I was on a plane while this game was being played … but a cool thing about JetBlue—not only do they have TVs on the plane (no MSG) but they also have satellite radio. So I was able to listen to Dave Maloney and Don LaGreca in the air until it was 1-1 in the third, then come home and watch the game with no idea what happened in the third.
1) I told you Sean Almighty was better than some of the guys who were on the ice at the start of the season. He’s not going to have nights like this every night, but he’s capable of having them sometimes, and when he does, he’s a factor. An absolute factor.
3) Good for Joe Micheletti for giving it to Eric Staal. He pretty much said he thought it was a cheap shot, that Eric knew Marc was in a vulnerable position and took advantage of it, and of him. And he wasn’t happy about it.
4) The Rangers weren’t great all night long, and they allowed some shots. But they sure didn’t give the Hurricanes much, did they? And it’s going to be a good thing for this team to have some nights where Henrik Lundqvist doesn’t have to be their best player, though there will be more than enough games where he is. And he was plenty good last night.
6) Not sure if that was Michael Del Zotto on the icing, and it was Del Zotto as the only defenseman back (Brad Richards was the other), and Del Zotto did make some mistakes. But I think the kid’s game is really coming, and when he’s not afraid to make an occasional blunder, that’s when he’s going to be his best. Because the Rangers don’t have another player like him. And maybe he’s the one guy who benefits from the Staal injury, because he’d be getting third-pair minutes otherwise.
7) You’ve gotta like that the GAS Line keeps going, that it might not be one of those flash-in-the-pan things that fizzles out. I don’t know how it shakes out, but I’ve liked Stepan and Gaborik together since the summer, and liked how they’ve looked together since John Tortorella first tried them.
8) And the coach did some interesting, and successful shuffling last night. Just so you don’t all think he’s just a complete line-juggling nut job.
9) I continue to say this. Dan (Block Ness Monster) Girardi is really pretty good on the power play. Something to be said for simple passes and getting pucks to the net. He also took another one to the chops. Of course.
10) Brandon Dubinsky broke his tie with me for total goals this season, and tied Sean Almighty. Did it with the Luigi ‘stache making a comeback too. Bet he gets a bunch now. And let’s face it, this winning streak has come without a lot from that cornerstone second line.
11) Thought Marian Gaborik=Beast. Again.
My Three Rangers Stars:
1) Sean Avery.
2) Marian Gaborik.
3) Dan Girardi.
AP photos, above.