Quick Hits – Rangers vs Oilers 11/3

 Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America

Here is my Quick Hits recap of the Rangers 5-3 win over the Oilers

    • Kevin Hayes – Kevin Hayes is a new man. After losing 20 pounds in the offseason, and really working on his game, he is starting to really look like the player the Rangers and their fans thought they were getting. With Hayes between Miller and Grabner, the line provides a unique combination of speed and skill that is not really seen in the NHL for a “3rd line.” The line had another big night combining for 7 points (3G, 4A) and was always noticeable when they were on the ice.
    • 4th Line – The 4th line of Fast-Pirri-Buchnevich had another solid game, including the GTG by Fast, who deflected the shot by Pirri past Oilers goalie Cam Talbot. With the way that this line has been playing over the last couple games, all 4 lines seem to be pretty set. Each line has speed, skill and is playing with a level of tenacity that hasn’t been seen through all four lines in a long time. This line also has players that will play in special teams situations, both power play and penalty kill, something that most teams do not have on the 4th line.
    • Brady Skjei – Skjei had another good game tonight, and was possibly the best defenseman on the ice for the Rangers. His play to keep the puck in on the blue line led to the tying goal by Fast. He had two assists on the night, and was noticeable on every shift. If he plays like this, he should develop nicely as we have been hoping.
    • Nick Holden – For everyone who wants to see Adam Clendening play instead of Nick Holden, you’re just going to have to deal with it. Holden is a stay at home defenseman who looks to makes defensive plays, makes a good first pass out of the zone and will contribute 20-25 points a year from the back end. He had the secondary assist on the GWG by Rick Nash, and on the empty netter by JT Miller. He has been a steady player on defense, and will be a consistent player all season.
    • Kreider/Vesey/Zibanejad – After a rough start to the game, Alain Vigneault decided to bench Chris Kreider, Jimmy Vesey and Mika Zibanejad. The trio did not see the ice for the better part of the last 10 minutes of the second period. They only had 4 total shots, and weren’t very noticeable throughout the game. Players will have rough games, but for three of your top guys to all be “off” is unusual. I’d look for these three to have a bounce back game in Boston on Saturday. 
    • Rick Nash – Speaking of players looking like new men, Rick Nash looks like he is locked in. He is playing with passion, fearlessness and purpose. Maybe it was motivated from his receiving the letter on his jersey, or maybe it was just his offseason preparations, but either way, he will be a big part of the Rangers success this season.

    • Henrik Lundqvist – Henrik had a solid game tonight. The first goal was on an Oilers power play, the second was a 2v0 in front of the net, and the third was a screened point shot from Adam Larsson. While it wasn’t Hank’s best performance, he kept his team in the game, and gave them the chance to ultimately come back and win.

Next game: Rangers look to continue their winning ways against the Bruins in Boston on Saturday. Puck drops at 7!


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