They did it and they did it with style and crash. Used to be an old New York Giant baseball manager named Bill Rigney back in the forties and he always lamented about his teams lack of crash. Bill would have marveled at the Rangers crash last night. Playing for the number one spot in the entire NHL, eleven Rangers racked up points in crashing and squashing the Anaheim Ducks, 7-2, at MSG last night.
The Rangers have 99 points as do Anaheim and Montreal. The Rangers have three games in hand on Anaheim and two on Montreal. Much has been made over the years to demean the winning of the Presidential Trophy. The line goes that winning that Trophy usually means you lose the Cup. Nonsense. The 1993-94 Rangers won both. So go for it.
The game started out like a duel between the Rangers and Duck winger Corey Perry. After one it was Rangers three and Perry two. It was Perry's 30 and 31st goals of the year. Talbot deprived Perry of a hat trick in the third period with an amazing glove save that brought the garden crowd to its feet for a standing ovation. It was a tribute to not only a great save, but also an acknowledgement by the crowd for the great job Cam Talbot has done in Lundqvist's absence.
The Rangers big slump, 12 goals in the previous 8 games, ended in style, with a crash. Stepan had two goals and an assist. Yandle had three assist, including a PP assist. Kreider got his 18th goal. JT Miller continued to impress, got his 9th and an assist, and Fast, Brassard and Hagelin joined the party. It was a wonderful night when Anaheim crashed courtesy of the Ranger crashers.
Talbot made 36 saves and is 18-2-3 in Lundqvist's absence. The Rangers, establishing themselves as a number one contender for the Cup are 35-8-3 since December 8th. How's those apples, Ranger fans. So now it's three toughies against teams fighting for their playoff lives. LA Kings, tomorrow night at MSG, two points out of a playoff spot in the West. Ottawa, Thursday, up there, one point behind 8th place Boston and then Boston, Saturday, in bean town.
ICINGS: Congratulations to Henrik Lundqvist and his lovely wife on the birth of their second child, daughter Juli. Two girls now for the lucky couple. Congrats and God Bless.
The T/Birds open the playoffs tonight going against third place St. John's. The T/Birds have fought their way into the sixth spot and it should be a good one. Go T/Birds!
Finally, we have to acknowledge The Most Canadian Photo Ever:
When Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cpl. Shaun Begg got the opportunity to play hockey on a rink high up in the Purcell Mountains in British Columbia, he jumped at the chance.
And because Begg, 40, is proud of being a member of the RCMP, he got permission to take his iconic uniform with him. Begg told ABC News he’d hoped to get a photo for his screen saver or for the wall of his office at the RCMP’s detachment in Kaslo, a small, picturesque village in B.C.
What he got was a quintessentially Canadian image that went viral and is now being dubbed the “most Canadian photo ever.”