Happy Valentine’s to whoever may be reading this, and hope you had a good time watching this game. This game was definitely more upbeat than last night given the shot differential; even if it was more Blue Jackets than Rangers for a time. I’ll eat crow on this one, Georgiev was a tremendous difference in this one. He battled hard and gave the Rangers a chance. Let’s get to the thoughts on this one shall we?
- No Tony DeAngelo in this one, so Adam Fox got the bump to power play unit one which he showed he belonged with some really savvy play with the puck. I am still amazed this guy only cost two second round picks. He may very well be the team’s number one defenseman pretty soon.
- When I saw that Georgiev was the starter for this one, I admit I was a little taken back that Hank wasn’t getting the nod here. It would be nice to hear tangible evidence of what is going on here and what the plan is for Hank going forward.
- If you follow football, you wonder if the Rangers are just doing what the Giants did this season with Daniel Jones and Eli Manning. The big difference being Lundqvist by all accounts based on his workload, and by many of the analytic charts out there shows he is not only a good goaltender, but a really good goaltender. Maybe he’ll get in on Sunday.
- The puck drops and oh my goodness it’s already in the net. What a deflection by Buchnevich. There is some great debates out there about the importance of face-offs and if they really are a catalyst to your possession metrics, and I am one of those who absolutely thinks face-offs matter. A face-off allows the puck to come back to Trouba, he slaps it on net, and Buchnevich tips it 22 seconds into the game. Buchnevich has been on fire since the all star break, and it’s nice he is producing. He may very well crack 20+ goals again.
- The officiating nearly cost the Rangers a goal when Buchnevich went off for a penalty, and then got an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for what looked like nothing. Tale as old as time when it comes to the Rangers and officiating…
- So Columbus boos Panarin now huh? Bold strategy. Couldn’t understand why players want to leave that market when they become UFA.
- Oliver Bjorkstrand is a massively underrated Columbus Blue Jacket, always have been a fan of his game. He also has become a bit of a Ranger killer this season. Too many bodies in front of Georgiev and he just couldn’t see the puck and Bjorkstrand tied the game in the final minute old the second. That goal carried the momentum into the third as it was all Columbus.
- John Tortorella knows how to matchup his lines against the Rangers to get a defensive kind of night. Other than the top line, it was really tough for lines 2-4 to really get anything substantial as far as chances consistently throughout the game. Playing the night before absolutely could have had an effect, but then how do you explain how Georgiev played?
- Did it confuse anyone else why Joey Keane–who got called up this morning–didn’t get to make his NHL debut tonight? I thought with DeAngelo out, they’d want another defenseman who has that offensive upside to his game, but Staal just had to play.
- Torts reaction to the too many men on the ice call…gotta love that man for all that he is.
- Georgiev can thank the posts on that Jenner breakaway while on the power play.
- The Rangers put all the pressure on the powerplay after the Jenner breakaway attempt and caused the penalty killers to be out for extended shifts, and then a BEAUTIFUL bump pass from Zibanejad for a quick one-timer from Kreider gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead with a little more than 3 minutes to play. You just HATE to see Chris Kreider scoring against John Tortorella.
- Ryan Strome sealing it with an empty netter from Di Guiseppe and Panarin allowed for the Rangers to get to 4 wins in a row for the first time this season. Yet another gutsy win by this group.
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