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The fans were right to chant for Henrik Lundqvist about 6 minutes into the game. Martin Biron was awful. He gave up 2 quick soft goals, and I was frankly astounded that coach Tortorella decided to let Biron stay in the game. Looks like a coach I absolutely love was 100% right once again. Biron picked up the slack as the game went along, making 2 huge saves down the stretch and shutting the ‘Yotes down in the shootout to get his team a hard earned point. But make no mistake about it folks, Birons play gave the Coyotes a free point they did not really deserve to get. I felt the Rangers vastly outplayed the Coyotes for the majority of this game, outside of a few shifts here and there that didn’t last for too long. They played their aggressive forecheck very well, and adapted quickly to the loss of Ryan Callahan. To me the best players all night, and probably all season long, were the trio of Prust, Fedotenko and Boyle. They play so well together, and even in 2’s when they are split up. The best third line in the league maybe?

I also want to comment specifically on one of our third line players. Several days ago I made a post over on the HF Boards where I said this:

Brandon Prust might be one of our most valuable players…
In terms of value to the team, I think Brandon Prust is way up there. He is a legit middleweight, one of the better ones in the league, who can forecheck with the best of them, and has very good hockey sense for a guy who doesn’t have the best hands. Personally this is a guy I would think about including when we talk about our “core”…a guy id like to see in Ranger blue for a long time. I cant remember the last time we had a guy like this…I mean Ryan Hollweg was an OK fighter, but was a detriment to the team because of his constant bad penalties and inability to play the actual game of hockey. Prust is a legit 3rd-4th liner in the NHL who brings his A game every single night, can kill penalties, almost never takes bad penalties, hits, fights….love this kid…easily the best player in the Jokinen deal IMHO.

So, what happened tonight? Following the game coach Tortorella called Prust part of the core. That is exactly what I felt as I wrote the above. Again today his hustle and energy led to a goal. The kid never gives up on a play, plays through injuries, and works as hard as anyone out there. Torts compared Prust to Callahan and I wholeheartedly agree. Prust is exactly like Callahan, but he lacks Callahans hands and offensive talents. It’s the kind of guys you want as part of this team for the long term.

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