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This was another game I expected us to lose, much like yesterdays. However I was pleasantly surprised to see the Rangers keep themselves in it, and be somewhat competitive out there. While the top line of Gaborik, Frolov, and Stepan were completely shut down, the supplemental scoring was there as Avery, Anisimov, and Christensen all put in goals. That certainly bodes well for the future because the Rangers will most definitely not be able to survive this season without some supplemental goals. In addition when you watch the game you couldn’t help thinking that Henrik Lundqvist, Marc Staal, Michal Rozsival, Vinny Prospal, and Ryan Callahan would have made a huge difference in the final score. Henrik alone would have nullified at least 2 of those goals.

Couple of things worth mentioning. MZA looked worlds better tonight, being far more active in the offensive zone, and generating a good forecheck with some speed and tenacity. His decision making was also much much better. Michael Sauer continues to be unimpressive to me, which is a shame because I felt he was one of our best defenseman in the preseason just a year ago. Kid may need another game or 2 to settle down, if he even has that much time left. Evgeny Grachev too was underwhelming, but he’s still a kid, still needs time to develop, and there is no rush here. He was also playing with players who lack creativity, and he himself is not the most creative player, hes more of a, find himself open, and rip a shot kind of a guy.

I really like what I see from this Pavel Valentenko kid. He’s got some nastiness in him, and a nice hard shot. Hes a complete cluster**** in his own zone, for sure, but he’s got a lot of things you can work with. A year in Hartford may do him a world of good. Also Derek Stepan looked a little less like he belonged today, as he didn’t really accomplish much out there other than playing a fairly solid 2-way game. On the flip side Artem Anisimov continues to improve his game, scoring another goal, and he could have had more, all the while playing a rock solid elite level defense. Mark my words, AA is the kind of center who wins you championships…if only we had the other pieces to the puzzle…


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