Rangers edge Jackets 4-2 in 'reunion' game
And all of a sudden, the 8-8 Rangers are two points out of a tie for second place in the Metro Division. They have Florida and New Jersey coming up at home---part of the first tangible return for the nine games on the road to open this unfolding season---and at the 20-game mark, when it arrives, could remain in a playoff spot, where they are at this hour, as we wrap up from Columbus. Long way to go, though.
So while .500 isn't enough to trigger some trumpet-blowing or banner-raising, it is an accomplishment, given the 2-6 dip out West.
Cam Talbot has been a very pleasant surprise, and a plus, making 32 saves for his third win. Carl Hagelin and Ryan Callahan, who were missing much of the early part of the season, have added juice and grit and scoring. Derek Stepan is coming along nicely. The teamwide pace and defense is heartening. Imagine if Rick Nash were healthy.
UPDATE FROM PORT COLUMBUS AIRPORT
At gate, homeward bound..
Today's remedy to block out moaning, annoying travelers in my vicinity: Charlie Musselwhite on the headphones, coffee, blueberry scone, Tylenol.
Rangers are not practicing today, but we should have some update of Taylor Pyatt's condition and word from the NHL on any discipline for Fedor Tyutin's hit, ruled elbowing, but upon review, seemed to be a shoulder to the head, which Marc Staal said he thought was "blindside".
Some former teammates didn't seem to hold it against Tyutin post-game, chatting with him outside the lockeroom. Maybe they didn't think it was so illegal.
If Pyatt is out for Sunday (presumably) and beyond, Brandon Mashinter could be a fourth-line option. Or a phone call could go to Hartford. On the other hand, Cam Janssens is back with the Devs, who face the Blueshirts Tuesday, so...
As I wrote, the "reunion" hype kinda fizzled, no? As Derek Dorsett said, and I paraphrase, "there were familiar faces, but after a while it was just a game." Dubinsky was the best Jacket on the ice, Marian Gaborik had one of those inconsistent games that he throws out there periodically. Definitely get the sense that he won't be around next year, and I'm thinking he's moved at trade deadline. Anisimov was okay, not sure that line is the right fit for him.
Todd Richards apparently ripped his team post-game, saying it could've been 7-1 without the play of Bobrovsky.
My full-page Sunday Insider begins its weekly run this weekend...