Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Night In Video: Fedotenko, Anisimov, Biron Key Rangers 3-2 Win


Anisimov Star Outshines Gaborik Return in Rangers 3-2 OT Win

All the talk leading into this game was about how Gaborik was going to come back and save the Rangers from their recent struggles, but in reality he didn’t play a role in the outcome of this game and it was one of the guys who stepped up in his absence who starred in his return.  With all the talk of who would play with Gaborik it was Artem Anisimov the 22 year old center who I still predict before this year is over will be Gaborik's center with Dubinsky on the other wing, that stole the show.  With Gaborik out Anisimov was thrust into being a top line center probably early than the Rangers wanted him to have to be, but tonight he would score two goals including the game winner 1:32 into OT.  I have said it before and will say it again now that all the talk with fans and media in New York about number 1 centers and going after this guy or that guy is pointless as the Rangers already have the guy in Anisimov.  Artem now has 5 goals and 8 assists in 16 games so far in his sophomore campaign which puts him on a pace for 25 goals, 42 assists 67 points.

Full details of gameplay inside.

Dane Byers Traded for Chad Kolarik

In a minor leaguer for minor leaguer trade according to BlueJacketsNHL the Rangers have dealt LW Dane Byers to Columbus in exchange for C Chad Kolarik.  Both Byers and Kolarik were drafted in the 2004 entry draft, Byers 48th and Kolarik 199th.  

It had become pretty clear that Byers was never going to get a shot at a role on the big club for the Rangers even though for a pretty tough guy he had some scoring skill with multiple 40+ point and 20+ goal seasons under his belt in the AHL.  Byers is not a great fighter, but he was willing to do the job as a tough guy when necessary. For Byers this is a blessing in disguise as he gets out of the dysfunction of the Hartford situation and should go to an organization in which he gets a more viable shot at making the NHL consistently.  Glad for Dane.

In Kolarik the Rangers are getting a 5' 11" center who spent four seasons playing for the Michigan Wolverines overlapping with another Rangers prospect in Carl Hagelin.  In his senior year for Michigan Kolarik tallied 30G and 26A in 39 games while a member of the Coyotes farm system.  In 2008-09 he turned pro for the Coyotes AHL squad in San Antonio putting together a nice first pro season of 20G 30A.  Last season between San Antonio and Syracuse after being traded to the Columbus organization Kolarik combined to tally 26G and 24A.  So far this season Kolarik has  4G 6A in 13 games in the AHL.  

The move has to be seen as one looking to boost the anemic offense Hartford has had all season and to provide stability to the center position so players like Evgeny Grachev can stop being flipped around in positions.  All the scouting reports I read on Kolarik speak of his speed and quickness, hands, good finish to speak of his offensive skills but does not pay much attention to the other side of the ice.  Hartford certainly needs offense, but trading away their Captain to get some might only further deteriorate a fragile balance there.

Breaking News: Biron To Start; Lundqvist Sick

In a surprise late move due to illness Henrik Lundqvist has been scratched and instead it will be Martin Biron in the net making his 4th start of the year for the Rangers.

Rangers vs Sabres Final Lines: Gaborik Linemates Announced; Boogaard Scratched

The lines for tonight's game are as follows:


Video: Ilya Kovalchuk's Shootout Choke Job Delights Ranger Fans

I tried all day to resist, but I cannot do it anymore because the irony of the whole thing is too much for me.  New Jersey a franchise that has been built for all these successful years on the team concept goes out and gives the ridiculous contract (length mainly) to a historical team underachiever and now they are having their worst season in years.  Coincidence?

If the play itself wasn't enough to delight Ranger fans there is also the fact that he was chosen as the fourth shooter and this happened the night after Derek Boogaard scored a goal.

The Video:

Rangers vs Sabres Pregame Thoughts: Star Gaborik Returns 11/11/2010

Rangers (7-7-1) vs Buffalo (5-9-2)
Key Opposing Player: Derek Roy (8-9-17)

Staal - Girardi
Del Zotto - Eminger


(As of this moment the lineups are not official in terms of who is playing with Gaborik so that is obviously my speculation along with the fact that I would play Gaborik as the 2nd line for a few games to get him back into it)

Losing Rozsival Creates Huge Void For Rangers

For many Rangers fans, especially coming into the season the thought of Michal Rozsival missing from the lineup was not necessarily a bad thing.  In fact for some it was advocated as the next move to make now that Wade Redden had finally been banished to Hartford.  I never bought into that theory and with his play so far this season Rozsival has proven not only to be a valuable asset to this team, but one that is critical to the defense.  It is true that the Rangers have a lot of talented defensive prospects in the system along with some young defenders at the NHL level but other than Staal and Girardi, Rozsival is really the only one who is truly capable of top 4 minutes, especially in defensive situations.

Daily Recap: Gaborik In, Rozsival Out; Third Period Struggles; Who Should Play With Gaborik

The morning started with my discussion of the struggles that are plaguing the Rangers in 3rd periods and moved on to the somewhat conflicting news on Marian Gaborik from practice, which was then followed by the confirmation of Gaborik playing but Rozsival being out for some time and finished with me having a mock election as to whom should be Marian Gaborik's running mates as he comes back.  Finally came the fan poll to see what all of you thought was the right move for Gaborik as partners and the voting for that remains open, so leave your vote and lend your voice to the discussion.