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Thursday, January 20, 2011
Donnie Pucks: Dropping like flies

By Don La Greca

The Rangers crushed the Leafs 7-0 last night. That's where the good news ended.

Before the game, the Rangers announced their leading goal scorer Brandon Dubinsky is out for the next 3 to 4 weeks with a stress fracture in his left leg. Major blow for a team already missing Alex Frolov, Ryan Callahan and Erik Christiansen.

Then in a blow out game, Ruslan Fedotenko  injuried his shoulder and is out for 2 to 4 weeks.

How much more can they take?

The Rangers are a hard working team that kills themselves for every inch of ice. That comes at an expense. If this team has a shot at making something happen this year. A dynamic scorer needs to step it up.

Enter Marion Gaborik. He used last night as a chance to show that he will be that man -- 4 goals for his best game of the season.

But one good game followed by 5 scoreless ones will not work. Gaborik needs to be more consistent. He has 15 goals and 10 have come in 4 games. That will not do.

Also others will have to chip in. Sean Avery and Artem Anisimov, now playing on the first line with Gaborik, will have to help.

The good news is that they have Henrik Lundqvist. Last night was his 7th shutout of the season. That ties him with the Bruins' Tim Thomas for the most in the league. That will get them through most nights but not all of them. The likes of Washington, Pittsburgh and Detroit are on the schedule the next few weeks.

This will be an interesting month for the Rangers. How they handle this may set the stage for the rest of the season.