Sunday, November 03, 2013

Tricks Are Treats!

It was a couple of days late but the Rangers delivered a sweet victory to the home fans with a convincing 5-1 win over the struggling Carolina Hurricanes, who suffered their fifth straight loss. The winds are blowing the wrong way for the injury plagued Canes. The much ballyhooed match up of the three Staal brothers never materialized as all three were held scoreless.

Derek Stepan delivered the tricks with a natural hat trick and Henrik Lundqvist the treats with a 27 save, one goal allowed, performance. And the treats were across the board with Carl Hagelin, two goals on five shots, Kreider and Zuccarello three assists each and Brad Richards with an assist and five shots. Eight Rangers had points. The Rangers were 1-4 on the power play, Stepan, and the Canes were 1-3, Sekera. The Rangers outshot the Canes 38-28.

The Rangers won their third straight and the pattern emerging is a team that is on the offense keeping their opponents pinned in their own zone. Gone are the days of "not playing defense is not an option" and "defense, first, last and always." Yes, defense is important but in hockey the best defense is a good offense. With Stepan and Kreider hitting their strides and the speed guys like Hagelin and Zuccarello the Rangers seem to be meshing early on.

The Rangers are now 6-7 after a bad start and sit in 4th place in the Metropolitan Division, three out of second place, held by the Islanders. Big test is Monday night against the Anaheim Ducks, first placers in the Pacific and the team that put a big hurt on us during the West Coast trip. Keep those kids skating and things will be okay. As I tell my grandson, Nicholas, skate hard and have fun. The Rangers seem to be doing that very nicely.

ICINGS: Update on the T/Birds JV. They won their fifth game of the year, a 6-1 win over St. John. They are now 5-1. Nicholas was on the ice for two goals and was stoned by the St' John goalie with a shot off of his mask. Go T/Birds! Go Rangers!

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