I know the All-Star Game tends to polarize opinion among the majority of hockey fans, but, from a Blueshirts perspective, you can’t help but be delighted with the events of this past weekend. Marian Gaborik, Henrik Lundqvist, Dan Girardi and Carl Hagelin all performed admirably in Ottawa, while even Torts looked to be having fun behind the bench.
Hagelin’s victory in Saturday’s Fastest Skater contest was something most Rangers fan had predicted prior to the weekend kick-starting with Thursday’s draft. Two victories over Ottawa’s Colin Greening earning the Swede the title.
Gaborik’s hat-trick and subsequent MVP award on Sunday were due reward for a player in the midst of a huge bounce-back season in New York. In fairness, Lundqvist did well to keep Gaborik, Marian Hossa and Pavel Datsyuk to three goals in the opening period. Girardi got on the scoreboard too, Jason Spezza tipping the defenseman’s shot beyond Jimmy Howard.
It was good to see Lundqvist mic’d up during the first period. The All-Star weekend allows us a far greater insight into a players personality, and that’s an aspect of the event that I absolutely love. C’mon now, who didn’t get a laugh out of listening to Lundqvist plead with Hossa to shoot rather than pass to Gaborik, or Hank’s “any way we can get Gabby off the ice?” line. I’m hoping not many.
But, the fun’s over, and it’s back to New York for the Rangers’ five representatives as the NHL schedule hits the home straight. The Rangers face the New Jersey Devils tomorrow night, and with the trade deadline looming large, it could be an interesting few weeks ahead. But for now, let’s recap the weekend’s best links…
Nick Montemagno has spent the weekend blogging from Ottawa, touching on all aspects of the All-Star weekend from a first-hand view. He’s made a great effort, and his posts make for equally interesting reading. [Rangers Tribune]
Though the All-Star weekend afforded most of the NHL’s players a week-long break from the daily grind, the Blueshirts prospects were still busy doing their thing. Jess Rubenstein recaps a successful weekend that included a two-goal, first-star game for JT Miller, and a three-point, second-star night for Christian Thomas. [The Prospect Park]
Dan Girardi’s final All-Star blog has been posted up over at NHL.com. Girardi has spent the weekend blogging on varying aspects of the weekend, from the draft and ASG to spending time with his family in Ottawa. [NHL.com]
Blueshirt Banter count down the five best wins of the season to date for the Rangers, including the recent overtime win in Boston, a 5-2 win over the Sharks and, of course, January 2′s Winter Classic win at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. [Blueshirt Banter]
Christian Nehls takes a look at the potential impact of Brendan Morrow on the Rangers cup hopes. The experienced Stars forward is reportedly available, and Nehls believes Morrow could be the guy to solve former team-mate Brad Richards’ scoring woes. [Blue Seat Blogs]