Antti Miettinen's deflected goal off his body late in the second period proved to be the game winner in the Winnipeg Jets' 3-1 defeat of the New York Rangers Thursday night.
– Make that two consecutive winnable games that yield zero points for the Rangers. Players talked about it being a "big game" prior to tonight. Too many players played small and top players (Brad Richards) simply weren't good enough.
– Speaking of big games…considering how tight the standings are, every game has to be considered a big game or must win. It's playoff hockey from here on out.
– Once again New York has trouble sustaining any offensive pressure. Tough to score goals, draw penalties or tilt momentum if you're not forcing the opposition to outwork you. Torts preaches it constantly: be harder on the puck and win puck battles.
– Lost in the defeat was the sterling play of Henrik Lundqvist. Made some excellent saves to keep his team in a tight game. Certainly not on his shoulders.
– Tough to watch Marian Gaborik's failed penalty shot, but I have to give him some credit. He didn't slouch after it and actually had some quality chances. His play is maddening for sure, but it's not from a lack of effort. His confidence is just severely low.
– The Rangers in general missed the net way too much in this game. Golden opportunities went wide or shots were passed up. Those have to be converted.
– If the bottom six isn't going to score goals, or even be a threat to score, the Rangers aren't going to win many games.
– Really liked Steve Eminger's game. He's earned a spot on defense and the trust of the coach for now and he looks more assertive. It definitely shows in his play.
– Got a kick out of the Jets' fans chanting "Tortorella." That was all lost when they continued to mock chant Lundqvist when he appeared to be hurt after a shot.
– Road trip swings into Pittsburgh for a Saturday matinee.
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