by Patrick Hoffman on 01/11/11 at 01:32 PM ET
UPDATE: New York Rangers’ defenseman Marc Staal and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist were selected to the NHL All-Star game. This is certainly a well-deserved honor for both as Staal is clearly the team’s best defenseman and one of the best shutdown defensemen in the National Hockey League while Lundqvist is the backbone of the team and one of the best goaltenders in the league.
UPDATE 2: Rangers’ rookie Derek Stepan will participate in the Honda NHL Superskills Competition.
EARLIER: Tonight’s game between the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens at Madison square Garden could feature a number of firsts.
To start, Wojtek Wolski will make his Rangers’ debut tonight after being traded to the team yesterday in exchange for defenseman Michal Rozsival. Wolski definitely has what it takes to produce in the league but much like Alex Frolov, he needs to show that he can do it at a consistent level. The Rangers are giving him a fresh start and if he ends up succeeding, the Blueshirts will be all the better for it considering he is just 24-years-old.
Also, tonight is the expected Rangers debut of Wojtek Wolski. Even though Sean Avery has played well the past three games on Marian Gaborik’s left wing, I suspect Wolski will get a chance to skate with Gaborik and Artem Anisimov with Avery skating with Drury and, most likely, Kris Newbury. But we’ll see about the line combinations later on.
Another first the Rangers can achieve tonight is four straight victories, something they have not done since December of 2009. If the team ends up accomplishing that, it will be quite remarkable considering the teams they beat to make it happen: Carolina Hurricanes, Dallas Stars, St. Louis Blues and if they win tonight, the Montreal Canadiens.
The team has certainly put themselves in a good position to prove to folks in the NHL that they are a legitimate team and that they are more than good enough to make the playoffs this season. The first step in getting to that point would be a win tonight against the Habs.
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Tags: alex+frolov, andrew+gross, carolina+hurricanes, dallas+stars, michal+rozsival, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ranger+rants, st.+louis+blues, wojtek+wolski
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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.