Thursday, January 01, 2015

Happy New Year!

The Rangers ended 2014 on a festive note. In fact it was a party as eight players joined in the scoring in a 5-2 win over the Florida Panthers, their ninth win in the last ten games. The Rangers had taken a 3-0 lead in what looked like a rout but they allowed the Panthers to fight back to 3-2 before breaking it open in the third. McDonagh, Kreider and St. Louis all had a goal and an assist and Brassard and Dominic Moore were the other scorers.

Montoya, the former Ranger, was the Panther goalie, but he gave up too many soft rebounds and was over matched. The win moved the Rangers into third place, one point ahead of the Washington Caps, who play the Chicago Blackhawks in today's Winter Classic.

The Rangers, 20-11-4, have 44 points and are seven points behind the Pens and Isles who are tied for first in the Metro with 51 points. It looks like a four team dogfight for the top three positions in the Metro. The Hayes brothers were on ice together for the first time in their careers. Chris for the Rangers and Jimmy for the Panthers. Jimmy scored his 11th goal of the year and Chris, who has five goals this year, was scoreless.

Also, in a mild reversal of form, JT Miler got 13:25 of ice time and Lee Stempniak dropped to 10:44. Still no power play time for Kevin Klein. So coming into 2015 the Rangers seemed to be poised for a run. Most of the injuries and irritants are out of the way. I say most, because a big irritant still festering is the unsigned Marc Staal. I brought this up in October and here we have January of the New Year and the best over all D-man on the team is unsigned. Will someone wake up The Stealth to get him to sign Staal. Then he can hibernate for the rest of the winter.

Meanwhile. Happy New Year to one and all out there in Rangerland and hockeyland. Have a healthy, happy and prosperous New New Year. May all your disappointments be two minutes and all your joys hat tricks.

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