The New York Rangers came back from 4-1 down to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday night. Michael Grabner continues to turn back time.

The New York Rangers completed one of the best regular comebacks in recent history on Saturday night.

Be honest, when Lukas Sedlak put the Columbus Blue Jackets up 4-1 in the second period, you thought that there was no chance for the Broadway Blueshirts to make a comeback.


The game certainly didn’t start off pretty.

For the ninth time this season, the Rangers allowed their opponent to score a goal in the first two minutes of play. If this phenomenon sounds familiar, it should.

Allowing early goals was a chronic issue for the Rangers last season and it has many fans questioning Alain Vigneault‘s ability to prepare his team.

While the buck ultimately stops with AV, you can’t let the Rangers leadership off of the hook either.

Ryan McDonagh? Derek Stepan? Henrik Lundqvist? Dan Girardi? There is no reason that these veteran players can’t have their teammates ready to go by puck drop, but I digress…

For the first period of the game, the 2016-17 Rangers reverted back to the 2015-16 Rangers.

The Blueshirts couldn’t break out of their zone, they allowed countless Columbus players skate around Henrik Lundqvist unchallenged, and took three penalties against the best power play in the league.

In fact, Cam Atkinson‘s goal was a microcosm of the entire first period.

Nick Holden couldn’t clear the zone, Jesper Fast was caught skating around like a chicken with his head cut off, and the Blue Jackets scored a power play goal with Ryan McDonagh in the penalty box.


Oscar Lindberg gave the Blueshirt faithful hope 10 minutes later with a play that would come back to haunt Columbus goaltender Curtis McElhinney later in the game. We’ll come back to that later…

The decline of Kevin Klein (pun intended) is certainly not helping what is at best a mediocre  Rangers defensive corps. At times he looks almost lackadaisical and disengaged on while he’s on the ice.

Sam Gagner pickpocketed Klein while he was attempting to clear the puck out of the Rangers’ zone. Gagner found Scott Hartnell all alone in the slot and just like that the Blue Jacket’s regained their two-goal lead.

Klein simply needs to be better.

Klein isn’t alone, either, because Mats Zuccarello has been invisible for the past couple of months. Really, when was the last time you remember Zucc being a part of a scoring opportunity?

It amazes me how everyone will throw Girardi in front of an oncoming train at a moments notice, yet Zucc can do nothing for weeks and nobody says boo.

What concerns me is that Zucc’s forechecking has been lame lately. You can often see him standing around and waiting for the puck rather than attacking and forcing turnovers (like we’re used to seeing).

Just when it looked like the Rangers were going to silently into the good night, Adam Clendening and Michael Grabner happened.

Grabner’s speed is amazing. When he is given open ice, he makes the players around him look like AHL players.

Clendening looked like a kid in a candy store after scoring his goals tonight. His “just put the puck on net” was not only effective on the score sheet, but also inspired his team to shoot more in the third.

And shoot they did.

The third period Rangers looked like a completely different team. They were able to establish the forecheck due in large part to their willingness to go to the dirty areas.

Columbus simply could not break out of their zone because of the relentless Rangers’ attack.

The Rangers even cashed in on a classic garbage goal.

Quick side note. Did anyone else notice AV’s blatant unwillingness to give Clendening credit during the post game interview?

When asked by MSG reporter John Giannone if he was happy for Clendening on his two-goal night, AV said that he was “happier for the team”.

I know AV has his favorites, but that statement is uncalled for if you ask me. Back to the game.

Just when you thought it was time for some free hockey, Grabner completed one of the best regular season comebacks in Rangers’ history.

Oh, and if you missed Don La Greca’s amazing call of the game-winning goal, here it is in all of its glory. The quality isn’t great, but you’ll get the idea.

I've been a die hard Rangers and Giants fan for as long as I can remember. I enjoy sharing opinions, and hearing from fans that love their teams just as much as I do. Henrik Lundqvist makes all of us look like mere mortals. E-mail me at: