The New York Rangers defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight by the score of 5-2. For a box score, click here.
Now that’s how you snap a losing streak!
Much better all around showing tonight by the Rangers who had made it very clear in the media that they weren’t going to let their goalie out to dry in another game. The Rangers got back to moving the puck, Lundqvist looked a bit more like Lundqvist, Grabner and Buchnevich can’t stop scoring goals… it’s like October all over again.
Maybe for another day we can back off the ledge when it comes to Lundqvist. I firmly believe this is nothing more than a confidence issue that Hank and Hank alone has to work out. Give Lundqvist the in-game reps, grow his confidence and rest will follow. Lundqvist is far from “done” as some would like you believe.
It has been a treat to watch the Rangers forward group this year when it’s humming on all cylinders like it was tonight. The Rangers top 3 lines all contributed 5v5, the power play looked pretty good for the most part and the team continues to be offensively dangerous when it’s short handed.
I may have said this before, but I’ll say it again… where would the Rangers be without Grabner? Can you imagine saying that in October? I think anyone would’ve signed up for 21 goals over 82 games, let alone 46.
Let this sink in for a second. Pavel Buchnevich has two more goals than Anze Kopitar in 26 less games. It was nice to see him get recognized among the Canadian writers and bloggers that follow the Leafs as one of the top young stars finding their way in the NHL. And on a day where the Coyotes sent Anthony Duclair to the AHL, credit the Rangers for sticking it out with Buchnevich for a few years while he grew into a pro in the KHL.
Clendening and Skjei need to be a full time pair. Even in a 16-18 minute role. I know Staal is coming back soon and it also forces Holden and Klein together (who were terrible tonight) but there’s nothing there that should force Clendening out of the lineup. Ranger fans like to have their bias’ when it comes to the defensemen screwing up. If you were to grade the defense on an even plane, Klein is the one sitting right now. Sadly, AV’s tunnel vision with his roster decisions won’t make this a reality.
For the Rangers, tonight’s game was a good start as they look to rebound as the All Star break approaches. If they’re “resetting” their season this is a good place to start. The sun hasn’t set on the season yet.
The Rangers are back in action on Sunday when they take on the Red Wings in Detroit.