Whatever doubts we may have about the quality of the Rangers’ opponent this weekend, a few things were crystallized. Among them:
(It’s worth noting that Naslund is now the only member of the Rangers who is older than me (last year, with Jagr, Straka, and Shanahan, there were three). It’s not really relevant to anything, but I would find it discouraging if he was gasping for air after the first two games).
I made reference yesterday to the fact that Redden did himself a huge favor in this department. Because rather than head into the MSG opener in front of a skeptical home crowd, he can now return with some confidence. As for Lundqvist, Rangers fans know that the goalie has started slowly each of the last two seasons, so there wasn’t much reason for panic. But his performance in the opener on Saturday was a continuation of his brilliant play last spring.
Great quote from Scott Gomez on this: “I think the main thing is, I think we kind of showed our identity, how we’re going to be this year. In your face, four lines, the speed.”
To which Rangers fans might reply: Um, OK.
There is no question that Kalinin has some offensive instincts, which you need out of your defensemen in today’s game. The key will be not joining the rush at the expense of an odd man rush the other way. That’s why the pairing with a relatively sensible Dan Girardi seems to make sense for now.
It might happen by Friday, or it might take some time. But we’d be foolish to think it’s not being discussed.