The New York Rangers earned their third win in four games as a somewhat underwhelming trade deadline passed the Blueshirts by.
By Chris Wengert
The New York Rangers were surprisingly quiet on Monday as the trade deadline ticked by.
By about 9:30 PM the Columbus Bluejackets probably felt differently, however.
It is usually a passionate and heated affair when these two teams meet, but instead what fans witnessed was a game of “wait and see who will make the first mistake”.
It was a nice homage by Madison Square Garden to the late Andy Bathgate. It was also nice to see the MSG behave themselves during the moment of silence.
So just in case you were hidden under a rock for the past few days, Eric Staal is a New York Ranger. I was just waiting to hear Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti go off about “how the two Staal brothers are finally together”, but the two broadcasters kept it pretty tame for the most part.
I am a little surprised that Jeff Gorton didn’t make any depth moves yesterday. Brandon Pirri was rumored to be on his radar, but to no avail. You have to wonder if Gorton was outbid on the now Anaheim forward.
Without fail, fans on social media were blasting Eric Staal right from his first shift as a Ranger. While I do believe the acquisition of big brother Staal was a good move, especially for the price, it will take him a handful of games before he is comfortable with the Rangers system.
Staal will not only need learn how the Rangers offense works, but also his teammates tendencies. Hence the reason that he wasn’t on the power play, which people were also complaining about.
It took Marty St. Louis the remainder of the 2014 regular season until he really started producing for the Rangers, and fans should be prepared to see the same thing from Eric Staal.
Let’s face it, the only performance that really matters at this point is the playoffs. If Staal contributes when it counts, no one will care about his production in the regular season.
An interesting interview was writen by NY Post writer Dan Martin, in which John Tortorella dove a little bit deeper about his time in New York.
“As I said the last time I was here [with Vancouver], did I want to leave? Absolutely not. I felt there was some unfinished business. I felt we were going the right way. I don’t make those decisions. I was told to leave and you go about it. It’s part of our job as coaches and as players. … [But] I loved every moment here.”
While Tortorella had his moments, I don’t think this team would be where it is today without the efforts of both Tom Renney and John Tortorella.
Antti Raanta was a beast last night.
It’s amazing what happens to an athlete when they gain a little bit of confidence. Raanta stopped a few quality Columbus chances right in front of the net to keep the Rangers in the game. He even stopped the initial breakaway shot by Cam Atkinson, but the rebound found it’s way in.
What a ham.
The Rangers first goal was another classic example of “just throw the puck at the net and good things happen.” It’s a mantra that Ryan McDonagh followed a game prior.
Columbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo wasn’t square to the play which allowed Zuccarello to squeak the puck by and give the Rangers a 1-0 lead.
The shot totals were pretty lopsided after two periods (21 COL/13 NYR) but the Blue Jackets weren’t exactly dominating the play, as a good portion of their shots were from the perimeter.
The lone Columbus goal was a result of some really bad decision making by Dan Girardi. I’m usually the first to defend the veteran defenseman, but that puck should have been dumped deep into the zone rather than passed across the blue line.
Derek Stepan is finding a knack for scoring big goals.
This time is was a short handed goal, and one where Stepan showed some serious patience.
It wasn’t the most exciting game, but that’s fine as long as the Rangers keep winning. There will be plenty of excitement as April rolls along.
The Rangers have an absolutely brutal schedule ahead of them as they will play three games in four days against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, and New York Islanders.
If these games aren’t a good measuring stick for the Rangers, I don’t know what will be.