1) I don’t believe most staged fights serve any purpose. But when two rival teams get together, or when there is an axe to grind, and two guys go at it right off the first draw, well, that does set a tone.
2) Brandon Prust is certainly willing, and more than tough, and he’s a very good fighter, But he’s not a heavyweight (duh) and he takes some shots, for sure, in his bouts. Man, how does he do that? And how about the honor of removing helmets before the fight? Awesome.
3) Sean Avery, as I’ve said before, makes a huge difference in games against arch-rivals from Philly, Newark and Uniondale.
4) Question for yesterday’s referees: How in Holy Hell do you go from the pansification, call every little ticky-tack tap or touch for the first 19 games, then let absolutely everything go? Not that I mind the game being called the way that first period went, and how it continued pretty much throughout … I wish it was that way all the time.
5) And correct call(s) as Ryan Callahan was tackled by Braydon Coburn, into Bobrovsky, on the part of the referee who didn’t wave it off, and on the part of the NHL video folks to disallow it because Callahan batted it in with his hand.
6) Did you just love the edge in Michael Del Zotto’s game?
7) Great game by Brad Richards, and all the guys (including Block Ness Monster Dan Girardi) who frustrated the heck out of Claude Giroux. And he was frustrated. This might have been the Rangers’ best start-to-finish game, especially defensively … and to repeat myself … they’ve always seemed to play better in games that have some growl.
8) The ice looked nice and bouncy, didn’t it? I’m sure B.U. and Cornell enjoyed it last night, too.
9) Did anybody mention the Winter Classic yet? Actually, the best part of this whole hype-and-sell fest is going to be hearing the mic’d up coaches and players on “24/7″. They must have gotten a couple of shows’ worth yesterday alone.
10) Braydon Coburn can play for my team any day.
11) Gotta like what you’ve seen from Carl Hagelin and John Mitchell so far, eh? Little better than the guys they’ve replaced?
My Three Rangers Stars:
1) Brandon Prust.
2) Ryan Callahan.
3) Brad Richards.
AP photos, above.