Thursday, January 6, 2011

Daily Recap: Zuccarello-Aasen Wins It (w/Video); Trades To Fill Rangers Holes?; WJC Update

In a game that from the very start felt like it was destined for overtime the New York Rangers game against Carolina would end up meeting that destiny.  Luckily for the Rangers in addition to Brandon Dubinsky and Henrik Lundqvist the guys that are expected to carry the team on this night it would be the “Norwegian Hobbit” that stood tallest when it was over.  Mats Zuccarello-Aasen would get the overtime winner to make himself lord of MSG for the evening and fulfill another step in his destiny to become an excellent NHL hockey player. 

As a team the Rangers played a much better hockey game from start to finish than they have for a while now and they were rewarded at the end of the night.  The full game story details what went as always including which players stood out most, links to video of the goal and Brandon Prust fight as well, but I need to say something about Dubinsky here.  Zuccarello got the goal and all the attention that will go with that and Henrik was phenomenal again in this game, but if you pick a player that won this game for the Rangers for me it Brandon Dubinsky.  Maybe I feel the need to say that because MSG decided he was not one of the three stars of the game even though his hard work created both goals or maybe it is as acknowledgement of his season.  Tonight certainly was not the first time that has happened this season and with the way that kid is going it will be far from the last.  I will have more to say on Dubinsky tomorrow at least.

It is amazing the way a win like that will make you forget about the struggles of the team over the weekend or any of the weaknesses the team has had in different areas over the first half, but that was today’s topic on the side.  Taking a look back at the first half to see the strengths of the club and where the holes are to see what was the most pressing need to fill and if there was a trade/player out there who could fill the void.  There were needs addressed in both the forward and defensive cores many of which are not new topics, but out of the discussion both in the article and the comments some interesting names to fill those needs arose.  Well worth the time to check it out and throw your voice into the discussion.

On the final day of the World Junior Championships in Buffalo it was very good day for New York Rangers prospects as USA faced Sweden and all three of the USA prospects in the tournament had an impact.  In the game itself Chris Kreider had two goals including this two-on-one goal that clinched the bronze for the USA.  Ryan Bourque had an assist and Jesper Fasth had a goal for the Swedish team.  I full highlights of the game as well as a discussion of how all four of the Rangers prospects did over the full tournament that you can find here.  I did not watch it because I was watching the Rangers game but to imagine the collective mourning in Canada blowing a 3-0 lead to lose 5-3 to Russia and cost them the gold medal makes me smile having watched how they handled their win over the US team the other night.

Onto the videos: