The question after the Rangers’ nearly flawless performance Saturday afternoon in a 4-0 win in Boston is this: Was this one of those blind squirrels happening in an acorn moment or could it represent the beginning of something? meaningful to the Rangers?
From start to finish, one of those reverse jersey promotions appeared, except with the Blueshirts dressed as Bruins. There was an abundance of attitude, commitment to the final checks, support for both the puck and each other, suffocating work in the neutral and defensive zones, error-free assist, and top-of-the-line performances, including Artemi Panarin among them for the first time. time in 10 games, since February 20.
“It was definitely huge for us to get it back,” said Mika Zibanejad, who had two assists in his most assertive and effective performance of the year. “Not just for the game, but also in the locker room and around the guys again.
“I thought the whole team really came together, a real team win, we played very, very solid during the 60 minutes and I think it definitely had something to do with it.”
Panarin, returning from his leave of absence, was energetic and creative on 4:45 PM on ice while online with Ryan Strome and Colin Blackwell. The winger, who had a shot at the net, set Strome up with a beautiful cross feed for the 3-0 goal at 8:03 in the third period.
“Having him back does so many things not just on the ice, but also mentally, our guys certainly hold him in high regard,” said coach David Quinn. “He is a very loved teammate, he is a great teammate. Our boys were dying for him to come back for many reasons.
“You put him in our lineup and suddenly you have a little more arrogance.”
On Thursday, with Panarin staring in streetwear, the Rangers got a burger with none of their star players in a 4-0 zero-sum loss in Boston in which the Bruins’ unit of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak got away with the contraction. visitors.
Two days later, there was a complete change of fortune. Jacob Trouba made his mark on the match in the first inning, pushing himself and playing with Bergeron. Panarin and Strome played with rhythm and determination. And the Zibanejad line dominated, with wingers Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich getting one each.
“They heard it loud and clear,” Quinn said when asked if he needed to speak to his best players after Thursday’s debacle. “They certainly were talked to.
“Listen, any team in this league, if their best players don’t perform, they’re not going to win. I don’t care who they are, how long they’ve been in the league, you just have no chance of winning. Look [Bergeron] the line does it for the Bruins, night after night. That line drives that team.
“With Pastrnak, Bergeron and Marchand, everyone on that team feels a little bit braver, they have more arrogance and that’s what their best players have to do for their team,” Quinn said. “When your best players play well, you just feel different. That’s where our team feels today with our best players performing and delivering. “
The Zibanejad Connection was ready for three goals in 6:25 of the five-on-five ice time, including Miller’s forehand that eluded Jaroslav Halak for a 1-0 lead at 3:06 of the first period after a right hand from Zibanejad. head to head victory in circle.
He lit for three goals at 6:25 after having been as a unit for a total of three goals at 107: 39 during the first 25 games by Natural Stats Trick. Pretty amazing.
And at the same time, the Bergeron line, almost equally matched in ice time by the Zibanejad and Strome units and the Trouba-Miller and Ryan Lindgren-Adam Fox tandems, was outscored 6-1 at 6:28 on. five Hockey over five before the combination was broken in two in the third period.
Miller was smart on and off the puck, excellent with his baton and strong at one-on-one in perhaps his most comprehensive performance as a professional in a career-high 23:36 that was one second behind Fox’s overall team leader. Lindgren had a great game in all three zones.
The 200x85ft game was so strong that Keith Kinkaid didn’t even get a mention until this last part of the account, the goalkeeper faced 18 shots, perhaps none of them have head hairs like Fox’s inadvertent approach. leg eventually declining in the match.
So the Rangers bounced back on Thursday. They have done relatively well after their smelliest performances. That’s good. But the trick is to avoid them altogether.