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New York Rangers: 5 Players Who Will Have a Breakout Second Half

Scott AbusoCorrespondent IOctober 22, 2016

New York Rangers: 5 Players Who Will Have a Breakout Second Half

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    Currently, the New York Rangers find themselves in first place in the Eastern Conference, and second in the NHL with four less games played than the Detroit Red Wings.

    Despite what the standings say, there have been a few Blueshirts off to disappointing starts.

    The following is a list of five New York Rangers who I believe will rise out of their current slumps and be key to the Rangers' second half success. 

Brad Richards

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    Brad Richards is in a slump, and it's bad.

    He began the season as one of the Rangers star players, coming off of a large contract signing and proving his worth.

    He's currently on a large pointless streak, and people have lost confidence in him.

    I have not. 

    Brad Richards proved his worth early on in the season, and this streak of no points means little to me.

    Within the next few games he will turn back into the assist machine and clutch scorer he was early on.

    Mark my words.

Stu Bickel

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    Stu Bickel has stepped up big time for the consistently injured New York Rangers defense.

    A rookie coming up from the Connecticut Whale, Bickel has proven his worth to the Rangers.

    He's a solid defenseman, despite making a few rookie mistakes, and he's been a big part of the Rangers success thus far.

    He doesn't have much on the stat sheet to show for it, except for five assists.

    I strongly believe that Bickel will continue his role as an enforcer for the Rangers, but also rack up a bunch of assists and a goal or two by season's end.  

Marian Gaborik

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    Marian Gaborik has had an outstanding season for the Rangers thus far.

    I don't see that changing anytime soon.

    If Gaborik can avoid any serious injury, i can see him hitting the 50-goal mark by the end of the season.

    In the past few games, he's struggled, but he netted a great soft goal on the Flyers Ilya Bryzgalov on Sunday.

    Gaborik will almost certainly have an amazing second half.  

Artem Anisimov

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    Artem Anisimov has been streaky this season. 

    He found great success in the GAS (Gaborik Anisimov Stepan) line early on, but he was suddenly demoted.

    Anisimov scored this past Sunday against the Flyers.  It was a solid effort, and in my opinion, a sign of things to come.

    Look for success from this Russian as the season rolls on.

Brandon Dubinsky

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    Brandon Dubinsky has had a less than impressive first half.

    Let me rephrase that—Dubinsky has had a pretty bad offensive first half.

    A lack of goal scoring has caused many fans to turn against Dubinsky, who is arguably one of the Rangers best players.

    Despite this, Dubinsky has maintained an amazing defense game, and has enough assists to hold his head above the water.

    The negativity that has surrounded his performance may very well motivate Dubinsky to find his weaknesses and step his game up. 

    Look for an offensive breakout from Brandon Dubinsky as the second half continues.  

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