The Rangers are off to the best start they could have possibly had. Rangers are coming off another 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in which they dominated the play for much of the game, especially in the second period. But lets look at these 2 games as a whole.
New York out shot Tampa Bay 80-40 in both of these games combined, scoring on 76 of the 80 shots. Is scoring something that needs to be worked on? Yes it does. Goals win games. But the important thing here is the defense held up very well against a team who has some firepower to their offense. The penalty kill was a perfect 9 for 9 this weekend against Tampa. Goals win games, but defense wins championships. The goals will come but the fact the Rangers have learned to play a very good overall defense first is an important block in getting through the season and a good sign.
One person who may be helping the defense settle into their groove is Henrik Lundqvist. He played very well this weekend, saving the day for the Rangers when they needed him to. So much for all that stuff about his knees.
Markus Naslund played very well this weekend. He scored the first goal yesterday and made a nice pass today to the slot to find Wade Redden who tied the game up. After that, the 2nd period was all Rangers as they continued to dominate the play for the whole period. Another hardworking goal was scored later as Scott Gomez banged in the rebound of an Aaron Voros wrist shot. Gomez and Redden both finished with a goal and an assist each. Dmitri Kalinin played a much better game today as he looks to fit in with the team. Fans may have been disappointed in his play yesterday but he looked the best he has in a Ranger uniform today. Hopefully similar play will come from him in the future.
The Rangers are now off until next Friday when they play their home opener at Madison Square Garden against the Chicago Blackhawks. We will have more on this in the coming week. Mike and I will discuss this past weekend on our show Wednesday at 1pm on WVOF and then Thursday, we will have a special edition on our show the very next day on Youcastr. Time will be announced. It is a good start for Ranger fans and will hold us over for the week. Make sure you watch the news because you never know what is going to happen.
Image found on NYR website here.