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Boy, that is hockey. I really enjoyed watching tonights game, and I hope I wasn’t the only one. We had hits, fighting, nastiness, good passing, fluke goals, great saves, and up and down action non stop.

Usually when the Rangers play the Bruins it is just the most boring hockey ever. Bruins play their trap/forecheck hybrid system and take away everything all over the ice leaving the opposition with little to work with. Tonight though the Rangers were able to throw the Bruins system almost right back at them, with an aggressive forecheck of our own. The forecheck VS forecheck battle was just fun as hell to see. Basically it was a question of which teams D was going to make the bad play to turn the puck over leading to a goal. Turns out it was Zdeno Chara on the power play, but it wasn’t a forecheck that caused it, just some absolutely superb penalty killing by the Rangers.

There were some really bright spots for the Rangers, and some really ugly play by the Rangers too. On the great end of things, Artem Anisimov just continues to get better night in and night out. Today was no different, scoring another goal, playing just an outstanding 2-way game as usual, and proving once again that Hockey IQ is the single most important aspect of a player (at least in my opinion). Derek Stepan, Brandon Dubinsky, and Brian Boyle all stood out as having just monstrous games. Stepan set up a few great scoring chances, and really played outstanding in all 3 zones, not forcing anything, using safe plays, but also showing patience with the puck to see if something else opens up. Brian Boyle was all over the place, throwing hits, playing a mean game, and controlling the puck very very well in the offensive zone against the boards. When he and Frolov happened to be on the ice at the same time (after Prust went down with his injury), they controlled the puck for huge stretches of the game. Never underestimate the value of a good cycle. Frolov definitely brings that ability. Dubi too had an outstanding game and easily could have had a goal or 2 if not for some great defense by the Bruins.

On the negative side of things I thought Michael Del Zotto was just horrendous. On the PP he was abused by the Bruins penalty killers causing the Rangers to play long stretches in their own zone, and unlike against the Leafs, he was constantly making the wrong reads last night. Luckily Dan Girardi was up to the task playing superb defensive hockey bailing our MDZ time and time again.

Unfortunately the Devils decided to make Kovalchuk a healthy scratch tonight, so you know that he’s going to go apeshit on us tomorrow when he gets back in the lineup. Let’s hope Henrik is up to the challenge.


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