Quick Hits – Rangers vs Ducks 3/26/17

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Here is my recap of the Rangers 6-3 loss to the Ducks

  • Rick Nash – The Rangers winger has been playing well of late, and picked up a goal in his fourth straight game. After Mika Zibanejad tapped the puck to Marc Staal in the defensive zone, the defenseman head-manned the puck to Nash for a 2v1 with Jimmy Vesey. Nash shot the puck between the legs of Jonathan Bernier, and it squeaked between the pads and oer the goal line. It was not the prettiest of goals, but it shows how Nash has been picking up his play. The only hope is that he can keep up this level of play once the real season starts.
  • Derek Stepan – After a rough eight weeks, Derek Stepan seems to have found his scoring touch again. Even though he hit the crossbar and post with the Blueshirts trailing, he did pick up the second goal for the Rangers. After Chris Kreider forced a turnover at the Ducks blue line, the Rangers came down the ice on a 3v1. Kreider, Zuccarello and Stepan worked a beautiful game of tic-tac-toe, with Stepan finishing it off over the legs of Bernier. Derek has been an important piece on Broadway since his rookie year in 2010-2011. He may not be “number one” center material, but he is a very good player on this team.
  • Michael Grabner – The kind of start Grabner had was going to catch up to him eventually. He has scored once since February 9th, and has been virtually unnoticeable on the ice. Yes he has speed to burn, but if he isn’t going to be able to take advantage of it and score, than it doesn’t really serve its purpose. It seems to me that something needs to change for the Swiss winger. When he was signed, he was thought of as a penalty killer and fourth liner who would chip in 15 or so goals. His offensive outburst was a welcome surprise, but it has caught up with him. Seeing him getting swapped with Buchnevich, putting the rookie with Hayes and Miller, would give Buch a chance to play with more skilled players.
  • Brady Skjei – It was a bittersweet 23rd birthday for the young defenseman, who scored the third goal for the Blueshirts. Following a neutral zone turnover, Skjei took a pass from roommate Jimmy Vesey and wired one into the top corner. It has been a great rookie season for the defenseman, who has been anchoring the back end with Ryan McDonagh all season. He looks like the real deal, and can be the cornerstone of the Rangers defense for a long time.
  • Henrik Lundqvist – It was not the kind of game that King Henrik would’ve wanted in his return. The Rangers netminder gave up five goals, although on most, if not all of them he had little help from his teammates. Hank will be fine, and should be playing just about every game in the rest of the Rangers season, including playoffs. As long as he gets his confidence back, and can heat up, the Blueshirts become very dangerous in April.
  • NEXT GAME: The Rangers look to bounce back on Tuesday when they face the Sharks. Puck drops at 1030!


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