New York - In the wake of an extreme roster shake-up Wednesday, the New York Rangers routed the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-1 at Madison Square Garden. After the deadline departure of Marian Gaborik many Rangers’ fans stressed at the thought of how the “new look” Blue-Shirts would perform. With new additions Ryane Clowe, Derick Brassard, and John Moore all set to make their Garden debut, everyone was in for a real treat.
From the opening face-off on, Clowe set the tone with a monstrous first shift. His big hit and tenacious pursuit of the puck was exactly what this team had been missing all season long to this point. The team from that point on looked fresh, and much more confident than we have seen in games past. The Rangers opened the scoring with a Brad Richards bomb from the point on the power-play, and never looked back.
It was a great night to start off your Rangers career as every new addition, aside from the injured Dorsett, all pitched in on the stat sheet. John Moore had 1 goal on 14:09 of ice time, Derick Brassard also added 1 goal and 3 assists, and Ryane Clowe broke out of his season long goal scoring drought with 2 goals and 1 assist. All very welcome additions indeed.
The Rangers would go on cruising to an impressive 6-1 win over the Eastern Conference leading Penguins. One of the most telling things to me was how relaxed and energetic the team looked last night. Brian Boyle had arguably his best game of the year (not many to chose from), and Brad Richards showed much more confidence by being very hard/decisive on the puck. Maybe having a guy like Clowe in the line-up took some of the burden off of Boyle from trying to take on too many different roles for the team, and he can begin to just go out there and play his game. As for Richards, he’s been very hit & miss this year (mostly miss), one can only think that seeing the departure of Gaborik could have given him a little kick in the butt to get his game back on track because we all know how poorly he has played at times.
Initial reaction from the new additions and the departure of Gaborik are clearly that Sather has found the right peices to gel into this team. It is also very imperative not to get too far ahead of ourselves- These guys were playing on pure adrenaline, and could have been just a flash in the pan. If these players really were the missing pieces, and they can continue to have this kind of impact on the team, the Rangers may have once again just become a contender in the East.
Follow us on Twitter: @NYRCenterIce
“Like” us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NyrCenterIceBlog