Sunday, March 22, 2015

Prince Cam Rescues Punchless Rangers

It's no secret that the Rangers strength has always been their goaltending. It was Henrik Lundqvist before he went down and now it's Cam Talbot who is 14-3-3 since replacing Henrik. And how about the red-headed kid, who is 2-0-0. Last night Cam did it again with a 28 save 3-2 shootout win, in which he stopped Lindholm, Riley Nash and Skinner in the shootout that was won by a Zuccarello goal.

The Rangers are hurting offensively. The power play is dying. They were 0-2 last night and are in a current 0-18 rut. JT Miller had tied the game at one, his 8th and Jesper Fast gave them the lead with his 4th. It almost unraveled in the 3rd when the Canes out shot the Rangers 17-6 and almost stole the game. Almost. Cam Talbot was brilliant in the third.

Rick Nash is hurting. He has two goals in the last thirteen games, one an empty netter. Derek Stepan has no points in twelve games. Zuccarello is scoreless in the last fourteen. Derek Brassard has one goal over the last twenty one. Chris Kreider is scoreless in the last eight. The Rangers, as a team, have scored 24 goals in the last 12 games.

And yet the Rangers are in a battle for the top spot in the NHL. The Rangers, with 97 points,  are five points ahead of the Islanders in the Metro and have three games in hand. They trail only Anaheim, who they meet tonight, with 99 points,  and Montreal, also with 99 points. They have six games in the next nine days. They are 16-3-3 since Lundqvist went down.

It's playoff hockey before the playoffs, The Rangers have twelve games left. They win seven and they clinch the Metro. Talbot has held the fort admirably. The defense has been solid and Hunwick has been good as Klein's replacement. While the scoring is down the intensity is not. The Rangers got 46 hits last night and the Dominic Moore, Glass, Sheppard line was quite active.

Big one tonight and it will be an important tell. Stay awake and stay tuned.

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