It was impossible to keep the mind from racing to other topics while watching the Rangers take on the Maple Leafs at the Garden on Monday night.
Two minutes into the game, Brandon Prust dropped the gloves for a fight with Jay Rosehill in the routine act of hockey enforcers setting the tone for a night in the opening beats of a game. Normally it is the kind of thing that barely raises an eyebrow, but it registered differently on Monday.
That's because of the compelling three-part series the Times has been running on the life of the late Derek Boogaard, the Rangers tough guy who died of a drug overdose over the summer.
John Branch spoke to Boogaard's family, teammates, opponents in fights and consulted his diary to get a picture of what happens when you devote your life to fighting on a nightly basis on the ice.
You should read the series, but the spoiler is that it doesn't do anything good to you. Researchers have found that Boogaard had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain con...