cam Talbot wasn't too busy, but when he had to answer the call he did. And in a big way. He gets another win and the Rangers' defense steadies themselves in front of him. Ho hum.
- Speaking of ho hum: Another assist for Ryan McDonagh.
- Rick Nash? Anyone seen Rick Nash?
- This win doesn't mean much if the Rangers can't win again tonight. If they Rangers can win tonight they will finish the homestand 3-4-2. Yuck. But that looks way better than 2-5-2 or 2-4-3. Whatever, the Rangers just need the points.