by Patrick Hoffman on 10/11/08 at 01:05 AM ET
Instead of relying on their first line to do all the goal scoring, the New York Rangers got three out of their four goals from the second line.
“I certainly liked that line tonight, as I’m sure every Rangers fan did,” Rangers head coach Tom Renney told the team’s website. “You could see that with the sum of their parts they could play as they did tonight, and it came together nicely.”
The line, which consists of Brandon Dubinsky, Nikolai Zherdev and Aaron Voros, were the one of the mian reasons why they won 4-2 in their home opener over the Chicago Blackhawks. They did it all tonight. They hit, they forechecked, they blocked shots, they put the puck on net and more importantly, they all scored goals.
Brandon Dubinsky is showing the Rangers’ brass that he can do just about anything if given the chance to. He’s not afraid to hit and stick up for his teammates, he kills penalties, he creates scoring chances and if given the room to, he can fire the puck. This could clearly be seen on the team’s third goal of the night when he went in all alone about Blackhawks’ netminder Cristobal Huet and beat him top corner.
Voros is probably surprising many right now. Known for being a real tough guy and someone who can score here and there, Voros has shown that he has a good shot and can create room for his linemates, which is exactly what he did on Dubinsky’s goal as he set a nice pick on one of the Hawk’s defenseman to creat room for Dubinsky.
I know it’s just the beginning with Zherdev but so far, he’s played well for his hockey club. Yes, he sometimes plays with the puck too much but overall, he goes hard to the net, he’s not afraid to shoot the puck and he backchecks. We’ll see if this kind of play keeps up but if it does, Zherdev could turn out to be a star on Broadway.
It’s only three games in but at least two out of the team’s three lines are scoring and are showing the league that they are not a one-dimensional team anymore.
“People will learn that we are a hard-working team, and that is going to be our identity,” Voros told reporters after the game. “We have a lot of talent, too, and this talent works. This is going to be a fun team to watch and play with.”
Hopefully, this talent will show up tomorrow night when the team takes on a much tougher team in the Philadelphia Flyers. The Rangers may be 3-0 but as history shows, things can change in an awful hurry in this league.
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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.