Thursday night’s clinching win for the Rangers is worth celebrating in Rangerstown for more reasons than one. Aside from the win over a scorching hot Senators team which coupled with the Bruins’ loss to the Ducks officially clinched the Rangers a berth into the playoffs for the ninth time in 10 years, the Rangers also welcomed back star netminder Henrik Lundqvist following an almost two month absence from the lineup.
Although “The King” did not see any ice time during last night’s game as he backed up Cam “Goal-Buster” Talbot, just having Lundqvist back on the bench in any capacity is a win in and of itself, and to put it bluntly, the timing could not be better.
Beyond that, Chris Kreider netted two goals of his own, eclipsing the 20-goal plateau for the first time in his NHL career, Cam Talbot was once again terrific in net stopping 23 of 24 shots, and Andrew “Hamburglar” Hammond was chased after allowing five goals on 22 shots and was subsequently handed his first regulation loss in 17 games. But perhaps the most notable occurrence that took place in Ottawa on Thursday was the scoring of a goal by none other than Tanner Glass himself; his first as a New York Ranger.
If all of that put together isn’t downright sensational, then I don’t know what is.
Below are some more statistics to put on display for all to see. Just more reasons why last night was one worth celebrating for the Rangers and their fans.
- During the absence of Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers (Thursday’s game included) have gone 18-4-3, with Talbot having won 16 of those contests.
- The win in Ottawa was Talbot’s 20th of the season, improving his 2014-15 record to 20-8-4, with five shutouts, a 2.16 goals against average, and a 0.928 save percentage. That makes him the first Ranger goalie other than Henrik Lundqvist to record 20 wins in a season since Mike Richter did it in 2001-02.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) March 27, 2015
- Both Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Hayes are currently riding four game point scoring streaks, over which time they have each accumulated six points.
- The Rangers have clinched a playoff spot, and it’s still only March. Additionally, the 73 games it’s taken the Rangers to hit the 100 point mark is the second fastest in franchise history.
- The Rangers are the first team in the NHL to clinch a playoff spot this season, despite the fact that they are tied for having played the fewest amount of games thus far amongst all NHL teams.
- The goal for Tanner Glass was his first since January 30th of 2014. Apparently Alain Vigneault found that humorous…
— Eye on Hockey (@EyeOnHockey) March 27, 2015
The bottom line is this, though. The Rangers are officially in. Henrik Lundqvist has all but returned. This team is hot, and one truly worth getting excited for.
There’s no more need to stress over clinching a spot in the postseason. Life is good and Dan Girardi’s “gash” doesn’t even appear to be all that serious. What more is there to life, really?
Aside from the Stanley Cup of course…
Jake Gittler is now in his second season as a contributing member of The Hockey Writers. After spending the 2014-15 season working in Communications for Adirondack Flames of the AHL and covering the New York Rangers here for The Hockey Writers, Jake’s coverage has been switched over to the Colorado Avalanche for the 2015-16 season. Jake can be reached via email at Jakegittler@gmail.com, or on Twitter @Jgittler_hockey.