The New York Rangers defeated the Montreal Canadiens in a systematic fashion last night at the Bell Centre. The magic number is now six.
By Chris Wengert
Consistency was the word coming into this game and the New York Rangers certainly delivered.
That was a Montreal team that not only looked depleted on the score sheet, but on the ice as well. A good portion of the St. Johns’ roster (AHL affiliate) is now playing with the Habs, and boy could you tell.
The Rangers took advantage of this fact, and kept their play very business-like throughout this game.
Montreal tried to frustrate the Blueshirts with some silly business after the play, but the Rangers wouldn’t oblige.
And that’s just what you want to see from the Rangers down the stretch, no slumps and nothing over the top, as they can save the real good stuff for playoffs.
Staying healthy should be priority number one after the Rangers secure that second Metropolitan Division spot, as home ice has been a huge advantage this season.
Speaking of securing playoff berths, lets take a look at the Rangers magic numbers, courtesy of playoffstatus.com.
It’s almost 100% certainty that the Rangers will indeed make the playoffs, but now it’s all about clinching that second Metro spot to gain home-ice throughout the first round.
Ok, back to the game.
For all of the crap us fans give the Madison Square Garden company for providing a coprorate-friendly atmosphere, have you ever heard the Bell Centre so quiet?
Not only quiet, but full of boos? Listen, Rangers’ fans understand frustration with an organization, but how can you boo a team when literally half of your original lineup is injured? What do they want, Price and Subban hobbling around on the ice?
J.T. Miller‘s goal really surprised Sam and Joe, eh?
— Elite Sports NY (@EliteSportsNY) March 26, 2016
Up until Miller’s goal, the Rangers looked a little loosey-goosey. They didn’t have any shots for the first few minutes, until Miller said “Enough is enough.”
But man, his quarterbacking ability is something the Rangers haven’t had in a long time. It is, in fact, what the Blueshirts thought they were acquiring when they traded for Brad Richards a few years back.
Richie never really delivered on the PP like Yandle has lately.
— Elite Sports NY (@EliteSportsNY) March 27, 2016
That is the Chris Kreider we all know and love, and is also the player the Rangers will need to be serviceable in two weeks.
Kreider was shooting and driving to the net, which are two of his biggest attributes. Keep it coming Chris.
Rick Nash has also been a beast. He out-hustled Montreal to negate a couple of icing calls, and is using his physicality again. Keep it coming Rick.
At what point can we officially give Eric Staal a hard time?
After he was traded, I was right there stating that it will take some time and patience from the fan base, as it will take some time for Staal to learn the system.
But the guy really hasn’t showed anything that makes me go, “Wow, this guy will be good”. In fact it’s just the opposite, as I think he looks slow and unwilling to fire the puck on net.
I’ve said this before, but his stats look very similar to Martin St. Louis‘ after he was traded to the Rangers. But with St. Louis, you saw the potential, as he was shooting and going to the dirty areas.
You could tell that St. Louis could break out.
But Staal hasn’t really demonstrated to us anything we can really latch onto. Hopefully he will in the playoffs, but I have my doubts.
The Rangers were lucky that this Montreal team was bad though, because the Blueshirt defenseman lobbed up some of those “lame duck” passes that they love from deep in their own zone. If the Rangers try that crap tonight, things could potentially become ugly.
Keith Yandle:”Especially toward the end of the season to get 2 points in any building is huge. We’ve got to back it up again tomorrow night”
— Andrew Gross (@AGrossRecord) March 27, 2016
Possible playoff preview game tonight? Time will tell.