1) Ryan Callahan didn’t score again. He did everything but score. He created chances, had chances, and did all those Callahan things he always does, too.His best game of the season. Easily.
2) Brandon Dubinsky’s played some good games since the season began. I thought this was his best by far, too.
3) You can’t begin to calculate how important this game was for Martin Biron, and for the team to have a Biron around. Because if he bombed or even if he was mediocre, or in fact even if he was pretty good in a loss, then you have that same old cloud. But he was fabulous, and now the team can have confidence in him any time out. And now the coaches don’t have to suffer over the decision on when to give him a game.
4) Derek Stepan sure made a nice play on the Ruslan Fedotenko goal.
5) Speaking of that goal, it was scored because Sean Avery goes to net and arrives in ill humor, as Fred Shero used to say. Others occasionally go to net, some do it a lot, but none pf the others arrive in ill humor … give it that little extra at the goalmouth knowing you might get knocked on your wallet, or get a face full of stinky glove palm. Isn’t that something you can coach?
6) Colton Orr, age 28, $1M per year for four years. Derek Boogaard, 28, $1.65M per year for four years. I’m not going to get into that whole thing again.
7) This was the first time the Rangers looked decent against a fast team. Reason: Neutral-zone play.
8) I know I’m in the minority with this one, but I think Marc Staal and Dan Girardi are better apart than they are together. Last night, separated again, I thought both were terrific until they had a few shifts together in the third, including that PK shift that started with a home-run pass to Versteeg about 15 feet behind both of them. How in holy hell does that happen?
9) I understand that MSG is selling its post-game show. But do we need 40 reminders in the last two minutes of a one-goal game?
10) I never understood this. MSG Network controls all three NY-area teams telecasts. So why do they play, so often, on the same night? Then have so many nights when none of them play? I mean, most Rangers fans won’t watch Devils or Islanders games, but some will. When they all play the same night, zero Rangers fans will watch Devils or Islanders, and vice versa. And some are just hockey fans who many nights have to turn elsewhere for hockey, then on other nights have to choose from two or three games on MSG. To me it would make sense for the NHL to help out with the scheduling in that regard.
11) This game is why I predicted the Rangers to make the playoffs — and still believe they can, although my caveat is that I’m convinced it will still come down to the last week of the season on the Leastern Conference. But this year, with the maturation of Anisimov, the addition of Stepan, the improvement of Prust, and you’d have to figure another step forward from Callahan and Dubinsky, the addition of Fedotenko and the re-Avery-ing of Avery, they will have capable second and third lines. They will have lines capable of kicking in some goals, and preventing some, and doing other things. And if they ever get any kind of first-line production out of Gaborik, Frolov and whomever, that should make up the few points that make the difference between playoffs and golf season.
12) But let’s not get too excited. It’s one game. Against the Leaves.
I’m out. Got a big meeting (if you know what I mean) today, then work (local football playoffs) tonight. See youse tomorrow.