NHL Leader; Goals Scored
NEW YORK RANGERS: After Monday Night's Victory Over the Islanders, the Rangers Can Sleep Well as the Number One Team in the Eastern Conference. What's More, They're Only Two Points Off the NHL Leader.
POST: A look back at Don Maloney's work as VP of Player Personnel for the New York Rangers - 2000-2007.
A stat flashed on the Rangers/Islanders broadcast Monday night that confirmed what I long suspected; the New York SOFTIES lead the League in Fighting Majors with thirty. Yeah Buddy! Better yet, as of 9:30 p.m., the Rangers forty-eight points now rank them number one in the Eastern Conference. Only the Chicago Blackhawks (50 points) stand between the Blueshirts and the overall NHL lead.
Monday's second victory over the Islanders within a three game span was their fifth win in a row. This is the Rangers' third winning steak of at least five games. After losing the first three games of the season, the Rangers have not dropped more than two in a row all season.
Monday night, Michael Del Zotto's defense was correct all night and he played particularly strong in the offensive zone. His brilliant play continued with two more assists against the Islanders. The 21 year old defenseman is now up to seventeen assists for the season and owns an outstanding plus-25 rating which ranks him second in the NHL. I went to that last Flyers game at the Garden last Friday. His play has been getting a lot of attention this season and deservedly so. But trust me. The TV cameras do him no justice. I've been to four games this season. What I saw in my first game this season from him back on November 5th was one player. What I saw Friday night was stellar.
The good times keep rolling for Carl Hagelin. He picked up his fifth and sixth goal since his call-up to the big club. And with the way I saw John Mitchell skate around Friday night, as I said in a recent post, there's no way Sean Avery will be getting any playing time soon.
The big goal of the night came from Marian Gaborik. Not that it factored much in the game for it came on an empty-netter. Rather, the goal was his NHL leading 22nd goal of the season.
The King; Henrik Lundqvist; in securing win number fourteen of the season recorded shut-out number three of the season, and career shut-out number thirty-seven.