Monday, January 20, 2014

It's The Henrik/Rick Show

If vaudeville were still alive Henrik Lundqvist and Rick Nash would be on the road doing a skit before packed houses. As it is they are bringing Garden fans to their feet night after night with their sterling performances. Nash scored two first period goals, 13, 14, one a power play and the Rangers were on their way to a 4-1 win over the struggling Caps. Nash has now scored seven goals in his last eight games and now leads the Rangers with fourteen goals. What a difference an Olympics makes.

The other half, Lundqvist, was brilliant again. He lost his shutout on a PP goal by Ovechkin, 35th, in the second period. But that was it. The King made 24 saves, evened his record at 17-17-3, is 7-2-1 over his last ten starts with a gaudy GAA of 1.98 and a save % of .934.

The big guys are doing the job. Batman and Robin. The Lone Ranger and Tonto. Whatever you call them, they have been outstanding and are leading this Ranger revival which has catapulted the Rangers into sole possession of second place in the Metro two points ahead of the Flyers. They are now over .500 at home. Derek Stepan (9) and Ryan Callahan (9), shorthanded, were the other Ranger scorers. Stepan has a two game streak and Callahan scored his first goal in fourteen games. The Rangers put 25 shots on goal and the PP was 1-5 and has been very good. They now practice the PP and sit sixth in the NHL.

What a difference a coach makes.

So this is a big week with home games against the surging Islanders and a big, tough St.Louis team before going against the Devils in Yankee Stadium. Maybe Lundqvist and Nash will duplicate Mantle and Maris. Remember that duo? Should be interesting week. Two rivals, Yankee Stadium and a true Stanley Cup contender in St. Louis.

ICINGS: The T/Birds returned to the ice after the holidays with a split. They lost to Ward Melville 4-2 and beat St. John's 8-4. Nicholas picked up an assist in the loss and two assists in the win.

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