Thursday, January 20, 2011

Daily Recap: Gaborik Explodes; Dubinsky, Fedotenko Hurt; Kolarik, Dupont Up; Trade Anisimov?; Bench Drury?

If there is one word to describe this New York Rangers hockey team it would have to be resilient.  Already without Callahan, Prospal, Christensen among others the team finds out before tonight’s game that they will be without Brandon Dubinsky for 3-4 weeks with a stress fracture of the leg.  Add that to a team that started the day full of questions not only about the offense as a whole, but star winger Marian Gaborik in particular, and tonight’s game could have been one where the squad felt sorry for themselves.  Not this team.  Not this year. 

What was witnessed instead was the team rally around who was left healthy and finding ways to get the job done.  Tonight it was Marian Gaborik who was tired of the stories about his benching and slumps and decided to end both of those by bringing back the magic with four goals on the night (video).  Add to Gaborik’s exploits goals from Boyle, Fedotenko, and Zuccarello and it made for a 7-0 drubbing of the Leafs.  The entire team played spectacularly and showed again that there will be no excuses made for injuries as they will just keep playing with whoever is left standing.

That mentality will be tested again as during the game Ruslan Fedotenko was lost for two weeks with a shoulder injury.  The loss of Dubinsky led to the recall of Chad Kolarik and after the game Tortorella announced that Brodie Dupont would take Fedotenko’s place. 

At some point the injuries are bound to catch up with the Rangers if not just for the sheer number but for which guys are getting hurt.  This team need’s its own medical center at this point with all the key guys that are down, but as long as they have Lundqvist in net they will be alive in most every game.  A hot streak from Marian Gaborik and they can certainly hold on until reinforcements hopefully arrive in February.  The debuts for Kolarik and Dupont when they happen will be the 6th and 7th NHL debuts the Rangers have had this year and the 7th and 8th rookies they have had in their lineup.  The fact they are where they are with those kinds of facts is a tribute to the coaching staff here, the player’s themselves and the staff of the Whale for preparing these players to be ready to fill the roles the NHL club needs. 

Before all the injuries and the brilliant game today there were two main articles to ponder over on the site.  The first one this morning concerned whether young center Artem Anisimov is part of the future or someone viewed as trade bait.  For whatever reason among a lot of Rangers fans there has been this belief that Artie will never develop to his full potential and in my opinion a rush to have him moved out for a better version.  I looked at the two versions of Anisimov that have been seen this season to see why those exist and made a comparison to a current Rangers who fans had similar opinions on and frustrations with as he found his way in the NHL.  I was surprised at the agreement in the comments on this one as well.

The other article dealt with the roster and what it would look like when the team got their full component of forwards back.  Obviously this was before two more injuries which at least for the short term make the conversation somewhat irrelevant, but the question still needs to be asked if Chris Drury should be benched when the team gets healthy?  Maybe I need to amend it say “if” at this rate.