Hot Ice: Rangers Rock Isles and Matthews Makes History

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rangers beat islanders 5-3MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NY – It’s finally here. The NHL season started Wednesday night with a couple of barn-burners and last night the Rangers started their campaign against the new-look Islanders. The Garden was rocking as the Blueshirts celebrated their 90th year as a franchise. And the Boys of Broadway didn’t disappoint. On the night they ran out of the barn 5-3 winners over their city rivals.

Mika Zibanejad looked great, contributing two assists. Michael Grabner opened his Rangers account with a goal in the first period to set things in motion. Brandon Pirri scored his first for the Broadway Blues and also had an assist. Defenseman Brady Skjei earned his first point in a Rangers sweater with an assist. It may be very, very early, but the kids are alright.

Chris Krieder

Chris Kreider was a man possessed last night. He had a goal and an assist that should make the highlight reels. A behind the back pass to Pirri in the third period to put the Rangers up by two in the third period. After the Rangers scored in each of the first two frames, the Islanders stormed back into the game with two goals early in the third period. But from there Kreider took over the game, scoring the go-ahead goal and then assisting on the eventual game-winner.

Alain Vingeault‘s troops will have no problems scoring goals this season. The forwards look great. There are still some question marks surrounding the back end though. The Isles abused the Rangers defensemen in transition in the third period. Confusion and poor marking led to all three goals the Fishsticks scored. Marc Staal has not been the same since he took that puck to the eye a few years ago. Dan Girardi has never been that good. And he’s not getting any better with age. The Rangers look like they’re giving up on Dylan McIlrath, as rumors are swirling that he’s on the trading block.

tmp_28965-images2-967143188Henrik Lundqvist is not young and he’s played a lot of games over the past few seasons. He’s not the same goalie he was. He’s still very good and last year he wasn’t helped by a handful of useless defensemen, but he’s definitely in decline. The Rangers will need to score a lot of goals to win games. And it looks like they’re very capable of doing that.

Overall though, I think this rendition will be just fine this season.

The Islanders are still a very good team but they lost some key pieces in the offseason. They had the most effective fourth line in hockey and they dismantled it. As a Rangers fan, I won’t be shedding any tears now that Matt Martin is no longer in an Islanders sweater. Goodbye and good riddance!

tmp_28965-cut-354650944Meanwhile…

After tanking last season to get the number one pick, the Maple Leafs seem to have found their saviour (Canadian spelling). Auston Matthews made his debut Wednesday night for the Leafs and made history by becoming the first player ever to score four goals in their first game. It’s worth noting that Charanta managed to lose, in spite of Matthews’ heroics. Let’s hope that continues. It’s been almost 50 years since Toronto lifted Lord Stanley’s Cup and I’d like to see another 50 years pass before they win again.

That’s it for me today. Leave a comment down below and be sure to come back tomorrow for Russian hockey fan Hubit Chakockoff… or Junoir Blaber.

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Different Matt is our cunning Cornell grad/rugby player. "Diff" joined us just after the switch from being "Mets only" to an all-sports stop. He's a Yankee fan; thus he was "different." Aside from the Yanks, he's a diehard NY Giants, NY Rangers and NY Knicks fan. He also likes long walks on the beach and cappuccinos and nearly died in Las Vegas.

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