Friend of the BSB Radio show, Rick Carpiniello ("Carpy" as Torts calls him), has a great reprint of his newspaper article from yesterday on his blog.
It is the quote of the season for the Rangers, because it is everything they are about.
Brandon Prust, the tough-as-shoe-leather winger, had been playing with at least two bad injuries — a bum shoulder and a banged-up hand — two things you don’t want when part of your job description is to fight.
On Saturday, he had blocked a shot off his foot and he toughed it out, limping the rest of the game. He had gone for X-rays, which were negative, and on Monday his foot was still in terrible shape but there were games to be played that night and the next.
Prust was being asked if he might play, and he told reporters:
“It’s just pain.”
It's well worth the read - because, truly, to those of us who've been Ranger fans for what seems like forever, there have rarely been teams with this kind of "blue-collar grit" gracing the grand stage at Madison Square Garden in days gone by.
Join me after the jump for more thoughts.
For too many years, it seems like management was playing to the "New York Star" theory - that to fill the seats at MSG, you had to have a glossy, glitzy, star-power "name" - whether that was Gretzky in his pre-retirement days, the return of Mark Messier (who never should have been allowed to leave), Jaromir Jagr, and the list goes on. Management seemed to be catering to the "suits" in the expensive "100's" seats - you know - the guys who show up after dinner and the 1st period is over - instead of the "real Ranger fans" with seats farther "up" in the chart.
To some extent - they were probably right. The supporting cast was a mixed bag (although not all that bad at times) and unable to carry the NYR back to a deep enough playoff run to make a difference. The Garden might have turned into a ghost town without those "stars".
Now, the Rangers are built largely on 'home-town, drafted' or rookie free-agent talent - the likes of Dubinsky, Callahan, Stepan, Staal, Girardi, and Zuccarello - supplemented by Boyle and Prust who have forced themselves, by their play, into the "young core". And if the draft pipeline continues to yield gems like the above (names like Kreider, Thomas, and McIlrath come to mind, plus the tastes we've seen of guys like McDonagh), the future indeed looks pretty decent.
There seems to be a buzz - at the Garden, on the social networking sites - Ranger Fans are pretty excited, and highly gratified by the type of team that's showing up, and the way they go about their business.
I couldn't agree with "Carpy" more - he wrote a terrific piece - so go here and read it: