The New York Rangers defeated the Colorado Avalanche tonight by a score of 4-2. For a box score, click here.
I’m not 100% on what adjustments Henrik may have made over the course of the last two months to get him back on track but I’m going to “blame” on his sweet, new helmet which seems to have coincided with the turnaround. But in all seriousness, 400 wins with one team is an incredible accomplishment. And Lundqvist was fantastic tonight as well. He was as unbeatable in that third period as I’ve ever seen.
I think it’s fair to say that Lundqvist’s struggles are fully behind him and to think it wasn’t that long ago where he was getting jeered for making a simple save during a 7-3 game in the middle of January against the Stars. Having your confidence taken from you is about as bad for a goalie as playing without a labrum. Anyone should’ve known Hank was going to get through the bumps in the road, but he just needed the time. It helps that the defense has been a little better in front of him. The Rangers still allow a ton of shots, but at least pucks are not going through waves of bodies before getting to Lundqvist.
Give some credit to the Avs for making some adjustments to slow down the Rangers in the second period. The worst possession team in the league had the puck a ton in the second period and got two back after Klein’s goal early in the first. Colorado like the other western teams the Rangers faced this past week had a tough time with the NYR forecheck, but I thought that the Avs handled it better than Nashville and Calgary did before them. However when the Rangers find themselves behind and when they decide to step on the gas, there’s not too many that can match their depth.
Someone put something into Klein’s water tonight as the Rangers likely lose tonight without his pair of blue line lasers past Pickard. Like Lundqvist, Klein looked like a guy who got his confidence back, which could be critical down the stretch since the Rangers have 3 third pairing right handed defensemen.
Despite Rick Nash’s game winner, I think it’s time to move Vesey off that line for someone else, whether it’s Buchnevich or Puempel. That line has seen a ton of offensive zone time with little results. The Miller-Hayes-Grabner line can’t keep the Rangers afloat forever.
With the 4-0 homestand behind them, the Rangers get back on the road on Monday in Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets.