Rangers game thoughts: The Process is taking shape

Rangers game thoughts: A solid win for the Rangers over Montreal

Another game, another Rangers game thoughts post that was fun to write. That’s three in a row for four wins in a row. While the teams the Rangers are beating up are not that great, it is encouraging to see how the team is finally starting to turn a corner.

The second line of Panarin, Strome, and Kakko are not only getting looks, but are converting on some highlight reel chances. Back to back games with a goal for Kaapo Kakko and it showed. His confidence was off the charts. He wasn’t doing his early season tendencies where he entered the zone, pulled up, and would get trapped at the half wall. He’s taking the puck and actually making some plays on his stick. It has been said before, if the Rangers are as hopeful as they are for the playoffs, the kids have to contribute. It’s the only way this team can truly contend. If there’s one thing to look for in these Rangers game thoughts, it’s how the kids have contributed and played.

For other fun game notes, at long last a Ryan Reaves bout. Where were you the night Ryan Reaves humiliated an absolute bozo in Michael Pezzetta? For starters, Pezzetta initiated the fight while his team had the puck in the offensive zone, and second, he stood absolutely no chance against Reaves who took him down in seconds with 12 right hands. As Sam Rosen said on the broadcast, “Pezzetta sacrificed himself”. Staged fighting is not my personal forte, but that kind of bout was entertaining . Reaves lifting his hand to his ear to ignite the crowd at the end was the cherry on top. You can tell this guy loves being a New York Ranger.

It’s not just fighting though. His line was once again effective at being a cheat code of offensive zone possession like they have for the majority of the season. Is it a hot take to say even though it might not score prolifically, is it one of the best fourth lines in the NHL? I would certainly argue that it is. The Rangers just having a competent 4th line again after all of these years is a breath of fresh air.

Speaking of prolific goal scorers, what is this rock star Chris Kreider on this season? While it would be a stretch, they said on the broadcast he’s on pace for over 50 goals. While he’s done most of his damage on the power play, this time he finished off an incredible pass by Zibanejad while he was crashing the net. Mika being more of a passer than a finisher this season is not a bad thing. While yes, it’d be great if Zibanejad went on an absolute heater and got say 20 goals in the next 12 games, he is still producing offense with good passing plays on the power play, and 5 on 5 of late. Who knows though, knowing Zibanejad, a shooting bender is on the horizon.

Amazing the calmness when your top players are actually producing like your top players. While Shesterkin had another fantastic outing, this win wasn’t ALL on him like in previous matches. That’s progress.

Last night on the night, Brendan Gallagher is a low-life, dirty, no talent bum who should be suspended for his sucker punch at the face-off to Barclay Goodrow in the final minute of the game. ┬áThe referees were also absolute cowards for not letting Goodrow get up and throw down with Gallagher. They tried to break it up and Goodrow couldn’t get any shots in.

That wasn’t the only fight in the final minute though. As the final horn sounded, Josh Anderson started mixing it up with Jacob Trouba who was all too willing to go at it. He looked like he wanted to take care of business all night long. ┬áThese teams play each other again December 22nd at MSG…that’ll be must-watch TV. Are we having fun yet Rangers fans?

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