Quick Hits – Rangers vs Devils 12/18
AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek
Here is my Quick Hits recap of the Rangers 3-2 shootout win over the Devils
Rick Nash – Rick Nash is playing a grown man’s game. He is flying all around the ice, making plays every time the puck is on his stick. He had 3 chances like this one tonight, but was unable to convert. But like I mentioned, every time he was on the ice he made a contribution. After turning the puck over at the offensive zone blue line, he hustled back and broke up the odd man rush. He is playing the full 200 feet of the ice, and he will definitely be one of the main factors in the Rangers success this season.
Chris Kreider – Chris got himself back on the score sheet for the first time since the Rangers game against the Devils last Sunday, and has already put up around half of his total production from last season. We all know about his speed, but his scoring has been the thing that fans have been waiting to see. He can be a 20-25 goal scorer, but seems to take games off every now and then, and only scores in bunches. Hopefully these last few games going back to the beginning of the month, in which he has scored 5 times, will get him going and he’ll start putting the biscuit in the basket on a more regular basis.
Mats Zuccarello – It was another good game for the Hobbit as he had the primary assist on the goal by Chris Kreider, and had this NSFW shootout goal. Zucc has been consistent all throughout his Rangers career, and this season has been no different. He is on pace to match his point total from last season, and is relied upon by AV in all situations.
Derek Stepan – If not for Derek Stepan’s deflection from the slot, we may not be having such a happy discussion. Just 2 minutes after the Kreider goal, the Devils retook the lead on a goal by Miles Wood. With the net empty for the Rangers, Stepan won the offensive zone faceoff, and as the puck worked around the point, Stepan slid into the slot for a wicked deflection off of a shot-pass by Ryan McDonagh. Stepan has been a 15-20 goal scorer his entire career, but it seems like he has not been living up to expectations so far this season. He has been in the 50-60 point range per season, and he should get there again this year. If he can just start putting the puck into the net a bit more often, it will really go a long way.
Brady Skjei – Skjei is shaping up to be one of the best young defensemen in the NHL, and looks like he will be a mainstay on the blue line for years to come. He has been getting more and more ice time as the year has gone on, and that can only boost his confidence. He does not make many mistakes, and if he does, he doesn’t let it affect the way he plays the rest of the game. If there were an award for young defenseman of the year, Skjei would win it hands down.
Henrik Lundqvist – Whatever Henrik said he needed to work on during the 4 games he sat has paid off. Henrik has started to return to the form we are all used to seeing. He made a few key saves to keep the Rangers in this one, including this beauty in overtime to keep the game tied. If he can stay at this level, which I assume he will, the Rangers will have no problem making a deep run in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
NEXT GAME: The Rangers will look to keep their winning streak alive in Pittsburgh on Tuesday when they take on the Penguins. Puck drops at 7!
LETS GO RANGERS!