Quick Hits – Rangers vs Sharks 3/28/17
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Here is my recap of the Rangers 5-4 overtime loss to the Sharks
JT Miller – After being demoted to the fourth line to start the game, Miller proved to the coaches why he is NOT a fourth liner. Miller played one of his best games of the season, scoring two goals, including one on the power play, and was all over the ice. On the first, Miller picked up a loose puck at the top of the circle and rocketed the puck over the glove of Martin Jones. On the second, with the Rangers on the man advantage, Miller one-timed a pass from Brady Skjei into the net to give the Rangers a 4-3 lead at the time. Miller is having a career year, and if he can keep going the way he is, he becomes another legitimate scoring threat in the postseason.
Jesper Fast – The Rangers winger doesn’t always appear in the box score, but he is always noticeable. In this game, he got the Rangers tied early in the third period, when he deflected a point shot from Brady Skjei through Martin Jones. Fast has been a mainstay in the Rangers lineup since he first came up in 2014, and it is easy to see why. He doesn’t care about his stats; as long as he plays his heart out every single shift, he is happy.
“Yeah it’s nice, but we all understand the situation. We came here for two points and to play a 60-minute game. We definitely didn’t give our best for the first two-thirds of the game tonight.” – JT Miller
Special Teams – The Rangers power play has been surging of late. And while they went 2/3 in this one, they allowed a shorthanded goal by Melker Karlsson. The second Rangers goal came from Derek Stepan, after a beautiful passing play with Skjei and Zuccarello. The PP clicking the way it is has to be a welcome sight for the entire organization. The PK went 1/2, giving up the game winner while shorthanded in overtime. The Blueshirts have five games left to figure out how to get the PK working again. Otherwise, it may not be a longer offseason than anyone would like.
Brady Skjei – If not for Laine, Matthews and Marner, Brady Skjei would likely be in the Calder trophy conversation. He has put together the second best season by a rookie defenseman in team history, and has done a very good job in the defensive end. He does make the occasional “rookie mistake”, but he learns from it quickly, and is constantly improving his game. He, along with captain Ryan McDonagh, will be the cornerstones of this Rangers defense for years to come.
Nick Holden – Speaking of Rangers defensemen, Nick Holden seems to have fallen off of a cliff. He started the season playing some good hockey, but since the All Star break, he seems to have regressed considerably. He has been out of position, making mistakes, and was on the ice for two of the Sharks goals in this one. With the depth the Rangers now have on defense, he better figure it out fast. Otherwise, he may not stay in the lineup.
Henrik Lundqvist – It has been a rocky return to the throne for King Henrik. The Sharks put up five goals against the Rangers, albeit not all of them were Henrik’s fault. He seems to be trying to do a little too much. As Steve Valiquette pointed out, Hank is at his best when he isn’t moving much in his crease. For the Rangers to make a deep playoff run, Henrik needs to be on top of his game.
“I’m glad we’re in [the playoffs], but I want to get the job done. I want to get a win. I want to help the team get wins. We found a way to lose this one in the end.” – Henrik Lundqvist
NEXT GAME: The Blueshirts return to MSG on Friday night to face the Penguins. Puck drops at 7!
LETS GO RANGERS!!