1st Star - Boston Bruins logo (For causing Lundqvist to somehow bring his game to an even higher level)
2nd Star - Clendening (For crashing into Grabner at practice causing him to miss tonight's game and ultimately resulting in the emergency recall of Buchnevich from Hartford.)
3rd Star - Arizona Coyotes (For trading the Rangers Lindberg in exchange for Ethan "I've Spent Time In The ECHL This Year" Werek. Full disclosure, I hated the trade at the time.)
Post Game Cocktail Recommendation
In recognition of tonight's bigly response by Buchnevich after his one game demotion to the Wolfpack, I give you President Trump's favorite cocktail, the White Russian.
Gif of the Game
Love the scarcely used but effective hip check by Zuccarello. But did it have to be on our boy Dom Moore?
Early & Often
It looked like everyone on the Rangers other than Lundqvist thought it was an 8 p.m. start in Boston tonight. Without "The King," the Blueshirts are easily down at least 2-0 in the first 10 minutes of the game...
Normally, friends are supposed to GIVE presents to the birthday boy. However, on Hank's 35th birthday he decided to flip the script by gifting his teammates a victory in Boston,
First Game Jitters
Tough Rangers debut for Brendan Smith. He did not look very confident with the puck as he had numerous unforced turnovers. He also took a penalty and was scrambling a bit in his own end. Not to mention this unpenalized slash he received to the side of the head...
I'm just going to chalk this up to first game jitters as well as being unfamiliar with AV's defensive system.
As he becomes more comfortable in his new surroundings I'm confident we'll start to see the real Brendan Smith.
Just Sit & Marvel
Vigneault The Genius
AV is an absolute genius for sending Buchnevich...onto a line with top 6 talent tonight. While I'm sure the three point game in Hartford Wednesday night was nice for his confidence, I really don't think you can point to it as the main cause for his ridiculous top shelf snipe.
Even when Grabner returns from injury, Vigneault needs to find a way to keep Buchnevich in the Top 9. His talents are absolutely wasted on the fourth line.
On Tuesday, the Rangers play one of their best first periods of the season against the Capitals and lose. Now tonight, they play one of their worst and win. Got it.
With the Bruins winning 7 of 8 coming into the game, you knew they'd come out firing on all cylinders. Thankfully the Rangers came prepared with a bag of Lundqvist sugar to pour in Boston's gas tank.
The Rangers had a tough time producing clean defensive zone exits in the first period which caused their transition game to be non-existent. Vigneault seemed to make some adjustments during the first intermission (shocking, I know), but they were never really able to establish their speed tonight.
Unfortunately, this isn't a problem exclusive to tonight. This is the 7th time in 8 games the Rangers haven't been able to crack the two goal barrier. It seems as if teams are figuring out how to slow down the Blueshirts speed game. If opponent's are clogging the neutral zone, the Rangers need to start dumping and chasing. I'm just not sure they have the personnel to grind out goals with a tough forecheck and bodies going to the front of the net.
Is it me or has Staal/Holden been on the ice for every goal against this last week? If they keep it up, they're going to make what should be a difficult decision for Vigneault on defense, once Klein and Girardi return, very easy.
After allowing a power play goal against in 5 of their last 6 games, the man down units came up with two big kills tonight. Maybe Fast was the weak link. I kid, I kid.
The Rangers power play is now 3 for their last 52.
Derek Stepan's goalless streak is now at...
Look, I'll never turn down two points, especially with the injuries the Rangers are dealing with. Unless of course it means two points closer to the #3 seed in the Metro Division. Hey wait!
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