Our Video of Day features Dylan McIlrath taking on Jared Boll in a fight at center ice. Following two big hits he delivered on Blue Jackets, McIlrath was challenged by Boll off a face off. A veteran, Boll is a tough customer. So, it was a good bout between the experienced fighter and the up and comer.
My brother gave the decision to McIlrath. But it really was a draw. Both got good shots in and neither was punished or knocked down. Afterwards, a classy gesture by Boll giving McIlrath a tap on the jersey before each went to the penalty box.
Big Mac shifted to wing with Jesper Fast out due to the flu. He only received seven shifts logging 4:54 all at even strength on the fourth line. However, coach Alain Vigneault didn’t play him in the third period. What could be the harm in giving the natural defenseman a shift five-on-five? He defends his position well and protects the front of the net.
Once Fast returns which could be Thursday when the Rangers take on the Penguins for the first of three meetings in March, McIlrath will go back to the press box. Vigneault continues to go with veteran Dan Boyle along with mainstays Dan Girardi and Marc Staal. Neither of who will be scratched unless one is hurt. You can make the case for McIlrath for Boyle in some games. But this is the path Vigneault has chosen.
At least McIlrath is a gamer. He can be counted on.