by Patrick Hoffman on 04/16/09 at 12:00 AM ET
For what seemed like his whole career in the blue and white in Toronto, Nik Antropov was a guy that the Maple Leafs were looking to unload. He had become known as a player who could turn on a switch a play great hockey whenever he wanted to. However, he didn’t do that often enough with the Maple Leafs and at the trade deadline, he found himself acquired by the New York Rangers.
So far, the move has worked out in spades for the Rangers as Antropov put up 13 points (7 goals and 6 assists) in 18 games and helped a struggling Ranger team clinch the seventh playoff spot in the tight Eastern Conference.
What’s more is that he has been consistent on both sides of the puck. Everyone knows that Antropov, 29 years old, is gifted offensively but as a Ranger, he has shown that he can back check, forecheck, give a hit, take a hit and more importantly, play in the last few minutes of the game.
In Game one against the Washington Capitals tonight, he scored a power play goal, picked up an assist and was trusted enough by head coach John Tortorella to be on the ice in the last minute of the game when the team was clinging onto a 4-3 lead.
Sometimes, all that’s needed is a new start and Antropov is thriving in his new start with the Rangers.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.