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Hockey Daily Dose

More from Nash, McDonagh

by James O'Brien
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

During some mornings, it won’t matter that there was only one game or just a couple of contests. Your Dose maestro - whether it’s yours truly, Jimmy Hascup or Michael Finewax. There may be a soapbox to stand on, hoping that it doesn’t break (I’ve put some weight, cut me some slack), and bleat out something about The State of the Game.


This Tuesday isn’t one of those mornings.


Actually, to be honest, I dusted off the ‘ol commentary-o-meter on Monday anyway, hammering the point that 3-on-3 OT may save us from deep, deep boredom a good number of times this season. That doesn’t mean I’m totally on board with it … and well, you know, check it out here.


Don't forget, for everything NHL, check out Rotoworld's up to the minute coverage on Player News, as well as follow@Rotoworld_HK and @cyclelikesedins on Twitter.


RANGERS 4, SHARKS 0


-- The Rangers sent out an email with some really interesting stats on Monday night. Kudos to Michael Rapport for some fun nuggets; let me run down a few of my favorites.


1) The Blueshirts beat the Sharks by this same 4-0 score a year ago exactly. That's pretty weird, isn't it?


2) New York seems to be the exception to the general rule that East teams are awful against the West. They're 20-6-5 in their last games against the Best Conference.


3) Maybe most impressively, they're 12-1-1 in the second game of back-to-backs. Wow.


Want more? I'll forward it to you.


(Note: I probably won't forward it to you.)

 

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-- Antti Raanta stopped all 22 shots to get a shutout in his first Rangers appearance.


You know, Scott Darling stole his thunder as Chicago's backup last season (also, he served as a cheaper option for a crazy cash-strapped team), but Raanta actually was impressive in his second season with the Blackhawks.


After stinking it up in 2013-14, Raanta went 7-4-1 with an impressive .936 save percentage last season.


Fourteen games played is a small sample size, but perhaps he can spell Henrik Lundqvist with solid success.


-- I’m not sure Alain Vigneault gets enough credit as one of the NHL’s best coaches.


Maybe that just comes down to hearing mumbles from harsh critics on Twitter, however, as both Rangers and Canucks fans are among the groups with the chops to put any misstep through the meat grinder.


Whatever the case may be, Vigneault’s generating the sort of regular success that can’t be an accident when it repeats so often. I can’t imagine many coaches getting more out of the Rangers than he regularly does, whether there are individual moves to quibble about or not.


The credit may not come unless he wins a Cup, and I get that, but … still.

 

 -- Somewhat on that subject, I'm not totally sure what to expect of the Rangers. Are they still a contender?

 

 -- I'd expect more from Rick Nash, because it's not like he's slacking. He was very busy especially early in this one, and while he only has two points this season - both assists, one last night - he's already fired 24 SOG in seven games. The goals should start flowing as long as he sticks with it.

 

(Devil's advocate: snipers don't age well, and he's already 31, so it will only get tougher for him to get over the hump as time goes along.)

 

 -- The Rangers are doing fine without production from Ryan McDonagh, but it's still disheartening that he hasn't generated a single point in seven games.


-- Martin Jones finally settled down in this one, giving up four goals on just 28 shots. It was bound to happen, and his results were too good to be true.


I still think he's a nice steal.


-- All four of Mats Zuccarello's points have been goals so far this season, including one last night. I'm not sure when the novelty of him seeming OK will wear off, but it's definitely not now.

James O'Brien
James O'Brien is the Hockey Daily Dose's author and has been a contributor to NBC's Pro Hockey Talk for more than four years. Follow him on Twitter.