Ryan Callahan rightfully was the player everyone gushed about tonight. He had an outstanding game, borderline spectacular, scoring 2 goals, nabbing a helper, and leading the Rangers to victory. But the player my eyes seemed glued to tonight was Wojtek Wolski. No, not because of how he cost us the game against the Sens. The reason I kept my eyes on him was because of the way he commanded the play. He seemed to make the right decision with the puck almost every time he touched it, he played a damn hard game, and really seemed to complete the line with Stepan and Gaborik very well.
Granted, he actually played pretty well against the Sens, but of course, that penalty single handedly cost the Rangers the W in my opinion. Wolski didn’t pick up a point tonight, but that trio had a consistent attack, and while the Rangers alternate top line got most of the hooplah, it was the sustained pressure of the top 3 lines that really was the key to this victory, and most importantly, will be the key to the Rangers going forward.
I really liked the top 3 lines of:
Wolski – Stepan – Gaborik
Dubi – Richards – Cally
Fedotenko – Boyle – Prust
The 4th line needs some work. I know that Anisimov had a goal and EC had 2 points, but I wasnt really all that impressed with their play other than on like maybe 2 or 3 shifts….they looked average for the most part, and Deveaux really didn’t do much for me.
Id love to see a 4th line of… Avery – Anisimov – Hagelin. Though you really could just call it a second 3rd line to be totally honest. You’d have 2 guys who are regulars on the penalty kill, an agitator extraordinaire, and you’d let Anisimov play with 2 guys who don’t have feet for hands. Then the Rangers could balance their minutes out a little better. We’ll see though.
The Rangers are now 10 games in and they are over .500. Their leading scorer from last year (Dubinsky) doesn’t have a single goal, and their all-star defenseman has yet to step on the ice. All things considered, the Rangers could be a whole hell of a lot worse off than they are now. But the key here is to not just keep playing the way they did tonight, but to get even better. To play even harder, to generate even more scoring chances, because while they did outshoot and outchance the Sharks, you’d definitely have to say that the Sharks goaltending was pretty awful tonight, and there’s no guarantee those goals go in against a goalie who is more on his game. The Ducks will be a nice test for us.