Tonight, Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov (Marian Gaborik is out with a knee injury) will make their return to Madison Square Garden for the first time since a 5-3 loss to the Devils in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals on May 23, 2012.
Both players along with Tim Erixon and a 2013 first round pick were traded to Columbus for Rick Nash on July 24, 2012.
While both Dubinsky and Anisimov have provided Rangers fans with numerous memories, I figured I'd post two of my very favorites in .gif form…
Here's Dubinsky on a possible rivalry being created due to the cross polination of the two teams as Larry Brooks likes to call it (via Columbus Dispatch)…
"I’m going to go in there fired up (tonight), trying to show (Rangers) management that they made the wrong decision trading me, and let them know – try to make them feel – like they wish they still had me. I think all of us feel that way. I talked to Gabby. He’s bummed for sure he doesn’t have the opportunity to play. Dorse and Nasher and Brass and Johnny Moore are feeling the same thing, I'm sure, like they want to stick it to us. That’s the type of rivalry it can be for sure."
Dubinsky has 6g, 14a in 25 games this season and is coming off a four point effort (1g, 3a) on Tuesday night vs. the Devils.
Meanwhile Anisimov has 7g, 5a in 31 games.
…Dubinsky is still having issues scoring, but make no mistake about it, he's exactly the kind of player the Rangers are sorely lacking right now. He plays hard, stands-up for teammates and goes into the dirty areas to create offense. Add in the fact that Rick Nash makes more money than both Dubinsky and Anisimov combined but has half the goals of the duo (six) and you can see why some fans might have buyer's remorse right now.
…while I'm not foolish enough to believe the Rangers would be better off if they didn't make the Nash trade, I have to wonder how much worse they'd really be?
…i'll be at the game tonight and will be sure to give Dubinsky and Anisimov a much deserved round of applause.