DFS Hockey 10/30 - Vegas is in a good spot tonight.

Following the disappointment in Toronto letting a point slip away, the NY Rangers, on the eve of a 9 day break, had a great bounce back win over the struggling Vegas Golden Knights. What started out as a sloppy first period with multiple odd man rushes and Jaro Halak standing tall, the Rangers found ways to put a few goals on the board from some great scoring plays and secure the 4-1 win.

Chris Kreider, playing in his 700th game, got a lucky bounce off a nice pass from Vincent Trocheck to open the scoring, and that same line contributed again with Trocheck finding a soft area in the slot and firing it past Aidan Hill later in the first period.

The second period then started with a nice little scrap between Will Cuylle and Keegan Kolesar that got the crowd right into the period. Cuylle held his own pretty well and was a little more noticeable than he was in Toronto in his debut. His line is still an island of misfit toys, so it’s hard to expect him to be scoring at this level, but it’s nice all the same that he’s getting some NHL experience against NHL talent.

Though the Knights are not nearly what they used to be because of injuries and massive personnel movement, it’s still a good hockey team overall. ย For the Rangers to take care of their business against them and now have this extended break where hopefully players get healthy is huge.

For all his struggles to start this season, Halak’s fantastic performance was another in a string of great performances for the backup. It may have been a surprise to see Halak starting, but he’s unbeaten against Vegas and he also gave Igor Shesterkin another day of rest before the All Star Game. I feel like a broken record, but an underrated need last season was a good backup that can fit the backup menatlity.

Halak–after some brutal starts mind you–in the first month of the season has rebounded quite nicely and put up good numbers in his last 5 games. For context, those save percentages have been .906, .914, .944, .960, and .971 last night. That’s what you need when you sit Shesterkin, capable backup goaltending. Good for Halak for not only finding his game throughout the year, but for being the solid net minder that we as Rangers fans saw all those years he would play against them.

And a big congratulations to Chris Kreider on reaching 700 games with the Rangers. It has been wild to look back and realize on a personal level, he’s that first player where I’ve seen his whole career in my fandom, which began in 2012 before he was brought up. He’s driven me nuts, he’s driven me to tears of joy from playoff performances, but he has been a Ranger great. It’s not far fetched that he could finish his career as a top two goal scorer in franchise history. Just an incredible player and by all accounts a great human.


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