NEW YORK RANGERS - How Can You Not Be Worried Without Brandon Prust Around? Will The League Revert To Picking On The 'Lil Blue Smurfs Again?
When I watched Rick Nash drop down to block a shot, I wondered, is he here to do the same things everyone else has been doing? You know..., the kind of Mayan sacrificial stuff Coach Torts makes 'em do. Or, is he here to do what Rick Nash does differently? I know that's a little conflicting to say, as the Blueshirts were on defense. But the notion was reinforced when the Rangers had a 5 on 3 power play advantage. Not only did they only manage three shots, they committed a penalty to negate their advantage, and in turn put Boston up a man. The Rangers were flawless on the penalty kill though... One could only think, this looked familiar.
I'll tell you what else looked uncomfortably familiar - skaters loitering in front of Henrik Lundqvist creating a nuisances and waiting to feed on garbage.
Try this then.
Knock, knock Ranger fans... Say hello to your new biggest fighters - Mike Rupp, and Stu Bickel.
I told you!
After the departed Brandon Prust, these two led the Rangers last season in fighting. But Bickel and Rupp trailed Prust in fights by a wide margin. Last night the Boston Bruins, Milan Lucic, Gregory Campbell, and Shawn Thornton, all let Rangers fans know right from the start, the next forty seven games are going to be a long season. This is going to be a big problem Ranger fans. Think about it... how often do you really want Mike Rupp on the ice? Bickel, fine. Rupp? Rick Nash is no slouch. Do you want him in the box? Okay, that's a stretch. Much of Friday night was in retaliation from last year's entanglement. I get it. But perhaps the Rangers need a minor roster adjustment. It's better to be proactive in a shortened season, than skate around with black eyes and busted noses. No one ever feared the Smurfs of yore.
The first game at Madison Square Garden in eight months is finally upon us. Pittsburgh has a new look without Marc Staal's brother. Jordan Staal now plays in Carolina with their other other brother from the same mother. Circling back to the point, perhaps PITT might be slightly more compromised on defense without Staal. Riiiiiight. Just don't tell that to Philly. Sidney Crosby and Ivgeni Malkin are starting the season healthy, and together, which they haven't always managed in recent years. We're playing on back-to-back nights. Pittsburgh is playing back-to-back as well. Let's get it on! Bring on the Penguins!
Madison Square Garden Opening Night
NEW YORK RANGERS
33rd Street & 8th Avenue