I have to be honest; I was one of the biggest critics when the New York Rangers traded away Marian Gaborik for a group of unknown players. But boy does Derick Brassard keep impressing me.
The 26 year-old Canadian center had a goal and an assist in the Rangers 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Brassard looked to be playing great with wingers Benoit Pouliot and Mats Zuccarello. The line stood out most of the game as they were showing off their skill and creativity. Pouliot is a player who has never lived up to his hype as a high draft pick but looked very comfortable on a line with Brassard. Another player who impressed was Andrew Yogan. He was all over the ice on the forecheck, and he made some great plays to keep the puck in the zone while the Rangers were attacking. Oscar Lindberg and Jesper Fast showed some chemistry when the two were together. Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh looked their usual All-Star selves on the ice.
Marty Biron made a couple of beautiful saves on high quality scoring chances by the Flyers. Biron is fighting for the backup goalie job along with veteran Johan Hedberg and youngster Cam Talbot. Biron seems to be the frontrunner to back up Henrik Lundqvist again this season.
One other thing that was impressive was the Rangers power play. It was nice to see some movement not only of the puck but of bodies. The Rangers kept moving the puck from the point to below the goal line. They also had a player move into the slot for a quick pass and a possible one timer. This is something the Rangers have not done in years and is a strategy that a lot of NHL teams use.
But the man of the night was definitely Brassard. He is starting to look more and more like an upcoming star in this league.