Even without all-star Ryan Suter, the Predators are a damn good team. A team with balanced scoring. A hard working team. A team with another superstar defenseman in Shea Weber, and a team with good speed, and an outstanding coach. The Predators are very similar to the New York Rangers…without the budget. That budget, though, did not really help the Rangers at all, as the Rangers got their goal scoring from an undrafted free agent signing, a my garbage for your garbage type trade, and a 4th round draft pick. No huge signings there. Just guys you get through smart scouting, and patience. John Mitchell won’t be winning you many games with his skill, but he’s a good foot soldier. Dan Girardi has risen from nobody to all-star with this organization, and of course you have Ryan Callahan going from a too small to play in the NHL draft pick, to being the captain of an original 6 franchise. Pretty strange the way this game works aye?
For all that though, the Rangers didn’t really play a great game. They didn’t have that dominating type effort that they had against the Toronto Maple Leafs a few days ago. What they did was to play well enough to win. They got some lucky goals, they got the usual elite goaltending we see from Henrik Lundqvist in pretty much any game not in Montreal, and the Rangers got themselves the NHL leading 61st and 62nd points. They halted a losing streak at 1 (can you have a 1 game losing streak? I guess not…) and they hopefully started up another winning streak.
On a side note, I wonder if Artem Anisimov is injured. He just looks very off the past 10-12 games. Something isn’t right there. Usually Arty does something excellent every game. Offensively, defensively, he usually do something right, but the last while here he’s just been wrong. Kinda like Dubinsky was before he started to get hot. Hopefully it’s just a cold streak and he straightens it out, if it is an injury, I hope he does the right thing and takes a few games off to get himself healthy.
Finally, it appears as if Michael Sauer and Steve Eminger could be coming back in a matter of a few weeks. This bodes very well for the Rangers as Bickel has quickly lost some favor with Torts (for good reason) and Anton Stralman seems to be as apt to put up a great game as he is to put up an absolute clunker. Get both those guys in, and you have a top 6 that can go head to head with any D in the NHL.
That’s all for now!