This almost feels surreal.
With the state of New York Sports these days, you went into the third period of the Ranger game last night accepting a loss while getting yourself ready to watch The Blacklist.
And after the stench of yesterday’s Jet game still coming through everyone’s pores, who would blame you?
But these Rangers are proving themselves to be New York’s go to team – the beacon of light in what seems to be the beginning of a dark age in Gotham Sports.
This 5-4 comeback win over the Wild just helps to prove the point.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Anthony Duclair, who tied the game with his first goal of the season.
To a man, there they were; the Rangers standing in the dressing room with sheepish grins wanting to speak to us media types, maybe just to talk themselves into believing what just happened.
This team rarely scores five goals in a game, let alone a period, but down 3-0, it became 3-2. After another Wild tally, the Rangers scored in the last five minutes two goals push them to the win.
“The third period (Derek Brassard, Mats Zuccarello, and Rick Nash) took the game over,” said coach Alain Vigneault. “It was one of the best periods I’ve seen three guys play in a long time.”
So yeah, this is huge. After coming back in New Jersey last week, the Rangers pulled another rabbit out of the hat. Sure, this is still October, but who cares? A win is a win.
Add to that, two of their best players – Derek Stepan and Dan Boyle – on the shelf and two others in the lineup – Chris Kreider and John Moore – getting tossed for game misconducts, and the Rangers did it with a few cards out of the deck.
“Obviously we put ourselves in a tough spot,” said goalie Henrik Lundqvist. “We talked about it the other day, it’s finding ways to win hockey games.”
A few more wins like this, we may stop counting down the days to pitchers and catchers. With the football season looking like a disaster and an uneasy feeling about the two basketball teams going into the season, all we have are these Rangers. Sure, the Islanders are a nice story, but with their history, any hot start should be taken with a grain of salt.
The Blueshirts, though, have a track record of superior play over the last few years and even with the first few games of the year going south, almost everyone expected a turn around.
And now, they are playing well. Nash looks like the best player in the league and Lundqvist has shaken off the cobwebs to bring himself back into form.
A few more games like this and maybe we can forget about Rex Ryan and Geno Smith.
Maybe not, but at least we won’t be reduced to discussing what over the hill outfielder the Yankees will sign or who the Mets will be inviting to spring training.
Thank the stars for the Rangers.