By Brian Monzo
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On Tuesday night, we saw what we expected all along from the 2011-12 Rangers.
Itching for their first win of the season, the Blueshirts made their way to Vancouver (a place they’ve had little success of late) and managed to pull out a 4-0 win.
They used a classic formula of success: great goaltending and timely scoring.
I saw three things that propelled New York’s win:
1. Henrik Lundqvist played perhaps his best regular season game as Ranger. He stopped 40 shots for his 36th career shutout. It wasn’t the amount of saves that made it a great game, but it was the ease he was showing in making the saves.
Lundqvist controlled the puck, managed screens and gave his team every shot to win the game. He was the Rangers’ best player — and when he is in this mode, he is unbeatable.
2. Ryan McDonagh brought his offensive game. What we have seen from McDonagh in his short time in the NHL has been his ability to be a solid defensive player. However, it’s been noted that he can play on both ends.
Well, the move he made feeding Marian Gaborik the puck was world class. Watching him go forehand-backhand-forehand reminded me of Brian Leetch. If McDonagh is building the confidence to add the offensive element to his game, the Rangers really have themselves something special.
3. Ruslan Fedotenko continues to be a perfect player for the Rangers. As I’ve said before, Fedotenko isn’t flashy, but he is used in every situation and seems to never make mistakes. His ability to blend in with every role is a truly priceless asset.
There are few players on the ice I watch with more confidence then Fedotenko.
It must be a good feeling for the Rangers to finally get the first win off their back. They prepare for three more road games before making their home debut on October 27th.
Coming home with a 4-1-2 record would make their MSG homecoming that much sweeter.
Besides the King Henrik, what did you see in the Rangers’ win on Tuesday? Let Monzo know in the comments below…