Rangers Ship Gaborik for Grit

Marian+Gaborik+Toronto+Maple+Leafs+v+New+York+MQr3A5gbT_7xMSG, NY – It has been a very interesting week for the New York Rangers in their push to make the playoffs this season. The impotent Marian Gaborik was shipped off to Columbus (where most ex-Rangers go to die) in exchange for some role players. In essence, the Rangers traded away their depth to Columbus last year for Rick Nash. And yesterday they traded Gaborik to Columbus for some depth. I guess the Blue Jackets wouldn’t have accepted a Nash-for-Gaborik trade last summer, but in the end thats pretty much what happened.

Brassard_D_0403_Ins2The Gaborik move worked Wednesday night as the newly acquired Derick Brassard had a four-point game with a goal and three assists. Defenseman John Moore, also acquired in the Gaborik deal, was also on the score sheet in the Blueshirts’ 6-1 win over the Crosby-less Penguins. Moore and Brassard (and the injured Derek Dorsett) are good additions to the team for this season and next. And this move, trading a superstar for three gritty role players, tells us the John Tortorella probably isn’t going anywhere.

Shipping one of the Rangers’ biggest stars and the guy who carried the team up until this season seemed like a strange move. But to say Gaborik has been ineffective this season would be the understatement of the century. He had been skating harder lately but he still couldn’t find the net. A change in scenery might rejuvenate Gabby.

AshamLost in the Gaborik talk was the acquisition of Ryane Clowe, who seemingly added an extra “e” to both names just to be different. Clowe hadn’t scored for what seemed like 14 years until he bulged the onion bag twice Wednesday night. With the addition of Clowe, the Rangers are instantly a tougher team. Toughness was sorely missed by the Rangers when Arron Asham was injured. The Rangers have the fewest fights in the league. With Clowe and a healthy Asham in the lineup, we should be seeing a much healthier number of fights in Rangers games down the stretch.

The Rangers play the second half of the home-and-home against the Penguins tonight. Hopefully Pittsburgh doesn’t figure out how to win without Crosby until after tonight’s game. We all know they’re going to get back to winning ways. Lets hope it happens after the Rangers leave town. Tomorrow, the Blueshirts head to Carolina before another home and home against the Maple Leafs next week.

With a dozen games left, every win is crucial. The Rangers are neck and neck with the Devils and Islanders for the last playoff spots in the east. With their point last night in Washington, the Isles are one point ahead of the Rangers in 7th. But the Rangers have two games in hand over the Isles.

John Tortorella, Christopher Higgins, Enver LisinWinning as many games as possible and catching the Leafs or Sens for sixth place should be a priority. I don’t want to face the Penguins or Bruins (who will definitely pass the Habs in the Northeast) in the first round of the playoffs. Playing whoever comes out of the weak Southeast division would be ideal. As of now the Caps are leading the Southeast with fewer points than the Devils have in 9th place in the conference. The realignment will be a welcome change in the coming seasons.

In the meantime, Lets Go Rangers!

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About Different Matt 269 Articles
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.