Apparently it didn't matter who he was skating with, as Nik Zherdev had one heck of a homecoming in his first return to Columbus since being traded to NY this summer. 1 goal, 2 assists and a +2. For the record, Drury notched an assist and Naslund had two. They must be happy to get in the + column for a change, so for the night, as credit due, I will not use words like, pathetic or waste of space or useless. ;)
But it was Zherdev who showed the most energy and poise in what was not the world's most exciting game. I mean I was happy because I like Columbus, and have followed them a bit. Glad to see Manny Malhotra back in the lineup as well. Always a big fan of that guy (cried, in fact, when he got traded to Dallas, I must admit).
But there wasn't a great pace. It had moments, but not much.
And sure, the save by Lundqvist on Rick Nash was nice. But was it really . . . that nice?
Credit the Rangers, too, for showing a bit of resilience after their coach, Tom Renney, was hit with a stick or two on the Rangers bench. They came out a little fired up after that. Possible concussion. Hope he feels better. You never like to see those things happen.
But you know what, I'm going to let it all go. An important win and two points needed to rebound after the Detroit and Dallas games. They can't all be pretty. Although, again, with the exception of the one against the Devils - were any of these pretty per say? Sorry, moving on. . .
Rangers PP was 1-8. Not a shocker there. And that one goal was not from any of the big money guys on the number one unit. No, it was just from let-me-do-everything-to-win, Brandon Dubinsky. In my eyes it was a good goal and should have counted. I just wasn't sure the guys in Toronto wouldn't focus on the kicking motion that happened AFTER the re-direct. Luckily, they didn't.
Fritsche/Voros/Dubinsky were all -1 on the night. Nothing bad, nothing spectacular.
Gomez/Callahan/Dawes were pretty invisible too, after better efforts the last 2-3 games. Gomez missed a shot from the doorstep I think he'd like to have back.
Dan Girardi had a good night and not just for his offensive output. For the most part, he made and has been making the necessary plays without being flashy. And I'll take that from the young D-men any day.
I've heard nothing but great things about Nationwide Arena. And while a Rangers road trip might never make sense in tandom with Pittsburgh, hearing it's only a 2.5 hour drive from there makes it seem slightly less far. Hope to get there though.
Til tomorrow's tilt at home versus Pittsburgh. . .good night hockey fans. And I will be at the game, so I won't have the same opportunity to keep track of all other 14 games going on. All 30 teams in action, folks. It's rare, so enjoy. NHL.com should be buzzing.