Sunday, January 11, 2015

How Sweep It Is!

The Rangers did the unthinkable, the improbable, they went west for the second time in two months and for the second time they lost nary a thing. They followed up last months Western Canada sweep with an even more impressive performance. They went to LaLa Land and beat Anaheim, at that time the best in the NHL, they beat the LA Kings, the defending Cup Champs and they beat San Jose, number two in the Pacific, Dan Boyle's old team.

What a trip and what a game last night. Chris Kreider was the early star, Nash the late star and the overall star was the King, Henrik Lundqvist. Kreider made a big play to open the scoring. The Rangers lost the faceoff deep in the Sharks end, but Kreider stole the puck, made a one handed pass to St. Louis, who gave the Rangers a one goal lead. Later Kreider, in front of the net, put in a rebound off of a shot by Kevin Klein, the under rated All Star.

After the Sharks pulled to within one, Nash scored an empty netter, his 26th, to put the game away. But it was no ordinary empty netter. He fought off a couple of Sharks to put in a beauty to seal the win. Lundqvist, snubbed by the All Stars was brilliant. The win was his 20th of the year. He has won 20 games in his first ten seasons. No other goalie in NHL history has done that. Let me repeat that. No other goalie in NHL history has won 20 games or more in his first ten seasons. I think we should nominate Lundqvist for Mayor 0f New York City.

The win was the fifth straight for the Rangers and the 13th out of 14 for the surging Rangers. Lundqvist has allowed two goals or fewer in ten of the last eleven games. However, the entire team is clicking. Look at the fourth line as an example. Dominic Moore, centering JT Miller and Lee Stempniak, has become a force. The defense? Kevin Klein is arguably the best fifth defenseman in the history of the NHL. The guy is great. What a trade. What a steal. OK, Stealth, enjoy the plaudits, wake up and sign Staal.

Can't sit on our laurels. The Islanders are showing up Tuesday and would you believe they are in first place. They are 5 points in font of us but we have four games in hand. The top four teams in the Metro are pulling away from the pack and it should be quite a ride to the end. It says here that if we stay healthy we will be at or near the top by year's end. This time the Cup.

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