Friday, January 16, 2015

Rangers "Step" It Up

So maybe I was wrong. So maybe with this fragile team a player like Derek Stepan does make a big difference and his absence from the lineup hurts. Tonight he had two big assists, one a classic lead pass to a streaking Chris Kreider for what was eventually the game winner. Earlier, he had an assist on Marc Staal's goal which snapped a Ranger drought of over seven periods. Staal had a strong come back game, perhaps in lieu of him signing up on a new six year deal.

As usual in a game as big as this, Lundqvist came up huge, making 35 saves in winning his 21st of the season. He had to be good, the other guy, the Blue Jacket goalie, Sergei Bobrovsky, was almost as good. It was a classic dual in goal and the Rangers needed it to snap their slump and head to Pittsburgh in a better mood.

For the Rangers it was a great win after two bad losses. The three stars for me were Lundqvist, Stepan and Bobrovsky. For the Rangers the D-men, Staal, McDonagh, Girardi and Klein were excellent. Klein had a goal disallowed for a high stick and was quite active including a fight. But the entire team played excellent defense.

Of course let's not forget the contribution of Tanner Glass. A big fight that helped ignite the Rangers. And the ever present Kevin Klein now on the TV screen in an interview. This guy is the greatest bargain basement acquisition in Manhattan since we stole it from the Indians.

But the key, the catalyst, was Derek Stepan. His presence seems to have a calming effect on the team, especially the forwards. Our penalty kill stymied the number two power play team. Great win. Now to bed with a calming sleep. We scored, finally, and we won. Now on to Pittsburgh.

Good night folks!



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