Quick Hits – Rangers vs Bruins 11/5
Here is my Quick Hits recap of tonight’s 5-2 Rangers win over the Boston Bruins.
- Special Teams – The Rangers won this game because of their special teams. Kevin Hayes and Derek Stepan each scored a short handed goal, the first SHGs of the season. The Stepan goal came off of a 2v1 with Grabner, and the Hayes goal was a 3v1. And the Grabner and Stepan had a 2v0 but couldn’t convert. As for the power play, the Rangers converted on a Brad Marchand double minor, as Pavel Buchnevich got his first NHL goal. This team is playing really well right now, and the special teams have been a part of it.
- Kevin Hayes – As has been said a bunch already, Kevin Hayes has been a new man this year. He recorded another goal tonight, a shortie beating Rask 5-hole, and was always noticeable on the ice. If he can keep this level of play up for the whole season, he will be one of the biggest surprises in the league.
- Michael Grabner – Speaking of big surprises, Michael Grabner has been it. After signing with the Blueshirts in the offseason as an experienced depth player that would improve the PK, he has been on an offensive tear to start the season. He has now scored 7 goals, including another one tonight, which almost equals his total from all of last season. The speed he brings when he is on the ice is something the Rangers were lacking last season, and it has really made a mark with this team.
- Pavel Buchnevich – It was a memorable night for Pavel Buchnevich to say the least. After getting chance after chance in the opening month of the season, Buchnevich got on the score sheet with his first NHL goal. With the Rangers on the power play, Buchnevich took a seam pass from Stepan and wired a wrister into the top corner. Hopefully this sparks Buchnevich, and he’ll be on the score sheet a lot more often.
- Derek Stepan – Stepan had a retro game tonight, scoring his first goal of the year as well, and also getting 2 assists. This was the game the Rangers have been waiting for from their number one center. He was noticeable all over the ice, and had an influence on the game. Like Buchnevich, this will hopefully spark Stepan’s goal scoring.
What a play. What a goal. Started by Michael Grabner defensively, Derek Stepan finishes. Shorthanded, 2-1 #NYR. pic.twitter.com/YcUpinVSWk
— ESNY (@EliteSportsNY) November 5, 2016
- Antti Raanta – The goaltending the Rangers have gotten this year has back stopped their 9-3 record. Antti Raanta is now 3-0 this year, and the team knows that they will have a chance to win whether he is in net or Henrik.
- Brady Skjei – Brady Skjei is just a rookie, but he is playing like an NHL vet. He picked up the secondary assist on the goal by Buchnevich, and played really solid defensively, with two takeaways, a blocked shot, and a hit. He’s been really good this year, and has stabilized the Rangers defense. On one play, he rushed the puck up the ice, got a shot, and when the puck went the other way, he was on his man in a second. He looks like everything that was promised when the Rangers drafted him in 2012.
- Nick Holden – Another pleasant surprise has been Nick Holden. Holden scored his first goal with the Rangers tonight, and had another good defensive game with two blocked shots. He didn’t make any obvious gaffes, and kept the Bruins in check when he was on the ice.
Nick Holden's first #NYR goal. 1-1 game. pic.twitter.com/bMtyKDNdGO
— ESNY (@EliteSportsNY) November 5, 2016
- Jesper Fast/4th Line – Jesper Fast, known to his teammates as Quickie, had another solid game. He was always around the puck, including making two hits on Zdeno Chara while on the forecheck. He played good defensive hockey, with a takeaway and a blocked shot. And the 4th line as a whole has been very good this whole season. Brandon Pirri had a hit and won 2/3 of his faceoffs, and Pavel Buchnevich showed why he was so coveted when the Rangers were able to bring him over from Russia. The depth the Rangers have is something that is going to be very difficult to beat all year.
Next game: The Rangers are right back at it tomorrow night when the Winnipeg Jets come to MSG! Puck drops at 7!
LETS GO RANGERS!