The fact that they were taken to the wire by the worst team in the Eastern Conference, well, we need to forget about that. An inexcusable goal against on a wide open shot just over a minute in, Hank's good looks erase that. Sitting on a one-goal lead rather than trying to make it a two-goal lead? Slip it from your mind. Four poor penalties? Let 'em go. Darroll Powe getting knocked out by Matt Hendricks? Already ignored, no one bothered to avenge him anyway. Yet another occurrence of Braden Holtby-ism, a syndrome where the Rangers make the mediocre netminder look good by inflating his stats with easy saves? Definitely worth deleting from the memory bank.
Once all that is consigned to oblivion we can bask in the brilliance of the two goals scored by the Blueshirts and the two points they took for defeating the Caps. Beating Washington is always wonderful and, at the end of the day, that is what the boys in blue did. They triumphed over Ovie and improved to 5-1-1 in their last seven games. Selective memory is a wonderful thing.
*A power play goal. By the Rangers. Really. And it was glorious. I felt like James Bond. Richard$ actually won a faceoff, Nash's fancy-pants move actually worked to pass it back, then tic-tac-toe Richard$ to Del Zaster to Stepan and we're winning.
*Step finished that play, and he started the game-tying tally. He hustled to the boards, pressuring Troy Brouwer into making a poor pass that McDonagh intercepted and fired deep. Hagelin then tipped Tom Poti's clearing attempt, allowing Rick Nash to get it and feed McDonagh for the shot that Hagelin redirected in. Bork, Bork, Bork!
*And Poti - of all the blueliners in all the world - Poti being the player to lose his cover ... simply spectacular. POOOOOOOOOTTTTTTTTTIIIIIIII, POOOOOOOOOTTTTTTTTTIIIIIIII, POOOOOOOOOTTTTTTTTTIIIIIIII. Peanut Butta Poti Time, Peanut Butta Poti Time! It is soooo much fun to revel in his mistakes, now that they aren't made while he's wearing a Ranger sweater.
*The current Blueshirt blueliner to draw my ire, Del Zaster, didn't suck. He saw way too much ice time, made a few blatant mistakes and took a terrible penalty, but he didn't suck. Maybe he just looked passable thanks to Poti being on the same ice ... yeah, that probably was it.
*DZ was one of several Rangers guilty of going down to try to block passes. Sure the play looks pretty, but it just shows how far out of position the player was.
*Bravo to NBC Sports for including the national anthem, which featured John Amirante. Sad they missed his trademark fist-pump, but still more than we get during MSG broadcasts. And no Micheletti, can't beat that.
*Sounded like a loud crowd on tv. It was helped that the 6pm start was the earliest of the season (pending the last two NBC games) and that it came on the eve of a holiday. Nice to see the Rangers recognized it with a give-away ... oh, wait, they didn't.
*Cally tangling with Ovie? What a moment. And his honest, selfless work at the end of the game? It is getting hard to love our captain more.
*Not only does it appear that Adam Oates has no idea how to coach, but it looks like he had some bad plastic surgery too. Bet he scares all the children on Halloween. Loved that it was him, rather than our dynamic duo behind the bench, that got called for a too many men on the ice.
*Don't tell me Hendricks didn't nail Powe intentionally, I watched the replay a number of times and you can see him lower his right shoulder right before impact. He saw Powe coming and used it to his advantage. The only surprise is that it wasn't John Erskine who did it.
*Asham helped Powe off the ice, the first instance of him actually doing something positive for his Ranger teammates.
*PHW Three Stars:
3- Braden Holtby - 38 saves.
2- Rick Nash - one assist.
1- Carl Hagelin - one goal.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars:
3- Hagelin - While he gives credit to Nash for making room for him, last season Hags had chance after chance last season that he couldn't capitalize upon. Now he's finishing.
2- Stepan - Some games Step looks amazing, others he disappears. Once he gains some consistency we will have ourselves one terrific second line center.
1- Callahan - The wind beneath our wings.