Another one of those see-what-you’re-made-of wins last night. I won’t repeat all the stuff about resilience, and about playing to the end, and sticking to the system, and all that. Even though, it seems, every time they win and even most of the time when they lose, they are all applicable.
1) Marc Staal extended his point streak to four games, which is only 47 short of Wayne Gretzky’s NHL record.
2) Can you believe these numbers?: Sean Avery second on the team with 14 assists, Brian Boyle has 12 goals, Dan Girardi has 19 points (he had 24 all of last year). Brandon Prust shares the league-lead with three short-handed goals (and is second in fighting majors)!
3) Or these: 9-0 in the second of back-to-backs, NHL-leading 12 road wins, fourth in the overall league standings, league-leading eight short-handed goals.
4) Or this (stolen from Jesse Spector): The Rangers are 2-0 in games in which Chris Drury plays and doesn’t break anything.
5) There are guys like this, I guess. You don’t notice them and then, pow, they do something. Erik Christensen is like that — that one big shot heard round the new Igloo Wednesday, that great shootout goal last night. Marian Gaborik is like that, too. But Gaborik needs to do it more consistently than Christensen, and Christensen has to do it more consistently than he’s done it. He does have 20 career shootout goals now, including 10 game-deciders, and Tortorella correctly called him “a weapon.”
5) Did I mention the other night that Ilya Kovalchuk scored twice, and he’s catching up to Derek Stepan and Artem Anisimov, but has a way to go to catch Boyle?
6) If the Rangers have a tough guy in Hartford, I’d call him up for tomorrow’s matinee at Philly’s Arena that Changes Names Every Five Minutes. Because Jody Shelley returns and they have those pieces of carcillo Carcillo and Hartnell, and Boogaard can’t play and Prust shouldn’t be fighting with that shoulder. And you have to figure a guy who can fight can’t do any less than Todd White.
7) What was that I said a couple of days ago about the Rangers winning two of these three? How about three?
8) The best part about going to these Rangers games is seeing all the ex-Rangers, most recently: Tony Granato, George McPhee, Mike Knuble, Ulf Samuelsson, Don Maloney. Actually, all of those guys would fit in great on this team. And they would all love the way this team plays.
9) I had forgotten that Bryzgalov was one of those words from the Boneheads vocabulary.
10) Tom Fenton, backup goalie for a night, on the possibility of getting into the game: “I wasn’t even trying to think about that. There was one point that (LaBarbera) came across and made a save and was kind of favoring his groin. I immediately started sweating on the bench. I don’t know. Just seeing these guys shoot in warmups was pretty spectacular. So I don’t know about Gaborik coming down on me or anything like that.”
11) It’s noteworthy when the Rangers can win a game like that and we barely mention, or don’t mention, Brandon Dubinsky, Gaborik, Henrik Lundqvist, Michael Del Zotto.
12) Nice job by Martin Biron after that rough start. And for taking responsibility for the bad-hop off the glass on the first goal (are you listening, Rick DiPietro?).
13) Have I mentioned lately how I feel about the skills competition?
AP photo, above.