Monday, December 2, 2013
W2W4: Rangers vs. Jets
By Katie Strang
At a glance: An otherwise underwhelming match-up between the New York Rangers and Winnipeg Jets got a little bit spicier Monday morning after Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault announced that backup goaltender Cam Talbot would get the start over Henrik Lundqvist. Not quite a full-blown goalie controversy quite yet, but the decision certainly adds some intrigue to the game. Meanwhile, the Jets try to continue forward on what has been a pretty successful East Coast road trip thus far. Winners in two of their last three games, the Jets make a stop in New York before heading down south for a pair of games in Florda.
Riding the hot hand: Vigneault made sure to stress that Lundqvist remains the Rangers’ No. 1 goaltender, but Talbot’s strong play has certainly made an impression on the new coach. Vigneault deemed Talbot the best choice after the 26-year-old delivered a stellar 35-save effort in the team’s 5-2 win against the Canucks on Saturday. Talbot is 6-0-1 in his first seven starts and is the only goaltender in franchise history to hold opponents to two goals or fewer during that span.
On the mend: The Jets will be without forward Evander Kane Monday, as the team called up John Albert to play in his place. The 22-year-old Kane is battling a lower-body injury, suffered in the team’s 2-1 loss to Philadelphia Saturday.
Nice stretch for Nash: Rick Nash, who was sidelined for almost six weeks with a concussion earlier this season, is really coming on for the Rangers offense. He has three goals in as many games and finished with three points (one goals, two assists) in Saturday’s victory.
Breakout performance: Playing against his former coach John Tortorella, Chris Kreider recorded his first career hat trick on Saturday. It was a gratifying afternoon for the 22-year-old Boston College product. Though he insisted he had no hard feelings toward his old coach, Kreider struggled consistently under Tortorella’s tough-love and demanding style.