Jaromir Jagr and Henrik Lundqvist, courtesy of NHL.com
I’m keeping it short for now because I’m dead tired, but I’ll update this tomorrow with my thoughts. To sum it up quickly for you all: Tanner Glass is an offensive genius and should’ve picked a fight just to get the Gordie Howe hat trick. The power-play still sucks and we needed to convert on more of our breakaways, because we were like 1-for-2 million tonight. Hank was awesome again, the fourth line was on fire, the offense finally woke up and could Chris Kreider be sneaky sneaky heating up? Oh, and Jagr’s hair still looks great. Great road win, boys. The full recap can be found here, courtesy of NHL.com
First Period Scoring-
- 9:25 NEW YORK GOAL Chris Kreider; Assists: Steve Kampfer, Mats Zuccarello
- 13:00 NEW YORK GOAL Tanner Glass; Assists: Oscar Lindberg, JT Miller.
Second Period Scoring-
- 4:06 NEW YORK GOAL Kevin Hayes; Assist: Brady Skjei
- 11:20 FLORIDA GOAL Thomas Vanek; Assists: Vincent Trocheck, Jussi Jokinen
- 13:14 NEW YORK GOAL Nick Holden; Assists: Oscar Lindberg, Tanner Glass
Third Period Scoring-
- 16:34 FLORIDA GOAL Aaron Ekblad; Assists: Vincent Trocheck, Jussi Jokinen
- 18:15 NEW YORK GOAL (EN) Pavel Buchnevich; Assist: Rick Nash
- Henrik Lundqvist, NYR: 43 Saves, Win
- Tanner Glass, NYR: 1 Goal, 1 Assist
- Chris Kreider, NYR: 1 Goal
UPDATE 3/8: Impressions on Last Night’s Game:
- After an emotional, physical win against the Lightning the night before, you could have expect a bit of a let down. The Rangers, however, found a way to keep the energy up for this game. They may not have been quite as physical as the night before, but they continued to play an up-tempo, north-south game. Rick Nash continued his streak of dominant play by continuously driving the net. The Kreider and Glass goals were a direct result of strong net-front play. With all of the big bodies on the Rangers, crashing the net and establishing a net-front presence have to be huge parts of their game. Yes, they are largely a speed and finesse team, but they also have guys on each line that are big and strong enough to play in the dirty areas around the goal.
- This was a second straight game where the Rangers won a high percentage of their face-offs. They need to keep this up. Guys like Zibanejad and Stepan may not be scoring a bunch lately, but if they can keep up their good play in the face-off dot, they can somewhat offset the lack of production. Since the Rangers are not a grinding, physical team that will their way to winning 1-on-1 puck battles, they need to boost their possession stats by winning face-offs so that they can play their finesse game.
- The fourth line was on fire. Tanner Glass got the Broadway hat, with a goal and an assist. I’ve given a lot of love to Glass lately and I think he deserves every bit of it. Obviously, he will need to be scratched when Jesper Fast and Michael Grabner are back from injury (although I suspect that AV’s stubborn use of veterans will see Vesey or Buchnevich scratched instead). For now, however, the Rangers need to keep him in there because he’s bringing a lot of energy, physicality, and spirit to the team. He won’t continue to tally 2 points a night, but, dressed or not, he’s a positive influence on team. And then we come to Oscar Lindberg. He scored 2 points of his own in the game and continued his really strong two-way play. He’s making me eat my words when I called to have him traded. Excellent stuff from Oscar.
- Hank, Hank, Hank. I could kiss you, pal. His first period kick-save on Jussi Jokinen was a huge play en route to another dominant performance to clinch another 30-win season. You can set your clock to his performance year in and year out. Even with a season like this one, where he had his fair share of struggles, he seems to right the ship in spectacular form and find himself posting his usual excellent aggregate statistics. The Rangers have the luxury of riding two hot goalies right now, but the other skaters need to take advantage by keeping up the play that we’ve seen in the last two games.
- Kevin Hayes’ breakaway goal was a a beautiful play by the Rangers’ center, started by a beautifully simple pass by Brady Skjei. Thank God he converted, because the Rangers seemed to have about 2 million chances like this one. They forced turnovers and broke out of their own end zone so quickly. I may seem nuts to complain about finishing after a 5-goal effort, but I would’ve like to see a few more of these chances finished off.
- Brady Skjei registered his 29th assist of the year on the Hayes goal to continue his stellar rookie season. It’s only natural that the big scorers of the rookie class like Auston Matthews and Patrick Laine steal the spotlight, but I think Skjei could grow into a Norris Trophy contender. And for any of you about to say it, DO NOT compare this to Michael Del Zotto’s rookie campaign. Skjei is bigger, faster and stronger. I’d obviously be thrilled with Brady becoming a Ryan McDonagh type, one who’s good for 35-40 points and plays shutdown defense. But, I think he could be even better than that.
- I’ll keep talking about it until its fixed but the power-play did not convert again tonight. I think MSG said they’re something like 0 for the last 26 chances. Yes, the passing has been quicker and there have been more shots on goal, but honestly I don’t care. No moral victories, boys. But the damn puck in the net. Its frustrating because they’re creating off the rush and taking the puck to the net at even strength, but suddenly one less defender sees the neutral zone seemingly clogged and passing limited to the perimeter of the offensive zone. Too often they’re looking for the perfect pass, trying to set up Brandon Pirri at the top of the circle for a shot that is taken with Scott Norwood-esque aim. They need to stop being so cute and just throw the puck on net as quickly and as often as possible.