This is what happens when the Rangers play a full 60 minutes. Aside from a few shifts here and there, the Rangers dominated the Sharks from beginning to end. They played great hockey in all three zones, killed penalties, and capitalized with the man advantage. And they did all this against a San Jose Sharks team that is bound for the playoffs. Let’s get to those thoughts:
- This game was all about the powerplay. The Sharks were one of the worst in the league when down a man, and the Rangers capitalized on their chances.
- Speaking of those powerplay goals, they both came on beautiful passes. The pass from Brandon Dubinsky to Derek Stepan for the first goal was a fantastic pass. The pass from Erik Christensen to Ryan Callahan was even better.
- Cally’s second goal was a thing of beauty. He did it all on that goal: used speed to gain the zone, maintained puck possession, found open ice, and did everything possible while falling to get the puck in the net.
- Christensen and Wojtek Wolski sure did have good games tonight. Christensen had two assists, and both were just beauties. The pass to Artem Anisimov (who roofed his backhand) was an underrated perfect pass.
- Cally, Dubi, and Anisimov look like they are starting to get back into form. All three had very strong games.
- In fact, I can’t think of a single forward that had a bad game. Just a great game all around offensively.
- Ryan McDonagh is simply amazing. Thank you Scott Gomez, Bob Gainey, and the Montreal Canadiens. Seriously.
- Dan Girardi does it all for the Rangers this year, and is really doing a great job compensating for the loss of Marc Staal.
- The Steve Eminger/Jeff Woywitka pairing was pretty bad tonight. They were on the ice for what seemed like forever on the Sharks second goal. All things considered, they shouldn’t be a third pairing. Staal’s return should help that.
- Michael Del Zotto is having a great start to the season. He played 23 minutes tonight, and it shows how much the coaching staff is beginning to trust him.
- Mike Sauer is Mike Sauer. He made some good defensive plays. The style he plays isn’t flashy, and you only really notice him when he’s out of position. Not noticing him is a big compliment, and I didn’t notice him much.
- Martin Biron had a very quiet strong game. He made all the stops he needed to, and couldn’t do a thing on those two goals. Good game by him. Hopefully he has 18 more like that in him.
- The refs let the teams play for the most part. The tripping call on Del Zotto was a bit weak, and they botched the Brian Boyle high stick, but that’s it.
- Andre Deveaux had a very nice debut for the Rangers. He was surprisingly effective.
- Is it me, or did Christensen and Wolski look like players who were scared about losing their roster spots? With Sean Avery en route, they knew their spots were in jeopardy, and it showed.
- The Rangers, very quietly, were the much faster team tonight. They skated circles around the Sharks tonight.