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Rangers 2, Blackhawks 1: Postgame thoughts

Cam Talbot narrowly missed a shutout

– This was a pretty impressive victory considering: 1) the Rangers played without their best forward 2) started their backup goalie 4) are facing plenty of distractions 4) were returning from a long Olympic breakĀ and 5) were up against the defending Stanley Cup champions. But New York pulled out a 2-1 win to improve to 2-0-0 against Chicago this season. Better still, the Blueshirts have held the league’s best offense to just three goals in two games.

– Though Derick Brassard and Benoit Pouliot were missing their usual linemate, Mats Zuccarello, J.T. Miller filled in nicely and the third line played a very strong game. Brassard extended his point streak to seven games with the game’s first goal and Pouliot was great on the board all night. Miller’s tremendous forecheck led to Brassard’s goal after he amazingly picked Jonathan Toews’ pocket. Miller was very engaged all night and played easily his best game of the season.

– Who knows what will happen at the trade deadline, so we can’t look too far ahead. But right now, it’s hard to find a spot for Derek Dorsett in the lineup. Miller should get another game and Dan Carcillo has been playing too well to come out.

Carl Hagelin looked awfully confident after being one of Sweden’s better forwards at the Olympics. Wonder if this will be the next step for him.

– While Martin St. Louis was scoring two early goals in Tampa Bay’s 3-2 loss in Nashville, Ryan Callahan was playing a classic Ryan Callahan game. He created several scoring chances right around the net, dished out a few healthy hits, and even took a shot off his head. If this was Callahan’s last game as a Ranger (I don’t think it was), it was a nice finale.

– To me, one of the greatest values of Rick Nash is his ability to be the team’s closer. His goal with the Blueshirts clinging to a 1-0 lead late in the third period was absolutely huge.

– What else can you say about Cam Talbot at this point? He missed shutting out the best offense in the NHL by just 12 seconds. In the past, it has seemed like the Rangers saved their backup goalie for games against easier opponents. That hasn’t been the case with Talbot. He has beaten Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota and Vancouver already this year. That toe save he made against Patrick Kane on the doorstep in the game’s final moments was big time.

20 Responses to “Rangers 2, Blackhawks 1: Postgame thoughts”

  1. Seahorse says:

    Is it just me or is the Richards line invisible. When they are out there they don’t catch my attention at all

  2. Brian M says:

    Well written. Agree with your summary. This team seems to be peaking – hopefully not too soon, and hopefully they’ll be able to sustain. Seems that they can play with everyone. Huge win, and Cam has been biggest surprise for Rangers this yr. Biggest fear with trade deadline approaching is messing up the team chemistry, which certainly will happen if our captain and/or top paired defensemen are traded… Wish we could fast forward and get past next Wednesday as the drama is killing me.

    • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

      Look I agree with everything you said but if we were able to get St Louis without trading Callahan for him. He’d add something missing offensively. I’d wonder if TB would take Boyle & Hagelin for St Louis. It’d open a spot on the 4th line for Dorsett and Carcillo could move back to his natural left side instead of Boyle playing there. The Lightning are in need of D. Boyle is a great PKer and so is Hagelin. Hagelin is playing well but he hasn’t done much offensively. I hoped he’d become a 20 goal scorer but it hasn’t happened yet and the Rangers still could use another goal a game on most nights.

      • Chris A says:

        Carl Hagelin has essentially been a 20 Goal Scorer all three seasons he’s been in the league (of course I’m prorating his three partial seasons to full 82 games). He’s averaged 18.23 Goals per 82 games.

        Trading Carl Hagelin is extremely short-sighted.

        • Kevin says:

          I wouldn’t deal Hagelin too easily either. Only reason we’re talking about dealing Callahan is because he’s a UFA.

    • JoeS. says:

      don’t wish away your life, it is too precious and gone in a moment. Enjoy the ride, ups and downs. Life is happiness with every experience.

  3. Walt says:

    It’s toooooooo bad that Talbot got scored on with 11.6 seconds left, he earned a shut out!!

    As for moving Hags, no way, the kid is playing great, that speed of his is a killer.

    The name I haven’t heard in a number of games seems to be Kreider. Right now the kid is as cold as it is outside!!!

    • AD says:

      I’ve felt all along playing top line LW across from Nash would impede Kreider’s development. He needs to be skating after and with the puck, and being fed the puck for offensive opportunities; not positioning himself while Nash skates with the puck, or standing in front of the net waiting for Nash to shoot.

      I think Hagelin, though he is not a top line LW, works best across Nash, as his speed opens up space for Nash and creates opportunities. Kreider on the 2nd line across from Zuccarello always seemed most beneficial for Kreider, as he would be fed the puck, carrying it and fully engaged. Playing acrss from Nash is too much time skating for position and hoping a rebound comes your way.

      As we get closer to and in the playoffs, hopefully, I think this will become a bigger issue.

      • Walt says:

        Right on my friend!!!!!

      • Chris A says:

        I couldn’t agree more. As great as Nash/Stepan/Kreider were for that 1-15 game stretch I always felt Hagelin and Nash were a more dangerous winger combo.

        Hagelin’s speed creates so much open space for Nash and all Nash needs to do is find it and wait to be fed by Stepan and Hagelin.

  4. Paul says:

    Great write up & and a great game/win last night! Happy to see that the long break didn’t lull the Rangers into complacency. And man, was Talbot as impressive as ever when he needed to be. A solid overall performance.

  5. Rangers Fan in Boston says:

    Good win. I wasn’t too happy with the passive play in the 3rd, I thought that was a recipe for disaster. It didn’t burn them, but I’d like to see a little more push with a lead late in a game.

    Other than that, the team looked good, and with what looks like a trade for another top 6 forward brewing, this team can be dangerous (as long as Girardi is not traded).

    Question for BSB authors/readers: Martin St. Louis or Ryan Kesler?

  6. Old Fogey says:

    Gotta love the way Carcillo broke his stick on purpose after icing the puck so they wouldn’t have to use their timeout! And with every passing game, Montreal’s trading McDonough gets closer and closer to being one of hockey’s biggest blunders!

    • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

      It already is one of the greatest trades in NY Rangers history. That is not hyperbole.

    • Brendan says:

      Watching the game with my wife, she was in disbelief when I said I bet he broke that stick on purpose because of the icing… THEN they showed the replay. She was even more amazed that I said watch the first Rangers center get thrown out of the faceoff circle. It’s only a matter of time until the league finds a way to manage these time killing tactics.

      • Chris A says:

        How would you enforce that though?

        Anyway, the no-change after icing rule has done it’s job. It’s rare to see teams just mindlessly and repeatedly fling the puck down for icing like they used to. All the players seem to be conscious of not icing the puck and I think that was the intent of the rule change.

  7. AD says:

    Kudos to Miller for making an impact on the first goal.