Somehow the Rangers won tonight by the score of 4-2 at Tampa Bay. Scrap that, we know exactly how they won the game. They didn’t give up. They didn’t let goals conceded rattle them. They didn’t get put off despite being unable to maintain a fore check or sustain pressure. They showed dogged determination and desire to win this game; couple that with the desire this team is showing every single game and you have the makings of a scary team my friends. Scary indeed.
In what was a fairly uneventful first couple of periods the Rangers managed to turn little pressure in to four goals and a fifth win in a row. With an original six match up on Monday the Ranger go for win 2500. Who’s betting against it? Didn’t think so….
Let’s get to the quick hits:
Dan Girardi keeps making simple, effective plays. Whether it’s getting sticks in the lane, making good quality crisp passes or through great positioning he’s doing it all. It may seem repetitive to mention him again but be he has taken it to another level this year.
Based purely on his play to date, please find me someone that still questions the Brad Richards signing – contract length aside – and I’ll run them out of town (having had to fly in to town to do so). Every game he improves, he’s clutch, his confidence levels on the puck keeping going up. He is a great addition and leads this team offensively.
I’m almost bored of complimenting Ryan Callahan for his effort and hustle. It needs to be said though. This year however he is showing greater intelligence on the puck which is resulting in a potential career year. My lord, can he really get better? He’s what Chris Drury dreamt of being as a Ranger.
Allow me to go slightly off topic for a moment: I’ve said it before but really, Anton Stralman can’t offer more than Eminger or Woywitka at this stage? Why give the guy 900k and let him rot in the press box? A month with the team and he still hasn’t learnt enough?
Without impacting the scoreboard, the Hagelin – Boyle – Mitchell line was very good again. They were busy, were one of the few lines to get any consistent pressure going (especially in the first) and showed confidence with the puck. Hagelin especially looks in great shape. He’s clearly not just about speed (his name would be Rico Fata) and the kid has a big future.
Food for thought: Hagelin’s development could impact the Prust negotiations in the summer with Rupp (fighter designate) still with the club. It certainly would affect Prust’s bargaining power.
Who saw any of the big three of St Louis, Stamkos or Lecavalier impose themselves tonight? Nope. Neither did I.
Marian Gaborik continues to show that health was the main factor in last year’s subpar play. The wrap around attempt in the second (following a nice move on Malone) was more evidence. Truly looks back to his best and; is it me or has Gaborik really improved defensively recently?
Funny that the Rangers rarely got pressure to the net yet when they did, they scored. The goals showed that if you go to the net you get rewarded. Its crease-play like that, that’s characterised the Rangers play recently. The game’s simple really: Fedotenko’s goal, Anisimov’s goal and Stepan’s goal – all the result of going to the net.
Quicker, quick hits:
- Dear Henrik (once again) stopping playing the puck please? Thank you
- You could really get drunk if you played drinking games with Ryan McDonagh’s name. Every time you hear ‘Ryan McDonagh takes it away’, you drink. It happens a lot.
- If blocked Shots were emphasised as much way back when, would we have thought Dave Karpa was a good player? Nah, didn’t think so.
Final thought: It’s amazing to think that the Rangers played a subpar game (for the most part) and yet scored 4 goals, beat an Eastern Conference finalist on home ice and beat a team that swept them last year. Development anyone? The Rangers stepped up when this game was on the line. The kids are growing up right before your eyes. Get excited folks, if you’re not already.