I’ll start this up with some Rangers news. Arron Asham is in tonight, and Jesper Fast will sit out. Not exactly a big move, or a surprising one, but it’s happening. I think this is a good move anyway. Fast has no business playing the 4th line, and once Hagelin gets healthy he’ll be in Hartford. It’s for the better. Henrik is expected to start tonight also.
Now for some news that falls into the “Wow but not completely unexpected” category is the Flyers firing Peter Laviolette. To me this is something that either shouldn’t have happened at all, or should have happened before the season started. The Flyers basically just took an entire pre-season and threw it out the window. All that work with systems they did with Laviolette will be useless once they name a new head coach (unless they eventually give Craig Berube the job permanently). I could talk about this for a lot longer, but what’s the point?
Let’s move on to Nathan Mackinnon and the Colorado Avalanche. The Avs are off to a flying start this year winning their first two games outta the gate, and Mackinnon already has three assists. I went to the game against the Predators on Friday and let me say Mackinnon looked damned good, and like he belonged in the NHL. Since I’m out here in Boulder, Colorado I’ve decided to adopt the Avalanche as my second team and watch all their games. They’re a young exciting team with the likes of Duchene, Landeskog, Stastny, Mackinnon, O’Reilly, and fan favorite Alex Tanguay. Going to the game Friday I was kind of surprised at how much they love that guy. Though scoring 2 goals in a Cup Finals game 7 will give anyone that cult like status among fans.
Going to the Avs game though made me really analyze the difference between the Avalanche and the Rangers. One thing that stood out was Steve Downie. Steve Downie is already a fan favorite among the Avalanche and it’s easy to see why. He’s a solid player and can chip in offensively, but he also stands up for teammates as well as stirs the pot when the game needs to shift in the teams favor. Basically this is a player that the Rangers have lacked since Avery the first time around (not counting when the Rangers re-acquired him through waivers). A guy like Derek Dorsett will fight and stand up for teammates, but he just isn’t as effective in other areas of the ice. Same goes for Arron Asham. My hope is someone like JT Miller will develop a bit of a snarl and use it to his advantage, and still play all around solid hockey. That’s something this Rangers team needs.
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