Boy, this team does not like to make anything easy. Two dominant periods and then for the third period they decided that they wanted to stay in the dressing room. Your New York Rangers cannot decide if they want to be a good team or not. They’re contemplating the idea of being one of the best teams in the NHL because they just dismantled the Kraken in the first forty minutes. But after that, they stopped trying.
We’ll get to the new forward but I want to say that Niko Mikkola had a beautiful game next to Braden Schneider on the third pairing. He looked like everything the Rangers wanted from Harpur or Hajek but better. He can play without being dependent on Schneider to move the puck up the ice and that makes that pairing a lot more of a threat offensively. If he can keep playing like that, he’s going to be loved in this city.
Tarasenko’s debut had the dream start, didn’t it? With the Russian winger starting his time in the Big Apple with a bang, he scored just a few minutes into his debut off of a pass from his long-time friend Artemi Panarin. He got a “Tarasenko” chant from the MSG faithful. He earned his affection in this one as he looked like the player the Rangers wanted as he slotted onto the top line. With him on the roster, the Blueshirts look strong.
Another win to start off this back-to-back moves the Rangers into a strange situation ahead of the game against Carolina to complete the set. Another win would pull the Rangers within screaming distance of the 2nd best team in the NHL and continue to cement that the Blueshirts are a genuine cup contender moving forward. This was a statement victory in Tarasenko’s first game in New York.