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Back to back, against 2 of the toughest teams in the NHL, and the Rangers take 4 very huge points. Incredible. You can’t help but be thrilled at their ability to gut out wins against some truly superb competition. The Blues and the Stars are only adding to the list of top echelon teams that the Rangers have beaten or have stayed close with. Really outside of the Flyers the Rangers haven’t looked all that outmatched against anyone out there.

Tonight was a game though where you see the Rangers long term strategy pay off. They are building their team from the net out. Their backup goaltender was absolutely spectacular as Biron made several game saving saves, and the defense in front of him was outstanding as well, sporting 6 guys whose average age are 24 years old and yet they have given up a combined 3 goals over the past 2 games. Unbelievable. Add to that a line of Dubinsky – Stepan – Zuccarello-Aasen who have an average age of 22 and somehow play outstanding hockey in all 3 zones and you have a lot to be happy about.

Look, this team won’t win the Stanley Cup, we all know it. But what they are doing is setting up a picture perfect transition year. A year when the kids all grow. Where Artem Anisimov blossoms into a legitimate 2-way dominant 2nd line center. A year where Dan Girardi and Marc Staal turn into possibly the best shutdown pair in the NHL. A year where Brandon Dubinsky changes roles from being the guy to run shotgun with superstars, to being the star who has players ride shotgun with him. Dubinsky is on pace to score almost 70 points this year, a huge jump from his previous career high attained last year with 44 points, and yet somehow I think we all feel that this is just the start of what should be a brilliant career. Dubinsky seems to have the entire package you want in a forward. Mean, nasty, physical, big, fast, smart, engaged, vision, shot, nose for the net, leadership, defensive play. He has it all, the only thing this kid needed before this year was consistency. Well consistency has been attained with Dubinsky as it seems every game he is one of the 3 best Rangers on the ice, regardless of his offensive output.

Am I the only person who feels this team will really take off once we can get Chris Drury off this team and hand the keys to the kingdom over to Callahan, Dubinsky, Staal and Stepan? Somehow, I don’t think I am.


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