Not going to get all wrapped up in who did what on a lopsided scoresheet, though I’m sure you all enjoyed the heck out of it, and you should have.
Instead, how about numbers?: 17-6-4, second best record in the improving East and fewest regulation losses in the NHL; 8-2-2 at home. Points in 16 of 19. 24-8-3 in second of back-to-backs since 2009-10. 38 points in 27 games, the best start since the ‘93-94 Rangers had 40, and that team, if I recall correctly, did OK. PPGs in eight of the last nine games.
1) Ryan Callahan=Wrecking ball. Again, it all started with him
2) It doesn’t make much sense going through who had a good game in a victory like this, because just about everybody did, including Erik Christensen.
3) I will say that Michael Del Zotto is really getting to the level we expected to see last year. Very, very good again. And now he’s doing it almost nightly.
4) Derek Stepan=Baby beast … or to borrow a phrase from one of our Boneheads during the game: StepanWolf.
5) Anton Stralman’s getting comfortable, too. And Steve Eminger doesn’t look out of place at all on the second pair. Good for them.
7) The whole argument is such a fringe discussion. But I will take the Avery side of this argument. He’s better than Christensen. I’d rather have Avery in a big game than Christensen (or Wojtek Wolski), especially a division (soon to be conference) game. But it doesn’t do Avery much good when Christensen has a good game.
8) Brandon Prust just loves to fight, loves to fight for his team, and sometimes just for the heck of it. I think that fight with the big Brach guy was a waste of time and the kind of fight that will get fighting eventually banned from the NHL, because it served no purpose. But geez, you’ve got to give Prust some courage points. It hurts to watch. It’s Just Pain.
9) Jose Three-or-More. Times two.
10) I get the whole shot blocking thing, and respect the heck out of these guys going down in front of those bombs-away. But on those 45-50 footers, just get out of the way. Henrik Lundqvist is capable of stopping those if he sees them, and now a couple have gone through recently because he didn’t see them. Boy, was he strong again.
11) Um, remember when a lot of people were making the blanket statement that the Rangers can’t play with the fast teams?
12) I think youse are going to have a blast watching the first “24/7” Wednesday. Too bad they have to include the Flyers. Oh, by the way, I got definitive word that, despite what Tortorella says, the Rangers (and Flys) don’t really have much say in what goes into the program and what doesn’t. The agreement is that HBO won’t show stuff that could affect competitive balance, or specific tactical things; and the trust is that HBO won’t show gratuitous vulgarity or nudity from the lockerrooms. But the NHL and its teams cannot censor the show just because they don’t want something in it.
My Three Rangers Stars:
1) Derek Stepan.
2) Henrik Lundqvist.
3) Artem Anisimov.
I haven’t heard from anybody claiming I got it wrong, so I am declaring Genghis Tron our contest winner. Congratulations, Genghis. E-mail me your address at email@example.com.
Also, we will attempt—can’t promise at the moment—another live chat late in the week.
AP photos, above.