The New York Rangers (17-18-2) defeated the Minnesota Wild (20-13-5) by the score of 4-1, tonight. For a box score, go to Yahoo! Sports.
…it's no secret that the Rangers aren't going to win games by out-muscling their opponents. The only way they're getting out of this malaise is by using their speed to make plays and force teams into mistakes like they did tonight. While it was great to see them put it all together in what was one of their most complete games of the season, I'm not getting overly excited until I see this kind of effort on a consistent basis.
…i'm absolutely not blaming Lundqvist, but it's amazing how much tighter the Rangers are on defense when Talbot's in goal. I'm not sure if it's his calm demeanor, his superior puck handling skills or the team feels they can't rely on him the way they do with Hank. I get that AV was trying to get Lundqvist on a role during the homestand, but he needs to take notice of the difference and get Talbot more starts.
…it took 37 games, but the Rangers finally decided to forecheck. It might have been the first time all season the Rangers forwards actually body checked an opponent's defenseman.
…if Nash had half the determination of Zuccarello he'd be unstoppable.
…if Poopsalot continues to play like this I might have to start calling him by his real name again. It's not about skill with him. It's about consistent effort.
…it doesn't happen often on this blog but I thought Del Zotto was real solid tonight. His outlet pass from the defensive zone was on point leading to a solid transition game for the Rangers. He was also very physical defensively as he separated Wild players from the puck numerous times using his body.
…man, Hagelin is dangerous when using his speed to produce offense. Three goals in the last four games.
…Kreider should be forced to give back that goal. Although, after everything he went through last year, he probably deserved it. Tonight, we witnessed a stark difference in the way AV handles his personnel compared to Torts, as Kreider would likely not have been given another chance to prove himself under his old coach.
…it may not seem like a lot now, but the Rangers have fought back from deficits in each of the last four games collecting five out of a possible eight point. I've been critical of the Blueshirts being outworked this season but I think they're finally starting to display some fight and resiliency that winning teams need to be successful. Again, this is a very small sample size, but it's very encouraging nonetheless.
…no time to enjoy this victory as the Maple Leafs come to MSG tomorrow.
Post game talk…