Powered by J.T. Miller's first two NHL goals, the New York Rangers regained their focus by beating the New York Islanders at MSG, 4-1. For a full box score of the game, visit Yahoo! Sports.
...Talk about the best home debut you could ask for if you're J.T. Miller: Two goals and first-star honors. I said it after the game against NJ he looks like he belongs out there. Very impressive so far.
...I felt John Tortorella pressed the right buttons after the Rangers' suspect effort Tuesday night. Brian Boyle deserved to take a seat in the press box and most of the players responded with better efforts. Competition never hurts.
...One of the players Torts did single out prior to tonight's game was Henrik Lundqvist in saying he needed to play better. 27 saves for The King tonight and looked much sharper. The Rangers go NOWHERE if Hank isn't in top form.
...Ryan Callahan is fearless. Comes back early from his shoulder injury. Blocks shots with his chest. Absolute warrior. Felt the team got a much needed lift from their captain's return.
...Despite the score, New York still has some things to tighen up. There were long stretches tonight where the Islanders dominated play cause by sloppy play.
Keep reading for my thoughts on the Marc Staal, Rangers' special teams play and why I didn't like what I saw from Rick Nash.
...What's this: Anton Stralman had the most ice time for the Rangers at 26:41?!?
...Special teams has been the focal point early on in the season. The PK was 5-for-5 tonight and the PP got on the board as well. Do teams need to have special teams playing well? Absolutely. Is it a must, though? The power play struggles are highlighted because the Rangers aren't scoring enough overall. They have to be more balanced offensively: something Torts repeatedly preaches. Maybe that takes some pressure of the PP to score nearly every time it's out there, which no team does.
...After a solid start to the season, I haven't been impressed with Nash's last two efforts (1 SOG in 18:50 tonight). I'm not sure if he's pressing too much with only two goals on the season, but in the beginning at least the other areas of his game were good enough. Nothing to panic about yet, but he's trending in the wrong direction.
...How selfish of McDonagh to score his own empty netter with Miller trailing behind him looking for the hat trick.
...Safe to say Marc Staal is completely recovered. In Dan Girardi's absence, Staal has stepped his game up. Ironic: it was Girardi last season who elevated his game to anchor the Rangers' D in his former partner's absence.
...Two days off before the Lightning come into town.
...The Rangers are 2-0 when I write the recap. #justsaying
I just remembered, and I can't believe no one mentioned it (maybe I missed it?), but Powe had an excellent game. He was very strong on the PK.
I.M.O. no team can win the cup without a decent power play. They need to get another assistant coach who is a power play specialist and practice the power play every day.
P.S. Giannelli got what he deserves for asking mostly stupid questions during he's interviews. I can't stand to listen to him. Am I the only one who feels this way?
McD had a great game on d and offensively, thought delz looked good besides one bad turn over. Miller looks great, hank looked great but if he was in top form he saves that wicked shot from taverse. I thought this was nash's worst game, he didnt have the puck much so he couldnt use that big body to bully his way through the d. Could be from the line changes, who knows.
i think boyle's job is in serious jeopardy. i wonder if he works harder to get back in the lineup or they scratch him till the trade deadline then move him.
I'm now 2-0 at games I attend. And I agree about McD I lost a hat to Gabby and I was ready to lose one to Miller.
A few comments based on what I saw tonight and a little reaction to other posts today:
Eminger: I've always liked him and was happy to see him in the lineup tonight, but he was awful. Couple big giveaways that easily could have turned into bad news
Nash: Nuts to suggest he's not strong on his skates. He's tried the same move one too many times and teams are catching on (kinda like the Rangers' long tip pass from behind their own net that worked through the first few games...), but the dude is manhandling opponents by simply out-muscling them on his skates
Lundqvist: Made some huge saves tonight, always good to see him back in true Hank form but for the love of god would someone please teach this guy how to handle the puck or to just leave it alone?? It's never been his strength but it came real close to costing the Rangers 3 or 4 different times tonight.
Halpern & Stralman: LOVING these guys right now. Stralman did nothing for me last year & I knew nothing about Halpern coming into the season but to me they look like they're giving the blue-collar, bust your ass effort that Prust & Boyle (the real Boyle, not this year's version) used to contribute that helped give the team an identity. Still too early to tell with Powe but I like what I've seen so far, especially on the SH pressure tonight. And seeing the number 8 back out there is nice too...
Richards: I know he had a decent game tonight and was a big part of the big o-zone pressure shift that led to Gabby's goal, but he's killing me this year. Almost seems like he's not playing with enough confidence or something. I think he's passed up more open shots than anyone on the team (and that's saying a lot on this team), and he seems to get himself into "panic" situations where he holds the puck too long and leaves himself with nowhere to go with it. Just fire them in dude, rebounds and dirty goals are what the team needs to start getting on the board.
@IronLionZion13 Agree on Richards. Also, relatively weak on faceoffs - I feel he never wins the mustwins. He is ranked 21 out of 26 in win % amongst NHL players with 175 or more faceoffs. Playing on the top line (often inserted with offensive zone faceoffs) it's even more crucial to be winning these at a high clip.
@IronLionZion13 Maybe not being strong on his skates is the wrong wording, but he's always falling to the ice. Keep on eye on it next game.
@IronLionZion13 totally with you on Richards and Halpern. Halpern seemed a little sluggish and lost the first few games, but he seems to be getting more confident and more comfortable, and he and Powe are covering some important PK minutes.
The Rangers played a great game tonight until the 3rd period. But I think the greatest positive to take out of this, more than JT, is Lundqvist. He looked like the King tonight. Weathering each attack and keeping the team in the game tonight. Hopefully we can turn a corner now, and lundqvist can start playing well again. Look for Biron's next game to be next Thursday against these Isle's. Hopefully we can get 2 huge wins against Tampa and Boston. Then we would be back in the thick of it....
Also...does anyone else think DZ looks much more comfortable as a forward? Lol, I know it sounds crazy but he finds himself in the corner boards area alot and he seems to like to create chances from there...I do think it was the best game of the season for him and McD, minus his penalties (the one protecting lundqvist was cool tho...he wants more emotion from the blueline, leading by example already)
Shot of the night! http://i50.tinypic.com/suvz34.png
Millers 2nd goal was great because Torts trusted him with an important defensive zone faceoff after giving up a PK opportunity...than he filled the lane and skated passed the dmen to score....this kid is the real deal man, if he can put on 10-15 lbs by next season watch out... While the win was nice, i agree, still got work to do. Taking 5 penalties might fly vs the hipsters but it wont vs the Pens or Bruins. Boyle will make his way back into the lineup eventually I feel...we cant trade another one of our core guys from last season, its too chancy considering how vital those guys seem to be in hindsight...lets try n make a streak outta this!
@MannySanghera He was 15 pounds heavier at the start of AHL camp but shed it. He's bigger than Cally and may even skate quicker than him. I think Miller is fine as far as his size goes.
when 19yr olds start showing that they can take your place and no one is safe (except hank), then guess what you see?
LOT'S OF SKATING. like we saw tonight. jump.
two kids with cally on a line. sittng boyle. giving ice time to the kids despite mistakes. no del zotto pp time. no hagelin pp time.
great coaching job with those choices.
I liked a lot about tonight but the PP was still not one of those things. When the shorthanded team outshoots you during your PP and the PP goal you score is on a breakout play, the PP still sucks. Until we get someone better, I still prefer MDZ over Gerardi, Staal on PP. Would like to see McD on PP more tho
Good effort tonight and for once the Power Play actually looked somewhat organized. Everyone had their feet moving and they ultimately went 1/2 (brings the team back to a whopping 11.1% for the season). I hope Torts keeps Stralman in there, he seems to fit more and assumes more of a QB than DZ ever has.
What about Stralman? Idk why that guy gets some much crap from people, I think He's pretty solid and he stepped up with Girardi down again.
the key now is to repeat this effort...been very inconsistent this year...we get a performance like this and then they dont come to play next game...lets hope that trend stops sunday
The Legend of Miller may never come to be if Lundqvist doesn't save that Grabner short-handed breakaway after JT's giveaway at the redline.
It's all about a feel good effort-much needed!! Good job all around & the Capt-n & Kid line were great!
Not a mistake-free game, but an honest effort, good special teams and solid goaltending will win a lot of games in this league. I'm starting to feel good about the personnel up front, with the 4th liners Powe and Halpern being able to go all out on the PK and getting a few shifts here and there 5-on-5
@cb1 Amazing that a week ago we were complaining about the lack of depth, now a guy like Boyle might not be able to get back in the line-up.
@KevinDeLury it's hard not to be excited about Miller after a night like tonight, but remember he's only 19. Dont want to expect too much from him.
Definitely a good win and definitely things to work on......need more from Nash......Mcdonough 1st penalty is something we need more of, taking a guy out to protect your goalie....show's toughness.....2nd penalty he took was a chincy call, barely touched the guy......a win's a win and we move on, and hopefully something to build on....LGR