New York Rangers Analysis: 20 Things We Learned from the California Trip
1. The Rangers can win on the West Coast.
2. The Rangers can play a good all-around game and win (in Anaheim).
3. They can play terribly, only to be saved by their goalie (Steve Valiquette), and still win (in LA).
4. They can compete against the best team in the NHL (at least when that team is tired from a cross-country road trip).
5. The Rangers can dominate a third period against the best team in the NHL and still not score a goal.
6. Another team besides the Rangers can cough up the puck in their own zone with horrible giveaways, leading to goals (thanks Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger).
7. Tom Renney can roll out the same lines five games in a row.
8. Even though the team won four out of those five games and three in a row, Renney will change the lines up anyway for the sixth game.
9. The Rangers can actually score power play goals (in Anaheim and LA).
10. Those power play goals came on a penalty shot (LA) and on a breakaway empty-netter with one second left in the game (Anaheim), though.
11. Dmitri Kalinin is -16.
12. Michal Rozsival is -11, but scored two goals, including the game-winner, vs. the Kings. Maybe there’s hope for him yet.
13. Wade Redden turned the puck over in his own zone, which led to San Jose’s third and winning goal.
14. Even with a seventh defenseman on the roster, Kalinin, Rozsival and Redden will not be scratched.
15. Nigel Dawes can make a defenseman look foolish with some slick moves and put the puck in the net.
16. The Chris Drury/Ryan Callahan/Dawes line can score four goals in three games.
17. Nikolai Zherdev can be the most talented player in any given game.
18. Mats Sundin will not be a Ranger. The Blueshirts may not be any closer to contending for a Stanley Cup than Vancouver, but remember: it’s always about the money.
19. Ryan Callahan will crash the net and crash into opponents every game, every chance he gets.
20. I spent the whole San Jose game thinking the Sharks should have called themselves the California Golden Seals and brought back the white skates.
21. Bonus Christmas observation from my four-year-old daughter: “I know Santa can see and hear us, but can he smell us?”
I hope not.
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