Happy Boxing Day, everybody!
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NY – The Rangers made it 7 wins in a row on Tuesday night against the Capitals. The victory put the Blueshirts ahead of the Caps in the standings and into the third playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division. They’re six points behind the Islanders now with two games in hand.
Rick Nash has been on fire this season. I think he’s been even better than people have been giving him credit for. He seems to always be in the right place and always makes the right play. His 23 goals on the season are second in the NHL only to Tyler Seguin’s 25. Nash and Seguin will face off on Monday when the Rangers travel to Dallas. If Nash keeps up this level of play he will certainly be in the Hart Trophy discussion at the end of the season.
Henrik Lundqvist has raised his game of late. He is certainly a lot sharper now than he was at the start of the season. Backup Cam Talbot has been great all season. He’s tied for third in the league with three shutouts and he’s only played games. Lundqvist has five shutouts on the season. Good for second place behind Marc-Andre Fleury‘s six clean sheets.
It’s all coming together for the defensemen also. Dan Boyle is looking better each game. Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi have been playing like a top pair recently. And who other than Lincoln Crestwood would have thought that Kevin Klein would lead the backliners in scoring?! After A Fish Called Wanda, I thought he was…. all washed up. And while he’s certainly not a replacement for Anton Stralman, Klein has been solid since his arrival in New York, not to mention the pizazz uncle Calvin adds rink-side.
With Anthony Duclair away on duty with Team Canada at the World Juniors, the lineup has been pretty steady of late. Kevin Hayes continues to impress and JT Miller has performed well since his return to the big club. Up next is a home game against a struggling Devils team Saturday night. New Jersey will be looking to stop the bleeding. Aside from being slow, disjointed, and unable to score, the Devils are looking good. If the Devils fall behind by a goal, they should pretty much close up shop – because they just can’t score.
After the Devils game, the Broadway Blues head south for the aforementioned game against the Stars, who like the Devs, are struggling. Tyler Seguin has over a quarter of their goals on the season. The Rangers close out 2014 with a trip to south Florida on Wednesday to take on the Panthers in front of seven fans. These next three games are very winnable. Hopefully, the Rangers and Nash can bridge the gap on the Isles and Penguins and take their win streak to double digits.
Come back tomorrow for the Man With A Thousand Faces, but none good, Junoir Blaber.