So what do the Rangers like about Oscar Lindberg so far?
“Well he scored four goals,” quipped J.T. Miller.
And Marc Staal says: “He has four goals.”
So there’s at least four things to like. But hold off the Rocket Richard Trophy.
“He’s got four goals right now in three games,” said coach Alain Vigneault. ” I don’t think he’s going to continue on an 80-something goal pace. Players go through these stretches. I need him to be very effective at both ends, but he’s gotten us some really timely, important goals. Tonight those two early goals, three games in four nights, you need those and you need those from different components in the dressing room and tonight we got them from him.”
Ok, but it’s a good start and Lindberg is looking pretty right now.
“I don’t try to over think it; I’m just trying to play,” he said. “But coming in today, with this crowd and everything, it was a special feeling. Winning three games, the first three games, and to be able to score a goal too it’s pretty special for sure.”
The way the Rangers are constructed, they will need scoring from the lower lines. Lindberg’s start gives the team some hope in that area. If they can get quality goals from the Dominic Moores, Millers, and Lindbergs of the world then the pressure is off the Top 6 to carry the load.
More importantly, you know those top guys will eventually score.
In the past two seasons, the Rangers struggled getting out of the gate, so 3-0 is also a nice change. The Blueshirts will need to keep it up, because they learned over the past few seasons that wins in October are just as important as ones in March.
“I think we were a few games under .500 in at least the first 10 (games), so to get out to three in a row is definitely nice,” Staal said. “You get a winning feel and that confidence that you can win games early and that’s always a good thing. At the same time, we are winning games and we are not playing our best, so we can still look to improve and while we are doing it, we are winning, so it’s nice.”
It’s also nice because the Metropolitan Division is expected to be more competitive this season. The Rangers will need to keep up the pace if they want to win another President’s Trophy and of course play into June again.
“It’s a huge boost to our guys and obviously we haven’t had good starts to seasons in a couple years,” said captain Ryan McDonagh. “It’s great to see him (Henrik Lundqvist) give us a chance to win in these first few games. Now we know we can improve for sure defensively, giving up chances, hopefully give up less against. But at the end of the day we found a way to win three pretty good, important games to start the year. But obviously it’s only three games so we have to continue to work in practice and get better and hopefully improve there.”
However, it’s still only three games and Lindberg has four goals. The Rangers will need to keep up the pace.