Still trying to wrap my brain around the New York Rangers’ last 48 hours, I keep coming back to one word to sum it up.
And if I were still taking medication for the lower body injury I sustained last weekend that currently has me listed as day-to-day, I might have chalked up the events to a drug-induced haze. But I’m not so sure I could’ve had a hallucination quite like that.
Late Tuesday evening, the Rangers acquire the goalless Ryane Clowe for draft picks. Clowe takes a red-eye flight from San Jose, attends Rangers practice Wednesday and gets a total of an hour and a half of sleep from the time he was traded to the time of Wednesday night’s puck drop against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Then Wednesday, with less than an hour to go before the trade deadline, the Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets pull off the biggest deal of the day, sending Marian Gaborik to the Jackets in exchange for Derick Brassard, John Moore and the injured Derek Dorsett. The three then hop a flight to New York; Brassard and Moore have mere minutes to meet their new teammates, get dressed and get out on the ice for pregame warm-ups.
Coming off a 4-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres that snapped their 15-game win streak, the Penguins were quiet on deadline day. They made their big splashes in the days prior, landing Douglas Murray, Brenden Morrow and Jarome Iginla, all signals that they are going all in for a Stanley Cup run.
But on Wednesday night, it would be the Rangers’ new arrivals that would steal the show in a nationally televised 6-1 crushing of the Eastern Conference’s top team.
How impactful were they?
- Clowe netted not just his first goal of the season, but his second as well, on the power play, midway through the second period. Clowe also assisted on Ryan McDonagh’s goal that came at 12:19 of the first. Clowe’s big night earned him first star honors, as well as the Broadway Hat.
- Not to be upstaged, Brassard scored a power play goal of his own at 1:53 of the second. He would also assist on three of the Rangers’ season-high six goals. He’d wind up the game’s second star of the night.
- Defenseman John Moore got the first goal of his season and the last tally of the night midway through the third period.
Some familiar faces shined as well. Brad Richards had one of his better games of the season offensively, opening the scoring with a power play goal midway through the first period and chipping in with three assists, good enough for third star honors. Henrik Lundqvist got his 268th career victory, moving him past Eddie Giacomin into second place on the Rangers’ all-time wins list, eclipsed only by Mike Richter.
While the offensive outburst, including three (yes, three) power play goals was great, it was nice to see the new Rangers give us back the “old” Rangers – the physical, forechecking Rangers that we came to love last season. Perhaps it was adrenaline. Perhaps it was just the new guys being thrown into the fire with little to no time to think or worry. Or maybe – just maybe – the newbies are just what the doctor ordered for this team.
About the Author: Likes: Hockey, the New York Rangers, King Henrik, singing the Rangers goal song, "The Save", the sound skates make against ice, heckling Marty Brodeur. Dislikes: 3-point games, front-office mismanagement, Denis Potvin, overpriced arena beer. Interested? Follow me on Twitter: @CC_927