Happy Festivus Eve.
It’s remarkable how, in the Leastern Conference, where all the bad teams are bunched up, a three-game winning streak can completely change a team’s fate and its fans’ desperation.
So here are the Rangers, after feasting on three cupcakes (and let’s face it, they didn’t really feast too much; plus they should be kicking themselves for letting that home game against the Islanders get away) with a chance to pile up more points. Six of the next seven are at home starting tomorrow against Florida, after which they will play once in a span of six days. And the opponents ain’t exactly the mid-1980s Oilers: Florida, Islanders, Flyers, Hurricanes twice, Boston then Dallas.
This, to use a cliche (but not a Beninati-ism), is time to make hay.
1) Redden didn’t do enough for me to say he played well, didn’t do enough for me to say he didn’t. I thought I saw some fire, at least.
2) Ditto for Gilroy, not that I ever questioned his passion.
3) Marc Staal really is getting better, really has rebounded from a very difficult start. It’s especially impressive when you consider the partner with whom he’s saddled. I’d still put him on a pair with Michael Del Zotto and let them play all shifts with the No. 1 line as a unit of five.
4) Speaking of which, how good is Gaborik? I’d keep Dubinsky there on the first line, because he can provide some protection, because he’s as close to a No.1 center as the Rangers have, and because it might get Dubinsky going, too. I would still love to see Avery get a look there, too.
5) If you’re ever out during a game and have to turn on the radio, and you’re not in Queens, the static and intermittent buzzing are just awful. What a shame that a marquee Manhattan team has a radio deal with anybody other than WFAN.
6) Last night’s might have been the weirdest thread we’ve had here. It was as if we were suddenly living in the Addams Family house.