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I think it’s important for everyone to recognize that there is a difference between playing a bad team, and playing a team that is playing badly. The Philadelphia Flyers are most definitely not a bad team. All around the hockey world they were picked to be the Eastern Conference representatives in the Stanley Cup Finals (including myself), and for good reason, there is talent up and down this lineup, they have strength, power, speed, skill, tenacity, youth, veteran leadership, etc. They have a complete team, even their goaltending isn’t that terrible. However they are not playing very good hockey lately, and the Rangers are pretty fortunate to be playing a good team, that is playing poorly. With that said I thought the Flyers played a good game, and the Rangers were up to the task, thanks in large part to a repeat performance by Henrik Lundqvist, Chris Drury, and Artem Anisimov, who all had similar impact games for their teams.

Anisimov has started to come around as of late after busting out of his scoring slump against the Isles. He has looked much more confident with the puck, and I think getting countryman Enver Lisin back in the lineup, and on his wing, has helped a lot. I’m not sure why, but Anisimov seems to have genuine chemistry with the underperforming speedster. Chris Drury too has played well, sent down to the 4th line he has elevated his game a bit, actually going to the net and getting shots on goal, something we haven’t seen from the captain in quite a while. Finally you have Henrik Lundqvist who was absolutely stellar for the third game in a row. Henrik Lundqvist was definitely the biggest reason the Rangers picked up 2 points this afternoon. He was stellar, and frankly, he has to be, for the Rangers to pick up points. They aren’t playing excellent hockey right now, they are struggling in a lot of aspects, including own zone coverage (leading to Marc Staal being forced to play over 30 (YIKES!) minutes of hockey), and forecheck pressure. Henrik has been up to the task lately, which is what you expect from a guy who is supposed to be one of the best goalies in the world. Henrik has lived up to that reputation these past few games, hopefully his typical november-december slump is over and he’s ready to heat up and carry us the rest of the way. Who knows. Either way, it’s great to see the King back.

Next game is against the Canes, Rangers are playing the worst team in the NHL, if they have a let down game here, they should be crucified, because they are most definitely not in a position to be taking anyone for granted.

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