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I’m with Joe on this one. After the last 2 games, Artem Anisimov most definitely made the team barring him punching Torts in the face for no apparent reason. In one of the more dominating games I’ve seen the Rangers play, the kids stood out by miles, while the vets continue to look less than impressive.

The interesting thing here though is that tonight the Rangers played against a fairly full Boston squad sans Wheeler, Chara and a few others, and they definitely did not have their full squad, sand Henrik, Gaborik, Dubi, Drury, Higgins, Callahan, etc, and yet we looked superb. Why? Because the kids have talent, and more importantly motivation. One has to wonder if the vets will have this kind of motivation when the squad comes together October 2nd. Of real concern are Michal Rozsival and Wade Redden, who did not play in this one. I say they are of concern because today we saw at least 6 NHL ready, willing and able defenseman out there in Staal, Girardi, Sanguinetti, Gilroy, Del Zotto and Semenov (not to mention Michael Sauer who may have been defenseman in all 4 games thus far). The black hole of 11.5 million dollars will definitely cause 2 of those kids (not including Sauer) to not get minutes in the NHL. With so many NHL ready defenseman already here, and with Ryan McDonagh likely challenging next year, one has to wonder when and if the Cigar will be able to unload Rozsival and Redden to get the better players in here.

The other 2 standouts besides Anisimov were the 2 blueline threats in Gilroy and Del Zotto. You can see how much more dynamic our team looks when those 2 kids are on the ice. They push the oppositions defense back and they pull the oppositions forwards up because of what they can do, creating more time and space for our forwards, leading to more scoring chances, and higher quality scoring chances. The higher quality is the key because the Rangers got quite a few glorious chances that they cashed in on, and really the only cheap goal in the game was the one that Valiquette let in.

I honestly have no idea how the Rangers can justify sending Gilroy or Del Zotto down. They aren’t the best in their own zone, but they bring something so important to this team that even though Del Zotto may benefit from another year in juniors, it may be more important to the club to keep him here and allow him to develop his game at this level. Then again I couldn’t fathom them sending Sauer down, and they did so with the first group of cuts, so what the hell do I know.

Huge game Monday for the Rangers, as it should be our first time seeing Gaborik in Rangers blue….that will be something special.


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