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This team is so exciting to watch right now. While some things still frustrate me in deployment of the younger guys like Kakko, the newly acquired Gauthier, and Chytil, it cannot be understated how fun the team is playing. Igor is going to lead us to the playoffs like Hank did in 2006 isn’t he? Man oh man, let’s get to the thoughts for tonight’s contest shall we?

  • Over the past 25 games, this team has played much different. Something has finally clicked. I give credit to everyone on this. Quinn isn’t line juggling like he did for so many games, the defense–though surrendering high amounts of shots–are not giving nearly as many high danger scoring chances against. Whether you look at raw shots or breakdown where shots are coming from, it is clear this team is also generating shot attempts at a high rate of their own!
  • Igor Shesterkin continues to make the NHL look like a pee wee league with his stellar play between the pipes. There are not nearly enough words to describe what we are watching with him. The only way to describe it is to flashback to the season out of the lockout when Hank came over from Frolunda and dominated his first season in North America. It’s early, but Igor with this level of confidence and attention to the play in front of him is going to win some hardware in his career. Hopefully not just individual hardware either!
  • This point has been brought up many a time on these game posts throughout the season–MAKE MIKA THE
    FREAKING CAPTAIN. Leading the charge to open the scoring on a beauty of a breakaway goal was huge. Not only has Zibanejad shut up past critics questioning his ability as a number one center in this league, his point totals despite injuries put him up there with some of the best in the game at generating offense. His play away from the puck is not perfect, but he is a threat regardless if the Rangers are at even strength, the power play, or shorthanded. He’s been everything as advertised from that trade back in 2016.
  • This was not Jacob Trouba’s best game as a New York Ranger. In fact, this was his worst game as a New York Ranger. 2 Interference penalties–no matter how you thought those should have been called–and an offsetting roughing minor with Svechnikov was just boneheaded. Trouba is in year one of a mega contract, and this team needs him to be a steady defender day in and day out. Not an undisciplined third pairing like defender.
  • I’ve never seen as dominant an athlete on the wing like Panarin since Jaromir Jagr. Not to take away from the fantastic 2010 and 2012 campaigns of Marian Gaborik or the lockout shortened season and 2015 season of Rick Nash, but Panarin every single shift is a threat. There is rarely an off night for him, and the points continue to climb with a dart on the power play and an assist on Jesper Fast’s tally. This guy should be making Connor McDavid money, and he’s ours for the next 6 years.
  • As stated in the subheading, I think the Mom’s trip needs to be extended for the rest of the season. What a fun run this has become in the past month or so. It is going to make Monday so interesting.
  • If this team plans to go on a run, could it maybe do a slight upgrade on the Left side of the defense?
  • To outshoot a team like Carolina–who tends to run any team they play out of the building–was impressive tonight. What a win! Let’s do this again tomorrow.

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