Us "old codgers" have a saying we usually use when we see a young person doing some daring or unusual thing, "Too bad youth has to be wasted on the young." Well youth stepped up big last night in the form of 19 year old J. T. Milleer. Could the J. T. stand for, just trying? Consider that for the previous nine games the team has been, one time or another, lifeless, powerless, clueless and coachless. The young man may save a team and in the process a coach.
Miller was brilliant last night. In 13:31 of ice time he got two shots and scored two goals. A minute and a half into the game Miller rifled one by Islander goalie Evgeni Nabokov. He then scored the Rangers third goal, a power play no less, on a breakaway from an outlet pass from McDonagh to put the Rangers up 3-1. The point was McDonagh's first of the year and he added an empty netter. While the Rangers were 1-2 on the PP it wasn't scored in PP fashion. It was a breakaway.
Miller wasn't the only reason for the win. Callahan's return helped and Lundqvist returned to form making 27 saves and showing his old form particularly on stopping Michael Grabner on a breakaway. Callahan was his usual reliable, driving force. In 19:22 he managed 2 shots, 4 hits and 2 blocked shots.
Even the coach reformed. One day after stating that some Rangers were playing scared, tentative, he coached the same way. Minutes were distributed more evenly. Cally got the top minutes followed by Nash, very quite, one shot, 18:50, Richards, 15:54, Gaborik, scoring his 6th, got 14:42 and Kreider, 11:23. Even Del Zotto was 'downed' to a mere 22:55 and was a plus two. It's funny, after the game Isle coach Capuano said his team played tentative. There it is, the operative word, tentative.
The ice time given to Gaborik indicates that Gabby is once again on a slippery slope with this coach. Gabby is not disagreeable's type of player. Why play a 41 goal scorer when you can get another block shoter who could get maimed or miss half the season? Remember last season Gabby played with a dislocated shoulder and was rapped in the press. The coach is not only disagreeable he is classless. What about Girardi? Now we learn he has a lower body injury and is day to day. Wonderful. One of the top D men in the business and all we know is that he is "banged up."
So it's Tampa Bay Sunday with a chance to go over .500. Let's see how long the youth movement and the equal time distribution lasts. Let's see.
Taking one for the network: John Giannone
via John Giannoe / @jaygeemsg --
Thank you SO MUCH to everyone for your well-wishes! I appreciate the kind words but it was all just part of the job.
But seriously, million thanks to #NYR, especially trainer Jim Ramsay, doctors, staff, players & coaches for everything tonight. #firstclass