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Unfortunately this one is also going to have to be short as I spent the last 5-6 hours watching the Yankees and then the Rangers games and it’s now 4am with me having to wake up in a few short hours for a game of my own. Anyway, I did want to talk about the kids today. In my season preview I basically said the Rangers were more or less forced to put all their hopes and dreams for this season (fairly or unfairly) squarely on the shoulders of their kids. Boy oh boy, for one night at least, they handled it with aplomb.

Let’s start with the obvious. Derek Stepan, a kid I felt should have started the year in Hartford has made me look like a fool. Granted my reasons were that the Rangers were better suited long term giving him 20+ minutes a night centering the top line in Hartford rather than 10 minutes a night here, but he’s forced the Rangers hands with his play. The kid just oozes hockey IQ, the single aspect of a player I value above all. Next you have the rock solid play of Michael Sauer who was strong in his own zone, and quiet in a good way. Michael Del Zotto also played what might have been his finest game defensively as a Ranger, looking to make smart plays instead of risky plays. Work smarter, not harder, these are words to live by. Of course doing both, working harder AND smarter, would be preferable.

Follow that up with the 2 goal performance of Brandon Dubinsky, the absolutely brilliant play of Artem Anisimov who is truly playing like a selke caliber 2-way center already during his second full year, and the dogged determination of Ryan Callahan, and you have all the ingredients to add up to, for at least one night, an impressive Rangers win.

But, we must temper our enthusiasm, as that has been the bane of this Rangers team existence since I have started watching them sans 94 and 97. The Rangers get too up when they win, and get way too low when they lose. 1 win means nothing in the grand scheme of things. But it sure is a nice way to start off the season.

See you all on Monday, time to catch a few Z’s before my own game tomorrow…


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