JIM: Rick Nash had a fairly quiet night against the Coyotes--he had only two shots on goal and was on ice for a pair of Phoenix scores--but in my book he earns Unsung Hero honors for two reasons. First off, while Marc Staal deserves much credit for scoring the Rangers only goal Thursday, it was Nash who drew two Coyotes towards him before he slid the puck to an open Staal on left wing, earning the primary assist on the goal. It was a subtle display of Nash's importance in the offensive zone. Perhaps more importantly Nash came to the defense of teammate Derek Stepan late in the third period after Stepan was run into the boards by Martin Hanzal of the Coyotes. Certainly not known for his pugilistic talents, Nash dropped the gloves with Hanzel for his first fight as a member of the Rangers. That the Rangers' top offensive player, one not accustomed to fighting, would be willing to stand up for a teammate he believes was taken advantage of wins a lot more points than any you would see on the stat sheet. Trust me, his fellow Blueshirts took notice.
MATT: After missing last year following the death of his wife, it was special to see Dominic Moore return to regular season action last night. Moore, who started his career with the Rangers prior to the 2004-05 lockout, may not have gotten on the scoresheet, but seeing him back on the ice I'm sure made many around the hockey world smile. After speaking with Moore for just a few minutes, you immediately see how good of a guy he is, adding to the positive feelings you get when you see him back playing the game he loves. Here's to many more for Dom Moore.