How many times, in how many ways, can we keep saying the same things about this Rangers team and the way it gets points, especially tough points, especially on the road? That’s some kind of win, and in the old days that would have been some kind of tie.
1) That was a pretty careless first period in the Rangers’ end. Starting when Marc Staal got beat one-on-one and Dan Girardi over-reacted, slid across, didn’t prevent the pass, and Lundqvist had to make a great save. Though I did think Staal and Girardi were pretty sensational most of the night.
2) The first Dallas goal, which was wrongly blamed on McDonagh (I think so, anyway though he and Lundqvist had a miscommunication behind the net), was at least in part caused because the two wingers, Gaborik and Avery, didn’t read Anisimov behind the goal line. That left a man WIDE open in front. And I think that’s why we didn’t see too much of Avery-Gaborik thereafter. You can have one defensively-deficient forward on the ice, but not two. Otherwise, I thought Avery played pretty well.
3) Give Ruslan Fedotenko credit for the short-hander, and give Dallas an assist because of a bad change by future Ranger Brad Richards. But, again, this was the nightly bad-angle goal against a goalie abandoning the post to go to his knees needlessly. Epidemic.
4) Lots of Texans were dressed as seats. Maybe it was the snow. What’s that? There was no snow down there?
5) Brandon Dubinsky=Monster.
6) That was pretty sad when Drury got tossed like a sack of potatoes.
7) Henrik Lundqvist has a two-game point streak, which is only 49 short of Wayne Gretzky’s NHL record. And longer than Sidney Crosby’s current streak. Say this about the goalkeeper. He’s really back on track lately. Not a moment too soon.
8) I don’t like to complain too much about the officials, and even you conspiracy theorists have to admit that the third-period too-many-men call against the Stars was borderline and the refs missed Dan Girardi’s high stick late in the game. But if they’re going to call that penalty on Brandon Prust for finishing his check, then the NHL should just outlaw all contact and let the guys take off their pads and helmets.
9) Did I mention how I feel about the skills competition?
10) Does that Dallas team remind you of another team? You know, the one that wears red, white and blue and has all that young talent and plays so aggressively and hits everything and grinds?
11) How about that Italian kid, Zuccarello? Two shootout goals, and an overtime goal in five minutes in the NHL.
The Rangers have an 8 p.m. game in St. Louis tonight (they go head to head with the Super Bowl champion Jets). Third in four nights, second in two on the road, against a third consecutive very formidable foe.
I will have the pre-game notes as soon as I finish snow-blowing and shoveling.
AP Photo, above.