Blue Notes

Steve Zipay takes you inside the locker room, home and on the road, with the New York Rangers, and also writes about the NHL, off and on the ice.

Thoughts: 12-goal club; Crowning Smitty?, ROWing, the sked

         Musings from Columbus: 

         Of the dozen games left for the Rangers, seven are against teams currently not in the playoffs, who have nothing to lose and may love being spoilers:  New Jersey, Buffalo, Ottawa, Carolina, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver. So they could be dangerous.

        Who’s in presently? Colorado, Philly, Columbus, Montreal, Phoenix….There are 7 away games left (the Blueshirts’ 21 road wins lead the East) and five at MSG.

***

        With 302 wins, Henrik Lundqvist is tied with Turk Broda for 26th place on the all-time list. But with four wins before the end of the regular season, Lundqvist will be in 23rd alone.  He would pass Broda, the Leafs’ tender, first; then the Caps’ Olaf Kolzig (who has 303) and then the old Blueshirts nemesis, Billy Smith, who had 305 for the Isles.

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         How many Rangers in the lineup have more than 12 goals this season? Ten. St. Louis 29 (all with Tampa), Nash 22, Kreider 17, Richards 16, Hagelin 16, Brassard 15, Zuccarello 15, Stepan 13, Pouliot 12, McDonagh 12.  When was the last time that happened? Time to hit the books.

***       

        What’s the value of a win?…Based on www.sportsclubstats.com, the Rangers today have an 80-percent plus chance to make the playoffs, up more than 9 percent from before the game in Ottawa.

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            Don’t ignore ROW (regulation plus OT wins) which is the first tiebreaker at season’s end. Rangers and Flyers have 33 and Blue Jackets 30;  Montreal has 33, Tampa 31, Toronto 27.

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            Opening day is less than two weeks away, and some writers chuckled when post-game in Ottawa, Lundqvist used his hand to demonstrate the arc of Mike Hoffman’s shot for the first goal, which I had described as a knuckler. Lundqvist called a “curve”, but motioned as if it were a slider.

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         Just a hunch, but have a feeling St. Louis is finding the net in Columbus or New Jersey…Dom Moore's upper lip was pretty bloody after the game...

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