Monday was a night in which it seemed the New York Rangers were destined to lose. They had three players suffering from the flu. They came out flat and were down two goals early to the Phoenix Coyotes. They even scored a goal on themselves. But the Rangers did something they haven’t done a lot this year: they willed themselves to a win.
The Rangers were shorthanded the entire night. Derek Stepan, Martin St. Louis and Derek Dorsett were all suffering from the flu. Stepan, the teams No. 1 center, only had 7:04 minutes of ice time and didn’t play in the overtime. St. Louis only had 11:04 minutes of ice time and didn’t play in the overtime either.
But the Rangers’ defenseman were the ones who willed them to this win. Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh both had unbelievable games. McDonagh assisted on Girardi’s game-tying goal. Girardi then assisted on McDonagh’s game-winning goal in the overtime.
All year long people, have killed the Rangers for their lack of toughness. Well folks, toughness isn’t all about checking people. Tonight, the Rangers proved that they are a tough hockey team. Alain Vigneault has to be happy with the performance of his team.
With the Rangers right in the thick of the playoff race, every point is important. The Rangers had no business getting one point tonight, let alone two, but this was a great sign for the team. Remember this win as one that will catapult this team into the playoffs.