Sunday, October 11, 2015

Really Quickies: A Good Start

     The New York Rangers have won their first three regular season games. They’ve traded away super-speedster Carl Hagelin, have lost Martin St. Louis to retirement, and God alone knows what happened to brilliant backup goalie Cam Newton – yes, he’s good enough to be the first-stringer anywhere but around Henrik Lundqvist – yet they’ve won three in a row in convincing style against good opponents, including the 2015 Stanley Cup champs, the Chicago Blackhawks (whose interminable opening-night hoopla they spoiled with an all-business victory).

     Oscar Lindberg has four goals in his first three NHL games. He narrowly missed a hat trick last night against rough’n’tough Columbus, which was trying its best to gain by brutality what it couldn’t achieve by superior skill. Rick Nash seemed to be everywhere. Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider are playing like men with something to prove. Lundqvist and the defense cadre have been near to impenetrable. And Mats Zuccarello...well, every team needs a “Z player,” and he’s the living proof. (Say, whatever became of the much ballyhooed Zarley Zalapsky?)

     Don’t jostle me. I don’t want to wake up from this dream. But it’s a long season – too long, in my opinion – and many a brave start has petered out in the “doldrums months” of January and February. (A bit like invasions of Russia, that.) February, in particular, has been lethal to Rangers fans’ hopes, mainly because of injuries to our stars. But for now, I think I’ll savor the moment.

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