1. Busy weekend for the NYR Blog crew which meant no instant recap of Saturday’s thrilling come from behind win in Columbus. So we’ll try to make up for it here. You have to admire the Rangers persistence despite how the team played in that first period. I’ll give AV some credit for sticking with Hank after CBJ made it 4-1 early in the second period considering the Rangers were putting on perhaps one of their worse defensive performances up to that point and were well on their way to sitting on a blowout loss over their bye week.
2. Two points is two points, but let’s be honest… the Rangers probably don’t win that game if Bobrovsky was in net. McElhinney’s glove hand was the only thing worse than the NYR defense the other night. Another point that made its well deserved rounds on twitter the night… AV was asked after the game to comment on Clendening’s two third period goals to tie the game and wound up saying this…
“There’s no doubt I’m happy for him, but I’m happy for the team tonight… we got an outstanding performance from Grabs tonight who used his speed not just offensively but defensively, and you know, we played one real solid period that enabled us to win the game.”
What? Is there any possible way that answer comes out if literally anyone else on the roster scores those two goals besides Clendening? Given AV’s comments, it should be clear as day now there’s no future for Clendening here, which is a shame because I think he has a well defined role that the Rangers badly have a need for.
3. Congrats to Team USA for taking home gold last Thursday over Canada in an unbelievable championship game. Admittedly, it’s a lot more fun when the Rangers have their prospects playing for Team USA in big situations like that as we’ve been lucky to have over the last few years. The Rangers don’t really have a big name American prospect besides Sean Day and he wasn’t really ever considered.
4. So when I mentioned two weeks ago that my 2017 resolutions were to keep the Rangers healthy, I didn’t mean to have Puempel and Staal go down in the first week of the new year. But it sounds like three top 9 nine forwards will be close to ready after the bye. Nash and Buchnevich will be almost certainly ready to play on Friday while it appears that Zibanejad needs to get his conditioning back in order before returning. He practiced with a non-contact jersey at practice last week. Now that the team is nearly 100%, can it please stay that way?