What is This, October?...

A full 60-minute effort; clean line changes; a low-scoring game; backchecking and forechecking.

The only thing thing that would lead me to believe that I wasn't watching a tape from early October is the fact that Chris Drury scored a goal.
The first period was a little boring, but the next two were exciting, and watching Henrik Lundqvist shut the door was fantastic. Nigel Dawes had a good game even before making the violent criminal Chris Pronger look stupid. No, the Rangers weren't perfect against Jonas Hiller and the Anaheim Ducks tonight, but it's a far cry from letting in 8 against New Jersey or leaving it all up to Henke against Carolina. 
My personal highlight of the night was seeing Nik Zherdev score on one of my favorite rules in hockey: if you are taken down from behind on a breakaway to an empty net, you automatically are awarded a goal, making it a goal where technically a shot is never taken.
Not much to say as it's 2:36 in the morning here in the Eastern Conference, and I have less than 5 minutes left on my laptop battery. I will say, however, that I love these late starting games. I go out and do stuff during the evening and then I get to still watch the game. Today I went shopping for Christmas presents and tomorrow I'll work then get home to watch the game or watch it at my Wednesday night bar. Very exciting stuff. This also would've made a good road trip: 3 games in 2 and a half California cities in 5 nights.
Anaheim was the easy game this week; the Rangers always play them well (who could forget Blair Betts' stunning end-to-end goal in Anaheim in 2006-07?). LA is tough just because they are an unpredictable team and the Rangers traditionally play poorly against poor teams. San Jose is the real test. Beat them - in San Jo, no less - and you are worthy.
Until then the real question is whether Mats Sundin will do what Markus Naslund did and forsake Vancouver for Broadway.