The Kids Are Alright: Rangers Wrangle the Wild, 3-2

That’s TWO too many men penalties. TWO. And not just near the bench, either: six Rangers out there doing their thing (which is clearly not counting) until the ref was like, “Dude,” and the second time was like, “DUDE.”

What? Haven’t you ever heard of in medias res? No?

OK, fine. I’ll start at the beginning. The Rangers somehow beat the Wild, which was nice because all the Minnesota boys had family and friends out in full force, but was less nice because OH MY GOD THE ODD MAN RUSHES. THEY NEVER STOPPED. Fortunately for New York, the Wild wasn’t so much with the finishing, which might explain why this was their 4th loss in a row. The other reason was Antti Raanta, who had 25 saves.

The Wild scored first, on a top shelf shot from some Staal or other who isn’t Marc. But hometown boy Brady Skjei answered with a gorgeous one-timer set up nicely by Zucc (who else), ending the first frame at 1-1. Raanta made some great stops and managed to blow a blade, making me think about how easy it would be for a goalie to shiv someone in the crease. (How has Lundqvist not done this already? I can only imagine he’s saving it for a really special Girardi — I mean occasion.)

In the second, JT Miller sent a beautiful backhand from behind the net to Oscar Lindberg, who bashed it in. Then Pavel Buchnevich took a shot from the boards that left Vesey the perfect rebound, which he lifted past Devan Dubnyk. That turned out to be the game winner, as the Rangers struggled through their own power play and the aforementioned endless Minnesota rushes, until the second of the too many men calls became a power play goal for Matt Dumba. (Speaking of power play goals, the Rangers won’t be getting any if it keeps looking like it did tonight. Shudder.)

Needless to say, 26-24-89 made it happen, not to mention a certain young defenseman whose excellence gives Joe the happy fantods. Adam Clendening, too, notched an assist on the Skjei goal. It’s almost as if ...

Nah. Never mind.