Hello, Derek Stepan

Like Ebby Calvin LaLoosh, Rangers rookie Derek Stepan announced his presence with authority, recording a hat trick in his first NHL game, a 6-3 W over the Buffalo Sabres.

Box Score


Guess, who tops this list ...

+ Stepan

Three goals on opening night against Vezina trophy-winner Ryan Miller? Please and thank you. That's like a rookie blasting a CC Sabathia fastball over the fence in his first major league at-bat. Stepan was sensational all night long. Even if his first goal was a little fluky, bouncing in off the mammoth boot of Buffalo D Tyler Myers, it was a heckuva set up for Sean Avery. Just so happened Avery didn't need to touch it. The joyous screams of Stepan's mom reverberating through a very quiet HSBC Arena was an entertaining bonus. And he got a smooch from Brandon Dubinsky. So, uh, there's that too ...

Those whispers you hear today are the Calder Trophy talk buzzing around the league.

+ Six goals

Scoring will be a major theme throughout this season for the Rangers and in their opener they continued their preseason penchant to torch the net. And not a single marker came from the stick of super sniper Marian Gaborik.


- Three goals

This is me being critical. Yes, the Rangers put up six goals, but three of them were gift-wrapped by the Sabres. After the awkward deflection for the first goal, Myers blew a tire and gave away the puck behind the net, leading to the second Ranger goal. Add on the empty netter and the game was closer than it appeared. The Sabres also outblasted the Blueshirts by 14 shots after the first period. While it was an impressive opener for New York, this might not be the most sustainable formula for success this season. But hey, it's the opening game and the Rangers are in the win column.