Saturday, November 20, 2010

Daily Recap: Stepan Moves Up Plus Future; Rangers Clunker; McIlrath Timetable

The man of the day for the Rangers and here at Bleeding All Blue was Derek Stepan in terms of news regarding the Rangers at the NHL level.  I started the day chiming in on a topic that many have weighed in on concerning what happens when everyone gets back healthy for the Rangers and for me the key to that entire math equation would be Derek Stepan because he can change many calculations both in terms of who is on the roster and where people fit on it.  I said that in the end it was on Stepan’s stick to decide if he ends up on the first line, the fourth line or in the minors.  Later in the day we would come to find out that he was going to get that exact shot to prove it as he was going to get his first start centering Gaborik and Frolov.

In the game itself Stepan was one of the few bright spots as he would score the only goal for the Rangers as they got crushed by the Avalanche.  Stepan showed good chemistry with both Gaborik and Frolov, especially in the opening period when the Rangers were still in the game.  They had a quiet second and a little better third including the Stepan goal which came off a cycle play and Stepan sticking with it after fanning on his initial shot attempt.  The goal for the rookie was his first since his opening night hat-trick 18 games ago.  As if all of this was not enough talk about the Rangers future star tomorrow he gets to go back home to Minnesota and play against the Wild.

Aside from Stepan and somewhat lost in the hoopla there was today's pregame thoughts in which the key for the Rangers tonight is likely to be special teams because the Avs with their offense have been excellent with the man advantage while with their somewhat porous D they have been awful killing penalties.  Other than that we had the timetable announced for Dylan McIlrath to get back to the ice in another week or ten day and all in all a total of a two week absence is something any Rangers fan would have gladly signed up for when the injury first happy.